Wednesday, June 1, 2011
John's Doggie Shop
Recently I've been on a mission to get myself to all the Philly-area hot dog spots that I haven't been to yet, especially with a few of them have recently closed (Nicky & Pete's, Montgomery Lunch).
The West Chester area has a hot dog culture that goes back almost 100 years. Jimmy John's Piping Hot (which burned down last year but recently re-opened) is the king out here, but there's a bunch of other spots that have been around forever that you don't hear too much about, and may or may not be closed or in danger of closing.
Hot dog research can get confusing out here- along with TWO different John's Doggie Shops and Jimmy John's Piping Hot, you've also got Johnnie's Dog House in Wayne (part of a small chain) and Jimmy John's the sandwich chain.
Anyway I was happy to find John's Doggie Shop opened for business. A small luncheonette with a counter and 4 or 5 booths, this is your basic working man's "breakfast and lunch grill" sort of place with hot coffee, creamed chipped beef, burgers and dogs and secret sauce.
The plain skinless dog was grilled and sort of underwhelming, especially after trying Jimmy John's delicious natural special casing "special dog"half an hour before.
But buried underneath John's "sauce" it's a whole different story. This is a classic "texas weiner" or "greek hot dog sauce" type chili, super dark and strong flavored, and plenty of it. The kind of dog you wash down with a cup of black coffee and a pack of cigarettes. Really good stuff, if you like this sort of old fashioned hot dog sauce this is one of the better spots in Philadelphia / Pennsylvania to find it.
Also, the Black & White milkshake was terrific, surprisingly better than the same thing from Jimmy John's.
There's another John's Doggie Shop about 5 miles closer to the city that may or may not be open, and is somehow related to this one.
John's Doggie Shop
Holly Eats: Johns Doggie Shop
525 Conchester Highway