Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hot Diggity - Philadelphia, PA

Why does it seem like every hot dog place is an hour away from me.. Rutt's Hutt, Charlie's Pool Room, with traffic lights and such even getting to my favorite Texas Weiner spots are even an hour. Hot Diggity is no exception. I've been meaning to go here for awhile, but it took one Hawk Krall to get me out there on a cold Friday night. He was showing some of his amazing hot dog artwork. I bought one of his prints already and have spoken to him many times through email. He's just as nice in person, but this review is about Hot Diggity, isn't it?!

PS - By the way, if you've only looked at Hawk's artwork online, you'll really like the quality if you see them in person. Awhile ago I ordered the Texas Weiner print as a Christmas present for my Grandmother. I loved it online and I love it even more in person.

I'm from New Jersey, so to me Philadelphia is a pain in the butt to drive. Narrow streets, every other street is one way, and free parking is hard to find especially for someone who doesn't know how to parallel park. If you can't find any parking, don't settle for some $20 parking lot. If you're willing to walk a few blocks from South Street you can probably find free parking and some other cool stores on the way. There's a bunch of shopping on the same street as Hot Diggity.

When I got there Hot Diggity was packed. There were no spots to sit down, but a few if I wanted to stand. They have 3 or 4 tables, and a few stand only. The guy behind the counter said they're usually pretty busy, but tonight especially.

I believe it was a Sabrett dog, which is fine with me, but maybe I heard wrong, because elsewhere suggests they use an all-beef Best's. They also offer a veggie dog on any of their menu choices. The dogs were nicely griddled on the outside.

They come on an Italian style roll, which is bigger than your American style bun. The rolls are locally made and very fresh. Even though they were bigger I didn't find them to be too much bread. I got a nice amount of dog, topping, and bun. But still, bread being bread, I was pretty full after one dog and fries. Had they been any thicker, though, I'd have not liked them.

The fries were nice and thick. They weren't wide like a steak fry, but they were thicker than say a McDonald's fry. Skin on. I thought they were done perfectly, but my Girlfriend thinks they could have been cooked a touch longer. I think I tasted peanut oil (correct me if I am wrong), which gave them a nice flavor. They weren't greasy at all. They need to be eaten quick, as they taste much better fresh. As mentioned on another website, they're a tad salty.. maybe not if you ate them alone but we paired them up with one of their dipping sauces.

They have about ten or twelve different sauces and occasionally rotate them. We tried the Curry Mayo. If I'd have seen Spicy Ginger before hand I'd probably have got that also. A large cone of fries was a good amount for two people and two to three sauces is plenty, unless you have to try them all then get a few more. Since this was my first time to Hot Diggity, I don't know what sauces they have in regular rotation, but I'd like to see some stuff that Pommes Frites in New York City has (they have over thirty sauces), so I don't have to go as far. They make a great Smoked Eggplant and the Irish Curry is the best I've ever had. Hot Diggity's fries were as good if not better than Pommes Frites.

Philly Surf & Turf

Seattle Grunge
Saigon Fusion

You can see everything Hot Diggity has on their website here, but I'll describe what we tried. My Girlfriend had a Philly Surf & Turf. It's a dog, wrapped with a homemade fish cake, topped with pepper hash, and mustard. She liked it. The fish cake tasted fresh and was nicely wrapped around the dog. It wasn't over fried, didn't seem overly greasy, and wasn't all mashed up into bits. It was one cohesive wrap.

I first had the Seattle Grunge. This has garlic cream cheese, red onion straws, scallions, and tomato. The onions were sliced extremely thin and were great to munch on by themselves with their strong flavor. There was a good amount of everything, except I couldn't notice the garlic flavor in the cream cheese. It tasted just like normal cream cheese to me.

Next up I had a Saigon Fusion. This comes with a house pickled cucumber, cilantro, red onion, carrots, jalapeno, thai chili vinaigrette, and hot sriacha. I skipped the carrots. Nice heat, but nothing you'll find on an episode of Man Vs. Food or anything, so it's good for just about any stomach to handle. The pickled cucumber and vinaigrette gave it a nice sweetness to balance the spicy. If you don't like soggy buns, eat this one quickly as the vinaigrette will soak in. I kind of liked it that way, though. Out of the two dogs I had this was my favorite.

They have a bunch of craft made sodas as well, but we didn't try anything. The wall display was nicely done. Off hand I noticed cucumber soda and, shit, on their website I see Moxie. I've always wanted to try that.

Most of the dogs are priced around $5 or $6. Hot Diggity does fill a niche and with that I'll be back again to sample one of each dog (except fish which I don't eat). Judging by the amount of people I saw inside, they all seemed pretty happy with that they were eating. When I've got a craving for a unique and tasty dog I know where to go.

1 comment:

  1. I almost forgot I posted this. I thought I'd come back and let anyone know who's reading that around Halloween you should check out their Heirloom Pumpkin Soup with Apple Cider reduction. It was out of this world!