Our 2014 National Hot Dog Month Safari

Every year, during National Hot Dog Month, we take a Hot Dog Safari to sample Hot Dogs from stands all around the area. On July 30th, this year’s safari took us to the northern suburbs of Philly.

Joel At Levis Our 1st stop was at Levis in Abington, PA.

Levis' Hot Dogs Here we tried a couple of dogs, one loaded with their homemade Pepper Hash and a Texas Weiner, washed down with Levis own Root Beer Soda.


Jack Frost in Glenside, PA Next stop was at Jack Frost in Glenside, PA.

Jack Frost Hot Dog They don’t have a signature dog or special toppings, so we got the works: ketchup, mustard, relish and raw onions.


Denny's Dogs In Hatboro PA Next we stopped by Denny’s Dogs in Hatboro, PA.

Joel Enjoying A Denny's DogHere’s Joel trying the Texas Tommy. They make their chili with beans and it is delicious.


Original Lenny's Hot Dogs In Feasterville, PA Our final stop was at Lenny’s Hot Dogs, in Feasterville, PA. We checked out their Pepper Hash Hot Dog, but unfortunately realized we didn’t have any photos until after the Hot dog was gone…

Hot Dog Lunch for Philly Vets

Hot Dogs & Sauerkraut Thanks to the generous help of our sponsors we were able to feed over a hundred vets at Philly’s Veterans Center a Hot Dog Lunch on Tuesday July 29th.


Vet Eating A Hot Dog Here’s one of the less camera shy vets enjoying his Hot Dog.

South Street Hot Dog Crawl

O'Neals Pub Corn Dog

We spent Saturday afternoon, July 26th, eating Hot Dogs at several locations along South Street, here in Philly. Our sampling began at O’Neals Pub, where we tried their Corndog.


Headhouse Crab & Oyster Co Sea Dog

Next on the crawl was the Headhouse Crab & Oyster Co, whcih served up their Dog Day’s of Summer Award Winning Sea Dog.


Primo Hoagies South Street Sausage SandwichWe followed that with a stop at Primo Hoagies South Street to try the Sausage Sandwich.


Copa Banana All Beef Cheddar Jalapeno Corndog

Next on the crawl was Copabanana / Redwood, were we checked out their Dog Day’s of Summer entry, an All Beef Cheddar Jalapeno Corndog.


Gus’s Hot Dog CartA Hot Dog crawl on South Street wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Gus’s Hot Dog Cart, so that’s were we headed next. Our timing could not have been better. So far, we’d been ordering one, maybe two, of each dog with each of us getting a bite.

Gus' Hot Dog Cart Everything DogGus wanted to give Joel a whole Hot Dog, but Joel told him it was too much to eat and he should give it to someone else. At this exact moment a woman walked up and said she’d like to buy a hot dog for a homeless person around the corner. She was very surprised and thankful when we insisted she take the dog for free.


Johnny Rockets South Philly Style Hot Dog

The next stop was across the street at Johnny Rockets, which served a South Philly Style Dog with Sharp Provalone, fresh diced Tomatoes and roasted Long Hots.


Bainbridge Street Barrel House Carolina Dog Bainbridge Street Barrel House Jalapeno Dog

Our crawl ended at the Bainbridge Street Barrel House, where they were offering two Special Hot Dogs, a Carolina Dog with BBQ Sauce, Slaw & Pickles and a Jalapeño Dog, with fresh Jalapeños and Cheese sauce. Of course we had to try them both.

Free Last Friday Hot Dogs & History

Hot Dog T-Shirts & DollsJoel setup a window display featuring his Hot Dog T-Shirt and Dolls collection at the corner of 4th & Banbridge streets.

Hot Dog PioneersHe also had a Hot Dog Cart from the 1930s and as well as info about Philly’s Hot Dog Pioneers.


Tracy Kauffman Wood, Brian Kauffman & Joel SpivakOn Friday evening, July 25th, Tracy Kauffman Wood and Brian Kauffman, the grandchildren of Max & Ida Kravits who had a Hot Dog Cart at the corner of 4th & South Street during the 1930s, were on hand to share stories and memories of serving hot dogs at the family’s cart and restaurant.


Grilling the Free Hot DogsWe also set up a grill and offered Free Hot Dogs to anyone who walked past.


Perfectly Topped Hot DogBesides the usual mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut & relish toppings, Tracy Kauffman Wood brought along some homemade Pepper Hash, from the family’s recipe, that was fantastic.

Hot Dog University in Chicago

Time had a profile of Mark Reitman, an employee at Vienna Beef’s Chicago factory who has been called a Professor of Hot Dogs (PHD) and offers a two-day course about the business of operating a hot dog stand — or as he calls it, “the art of the cart.”

When asked about ketchup on a hot dog, he said “I don’t become politically involved with the use of ketchup. It doesn’t belong on a Chicago-style hot dog because the tomatoes and relish already provide that sweetness. But if customers want ketchup on a hot dog, they can have it on a hot dog. That’s my philosophy on ketchup.”

There are of course differing opinions on the subject.

Celebrating National Hot Dog Day at the Reading Terminal Market

Joel Eating a Dog We took a Hot Dog Crawl through the Reading Terminal Market on Wednesday, July 23rd to check out the specials and, of course, eat Hot Dogs.

Reading Terminal Market Hot Dogs

While there are four places to get Hot Dogs in the Market – Franks A Lot, Hershel’s East Side Deli, Smucker’s Meats & Grill and Wursthaus Schmitz – we visited the two that were offering buy-one-get-one-free first, so we were too full to visit the other two.

Texas Tommy Hot Dog Onions & Mustard Hot Dog

We started our crawl at Franks A Lot, where we had a Texas Tommy, with bacon & a cheezewiz like sauce, and a plain dog with onions & mustard. We then made our way to Wursthaus Schmitz, were the dogs are huge and served with sauerkraut & spicy mustard. In hindsight, next time we’ll only get one at each stand and make Wursthaus Schmitz the last stop.