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The Original Hot Dog Shop, Oakland
Date March 17, 2010
Author Chef Chuck

The Original Hot Dog Shop, Oakland

When I moved to Pittsburgh, my new friends encouraged me to visit The Original Hot Dog Shop.  “They have the best hot dogs in town,” they kept telling me.  I had yet to explore the city, so I went for a ride.   After zigzagging through Oakland, I finally came upon the “O”.  “So, this is the famous Hot Dog shop that I’ve been hearing about,” I thought to myself.  I was impressed.  The façade of the restaurant was bejeweled with various neon lights and signs. Once inside I was amazed at the baskets upon baskets of French fries being plunged into hot oil, and what seemed to be hundreds of hot dogs on the grill.  Cheese sauce was flying everywhere; on dogs, cheese steaks, and fries- cheese is popular in Pittsburgh.  There was a police officer standing in a corner of the restaurant; I guess I need protection in case someone decides to hijack my hot-dog.  The store wasn’t particularly clean; there were wrappers on the floor, and smudges of “stuff” on the counters.  I didn’t really care, it just added to the allure.  Beer is also available for sale the “Dirty O,”-sweet.    “I’ll take a hot-dog, and a medium order of fries please.”  The woman behind the counter gave me a strange look and asked, “Have you eaten here before?” I replied, “No.”  She then asked if I was sure about ordering a medium order of fries.  “I’m pretty hungry,” I told her.  “Ok”, she said, and shot a co-worker a small smile.  Well, my order came up a few minutes later, and I finally understood what she was smirking at.  A medium order of fries is easily enough for three people.  I knew I would never finish them, and I also had a hot dog that I was responsible for.  I found a table, sat down, and began to eat.  I ended up getting through half the fries, and almost the entire hot dog.  I leaned back in my chair, and half expected some type of food-award, or ribbon for consuming what had to be 3,000 calories in one sitting.   As I left The Original Hot Dog Shop, I seriously considered stopping by UPMC for an angioplasty.

Is the food at The Original Hot Dog Shop great?  Probably not.  Is it good?  Most definitely.  Should you make it a point to stop in a try the food is you haven’t yet?  For sure.  If you do plan on making a trip to Oakland to pick up a dog, burger, or any other fat-loaded food item, make sure you go on a Friday evening, around 11pm. The characters are out in force, and most of them look shady.  And don’t worry if something goes down, there’s a cop standing in the corner for your protection.

The Original Hot Dog Shop
(412) 621-7388
Oakland
3901 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Original Hot Dog Shop on Urbanspoon

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10 Responses to The Original Hot Dog Shop, Oakland

  1. AJR says:

    Great blog! Also have to support the Pittsburgh eats!

  2. Many thnks for writing such a fascinating post. All too often you see the same thing over and over so this makes a refreshing change.

  3. Richard says:

    Spot on. Their slices are good too. I have to go about once every 6 weeks just to keep myself honest. The “O” has it all over an NY Sabrett or even a Chicago Vienna. 20n years ago they used to stock Schaefer and Schlitz.

  4. I haven’t been to the place yet..But hopefully this month I could visit The Original Hot Dog Shop..I really want to try their delicious hot dogs.!!I like the location and I guess the ambiance od the shop is really nice..

  5. Adam says:

    I haven’t been to the place yet..But hopefully this month I could visit The Original Hot Dog Shop..I really want to try their delicious hot dogs.!!I like the location and I guess the ambiance od the shop is really nice..

  6. Simon says:

    Great blog! Also have to support the Pittsburgh eats!

  7. Sam says:

    Great blog! Also have to support the Pittsburgh eats!

  8. Ian says:

    Spot on. Their slices are good too. I have to go about once every 6 weeks just to keep myself honest. The “O” has it all over an NY Sabrett or even a Chicago Vienna. 20n years ago they used to stock Schaefer and Schlitz.

  9. Javier says:

    I went there a couple of weeks ago with my girlfriend. The place has that old school character that usually makes a place good regardless of the cleanliness. I have to say, contrary to Richard’s opinion which I respect, this place will never live up to New York or Chicago’s hot dogs. I ordered two with everything. The toppings are not the point to dispute as you can probably come up with a ton of combos according to different tastes. What we didn’t like at all was the dog itself. Both were burnt as in black and dry. My girlfriend saw the dissapointment in my eyes and insisted we get another one. This time I got another burnt one. Maybe this is Pittsburgh style and if it is, go ahead with it. Ill stick to the others.

  10. david says:

    Loved the article! I am a Pittsburgh native and this is an extremely accurate description of the “O.”

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