Restaurant Review: Hot Diggity

In my younger days, I spent quite a bit of time on South Street. On Saturdays someone’s parents would drop us off there, and we would go to Tower Records and Imagine. For a few years, Bridget, her mom and I volunteered on Friday nights at a store called Thrift for AIDS. It used to be a pretty cool place. Not so much anymore, as many of the quirky, independent stores have moved out and been replaced by places that buy old gold and sell cheaply made clothing.

I’ve hardly spent anytime on South Street over the last several years, but ended up there twice this past weekend, once on Saturday to go to Supper and then the following day to check out Hot Diggity. After trying Underdogs a couple of weeks ago and the Dapper Dog at the Night Market last year, we wanted to try out one of the other much buzzed about places that has embraced the food trend of the moment—the gourmet hot dog.

Hot Diggity’s menu is smaller than Underdogs—about ten hot dog combinations and fries (with a variety of dipping sauces) and craft sodas. Whereas Underdogs also offers a variety of sausages, Hot Diggity sticks to all-beef hot dogs, although the menu did state that any offerings could be prepared for vegetarian preferences as well.

As usual, Chester tried out the Chicago Dog (called the Windy City here) as well as the Cincinnati Skyline, topped with cheddar cheese and chili. I opted for the Fiesta Dog, with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. All of the dogs were grilled and piled high with toppings on a hoagie roll. Additionally, we enjoyed a side of thick, Belgian-style fries, which were  served in a paper cone that slid through a hole in the table. Clever.

Clockwise from the top, Fiesta Dog, Windy City and Cincinnati Skyline

The Chicago Dog fell short; it was missing the trademark celery salt and hot peppers, and was topped with red onions instead of white. The chili on the Cincinnati dog was really good—I would have liked just a plain old bowl of it, sans hot dog. The Fiesta Dog was tasty—proving my theory that anything goes with guacamole—but the combination of toppings was really not that unique.

Overall, we didn’t feel that Hot Diggity’s hot dogs were as good as those used at Underdogs—they were thinner, less meaty. Also, instead of being boiled, they were grilled, which resulted in a flavor that overpowered some of the toppings. As was the case with the Underdogs variety, the bread was just a bit too thick and chewy. And, although it doesn’t break the bank, Hot Diggity was also a bit more expensive, with hot dogs running between$5 and $6.

Even though this was a case of the Underdog having its day, I have to say that Hot Diggity is probably one of the nicer additions to South Street in recent years. Perhaps other small, fund businesses like this will make their way back to the area soon!

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Comments

  1. i’ve had a friend pester me about going here; kind of reminds me of a fancier version of the hot dogs from sonic (mmm, sonic) with a price tag that is double. it seems like a nice little place, but a tad too ‘touristy;’ then again, south street is looking more and more like the boardwalk with their airbrush t-shirt shops and tacky jewelry stores owned by russians in tight armani shirts.

    you’re right about south street though, although philly aids thrift remained open on bainbridge with different management and now resides on 5th street just below; i remember when the original closed, though, as i used to volunteer there my first few years of high school back when it was more “alternative” than “hipster.” they’re still a cool place to look for vinyl and inexpensive jeans and tacky sweaters.

    • It definitely doesn’t have that old characteristic South Street feel, but at least it’s not a McDonald’s! I totally forget you used to volunteer at TFA. I had some fun times there, but have not yet stopped in to check out the new location.

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