Well, hot diggity, if there isn't a new hot dog joint in town serving piled-high, funky, fusion, fun dogs! Hot Diggity also happens to be the name of the South St. shop which opened about a month ago by Keith Garabedian (who trained at Craft under Tom Colicchio) with friends Tom Zmijewski, Sean Kendall and Matt Anderson.
As a longtime fan of hot dogs, I'm excited to see the hot dog trend growing in Philly — as long as dog slingers invite us vegetarians to the party. Hot Diggity sent out the all-inclusive invitations, and parties with all-beef, natural-casing Sabrett dogs, as well as Worthington Vegan Linkettes.
Hot Diggity's menu is simple — hot dogs, fries, dipping sauces, soda, and, coming soon, local craft beer — but they are doin' it to it!
There are ten "gourmet" dogs on the menu, each ranging from $5-$6. Above the open grill counter you'll find colorful illustrations of each hot dog on the menu by local artist and hot dog connoisseur, Hawk Krall. The Plain Old Dog with your choice of ketchup, mustard, onions, or relish is always a choice, but live a little and order a dog all done up with toppings representing old and new regional hot dog classics.
The Windy City with pickle spears, sliced tomato, mustard, electric green relish, red onion, and celery salt pays homage to Chicago's most beloved dog, while The Seattle Grunge with garlic cream cheese, red onion straws, and scallions hints at Seattle's cream cheese slathered street dogs. Ride the Hawaiian waves with The Big Kahuna, a dog topped with guava mustard, grilled red onion, pineapple salsa, and orange habanero aioli. The Saigon Fusion with house pickled cucumber, cilantro, red onion, carrots, jalapeno, Thai chilli vinaigrette and Sriracha is obviously taking cues from the Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. Toppings were super fresh and crunchy, but didn't quite meld together like a real banh mi does, probably because of Hot Diggity's more generous piling of vegetables on the soft Liscio rolls than a traditional, sparsely filled banh mi on a crispy baguette. But, hey, you're eating a hot dog, not a banh mi! Great, veggie-filled dog, nonetheless.
Note that two vegan hot dog links come to a bun, since they are shorter than beef dogs. And, while I'm not entirely happy with the Liscio rolls ( it seems that gourmet dog places are opting for larger rolls to accommodate the generous fillings) in place of a smaller, softer, true hot dog bun, I think Hot Diggity's buns would benefit from a steaming or a minute on the grill. In addition to the ten dogs on the menu, Hot Diggity will feature a hot dog-of-the-month; this month it is The Farmers' Market Dog with tomatillo pickles, corn and jalapeno salsa, fried tortilla chips, queso fresco, and a lime wedge. The combination of all these ingredients was fantastic! Again, all the veggies and ingredients were super fresh. And that's fresh, grilled corn, y'all! Hot Diggity tries to make as many of their toppings as they can in house.
If you're wondering what the holes cut into the high-top, communal dining tables at the front of the restaurant are for, they're for holding up the paper cones filled with thick, fresh cut, skin-on Belgian-style fries made to order and sprinkled with coarse salt. Pretty much perfect!
And don't miss their rotating list of house made dipping sauces, like chipotle mayo, roasted garlic rosemary aioli, spicy ginger, and curry mayo.
Every thing at Hot Diggity was fabulous — from the creative topping combinations, to the freshness of the vegetables, the perfectly cooked fries, and the flavorful dipping sauces. Hot diggity, indeed!
630 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147