Beth Furgurson Photo
Olivia's dad is pretty funny. When he found out I was taking a small pack of girls to City Dogs, the puns came a-flying: "To be frank, this place is a wiener." And it is, with a few reservations when it comes to taking kids.
My daughter, Halle (who turns 10 this month), says: It was a Friday night and my sister and I had girlfriends over for a double sleepover. We'd all eaten a lot of popcorn and candy at the movies and just wanted a small, quick and easy dinner. What better place to go with four kids than City Dogs, located in Shockoe Bottom? Not only do they have great hot dogs, but they also have delicious sandwiches and platters.
I ordered the Boston Dog, with sauerkraut, bacon and relish. Yum! My friend Olivia had this hamburger that the menu says is "in a skirt," which was huge. It's smothered in cheddar cheese, which sort of melts down and then gets all crispy around the edges. It also has lots of lettuce, tomato and onions on it. The fries are bigger than normal fries and really good. They made a great appetizer while we waited for our food.
The hot dogs came out really fast, even though the place was busy. The burger took a little longer. Nicky ordered the soy nuggets, which weren't her favorite, because it turns out there are jalapeño peppers in the batter, and they were sort of spicy. The menu really should have said that. One of the things I really like is that all the hot dogs can be ordered as soy dogs. The walls are bright red, which makes it look happy inside.
Karen says: Most of the hot dogs are only $3.29, and my Philly Dog (gooey provolone, sautéed green peppers and onions, and plenty of mayo) really was outstanding, but despite the fun atmosphere, the place felt a little too much like a bar to get a full endorsement from this mommy. The service was speedy and friendly, and the price was certainly right, but too much smoking in a very small place and the R-rated The Big Lebowski on one of the flat-screen TVs just doesn't cut the mustard when my dining companions are all less than 10 years old. Milkshakes are the only "dessert" offering, but then again, what child wouldn't relish a hot dog and shake for dinner? Sorry. I just couldn't resist.