Station Street Hotdogs
What?!?! How can a hot dog place even exist that doesn’t serve a Chicago dog? I was willing to forgive the newly reopened Station Street Hotdogs for not having a Chicago style dog because they did have veggie dogs and veggie chili, so I ventured over to Broad St. (behind the new Target in East Liberty) for lunch.
Their menu consists of either 100% beef, natural casing hot dogs or vegan Smart Dogs.
Then they have 8 choices of toppings:
House Dog ($4)- with mustard, ketchup, relish, onions or sriracha.
Hawaii Dog ($5)- pineapple salsa, bacon, sweet soy, and mint
New York Dog ($5)- sauerkraut and grain mustard
Chili Cheese Dog ($5)- Smoked Brisket (or veggie) Chili, Arsenal Cheese Curds, onions
Devil Dog ($5)- egg salad, tobasco sauce, potato chips, scallions
Banh Mi Dog ($7)- Pork liver (or inari pockets), pickled cucumber, pickled red onions, jalapeno, sweet chili, cilantro
Kimchi Dog ($7)- Kimchi, Kewpie mayo, nori, bonito
Sweetbread Dog ($9)- sweetbreads, apple mostarda, pepper relish, crispy shallots
Fresh cut fries- $3
Duck Fat fries- $5
I wanted badly to like this place. I was really excited that it had been reopened in a neighborhood that needs a good, inexpensive place like this. Well… and I miss Chicago and was ready for a good ole sport pepper, yellow mustard, tomato, green relish, onion covered dog all on a poppy bun. A dog that has been “dragged through the garden,” if you will. But, alas, no Chicago dogs here. So… I went with a veggie Chili Cheese dog and some fresh cut fries and a orange soda. Unfortunately, the best part of the meal was the orange soda.
I was still quite hopeful before I took a bite. The fries were hot, but tasteless. I salt and peppered them which made them edible. The ketchup was off- almost sweet. The dog, while it looks delish, was pretty far away from the mark. The actual dog had good flavor (I like the Smart Dogs) but it was cold. The chili was just ok, but it was also cold. The cheese curds tasted like cottage cheese smushed up to make a some cold cottage cheesey cubes. Just kinda weird. The bun was toasted, but also too sweet for my liking. I only ate half of my dog and fries which left me still hungry after this $10 lunch. Bummer.
After a lackluster (at best!) meal, I still want to like this place, especially when they have all kinds of cute hotdog paintings throughout the restaurant. The service folks will have to get some more experience and better attitudes (they looked put out when I ordered veggie and were pissed that there was no liner in the trash can when they went to change it). And, I wish to think that my lunch was not great because they were newly opened and they don’t have a ton of experience with the veggie side of their menu. The fries…well, let’s just hope they get some more seasonings on them STAT. For the record, I went with a friend of mine who is a meat eater and he loved his New York Dog. He said the duck fat fries were good, but not worth the two extra dollars. But he is excited to go back to try more of the different kinds of dogs. For me, maybe I will change my tune in a few months, who knows. For now, I will keep my eyes open of the perfect Chicago style veggie dog in PGH!
Here’s to re-openings and to hope that Station Street gets off to a better start (for their veggie patrons) soon!
Station Street Hotdogs Overall Grade: D