After our pleasant (but swift) time in Paesano’s, we were off to our Hot Dog destination. In the spirit of maintaining this theme, as I mentioned earlier, it was quite difficult for us to find an authentic New York style hot dog. So we settled for the next best thing, a Chicago hot dog joint.
Now of course, people will be up in arms that we didn’t find said spot as suggested. We should be the purveyors of underground knowledge in this Restaurant game. We’ll make it up to you all next time. Going back on topic, we came across this spot:
As noted there are two sides, a drive through portion and a sit down stand. We opted to sit down to get a better idea of what this place has to offer, so we ordered some milkshakes: one vanilla and one chocolate (not pictured unfortunately), both harmoniously having a good balance of being creamy and milky, providing a more accurate representation of a milkshake. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my thick ice cream shakes but there was something different in the preparation of the drink. While we also ordered the following:
The fries were crispy and golden. The pickle, crisp with a subtle hint of sour, the bright alien green relish threw us off by appearance. The tomato served its role as the vege-fruit, the dog was piping hot with beefy goodness. However, my main highlight amidst all of its toppings was the bun itself. I’ve disliked poppy seed anything for a good portion of my life, but this one wasn’t dry and the poppy seeds didn’t get stuck in between the crevices of my teeth.
As soon as we were about to leave, I got a few thoughts from Armando (the Manager on Duty at the time). He told us about two locations for which the Owner William opened up: The Westminster one, opened for a year; and the location we were present at, and Newport Beach. He also explained to me that the difference between Chicago vs. NY was essentially the condiments. NY’ers enjoying the sour pinch of sauerkraut, griled onions.
The most compelling reason he told me people come to Just Hot Dogs was the following,
“Make the order to the customer, we have nothing sitting around… Most of our business are people from Chicago at least 75, the other 25% is Word of Mouth.”- Armando, M.O.D. of Just Hot Dogs
Like most places I’ve highlighted thus far, the theme is pretty commonplace; these were not Just (Any ordinary) Hot Dogs. This place represented a taste of home, people’s livelihoods and a dream that’s finally become a reality. Although I have yet to meet the owner, I believe he should change the name of his restaurant because I wouldn’t want anyone to perceive my ambitions, as just dreams. I truly believe he has something more to offer and for this and everyone else we’ve encountered so far, I thank them for their contributions in society.
Either way, if there’s any time to make a difference in the world, now is the time. By taking risks and building businesses like these to continue growth and spur hope to those, who need an opportunity… any opportunity. In the meantime, I’ll be submitting my own versions of Just: ___________ (another post, another photo, another tweet, another resume and most definitely another hour of sanity).
Just Hot Dogs; Chicago Style
15223 Beach Boulevard.
Westminster, CA 92683