JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog blends in with all the franchise restaurants at the outlets of the Mountain Grove Shopping Center. It has the sloganeering posters and combo-meal menu options you’d expect to find at a large chain. Surprisingly, this slick operation is just one of two locations.

The best thing about JoJo’s? House-baked buns. They are airy sponges that taste like chowder-house yeast rolls — hot dog buns that you could happily eat on their own. In spite of their airiness, they refuse to get soggy, no matter how many toppings you throw at them.

The dogs themselves are the plump all-beef type, like in Chicago. They are grilled to order, which takes a minute and makes all the difference, yielding a nice char and dogs that run with juice at each snappy bite.

JoJo’s also prides itself on “mojo sauce,” which is a sweet and sour BBQ sauce. It is better than ketchup, although not by much. 

For a taste of California, try the West Coast chili dog. The chili is great on its own, but we consider this a revelatory dog for its crisp onions and two kinds of cheese. Crisp-fried onions are so right on chili. 

An item called mother clucker is a bacon, egg, and cheese dog — a creation that is well enhanced by a glaze of sweet, tangy mojo sauce. We like it with a Polish sausage rather than a regular hot dog. Curiously, the sausage has a more classic hot-doggy flavor than the slightly smoky beef dogs.

A Southern-style “slaw dog” demonstrates what should be obvious: a quality hot dog and pristine bun need not be overly dressed. This one sports only coleslaw, sliced banana peppers, and mojo sauce. The sweetness of the slaw brings out subtle cake-like flavors in the bun; and peppers provide a hit of acidity: a nearly perfect hot dog.

As for sides, JoJo’s boasts house-fried kettle chips. We like them, but wish they were thinner. The very best thing at JoJo’s might be funnel cake fries. These have a mochi-like bounce, helping them keep uniform shape without wilting. They taste and smell exactly like carnival funnel cake. These fine “fries” are a good reminder that JoJo’s doesn’t take itself too seriously, even if its hot dogs are ambitious. 

What To Eat

West Coast Chili Dog with Chips

Slaw Dog

Mother Clucker

Veggie Chicago Dog

Funnel Cake Fries


JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog Recipes


What do you think of JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog?

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