While Rough House probably is not where you want to go to impress an important client or to propose marriage, it is a jewel of a place when you are looking for a fine hot dog at the right price ($2) or a bowl of remarkably flavorful hash.
Hash is popular in these parts as a side dish at every barbecue parlor, but here it is a standalone. In fact, it is the house specialty, a thick stew of shredded pork and beef and temperate spices with a vivid mustard twang. One serving, which gets you plenty of change from a $5 bill, doesn’t look huge; but it is dense, meaty fare; and a little goes a long way. It is served with a hot dog bun, which is a welcome fluffy respite from forkfuls of the protein-intense hash.
The bun that comes with the hash is the same kind that holds a Rough House hot dog: a fresh split-top that is ineffably tender and just the right foil for zesty food. The wiener itself is no big deal — a porky pink fingerling — but as is the case in so many of the better cheap hot dog joints, it transcends itself when combined with yellow mustard, bits of crisp sweet onion, and beefy chili.
Even if you’re not a hot dog person and don’t cotton to hash, I recommend a visit to Rough House for ambience alone. Located on the stately town square of historic Abbeville, it has been around for nearly 90 years … and looks it. The well-worn wooden floor, vintage counter stools, and walls plastered with town history make this old place one colorful slice of Americana.
Service, especially at the counter, is nearly instantaneous. And very friendly.