The name of the place was Fat Franks. Has anyone been there? What do you think of them compared to the O?
I live in New Jersey where we have many fine hot dog emporiums. I’ve heard of the Original, but never been there. Always wondered about their dogs. They were included in a Hot Dog Program on PBS. I know of a guy from Jersey who moved to Pittsburgh and opened a hot dog restaurant close to the O. He was trying to decide on using a spicy all beef dog or a pork/beef blend that he would deep fry. He gave out samples of both, and determined that people in Pittsburgh prefer the hearty flavor of a spicy all beef kosher style dog.
He told me that the supplier of the O is Star Beef. He was contacted by the salesman who wanted to sell him this product. He refused, saying he had his own supplier. He wouldn’t divulge this information to the salesman or anyone else. When he opened his place, he met some resistance because he charged $2.00 for a 6 to a lb dog. This dog was more expensive and of higher quality than the dog used at the O according to my friend. Eventually people came to love this dog and flocked to his place. They said the dogs were a lot better than the O’s. Although he made a profit, he didn’t do as well as the O because of their closer location to the college there and because people went in mostly for their fries. It was amusing when the owners of the Original went in incognito to find out what all the fuss was about concerning the upstart from Jersey. They even inquired as to the brand of dog used. My friend would not say. Eventually, he sold the business at a profit and moved to Florida. The new owners were given the distributor and brand used. They used the brand (which was Sabrett) but then switched back to the cheaper Star brand dog used by the O. I don’t know if they are even in business anymore. I think the name of the place was Fat Mikes. I could be wrong, but I’ll find out for sure soon and post the name. My friend (whose opinion I trust) has had hot dogs from all over and says nothing compares to what we have in Jersey.
The original raised their prices, yet again to 2.90 per hot dog…i remember when they were 75 cents apiece in the mid 1980s…
of course, they didnt raise their prices for their FANTASTIC french fries….they sell more fries than hot dogs these days!!!
and of course, all the locals call it (with loving respect),
THE DIRTY O
[8D]Hey, I am a Pittsburgh original. Now in Phoenix and I miss those hot dogs and the best fries in the USA. In fact, I miss the food of Pgh in general. Peace
Just ate at The Original in Oakland (Pittsburgh). Great hotdogs with a real crunch. The fries were awesome- huge portions, well cooked. I ordered a "large" and when a half a bushel of fries was delivered to me at the counter the lady next to me said, "You must not have eaten here before." This is a must eat if you are near the U of Pit.
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