Like Hot Dogs? Go. Eat. Here.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There’s a new hot dog joint in town that will have Hot Doug’s fans sitting up and taking notice. And probably waiting in equally long lines. The place is called Hoppin’ Hots and it officially opens tomorrow. I had the good fortune to score an invitation to their soft opening yesterday and wow, was it good. I can’t wait to go back.

20131008-120327.jpgLike Doug’s, HH gets very creative with their hot dogs. In addition to the standard dog, there’s a menu offering ten tasty combinations, and three different types of meat (beef, duck or veggie). I went with the Ooh-La-La, a duck dog topped with duck confit, lavender-fennel aioli, goat cheese and house-pickled celery. Oh man, was it delicious. The duck, fennel, and goat cheese are a winning combo and the pickled celery had me rethinking the value of celery in a recipe.

As any hot dog connoisseur will tell you, the bun is just as important as what goes inside. HH uses more of a light, crusty bread and it’s the perfect complement. All hot dogs come with fries, for a flat $10 across the board. The fries were tasty as well, hand cut, not soggy, and lightly salted. Milk shakes looked good too; I’ll have to try one next time. And soon.

Hoppin’ Hots is located at 1477 W. Balmoral, just off the main drag in Andersonville. The place is small, with limited seating, but it’s bright and cheery and even on their first trial run, fairly quick, considering everything is made to order. The only downside–it’s only open for lunch and closed on Sundays.

And did I mention this is another fine effort from the folks who own Over Easy Cafe? Yeah, so you know it’s going to be great.

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