Before I began my journey to try every restaurant in Livermore, I challenged myself to try every hot dog joint in town (read about it here). That hot doggin’ idea actually inspired me to start The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge.
Now that I’m closing in on forty restaurants so far, I find that my taste buds are a little more refined than they used to be. A year ago I’d eat anything without much of a fuss. Today I can tell the difference between filler and good food. Who knew?
Yes, yes, I know what you’re thinking. I’ll admit that my pinky finger now rises when I lift a burger to my mouth. But hey, I knew that this challenge had risks.
So what does my pinky have to do with hot dogs? I mean, can you actually have refined tastes and raise your pinky while eating a footlong? Darn tootin’ you can!
Back in my “Best Hot Dog Joint in Livermore” post, I played is safe and concluded that the best hod dog “depends on where you are and what kind of experience you’re looking for.” While that’s true, it doesn’t answer the core question: Where to get the best hot dog in Livermore.
Today I’m at the 38th stop of the challenge, Spanky’s Dog House, which is smack dab in the center of downtown Livermore.
If you want the most bang for your dollar, Costco is literally the best bang for your buck. $1.50 gets you a drink and a beef or polish sausage dog. But if you’re looking for variety, great taste and a healthier options (work with me here), I highly recommend you try the 38th stop of The Great Livermore Restaurant Challenge, Spanky’s Dog House.
Are they the best place in town? Let’s break it down and find out.
- Health: First, let me say it. If you’re truly on a healthy kick, you shouldn’t even be reading this article. But you’re actually in luck, Spanky’s has the healthiest hot dogs around. Not only do they offer a Veggie Spanky, but their meaty Old Fashion Spanky contains only 350 milligrams of sodium, is gluten-free, contains no MSG, nitrates, artificial flavors or colors. Costco may be an awesome deal, but their dogs contain a lot of salt; think 4-5 times as much averaging at 1700 milligrams. (LIVESTRONG.COM has a great breakdown of Costco’s nutritional information here.)
- Taste: At first I always thought that a hot dog was a hot dog. But now that I’ve been to Spanky’s, Dandy Dog, Wienerschnitzel and Costco (all more than once); there really is a difference. Spanky’s dogs have great flavor and are a better piece of meat to bite into and their wieners are quite tender. Stop laughing, it’s true!
- Options: If you want a bunch of chili dogs for party, find a coupon and go to Wienerschnitzel. There you’ll get a bazillion wieners for $10. But if you want a specialized hot dog, no place in the Livermore Valley compares to Spanky’s. They have 7 types of sausage and 10 ways to top them. Of course you can customize your hot dog as you like. See for yourself on their menu here.
- Beer: Yes, beer! They have a great selection: Victoria, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Coors Light, Heineken, Blue Moon, Anchor Steam and Lagunitas IPA are all $3.50 per bottle. But for $2, you can’t go wrong with a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
- Fun: Looking for a excitement? How about the Atomic Chili Cheese Dog Challenge? If you’ve got what it takes to finish this hot dog in 15 minutes, you get a free t-shirt. Win or lose, your spicy adventure will be recorded for the world to see.
If you’re in the mood for a hot dog, Spanky’s really is a great place to go. They offer the best hot dogs around. Their prices are quite reasonable, they have a great sausage, they serve a good selection of beer and is in a great location downtown.
But there is one gripe I have about Spanky’s. The chairs. Those aluminum chairs are just so uncomfortable to lean back on. I know, if I’d just sit up straight it wouldn’t be a problem. But after eating a great hot dog, who doesn’t want to lean back and relax? I know, first world problems.
Now that you’ve read about hot dogs, are you wondering how they are made? Check out this great video here at www.Hot-Dog.org with all the juicy details. They aren’t as bad as you’ve been told.