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Imagine this:  It's nearly 0200 on a Friday morning, you've just passed up the last call for alcohol, you've just closed up one of the many bars in Roseville's entertainment district, the bouncer has thrown you out on the street, you still have a buzz from the 15 or so beers you consumed during the course of the evening, and... you're hungry, and you crave a hot dog.  If you're in downtown Roseville on a Thursday, Friday or a Saturday night, and the bar just kicked you out, you're in luck, as you'll find a friend in Smokin' Hot Dog, located in Roseville's premier entertainment district, on the west side of the railroad tracks.


Photo:  Smokin' Hot Dog is only open late at night, and caters to patrons stumbling out of the many nearby night clubs who crave a large, delicious hot dog.


Photo:  I'm standing in the doorway looking into the dining room and the kitchen.  That's right, it's tiny and there are exactly three stools to sit on, and that's the table attached to the wall.  Teri will add whatever garnishes you want on your dog as she prepares it, you add mustard, relish or catsup (Yikes!!!) from the large plastic jars of condiments next to the counter.

Smokin' Hot Dog is located in a tiny, hole-in-the-wall storefront, located in the heart of Roseville's entertainment district, near many of the hot night spots in town.  The City of Roseville has spent millions of dollars to not only makeover, but reinvent the west side of Old town Roseville, and it really shows, as the area is attractive, clean, and sports several night clubs, who do a thriving business with the 20's to 30's something crowd.  Believe it or not, the night club scene is alive, well, and vibrant in downtown Roseville... you have to see it to believe it!  But, that's not the idea of this article, as I'm focused on hot dogs.  So when you stumble out of one of the many clubs, and you're hungry, and nothing but a hot dog will do, you'll see Smokin' Hot Dog... and their open door, and the brightly lit restaurant will lure you in, like a moth to a flame.

From the street view, the restaurant is small, but when you walk inside, you get the impression of, "Honey, I shrunk the restaurant..."  Inside, it's half kitchen, and half "dining room," ...if you want to call it a dining room, as only one table-for-two is offered, and the rest of the seating is a sort of counter along the wall, with a few stools to rest your weary clubbing self upon.  What grabs your attention when you walk in is the menu, as its posted on a board between the order counter and the pickup window.  Smokin' features three kinds of dogs:  Jumbo, Polish and Demon.  Jumbo is their regular dog... but it's not-so-regular, as it's a quarter pound, fat, juicy and good!  I didn't get the opportunity to enjoy a Polish or Demon dog, or a pulled pork sandwich on this visit... perhaps on a future visit?

Friday morning, November 18, 2011, after getting off work at midnight, I walked up to the order counter at/or about 0030, and was greeted by friendly Teri.  Smokin' Hot Dog does not offer a pretentious hot dog menu, so if you're a connoisseur of exotic hot dog varieties, Smokin' might not be your choice, as they offer only the three aforementioned varieties of dogs. You won't find hot dog variations, such as Chicago Dogs, Coney Island Dogs, as the menu simply offers three varieties of dogs.  That being said... hold on to your hot dog, as Smokin' Hot Dogs offers many condiments, and will make your dog a dog, custom-ordered to your specifications.


Photo:  This is the menu, as it's presented at the counter.  You place your order, and pay for it to the right, and when its ready, you pick it up at the left.  Yes, it's cash only, so leave your plastic at home.


Photo:  Teri brings my order of dogs to the counter.  You can see that the dogs are really large.  Toppings are kept in the stainless steel trays to the right of the photo.

Do you like cheese on your hot dog?  Smokin' offers three kinds of cheese to grace your hot dog... nacho, shredded Cheddar cheese, and jalapeņo nacho sauce. Toppings for the dogs also include diced onions, jalapeņo pepper slices, sauer kraut, relish, mustard, and catsup... an arcane condiment which should only appeal to children... what adult in his/her right mind would want to desecrate a fine hot dog by applying catsup on it?  Besides hot dogs, Smokin' Hot Dog offers chili, a pulled pork sandwich, candy bars, soft drinks, cigarettes and cigars.  Smokin' Hot Dog is my kind of place....

I suppose I should say something about the dog, even the "regular" dog, as it's not one of those 8-to-a-pack dogs that you by at your favorite supermarket.  No, the dogs are big... REAL big, and weigh a quarter of a pound! That's one, big dog, and in today's dog-eat-dog economy, that's a deal-breaker, as Smokin' Hot Dog gives you a huge dog at a great price.  Even the "regular" dog is big... a quarter of a pound.  All dogs are served on a giant-sized freshly baked hot dog bun, which fits the dog perfectly.  If you know your hot dogs, you'll know that the bun must fit the dog, and Smokin' Hot Dog offers a perfect match.

The kitchen takes up half of the restaurant.  The dining room is tiny, and the only seating provided is a few stools along the wall, which has a shelf attached to it, which serves as a table.  The seating arrangement reminds me of some of the tiny loncherias that I've visited during my travels to Tijuana, Mexico.  Interesting... but whatever the case, since the kitchen is open, and in plain view, I was able to watch Teri prepare my delicious dogs.  Preparing the dogs was very simple, as she simply pulled a couple of regular dogs from the fridge and placed them into the hot dog cooker.  While the dogs were grilling, she grabbed a couple of large, fresh buns and placed each of them in a little paper hot dog tray.  When the dogs were cooked, she placed them on the buns, and ladled a couple of generous scoops of chili onto chili-cheese dogs, and then scooped a few spoonfuls of melted jalapeņo nacho cheese sauce onto my dog. If I had requested condiments on my dogs, she would have added any number of other condiments from the nearby trays onto my dogs, but since this was my first visit to Smokin' Hot Dog, I wanted to keep things simple.


Photo:  I pose with my order of hot dogs.  It's about 0030 on Friday, November 18, 2011, as I had got off work at midnight, and headed over to Smokin' Hot Dog.  What a delicious way to begin a weekend!


Photo:  My order of a regular dog, and a chili cheese dog.  I applied mustard and relish to my regular dog, but since the chili cheese dog was smothered in chili, and jalapeņo nacho cheese sauce, there was no need to add anything else.  These dog's are screamin' good!

Next, it was my turn to take the dogs over to the counter and apply mustard and relish, sit down at a stool, and enjoy a couple of delicious hot dogs.  When I say delicious, I mean delicious, as the hot dogs are BIG, juicy, and grilled just right.  The buns are large, soft, and fresh, and the chili is freshly-made, in house.  Talk about hot dog heaven.

Keep in mind that Smokin' Hot Dog is only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 2100 until 0230, as their main mission seems to be keeping the patrons from the many night clubs in Oldtown Roseville well-supplied with some of the best hot dogs in town.  So if you're out clubbing, or just up late, and you're in the mood for a delicious hot dog, Smokin' Hot Dog will treat you right

Smokin' Hot Dog
328 Lincoln St.
Roseville, CA 95678
916 871-9635

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