The urban hot dog paradise is decent but largely overstated.
248 S. Fourth St.
Overview: Hot dog haven downtown, using Vienna all-beef franks as its staple. Other variations include Polish sausage, veggie dogs and brats, beef brats and jumbo beef dog.
Layout: Full-service, kooky, urban-hipster paradise. Very yellow with lots of red, artwork of rock stars and sports figures. Loved the snowboard with images of original Van Halen lineup (circa 1984?). Diner-style tables, plenty of seating at the bar. Vigorous pace, noisy during busier times.
Basic dog: Boiled, not grilled, with a firm bite. Good frank-to-bun ratio.
Advice: Don't overdo it with toppings, which might vanquish the taste of the dog. Two dogs and side should be plenty for most appetites.
Worth a try (all regular dogs cost $3): Chicago-style dog with all the trimmings (chili dog topped with unmelted sharp cheddar, onion and yellow mustard), sauerkraut dog (additionally topped with brown mustard and onion), "Whoa Nellie" (brisket and a drizzle of barbecue sauce), tater tots and fries.
Just average: Ohioana (topped with sweet corn, jalapeno and red onion salsa) and mac 'n' cheese garnished with sport peppers.
Things to avoid: Seoul dog (topped with kimchi), bland Boston baked beans ($2), split pea soup ($3).
Adult beverages: Very good assortment of bottled and on-tap suds. Also, good variety of spirituous liquors and designer cocktails.
Service: Fun, energetic, very attentive. Food comes out quickly, good for diners in a rush.
Bizarro moment: A 24-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Does anyone really want -- or need -- that much PBR in one can?
Assessment: Satisfying but not palpably better than most other high-end hot dog purveyors in town. City folk will appreciate the swingin' metro vibe, unusual flavor combinations and wacky names for food, but it's a little overstated.