The painted mural on the side of the new Bill's Hot Dogs restaurant in Greenville lets you be the hot dog. (Photo from Bill's Hot Dogs Greenville Facebook)
By Jane Welborn Hudson
Doggone, you thought Greenville was a barbecue town.
With The Dog House and Bill's Hot Dogs joining Sup Dogs and Warren's Hot Dogs, the number of eateries that specialize in hot dogs has doubled in recent weeks -- and Greenville's gobbling them up.
Like hot dogs themselves, the joints that serve them are legendary, classic, playful and creative.
Bill's Hot Dog All the Way; the interior of the new Bill's Hot Dogs in Greenville (Facebook photos)
The Legendary: Bill's Hot Dogs
4300 Eastern Pines Road
Bill's Hot Dogs of Greenville Facebook page
Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
Since 1928, Bill's has sold one thing -- hot dogs. That's it -- and that's all they've needed to attract a generation of hungry eastern North Carolinians to their two Little Washington locations -- and now to the Greenville Bill's at the intersection of Eastern Pines and Portertown roads.
Servers on an assembly line plop Bill's bright red fried hot dogs in a steamed bun that's already loaded with founder Bill Jackson's original recipe meatless spicy chili sauce, mustard and onions. Then they're wrapped in paper. The cost is $1.50 per hot dog. Sausage dogs are available, too.
The new Greenville location -- in a former convenience store/gas station -- doesn't have a screen door like the place on Gladden Street in Washington, but it's got a great mural on the exterior wall -- it's painted with hot dog buns for you to stand in and take a photo (you're the hot dog!).
Warren's Hot Dog with spicy chili sauce; exterior of Warren's Hot Dogs (Facebook photos)
The Classic: Warren's Hot Dogs
1938 N. Memorial Drive
Warren's Hot Dogs Facebook page
Open 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays
Warren's, near the Pitt-Greenville Airport, is a family-owned take-out hot dog joint that also serves pizza and cold-cut subs.
But the name suggests that the hot dogs are the eatery's claim to fame.
Warren's is the only local hot dog joint that offers two types of chili: a hot spicy chili sauce and a mild meat chili. Other toppings include traditional mustard, onions and ketchup.
AND they've got homemade lemonade along with homemade sweet tea.
Hot dogs are $1.25 each, or get two dogs with chips and a drink for $4.75. Tax is included in the price.
The Dog House Chihuahua Dog and Ol' Yallow Dog with fries; exterior of The Dog House (Facebook photos)
The Playful: The Dog House
327 E. Arlington Blvd.
The Dog House of Greenville Facebook page
Open daily from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Dog House was founded in Durham in 1970, and the Greenville location in the former Boulevard Bagels space is the first one outside the Triangle area.
The menu includes:
* The Bull-Dog with mustard, (tangy vinegary) slaw, onions and all-meat chili made in-house.
* The Ol' Yallow with mustard, melted cheese and bacon bits (a surprisingly yummy combination).
* The German Shepherd with spicy mustard and sauerkraut on top.
* Chihahua Dog with pico de gallo and mustard.
* The Sausage Dog, a deep-fried Polish sausage with spicy mustard and grilled peppers and onions.
Individual dogs -- served on soft steamed buns -- range in price from $1.79-$2.95.
In addition to pork hot dogs, an all-beef Black Angus hot dog is offered.
Add crinkle fries for $1.79 (They can be topped with melted cheese and chili for an additional cost).
The dog house-theme extends to the decor, with bone-shaped tables, pet bowl serving containers, and a large dog statue at the door to greet patrons.
Sup Dogs Chili Cheese Dogs with cheese fries; Sup Dogs rooftop dining (Facebook photos)
The Creative: Sup Dogs
213 E. Fifth St.
Sup Dogs Facebook page
Open 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-midnight Sundays
Derek Oliverio looked far and wide for just the right spot to open Sup Dogs and the innovative hot dog menu he had conceived. He found the perfect spot in 2008, on the edge of ECU and Greenville's central business district.
The eatery soon became a popular college hangout, with its delicious dogs (and hand-packed burgers), Cheesy Tater Tots, and premium cocktails like the popular Sup Crush.
When Derek died in a tragic house fire, his brother Bret took over the Sup Dogs dream.
The concept has proved so popular that a second location has opened in Chapel Hill. And Derek expanded the original Greenville Sup Dogs' footprint by adding a second-story kitchen and deck for dining.
Although there is an extensive appetizer menu, lots of hamburgers and even chicken strips and salad, Sup Dogs is all about the hot dogs.
The 16-ingredient chili is simmered for more than 6 hours. And you've got to have some Sup Sauce, made with ketchup and mayo and other stuff.
A sampling of the menu includes:
* Smokehouse Dog with bacon, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, chili and Sup Dog Sauce.
* Hawaiian Dog with sweet pineapple, lettuce, honey mustard and Sup Dog Sauce.
* Firehouse Dog with chili, fresh cut jalapenos, Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses and hot sauce.
* New York Dog with mustard, grilled sauerkraut, fresh cut jalapenos and dill pickles.
* Chicago Dog with mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes and jalapenos.
Hot dogs are $5.99 and include a pile of long-cut fries and Sup Dog Sauce for dipping.
It's open for lunch, dinner and late night.
Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, wrote The Daily Reflector's Hot Dish restaurant column for 12 years and the Greensboro News & Record's Short Orders restaurant column for 8 years. Email her at email@example.com.