The Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe

9 04 2010

Happy Friday to everyone out there! Today I wanted to bring you a special review of a dining experience I had last weekend in Butler, Pennsylvania. Butler is a small town about an hour north of Pittsburgh. I visit my family there a few times each year.  Some of the best places to eat are the smaller, out of the way ones, and Butler has a few gems. I had lunch at a regional fast food chain known as the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe (now with real pictures)!

The Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe

I have been going to Butler each year for over 20 years, and this restaurant is a relatively recent addition to the area. It is vaguely reminiscent of a Pizza Hut on the outside, but it is quite different on the inside. Despite my cousin wanting something from the nearby Clearview mall, I convinced him to try this place for the purposes of the blog. After entering the building – which was packed, my cousin ordered one hot dog and I ended up ordering half the menu. Brighton is a very cheap place to eat. This place puts Taco Bell to shame. The special was the “Butler Dog”, which is a hot dog with chili, onions, and a pickle spear, for a dollar. I decided to order normal chili dogs, not being a fan of pickles. Here was my ludicrous order –

Jamie –

  • Two Hot Dogs with Chili, Onions, and Mustard
  • One Cheeseburger with Chili and Onions
  • One Banana Milkshake
  • One Large Diet Coke (have to keep my girlish figure)

My Cousin Beau –

  • One Hot Dog (with just ketchup?)
  • A Root Beer Float

…and we split a huge chili/cheese/gravy fries. Here was my order –

A bit of wisdom concerning restaurants that specialize in hot dogs – they are defined by the quality of the chili. Good hot dog chili, in my opinion, has the following characteristics –

  • No Beans
  • Slightly Spicy, Never Sweet
  • Ground Beef has a fine, grainy texture
  • Not drippy or watery

Unfortunately, the chili at the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe only met the first two of these characteristics. It reminded me of the chili that comes out of the chili/cheese machine at 7-11 (you know what I’m talking about). The hot dogs were quality though, possessing a nice snap and a juicy bite. Ironically enough, it was the burger that really impressed me. For two dollars, it was a real, quality ground beef burger. The natural, authentic taste of a handmade ground beef patty really makes me look down on the pre-processed and formed wafers you get at McDonalds or Burger King. To make things even more confusing, there is a place across the street from the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe known as the “Burger Hut 2”, that allegedly has amazing hot dogs, but mediocre burgers! Go figure…

The french fries were very small and crispy, not lending themselves to dipping or eating with your hands. I had to grab a few forks to tackle them without getting myself covered in gravy. If you aren’t from around Pennsylvania, know that gravy fries are the specialty around the area. There is nothing better than crispy fries dipped in hot, rich roast beef gravy.

Overall I would give the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe a thumbs up. It is cheap, quality fast food with a friendly atmosphere. If you see one sometime, grab yourself a dog, and let me know what you think. I have a few more reviews from Butler on the way, so stay tuned.




3 responses

21 05 2010

Love this place. Maybe too much. The chili sauce is amazing!

21 05 2010

You like the chili sauce? I didn’t notice anything special about it…

24 02 2014
David Anderson

DO NOT patronize any of the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppes, the owners are extremely greedy and selfish. They only care about themselves. The employees are constantly taken advantage off and receive no credit for the work they do.

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