Did you know July is “National Hot Dog Month”?  

Had we not forgotten this month-long celebration, we would have posted about our Tour-de-Hot-Dog! And yes, from now on, we will refer to this as HD2010 (Hot Dog-2010). 

So to kick off our review of all good things encased in meats…we start our July journey at a Cleveland dive or favorite or institution (depends on who you talk to), Steve’s Hot Dogs Lunch.  

Steve's Hot dogs Lunch at 5004 Lorain Ave in Cleveland

 Located at 5004 Lorain Ave in Cleveland, this hole in the wall joint is NOT the taj mahal of hot dog havens. Can’t figure out of this place screams very local casual hot dog joint or adult massage parlor/bath house. Either way, I’m a little freaked out.

Hot dogs or bath house or massage parlor

I'd like a hot dog please...

Either way, it needs some lovin.  

The ugly duckling charm continues its way inside as the yellowed walls and specials that haven’t changed in 22 years still proudly adorn the walls providing entertainment to your dining experience. Apparently, to hide the yellow walls, the staff puts up even brighter 8.5″x11″ special menus for everything.  

Artwork at Steve's Hot Dog Lunch

 Definitely a dive, this isn’t the place you would take your first date…unless your first date gives “massages”.  

But if you are looking for star power, Clevelander Drew Carey former show “The Drew Carey Show” featured this place in the intro of the show. Maybe he grew up eating these hot dogs, maybe he lived around the area, maybe it seemed very….Cleveland. 

Intro to "The Drew Carey Show"

 So seriously, does Drew Carey remind you of Peter Griffin or what?!?!?!  

Griffin vs Carey

Back to the hot dogs…  

Cheese hot dog ($1.95). Nothing special, just your plain boiled hot dog with not even melted cheddar cheese on it ($1.50). Now I can appreciate the simplistic nature of this economical hot dog, but seriously, at least make it look like you put more than 5 seconds of work into it. The warmed bun was nice. BUT compared to the other side, I guess referring back to a childhood favorite hot dog, this is probably hot dog gold.  

Cheddar cheese hot dog - $1.95

Either way, it was simply just that – a plain boiled hot dog with cheddar cheese on it.  

Moving on to the hot dog with mustard ($1.50) and onions and chili dog ($1.75). Bun nicely toasted, you can see the 12 flecks of onions intertwined in the mustard. Additionally, a few onion volunteers tried to infiltrate the chili dog’s Fortress of Chilitude.  

Mustard and onions / Chili dog

First bites were OK as 1/3 of the hot dog disappeared.  

First bite

Here’s a closeup of the chili sauce they used. Appeared to be a runny meat sauce most like those NJ chili sauce for their dogs, this sauce was probably used the same container for years. Nothing special in our eyes…  

Lotsa chili sauce for your hot dog  

And yes, I said sauce. This chili seemed more of a sauce than actual chili. Yes, I prefer my chili to be able to hold its own. But I do get the “sauce” thing. And KUDOS as there was the same amount of chili sauce and hot dog. Nice.  

hot dog and lotsa chili sauce

Drive by or stop in, either way, you’ll be treated to a neighborhood dive. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky. 

Get some

Take home points: 

1. Appreciate the neighborhood hot dog joint.  

2. Appreciate the 1980s prices.  

3. Appreciate the availability of the 24-hour hot dog joint (Don’t know why Cleveland has so few).  

Here’s the running tally so you can compare/contrast on this extraordinary journey of hot dog redonklousness…aka “HD2010”: 

Steve’s Hot Dog Lunch Cheddar hot dog = 5/10 

Steve’s Hot Dog Lunch Mustard onion hot dog = 6/10 

Steve’s Hot Dog Lunch Chili onion hot dog = 5/10 

Note: The running list will be published to accompany all dogs posts to help you embrace the full effect of “HD2010”. 

Of course more hot dog reviews to come…just check back tomorrow.  

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms