Must love dogs

Hot Diggity Dogs employee Andrea Silva bites into one of the restaurant’s signature Italian-style hot dog sandwiches.

Hot Diggity Dogs employee Andrea Silva bites into one of the restaurant’s signature Italian-style hot dog sandwiches.

Photo By David Robert

Hott Diggitty Doggs

870 E Travis Blvd.
Fairfield, CA 94533
Ste. F

(707) 429-2990

I’m having trouble writing about Hot Diggity Dogs because as soon as I start thinking about the place I get too hungry to focus. They only do one thing there—these big East Coast/Italian-style hot dog sandwiches. But they do that one thing really well. It’s OK to be a one-trick pony (or a one-trick dog) if that one trick is totally awesome.

There’s a great Eddie Izzard stand-up bit where he makes fun of Americans for using the word “awesome” to describe things like hot dogs when we should be reserving it for truly awesome things like space travel. He pretends to be an American president: “'Astronaut, can you tell me what it’s like?’ ‘It’s … awesome, sir.’ ‘What, like a hot dog?’ ‘Like a hundred billion hot dogs, sir.'”

It’s a funny bit, and it makes me feel a little guilty for wanting to use the word “awesome” to describe a hot dog. But it was the first word I thought of, and you’ve got to face the fact that there are hot dogs in this world that are genuinely awesome.

“Hot dog” is actually a slightly misleading term for what they serve at Hot Diggity Dogs. Their sandwiches are big rolls of Italian sourdough brimming with onions, bell peppers, fried potatoes and other assorted fixings. They have a number of meat options, including hamburger and, what I decided to go with, grilled spicy Italian sausage ($4.75 for the single size, which should be plenty for all but the hungriest diners). My brother, Cameron, had the actual hot dog version of the sandwich ($4.25).

In evidence to the claim of being Italian-style, the place is decorated all over with the green, white and red color scheme of the Italian flag. The tables are, of course, clothed in red-and-white checker. The Hot Diggity Dog mascot, found in a number of variations on the menus and signs, is an anthropomorphic hot dog sandwich smiling with outstretched arms, as if to say, “Hug me! I’m delicious!”

True East Coast authenticity came courtesy of the woman who was behind the counter during our visit. She had a spunky, big city East Coast accent that was equal parts friendly and obnoxious and a perfect fit.

“Do you guys know what you’re doing?” she asked, as we admired our gargantuan sandwiches with what must have been rather confused expressions.

“Um, no?”

“OK, here’s what you’re going to want to do,” she coached us, “You’re going to want to go ahead and eat some of those potatoes out of there, and then when you get it down to a manageable size, use both hands and dig right in—and you’ll need a lot of napkins.”

That’s good advice, by the way. My brother and I shared both sandwiches, and I was amazed at how much distinctive flavor they packed. The sandwiches are so memorable that I can instantly recall the flavor and, as I said, it is difficult to do so without feeling an immediate craving.

I enjoyed mine so much that even though I felt full, I considered ordering a second. I decided that would’ve been overdoing it. But next time, I’m going to come hungry enough to order a double because these hot dogs are so awesome, I could easily eat two, or eventually, even a hundred billion.