When I first set out to make the list of restaurants, and knew I would only be visiting one of each if they had more than one location, I was interested to see that the 2nd Parker’s Hot Dogs location changed to Knucklehead Hot Dog Diner. A loophole! I was kind of under the impression that it was the same exact place and still just a Parkers with a different name, but in fact it is independently owned from Parker’s and they are doing their own thing. One of those things is the Knucklehead Challenge which was featured on Man v. Food.
Knucklehead Hot Dog Diner is located at Pleasant Grove and Foothills. They have a little bit of outdoor seating as wells as several tables inside. Some counter seats line the front of the store and a longer counter runs down the back.
I stopped in for lunch on Saturday, both to eat and to visit a friend I haven’t seen in a while. I saw on Facebook that he was now working at Knucklehead and would be there at lunch. After chatting with him for a bit I met the owner, Eric. We spoke briefly about beards, the change to Kuncklehead, and the affect on business after the Man v. Food appearance. He says they still get someone every day that asks about it. When it came time to order I asked Eric for recommendations and told him that I usually get the small chili cheese dog plate at Parkers, so he suggested I get their similar plate to compare. I went with the combo which includes fries and a soda.
They start out with a steamed hot dog bun and plant a good sized dog on top. This is where it get’s crazy, below you can see Eric burying it with fresh made chili. Finally it’s topped off with cheese and diced onions.
First off, I don’t know where Parker’s or Kuncklehead get their hot dogs, but they are really great dogs. This was as big a plate as Parker’s, and I can rarely eat the whole thing, but I always finish the hot dog. Knucklehead’s chili is very good. It’s a little different than Parker’s in that it’s a little lighter on beans and noticeably spicier. The fries were awesome. They have a light tempura batter that gives them a great, crispy outside and a soft inside. This style of fries is definitely towards the top of my list of favorites.
Parker’s is absolutely one of the best hot dog joints I know of (maybe behind Man Bites Dog in Austin, TX, but that’s really in a class of it’s own). It’s been at the top of my list for a long time, but I think it will have to share the top position with Knucklehead now. This hot dog diner is just as solid. Maybe someday I’ll come try the Knucklehead challenge ;).