#44: Knucklehead Hot Dog Diner (CLOSED)

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 ;).

Website: http://www.knuckleheadhotdogs.com/


#14: Parkers Hot Dogs

Bonus post for my birthday!

Parker’s Hot Dogs seems like it’s been there forever, certainly as long as I’ve lived in Roseville.  It sits near the end of the Office Depot / Goodwill shopping center at the corner of Douglas and North Sunrise.  It’s probably been over 6 months since my last visit, but I used to come here often for lunch on the weekends.  Nothing has changed in that time, except perhaps some new vintage Pepsi memorabilia has been added.  The owner has quite the collection including signs, clocks, lights and even a shirt from Russia.

It’s a small little place with low stools that I never seem to get used to.  Their menu has all your typical hot dogs like the Chicago, BBQ Bacon Cheese, Kraut and more.  Of course they also have Polish dogs and hot links with variations of both.  Fries and corn dogs are also available.

I come here for the chili dogs.  They have some of the best chili around and they aren’t afraid to pile it on.  I probably only need to order their small, which is 1 scoop of chili, but I went all out and got the 2-scoop large for the photo.  Onions and cheese are optional.  I ask for extra onions becuase I love the texture it adds.  They go nuts with the cheese, but I’m not complaining.  The dog itself is actually a pretty good sized hot dog, so this plate is huge.  I only finished about three-quarters of it.  In my first Eating Through Roseville Post I mention this chili dog is like a Super Sloppy Double Dare obstical course.  Here it is (note- there is in fact a hot dog and bun under all that!):

Oh, one thing that did change in my absence is that they now have Dr. Pepper!  Score!

I had been told by several people that Wiener Works (on Madison at Auburn) was far superior.  I’m  an open minded guy so I went to try it out.  Their chili dog was much smaller, had FAR less chili/cheese and was served in a basket with paper instead of on a plate with real silverware.  The chili flavor was almost identical.  The only way that they beat Parkers was that they loaded up the onions by default, but Parkers is glad to do so on request.  Also they were very slow.  Parkers always has my food ready right about the time I’m sitting down after getting my soda.  So I’m sticking with my claim that this is the best chili dog around.

Previously I would have given Parkers a 4 due to the lack of Dr. Pepper, but now they earn their rightful 5!


Website: http://parkershotdogs.com/