Underdogs opened their doors to the public today at 132 S. 17th, the former home of Argan Moroccan Cuisine. Owned and operated by longtime restaurant vet Robert Amar, Underdogs is a hot dog shop that specializes in high quality toppings, specialty dogs, and housemade fries with dips. If the concept sounds familiar, you can pretty much find the exact same establishment on South Street, called Hot Diggity. Looks like we have an all out turf war on our beefy little hands.
While the concepts are nearly identical, the products they're pushing are not. Underdogs' franks are boiled Dietz and Watson all-beef 5-1's, and Hot Diggity slings longboy natural casing Sabrett all-beefers from the grill. Underdogs represents Cacia's bakery in South Philly for their rolls, and The Diggity tapped Liscio's for their starchy hugs.
Prices are close, with Underdogs getting the slight edge in value, but Diggity has larger portions, so we're split down the middle there. Looking at the specialty dogs, both have a deep roster, and in some cases, it appears Underdogs lifted a few directly from Hot Diggity's menu—we're looking at you Michigan Dog (known as the Detroit at HD) and Texas Tommy (known as Texas Hold 'Em at HD)—which might be a straight-up challenge for hot dog dominance.
The first shots have been fired, folks, and now we must all choose where our loyalties lie: Team Underdogs or Team Hot Diggity. Choose wisely, though, as no one likes a waffler unless it's in french fry form.