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Not much can feel more American than a hot dog, and at a restaurant in Surfside Beach this feeling is accentuated by having a veteran serve this popular food. Joey Doggs Burgers and Fries has been around for many years now, and though some might find it difficult to associate quality with hot dogs, the owners of this locals’ favorite are determined to change that.
The Palmetto Plaza is a small and nondescript shopping strip sitting right off the feeder road with Joey Doggs snuggled in the middle. A steady flow of business fills the parking lot, with peak hours of course being around midday. Inside, Joey Doggs is a tad snug but full of character, with a few classic arcade games at the front that chirp 8-bit electronic music as the natural soundtrack of the restaurant.
Ordering takes place at the counter, behind which hangs the menu, though some regulars don’t even need to reference it anymore. As Joey Doggs is a specialty restaurant, there isn’t a huge amount of options, but this also means that each menu item has been perfected. Plus, the kitchen only uses all-beef hot dogs and for its hamburgers, ground beef that’s never been frozen and is hand-patted.
Dogs, burgers and a small smattering of sandwiches are the main attractions, with sides taking the form of fries, mozzarella sticks, corn nuggets and pickle fries. Joey Doggs also offers wings, a relatively recent addition, plus a few breakfast sandwiches that are available all day.
Guests can customize their preferred dish or keep it plain, though they’re encouraged to try the specialties as they come. This includes the famous Chicago Dogg, served here with all the essential accoutrements, or the Italian Dogg, an all-beef frank stuffed in a slice of Italian pizza bread and topped with sautéed peppers, onions, and potatoes.
For the customers who dine-in, the fresh, never frozen meals come nestled in dog bowls, a fun gimmick that plays into the restaurant’s canine theme. The food is prepared upon order, so depending on the order and how busy the eatery is, you might wait a little longer than expected. However, the ingredients are fresh and serving sizes are gracious.
Daily specials are advertised on a small board outside, and can one day be a bowl of chili, and the next be a sloppy joe meal. Children have a menu of their own, the appropriately named puppy bowls, complete with fries and a drink.
This veteran-owned restaurant hosts a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere, filled with a team that takes pride in making a simple hot dog the best it can be. Hungry customers of all ages are sure to enjoy letting their inner animal out just a bit here at Joey Doggs.
If you go
What | Joey Doggs Burgers and Fries
Where | 1818 U.S. 17 Business, Surfside Beach
Hours | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mon-Sat
Information | facebook.com/joey-doggs, 843-238-5639
Price | $2-7 sides, $3-8 entrees