Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bernie's Hot Dog Co.

Disclaimer: I'm not a huge hot dog fan. To me, a typical hot dog tastes OK but not great. Plus I sort of avoid processed red meats. But my husband is an occasional hot dog eater, and he was intrigued by Bernie's after driving by their Highlands Ranch location. Since our first visit many months ago, he's become a regular, and I tag along every once in a while.

Bernie's is located in the most stereotypically suburban setting imaginable, in a small strip mall-ish cluster of restaurants near a main artery of Highlands Ranch and across from Home Depot. But don't be fooled by the location; Bernie's is one of very few non-chain, local restaurants in the south suburbs.

Walking into Bernie's, you might forget just how deeply entrenched in the suburbs you are.The interior is a combination of eye-popping red and green walls and, in an apparent reference to its own menu offerings, canine photos plastered all over the restaurant.

Anyone wary of standard hot dogs will be pleased to discover that Bernie's offers veggie dogs, turkey dogs, and "all-natural" dogs. The "all-natural" dogs are made of Vienna beef with no added color, hormones, or nitrites, and they're what my husband and I have ordered every single time we've visited. In other words, they're delicious.

The most difficult part of a visit to Bernie's may be deciding from their 20+ condiment offerings. Besides the usuals like ketchup and pickles, there are more exotic options including blue cheese, bacon, and green chili. My husband usually orders the "Michigan Ave" (aka a Chicago Dog), which comes with yellow mustard, pickle spears, tomatoes, sweet relish, diced onions, banana peppers, and celery salt. I've tried the Michigan Ave a couple times but got turned off by the subsequent bad breath and fluorescent green relish; now I stick to just ketchup and mustard.

All-natural dog with Michigan Ave toppings

All of our meals at Bernie's have included a side of their beer-battered fries, which are always served piping hot, and with all the salty and greasy goodness you ask for from a hot dog joint.

Beer-battered French fries

Nothing stands out as being the best thing i ever ate, but you can definitely get a great hot dog - customized to your liking - at a very decent price.

Everyday Dining

(7 of 10)

Pros: Good food. Lots of hot dog and condiment options, great service
Cons: Boring location, buns are nothing special, not many healthy options


Bernie's Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon


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