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Lunch, Anyone? Spike’s Junkyard Dogs

Hot dogs like you’ve never tasted them

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Mention the words “hot dog” and you’re likely to think of those ballpark franks slathered in mustard, ketchup, and relish, served on squishy rolls. A staple of the American diet since the late 19th century, the humble sausage in a bun has become a mainstay of barbecues, school lunches, and New York street vendors. Despite their popularity, no one is likely to mistake hot dogs for nouvelle cuisine. But a trip to Spike’s Junkyard Dogs, in Allston, will have you rethinking this culinary stalwart. Here, every hot dog is made with natural spices and served with an array of fresh, interesting toppings.

Spike’s has an extensive menu featuring dozens of 100 percent beef hot dogs served on fresh-baked French rolls. Spike’s uses no fillers, sweeteners, or by-products, and caters to carnivores and vegetarians alike, with a number of fat-free veggie dogs also available.

We stopped by on a recent Friday afternoon to see if the famed dogs live up to their reputation. We ordered a Junkyard Dog ($4.29), covered with Spike’s mustard (all-natural whole-grain mustard with a touch of horseradish), tomatoes, pickles, hot pepper rings, and chopped scallions; a Texas Ranger ($4.29), bathed with BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheddar; an Angry Buffalo Dog ($3.81), topped with buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and hot pepper rings; and a German Shepherd ($3.81), dressed in Spike’s mustard and sauerkraut. While we were initially apprehensive about some of the flavor combinations, each proved a delicious success. Baked daily, the toasted bread, larger and denser than a typical hot dog bun, really complemented the dogs.

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Spike’s signature creations: the Junkyard Dog, Texas Ranger, Angry Buffalo Dog, and German Shepherd, with a side of Junkyard Fries. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

We also shared a side of Junkyard Fries—curly fries covered with chili and cheddar ($3.99 for regular, $4.49 for large). The chili was phenomenal, and the fries were a tasty addition to our satisfying hot dogs.

If hot dogs are not your favorite, Spike’s also serves chicken sandwiches, chicken wings and tenders, salads, and subs. The Allston location (there are 10 Spike’s on the East Coast) will also soon start serving burgers.

You can either pick up your food on the run or enjoy the eatery’s welcoming, laid-back environment. The jukebox playlist is fun and upbeat, with feel-good oldies from the Beatles and other classic bands. Everything about the décor is retro, from the checkered floor to walls covered with vintage posters, hubcaps, and Polaroid photos of patrons taking the Kennel Club Challenge, Spike’s special eating contest.

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Cofounder Dave Drake with the restaurant’s inspiration and mascot, Spike the Dog, at the Allston location, celebrating its 10th anniversary in October. Photo courtesy of Spike’s Junkyard Dogs

Contestants attempt to eat at least six hot dogs in one 90-minute (or less) sitting. If successful, they get their picture hung on the wall and receive a free T-shirt. Each Spike’s location has male and female winners. The male record at the Allston location is 15 hot dogs and the female record is an even dozen. If you beat the record, in addition to a free T-shirt, you get your picture placed on the Kennel Club top dogs display board and reimbursement for your meal.

Spike’s has been an Allston favorite for many years, having just celebrated its 10th anniversary last month (the original Spike’s opened in Providence, R.I., in 1991).

Spike’s Junkyard Dogs is at 108 Brighton Ave., Allston; phone: 617-254-7700. Take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Packard’s Corner or the 57 bus from Commonwealth Avenue to Brighton Avenue at Linden Street. Spike’s is open every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. It accepts all major credit cards, except American Express. You can also find a Spike’s Junkyard Dogs at 1076 Boylston St., Boston, and 217 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville.

This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.

Andreia DeVries can be reached at adevries@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @andreia_dev.

1 Comments

One Comment on Lunch, Anyone? Spike’s Junkyard Dogs

  • Bu Student on 11.15.2012 at 9:03 pm

    Bertuccis – they should be on the terrier card

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