Friday, October 9, 2009

Poppas Hot Dogs (Mooresville)

Some of you may remember a recent post that included an article about Poppa's Hot Dogs. What I found strange about that post were the two extremely negative comments, left by readers, who really didn't like Poppas.

So, this made me want to go even more! I mean, would this place make it into my hall of shame??

Short answer: No.

Long answer: I actually enjoyed my meal there......

I walked in, and was greeted by a no-frills hot dog joint. Straight ahead, across a few tables there is the counter and behind it, a small kitchen. The walls are adorned with NASCAR memorabilia -- fenders, autographs, sheet metal from cars, and photos are in plan view. This makes sense, after all, this place is home to the local cable show "The Race Review" -- be sure to visit early to get onto the audience list.

I walked down the line to the left, to place my order. On my way to the register, I walked past a wall mounted menu. In addition to many other types of hot dogs, they also have Chicago, New Jersey, and Carolina style dogs. But I already knew what I wanted -- a chili dog. So I placed my order for two chili dogs (I interpreted the menu to read that the 2 chili dogs were part of one order. It read "Best of two great dogs..." I was wrong and would up paying for two separate chili dogs, this increased the price, but really, they were still cheap).

The dogs were prepared quickly, and in about 3 minutes my order was called. I picked them up and this is what I saw. Two dogs, in steamed buns, covered with chili and nacho cheese. This isn't a specific type of chili, just kinda s general chili. Bot dogs were covered in the perfect amount of chili and cheese. Enough to fill you up, but not enough to make a mess. In fact it was so perfect, I never used the fork and knife!

I gotta admit, these were the best chili dogs that I've had in the greater Charlotte area. I've tried chili dogs in Charlotte, Huntersville, and Davidson, and none of them compare to the chili dogs at Poppas. The buns were soft, but not too mushy. The chili was spicy and meaty. It was great, but didn't overwhelm the flavor of the dog. In addition, the nacho cheese was actually good (and I usually hate nacho cheese)!

All in all, a mouthwatering meal, that left my tummy full, and me letting out a notch on my belt!

Atmosphere: 2/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 3/5 (service was quick, but I'm taking one point for the misleading menu)
Total: 9/15

Price: $
Kid Friendly: Yes

Conclusion: A REALLY good chili dog, for a really good price. This place is no frills, and the napkins are paper towels. But the food delivery speed, flavor, and value are very good.

Restaurant Info:
Poppa's Hot Dogs
510 River Hwy # 13
Mooresville, NC
p) 704-664-7677


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I have followed your posts from the beginning and while I can appreciate your opinions, your credibility has been lost to me on this one. Perhaps it is because I knew the former Poppa's and it would have knocked your socks off. I have posted Anonymously as I am in the business, although not a competitor of Poppa's.

  3. oops, I hit the wrong button. The removed comment read "I guess I'm done reading your blog now."

    Wow. Dude, you disagree with my opninion, and you're done with this blog? Sorry to see you go. But that's the fun part of this blog. It's the interaction and different opinions that make this whole process worthwhile. Everybody's got a different opinion. And mine, certainly, is not the last word.

    Whether you like my opinions or not, I try to tell it as I see it. IMHO, this place had one of the best chili dogs in the Lake Norman area. But if you disagree, tell me why. I'll be happy to compare notes. :)

  4. I haven't done much chili dog comparisons, but Cook out had an awesome one. I "knock your socks off guy" will continue to read your blog as I find it informative and usually on target. As an insider, I know which products the old owner used vs. trading down which the new owner has done. I have witnessed on several occasions the extreme rude customer service others have mentioned. I will be trying Big League, if only to compare notes and I'll force :) myself to go to Cookout too. Keep up the blog, as any opinion is better than none.

  5. Ya know, I haven't tried the hot dogs at Cook Out, but I should. They look great! I'll be sure to try one. Also, I need to give Big League another chance -- the first time I was there their dog didn't really appeal to me.

    But, I'd like to suggest that the BEST chili dogs are from Hard Times Cafe, in Alexandria, VA. A Foot-Long Hotdog drenched with Texas Chili, cheddar cheese, and onions, is one of my favorite meals....

  6. I agree with Hard Times and could really go for a 5-Way. Maybe you should open a location here. Just a thought :-)

    BTW, 131 Main has a good chili dog. It's on their lunch menu ( is in South Charlotte). Pricey, but it's huge and served with slaw and hand cut fries (substitutions allowed).

    Oh and congrats, someone mentioned your blog on Chowhound:

  7. I'll need to go to 131 for lunch... I've only been there for dinner.

    Thanks for the Chowhound heads up! I'll be sure to take a look!

  8. Unless you've been to Ann's Dari-Creme in Glen Burnie, MD you have not experienced a dog. Only Foot longs deep fried and topped to order. But be prepared to stand outside as the "line" snakes from a sardine like atmosphere inside to a regular line inside. No one writes an order, but in 5 years I never received a wrong order. It is an experience.

  9. Thanks for the good review. I am the new owner of Poppas and I have a steady regular clientel that I know by name and as for the rude comment, I don't believe it. And the old owner sold the store, so you should get over that part. I am friends with the old owner and he still stops by and we consult on changes to increase business in this economic downturn. As for changing any food or suppliers, nothing except the buns have been changed. We use Martins potato Rolls now. And the cost is 13 cents more per dog. We installed a 36" flat griddle to cook the dogs, brats and Italian sausage on. Grilled beats boiled in a steam table any day! The buns and grill are improvements.The chili is still home-made to Kyles grandmothers recipe. Stop in again.