While preparing for a recent weekend trip to the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania, I was contemplating where to stop during my journey to have lunch. I wanted to eat at a place where the locals like to eat. It was suggested to me that I check out a spot right inside of Meadville, PA (which is a town that I always drive through on this trip), and based off of the recommendations and reviews I read online, I knew I had to stop at Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs.
After doing a little research, I found out that Eddie’s has been serving up mouth-watering hot dogs for over 66 years, and has been operating out of their current location since 1958. There’s no doubt that time and business development have taken flight in the Meadville area, since much of the four-lane highway that Eddie’s is located on is crowded with several strip malls, department stores, and chain restaurants. But Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs remains steadfast. Their building sits back a ways off the road and is surrounded by large, mature shade trees. There’s a large, gravel lot with 6-8 wooden picnic tables for seating, a couple of soda machines along the side of the building, and a walk-up order window which is where the magic happens. In some ways, it felt like I was stepping back in time – back into the 1950′s – for one of Meadville’s favorite lunches.
Eddie’s does one thing and they do it well – and that’s hot dogs. Their footlong hot dogs are a local product of Smith’s Provision in Erie, PA, and they offer a list of over a dozen toppings so that you can customize your dog to your liking, all for one, set price. That’s right…you can order your footlong with one topping, or twelve…and either way, it all costs the same! They’ve even posted many of their most requested combinations on the wall to help their customers with their choices. They offer a few sides like french fries and potato chips, and a couple of combos for those wanting a full sampling. Upon stepping up to the window, I got the chance to meet and talk with third-generation owner, Christy Johnson. She was incredibly friendly, and chatted with me about the history of Eddie’s.
I placed my order with Christy, and within just a minute or two, my tray was ready and I found my way to a nice, sunny spot at the picnic table. I ordered a footlong (of course!), a bag of chips, and grabbed a soda out of the vending machine.
I ordered my footlong with Eddie’s famous meat sauce, mustard, cheese sauce and jalapenos. The hot dog was very flavorful, had good texture and a good snap to it. The bun was soft , the cheese sauce was smooth, and the jalapenos added just the right amount of heat. Their sauce tied it all together nicely, and had a hint of spiciness, without being too spicy. It was all-in-all an excellent hot dog.
Eddie’s just recently started marketing and selling their famous hot dog sauce at their restaurant and on their website. They have fans all over the country and have heard their demand for a taste of home. They’ve actually sold out of their supply a couple of times already, but I’m sure as word spreads that you can now have Eddie’s sauce shipped to your house, production will increase as well. I actually picked up this jar and used it at a family hot dog roast later that evening. Several family members commented about how tasty it was and wanted to know where I got it. I pointed them toward Meadville, and Eddie’s.
I’m really thankful for the suggestion I received to try Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs when in Meadville. Supporting small businesses is always something I try to do when deciding where to dine, and I will always pass up a fast-food chain for a local shop when given the chance. I will definitely be stopping here again when I have my family with me, so that they can experience Eddie’s famous footlongs as well.
Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs is located at 16306 Conneaut Lake Rd, Meadville, PA, 16335 (Map). They are open Monday – Sunday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm. If you’d like more info, or if you’d like to order their hot dog sauce, t-shirts, or other products, visit their website or their Facebook page, here.