Gallery: Hot Dog of the Week: A Tour of Philadelphia Deli Dogs

Long Island Kosher Dog from Pumpernick's
Long Island Kosher Dog from Pumpernick's
Pumpernick's Deli is a huge diner-style delicatessen in a strip mall in North Wales, PA. Their massive Long Island Kosher Dog consists of a split and grilled kosher frankfurter buried under layered slices of beef salami and lots of melted provolone cheese on a giant roll.

Pumpernick's Deli: 917 Bethlehem Pike, North Wales PA; pumpernicksdeli.com

Crazy Dogs from Pumpernick's
Crazy Dogs from Pumpernick's
Also on the menu at Pumpernick's is the bacon and cheese "kosher" dog as well as a pastrami "Manhattan" dog, all served with a giant side of fries.
The Sizzle from Zeke's Deli
The Sizzle from Zeke's Deli
This was one of my favorites on the tour. Zeke's is a small unassuming deli in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia. A normal-sized split and grilled all-beef dog is wrapped in a few slices of lightly grilled bologna. The pickles on the side taste even better on the dog.

Zeke's Deli Bakery: 318 S 5th Street, Philadelphia PA 19106; zekes5thstreetdeli.com

Texas Tommy from Ben and Irv's
Texas Tommy from Ben and Irv's
Ben and Irv's in Huntington Valley is a classic suburban deli, with a takeout counter in the front and full-service diner-style restaurant in the back.

Their Texas Tommy came on a giant Italian roll, a split and grilled kosher frank garnished with crisp bacon and a blanket of melted American cheese.

Ben And Irv's: 1962 County Line Road, Huntington Valley PA; benandirvs.com

Pickles from Ben and Irv's
Pickles from Ben and Irv's
In between courses were much needed pickle breaks (and lots of water). Ben and Irv's had some of the best, especially the pickled green tomato.
International Dog from Ben and Irv's
International Dog from Ben and Irv's
Butterflied, grilled knockwurst piled with a mountain of salami and covered with provolone on a steak roll. And thrown in the oven or broiler.

This thing was intense to say the least, with a double garlic blast from the knockwurst and salami and plenty of grease dripping into the bread and out the end.

Another shot of the International Dog
Another shot of the International Dog
Just to show you the size of this thing. The cheesesteak of Philadelphia Deli Dogs.
Deli Tommy from Casino Deli
Deli Tommy from Casino Deli
A kosher hot dog piled with pastrami and covered with cheese. Like most of these deli dogs, it was split and grilled, served on a big long roll. The moist pastrami was a nice break from all the dry, salty grilled salami I'd been eating all week.

Casino Deli: 2425 Welsh Rd, Philadelphia PA 19114

Frankfurter from Casino Deli
Frankfurter from Casino Deli
I figured I should try a few plain dogs along the way. A split and nicely grilled kosher dog looking sort of sad on a giant sea of too much Italian bread and a hilarious lettuce garnish.
Casino Deli Mural
Casino Deli Mural
Just in case you're thinking about not checking out Casino Deli, please consider the fact that the entire dining room is decorated in an Atlantic City showbiz mural complete with portraits of Sigfried & Roy. Also, they serve ice cold beer and their non-hot dog sandwiches are also delicious.
Knish Dog from Famous 4th Street
Knish Dog from Famous 4th Street
Literally a kosher hot dog jammed into a knish. Pretty good dipped in some whole grain mustard. Famous 4th is probably Philadelphia's most well-known, touristy Jewish deli but also one of the best.

Famous 4th St. Delicatessen: 700 South 4th Street, Philadelphia PA; famous4thstreetdelicatessen.com

Frankfurter from Famous 4th Street
Frankfurter from Famous 4th Street
The biggest surprise of the tour. Famous 4th's regular hot dog is a garlicky natural casing all-beef dog with sauerkraut and brown mustard on a poppy seed bun. Probably the closest thing in Philly to a New York Kosher-Style hot dog.

Famous 4th St. Delicatessen: 700 South 4th Street, Philadelphia PA; famous4thstreetdelicatessen.com