It’s hard to find a cup of coffee in Old Pasadena for $3.50. At Big City Hot Dogs, you can get a fat sausage on a bun that will fill you up. Add a couple bucks, and a soda and chips come with it. It’s also one of the few places open late in town.
The store is only a couple doors north of Colorado Blvd. on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, so for visitors in town for the Rose Parade, Big City Hot Dogs is a great place to get a late-night bowl of hot chili ($3.25) with your choice of beef, turkey, or veggie.
While many establishments along the parade route close down for the festivities, the smiling young man who was behind the counter on my last visit assured me “We’re open a day-and-a-half for the Rose Parade!”
There are eight different styles of hot dogs, each named after a city, ranging in price from $3.50 to $4.50. All styles come with a choice of beef, turkey, beef hot link, or veggie. (This is California, after all.) The menu does not say how much the links weigh, but they are big, probably a quarter pound.
The five sandwiches offered are named after highways from the 101 North ($6.00) to the 405, bumper-to-bumper with three meats and the works ($8.50). There’s also a kids meal for $3.50 with a kid-sized hot dog or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, and a juice box. Individual sweet potato pies are on sale for dessert.
Big City Hot Dogs is a place you can get a quick bite or sit for a couple hours working on homework (as a couple girls were doing the afternoon we were last there) or reading your Kindle. Like Perry’s Joint, the first restaurant owner Perry Bennett opened in Pasadena, it is small and gemuetlich.
How’s it taste?
This reporter swallowed her regional pride on the first visit and ordered a New York with a beef hot dog, sauerkraut, mustard, red sauce and onions. The meat was juicy but not fatty, with lots of flavor. The bun was fluffy and tasty. The young woman who served it up with enthusiasm had worked for Perry for years—not bad in the fast-food business.
On a subsequent visit, I tried an Atlanta with veggie dog smothered in slaw, ketchup and mustard. This was an experiment, to see how well a veggie dog could hold up in a bun. I usually go straight for the red meat. The dog had a meaty texture and was pretty flavorful and spicy. I saved a bite for a vegetarian friend, who gave his thumbs up.
Big City Hot Dogs is less than two blocks from the Metro Gold Line Memorial Park Station and the city parking garage on Holly.
Big City Hot Dogs
39 N. Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA
Monday-Wednesday, noon-8 p.m.
Thursday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and midnight-3 a.m.
Friday & Saturday, noon- 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.-3 a.m.
Sunday, noon-4 p.m.
Like this story?
Check out Bluehouseviews or subscribe to Tournament of Roses Examiner by clicking the “Subscribe” link at the top. Read more articles about the Pasadena area at Altadena Headlines Examiner and San Gabriel Foothills Examiner. If you have a question or would like a reply to your comment, please email me at email@example.com