Monthly Archives: September 2006

“Franks be to God…”

In Pittsburgh at the moment (here’s why, and yes it went very well thank you). And when you’re in Pittsburgh as a roving reporter for the Wibsite, what do you do? You check out unusual restaurants with unusual Christian connections, that’s what you do.

[Hot Dogma poster]And you know you’ve hit the jackpot when you (or, rather, your wife) stumbles across Hot Dogma. To say it’s a hot dog restaurant in a cathedral gets you part of the way to a description, but that’s by no means the whole story. Hot Dogma was set up nearly two years ago, replacing the cathedral’s bookshop, as a means of financing the planting of house churches throughout Pittsburgh. From the off its unusual setup and fine, fine frankfurters gained the attention of the press and the support of the locals and tourists. No doubt this was helped by its highly professional marketing and superb graphic design, but I can’t honestly say I’ve tasted a better hot dog. And with choices like a vegetarian hot dog sausage covered in beef chilli sauce (called, of course, The Hypocrite), exactly what is there to dislike?

It’s a lot of fun, too. I’m no expert on these things, but I’d guess that it probably boasts the only ‘Wall of Wieners’ in any cathedral anywhere (oh relax; it’s a gallery of photos of visitors dressed in hot dog hats and the restaurant’s own hot dog costume. See? Perfectly normal). It throws in a free hot-dog shaped jelly sweet with your order. It even gives its visitors free wi-fi. Hot Dogma’s great; it’s a fantastic example of a church filling a gap, doing it thoroughly professionally, and actually enjoying serving the community. Were I actually living here, I suspect I’d be a regular. After all, exactly how many dining places do you know that have a blog as good as theirs?