For several months, tucked in the corner of the strip plaza at 30651 Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite H., a sign—"Big Joe's Hot Dog's—Coming Soon"—caught our eye. We waited with anticipation and hopes of a casual place to enjoy a great dog with all the fixings. Well, summer came and went, and we were left wondering if Agoura Hills would indeed have its own place for one of America's most beloved fares.
So it was with great joy that two weeks ago, the sign suddenly read: "Grand Opening." Tables and chairs with yellow and red Vienna Beef umbrellas were set-up out front. Stopping by one recent Monday, however, we were disappointed to see the tables gone and a sign that read "Closed Monday." Determined to get the scoop, we returned the following day. They were open, and we can now set the record straight about Agoura's only hot dog restaurant.
So, is it open yet?
If you are lucky enough to stop by for a dog during their limited current hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p. m. Tuesday through Sunday, you are in for a real treat. They are not fully open yet, but are in "word-of-mouth mode" for just a bit longer, the owners tell us. They plan for a real grand opening very soon and will expand their hours then. If you have ever had an authentic Chicago style hot dog, you'll be very pleased. If you haven't, it's time to try one. The word will likely spread fast.
What's on the menu?
The main staple is their 100-percent Vienna Beef hot dogs (Chicago's original), but they also serve turkey dogs. Their selection of hot dog creations is large, but the one to catch my eyes was the Chicago Hot Dog—a steamed dog in a poppy seed bun, smothered in mustard, sweet relish, chopped onion, sport peppers, tomatoes, and a pickle spear. Is your mouth watering yet?
Some of the other choices include a New York traditional dog, a South of the Border dog, Chili-Cheese dog, Taco dog, and Cole-slaw dog. The list goes on with too many to mention here. Owners say they plan to add other windy-city favorites to the menu very shortly.
Two thumbs up?
The friendly staff was just as excited to talk about the menu items as much as the small late afternoon crowd. This pushed the anticipation higher than just the few months wait.
Well, after tasting (...devouring actually) one of their original style Chicago dogs, we can report that it was worth the wait. For just a few bucks, you can enjoy one of finest quality hot dogs, created many different ways. Stepping outside, I thought I detected a gust of wind.