Every time I mention this place to a (real) Delaware local, they proceed to wax nostalgic; regaling me with stories about how they used to eat there as teenagers to satisfy years-gone-by bouts with the munchies. The Dog House has great hot dogs. Period. They are true foot-longs (measure 'em!) and there's an almost endless list of toppings [pictured, below right]. They serve them split and grilled (the only way to eat a dog, and I ask for it well-done) on fresh, soft rolls. Each end of the dog dangles slightly, yet tantalizingly, out of the ends of the roll. Toppings are piled high with wild abandon.
The proper procedure is to stand in the front, wait patiently for somebody to vacate one of the 15 or so barstools, then stumble your way back through the narrow aisle, plop down and then wait about 30 seconds for one of the cooks to call out, "Watcha havin'?" And you'd better be ready.
Dogs notwithstanding, the sleeper at The Dog House is the cheesesteak! I get mine with mayo, lettuce, tomato, un poco grilled onions, extra hot-pepper spread and extra pickles. It's served on a grilled sub roll (steaming happily on top of the cooking meat and cheese). Say what you want about 9th & Passyunk (or South Street), this is a lot better than hauling all the way into downtown Philly. Their hamburgers are also quite good, but I have to say that it's all about the dogs and the cheesesteaks. Another bit of advice: Ask for your fries "well done." My former next-door neighbor Terry swears by this, and trust me, the woman knows her fries!
If you're driving south toward Rehoboth Beach through New Castle from 395/295, be prepared to take your life in your hands navigating a death-defying U-Turn to get into their parking area. But, really, if you think about it, a bone-chilling brush with eternity is a small price to pay for the heavenly bliss of these sandwiches. The Dog House is at 1200 North Dupont Highway (Rt. 13) on the right as you drive north. Call for their hours (302) 328-5380. Unfortunately, they don't have an online menu. (L., D.) Price range: Inexpensive -.
Credit for the great pictures goes to Michael Stern on Roadfood.com.