Quality Social – Hot Dogs vs. Wieners

by Rodzilla on July 7, 2011 · 13 comments

A few weeks back I met up with San Diego food scene extraordinaire, Erin Jackson and husband James to check out Quality Social. Simply described as  ”a bar with food” I thought the place might have huge potential to become a routine spot for this food-focused stud when looking to mingle. Think about it, here’s a place where I could forego the drinks and break the ice by sending a house-made hot dog to  that cute girl across the bar. Quality, indeed.

A bar with food

There’s just one problem, and it has nothing with women finding it odd that I prefer bar snacks to alcohol, or taking my gesture as some sort of crude innuendo. My problem is the $7 it would cost me to do so. I ordered what was essentially a Chicago style hot dog, billed as “our way” on the menu due to executive Chef Jared Van Kamp being a transplant from the Windy City. But why did I pay at least twice the amount of any other Chicago dog?

"Our Way" pickle, relish, onions, tomato, celery salt

The price is a result of the quality ingredients. All of the meats at Quality Social are smoked and/or cured in house, even the relish is house-made. Now, I can appreciate all of that, but in order for me to feel okay with paying for it, I need to be able to taste the difference.  This was a good hot dog, the casing was snappy, relish sweet, mustard tangy – I’m guessing most any Chicago native would call it a fine representation. However, I didn’t feel it was good enough to warrant such an up-charge (especially sans fries).

House pickled veggies $3

I also ordered these pickled veggies, each vegetable was was done in a different way providing a variety of flavors. That’s cool I guess, I liked the sweeter carrots, but wasn’t as much of a fan of the more sour asparagus, and certainly not the price.

This particular visit didn’t impress anyone in our party, Erin’s thoughts on the burger can be found here. I haven’t completely written them off yet, but it will take a pretty strong showing to change my mind. In the mean time, I’ll be referring to the “our way dog” as a wiener, because that’s what I felt like after paying for it.

Quality Social on Urbanspoon

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess

Hmmm…artful presentation, but yeah, that a la carte presentation reeks of stinginess! No combo plate? Too gauche? ;)

2 Rick Weinerman

I have been to Quality Social many times and I; unlike you, actually asked my server why my hot dog was $7. Here’s the answer you left out of your uneducated review: most hots are made of lips and assholes, but not this one! They use all natural beef chuck & pork shoulder. I will pay $7 for that. You enjoy eating your assholes. Please learn about what you’re writing about before you rip hard working people for their product. I am a Quality Social fan and your review makes me not a fan of yours. Also, FYI you can get the hot dog with fries during their happy hour for $6. Better luck next time Rodzilla.

3 Rodzilla

Jess – I agree, but not everyone share’s our opinion – as seen below.

Rick – Is your last name an awesome coincidence or an attempt at humor?

Thanks for providing us with the additional information. I did actually mention that, “all meats are smoked and/or cured in house”. I ‘m actually rather well informed about the places I visit. I generally do quite a bit of research before deciding to visit in the first place. Nobody was “ripped” here. These are just my feelings on these particular items.

Now, I realize you’re not a fan of mine – but if you take a look at a few of my previous reviews you’ll find I have no problem paying for quality when I feel it’s worth it. You’ll also find that I’m a pretty big fan of offal – but I think I may draw the line at asshole,

For quality social to have such dedicated fans – they must be doing something right. So tell me, what are your favorite items aside from this hot-dog?

4 Adam

Dear Rick,

I consider you a Weiner, sir.

A hot dog is supposed to be ambiguous in terms of its ingredients. Dare I say, but the very appeal of the hot dog comes not in the flavor or texture or quality of ingredients, but rather in the experience and setting of eating a hot dog, and the “x” factors of location, cooking method, and yes, even price. It’s part of why we engrain the humble dog as an essential part of our 4th of July celebrations – there is a certain everyman appeal to it, reflecting a history built not on haughty European imports and “all natural” anything, but industry and making do.

Deal with it.


5 Nicholas

Rod, asshole is delicious (see: chicken butts).

6 Rick Weinerman

Pet Peeves? I hope you have a minute…

Yelp reviewers who complain about price/portion size at classier establishments. There is much more to consider than satiation when dining at such venues. Complaining about the cost of items at the supermarket, or an extra value meal is one thing – but keep it in context, premium ingredients cost premium prices

7 Jim

Adam are you for real…..

Top review Roddy chap. Those house pickled veg look a bit zaney but the wieners looks very appetising. Ignore the idiots that post on your blog, trust me you will only get more of them as your site gets bigger.


8 Rodzilla

Adam – well written

Nick – did Bourdain try it on No Reservations?

Rick – Seeing as I’m answering all of your questions, why are you skipping over mine? Before you call me a hypocrite, let’s keep this in context – I don’t mind paying for quality, but first I have to recognize it as such. You act as if I’m complaining about the size of the tastings at The French Laundry.

Jim – thanks, I like to let everyone share their opinion – but I may need to be a bit more selective to avoid such shit-storms.

9 Kevin

@Rick: Wow, that’s excessively harsh and definitely uncalled for. First off, Rod didn’t “rip” anybody; he simply stated his opinion in what I thought was a very fair and even-handed manner, as he noted that everything was house-made and made from premium ingredients. You’re the only one who’s got his panties all up in a bunch, so seriously, relax. Take a chill pill. If you would have taken the time to read a couple more of Rod’s other reviews, you would have seen that he has no problems with paying top dollar for quality food, so you, sir, are the one who is uneducated and misinformed. So, uh, yeah, in your own words, “please learn about what you’re writing about before you rip hard working people.”

@Rod: Nice write-up and nice photos. I’m a big fan of pickled veggies, and those look really good. Did you get to try any of the other food (burger, fries) that Erin ordered?

10 Steve

Sounds like the chef has come down with a case of the fancy pants

11 Tampa Bay Food Monster

hahahahaha adam – hilarious. the internet is awesome.

12 Erin

Not sure where “Rick Weinerman” got the impression that Rod was “ripping” into this hotdog. The only negative thing I saw was that he thought it was over-priced. For $7 without fries, I would expect the dog to be outstanding…Rod said it was “good”…but not good enough. Seems reasonable to me.

13 Food Coma 911

Wow, what a stir you caused Rod :P Kind of reminds me of Diablo burger. Good, but would be hard for me to say amazing. It happens, but nice write up :D

You might want to check out The Regal Beagle since you’re looking for a bar with food. I haven’t written up about it yet and it’s been awhile since I went, but I remember it being good. If you check it out, let me know what you think :D

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