Hard work means good food at Duffy's Dog House
Ending up in the dog house in Zelienople is not such a negative fate if that place happens to be Duffy's.
Duffy's Dog House in the south end of Main Street is a tiny box squeezed “between the Coin Laundry and Meyer's Tires” as the menu says. It's easy to spot when you know it's there, and it is worth a search otherwise.
“This is just a dream for me,” says owner Duffy Daugherty of nearby Fombell, Beaver County. “I was doing construction, and one day I went into a hot dog shop and decided that would be a good thing to do. I heard about this place, and that was that.”
Duffy's defines the word “tiny.” Squeezed into its slot, it offers seating for, oh, maybe nine, if some of the customers are skinny. It consists of the kitchen and a dining area with two booths and a counter. In a recent visit, there was as much take-out as there was dine-in, which makes sense.
One benefit to eating in at Duffy's is taking in the decor that fills the place.
A native of West View, Daugherty has filled most of the wall space — not that there is much — with pictures of West View Park. Most of them are of the coasters that once were there, known at the time as the Dips and the Racing Whippet.
“My dad always told me not to forget where you came from,” he says about those photos.
The walls also feature a good number of shots of the Three Stooges “cause I like good, mindless comedy,” Daugherty says.
But whether a diner is eating in or dining out, the food at Duffy's is the most important thing.
Daugherty says he tries for fresh offerings, so he makes his own chili on the site and uses meat from a local butcher. The hot dogs — obviously, the heart of the place — are from a little farther, Smith's Hot Dogs in Erie. Daugherty offers a selection of wiener wonders from the Floater ($2.25), a deep-fried, natural casing dog topped with chili sauce, jalapenos and a bunch of other toppings, to the Old German ($1.55) with sauerkraut and brown mustard.
The selection starts at the basic Duffy's Dogs ($1.35) and rolls through Sloppy Dogs ($1.59) with chili sauce and cheese or bacon and cheese for $1.79.
There's even a Surf ‘n' Turf ($2.95) which is a dog, tuna salad, and melted cheese on a bun.
The menu goes other directions, too, including burgers ($3.85), a Philly-style cheesesteak ($7.45), and a gyro ($5.75).
But dogs make their way onto that side of the bill, too. The Double Weenie Burger ($4.95) is a burger served with two split and grilled dogs.
A hot dog shop would seem to be a lunch spot primarily or even a place for a quick, informal dinner, but Daugherty opens at 7 a.m. and has some breakfast traffic with his breakfast sandwich ($6.75), which is hotdogs, an egg and cheese on a roll; a Spam, egg and cheese ($2.55); and the traditional sausage, egg and cheese ($2.69).
Sides include cheese fries ($2.25 to $3.65), onion rings ($3.25), three deep-fried pickles ($2.69) and 12 corn balls ($2.59).
Just as the menu is down to earth, Daugherty's business attitude also is without pretense. He says the success of the shop is hinged on the work of his staff: Merilee Kasing, Sylvia Krchmar and Bill Guerra, along with the bookwork and advertising of his girlfriend, Kathy Naglich.
Hard work and good food keep the shop going, he says.
Duffy's Dog House, 716 S. Main St., Zelienople, is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Details: 724-452-9367
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Pitt falls flat in finale loss to Miami
- Starkey: Flashback Friday for Pitt
- Unabashed church pastors put politics front and center
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Contractor eyes early finish to work on New Stanton interchange of Interstate 70
- Run game needed for balance vs. Seahawks
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Police: 3 killed, 9 wounded in attack at Colorado Planned Parenthood