The Old Dominion Doggery and Burger Shoppe, or O.D.D. as it’s often referred to in Strasburg is a carnival for your nose and taste buds. Upon entering, you know that you are going to find a favorite, but you just might try something new that you have never heard of before.
Sure, you could stick with a traditional mustard, chili and slaw hot dog, but why not go for the Frito Bandito and enjoy a hot dog with nacho cheese, jalapenos, Fritos and chili? Or a Breakfast Dog covered in homemade hashbrowns, bacon and a sunny side up egg?
John and Dawn Hooser opened the Doggery on Main Street in April. “It was time to do something else,” John said. “This is what we decided to do.”
Growing up in Ohio, he was a fan of a local hot dog restaurant. “It was decorated ‘50s-style and had about 20 different dogs,” he recalled. “I thought it was neat.”
When space became available in Strasburg, the couple knew exactly what type of restaurant they would open. Dogs and burgers may seem like a simple menu, but the couple did a lot of research to find the best ingredients and meats possible.
“We emphasize farm to table food,” said Dawn, adding that they only use local grass-fed beef for their hamburgers and the hot dogs are 100% kosher and larger than a typical hot dog. The toppings are also farm fresh sourced. “Our goal is to be a quality, full-service restaurant.”
To that end, they employ 13 people and work themselves to enhance the customer experience with attentive wait staff handling customers at the 10 tables and nine seats at the bar.
The décor of the restaurant has a western flair with wagon wheel tables and a longhorn steer on the wall. One wall is a chalkboard with the details of their hot dog and burger offerings. John said his favorite hot dog is probably the Chopper which is a hot dog, wrapped in bacon and deep-fried with barbecue sauce, cole slaw, pickles, onions and relish.
Dawn favors the Hula Dog which has pulled pork, crushed pineapple, barbecue and crispy onions. “That is a pretty popular one.”
Some of the hamburgers are even more popular than the hot dogs, John said. “We do make a great burger – you have to start with great meat and ours is local and grass-fed.”
The other fan favorite is the French fries. Thick cut, hot and floppy, they resemble the kind of fries you would get in a cup on a boardwalk or at a fair. The smell immediately takes you there. “The kind you would get on the boardwalk pour vinegar on them and eat until the bottom fell out of the cup,” John said with a laugh.
In just a few months, they have now been open long enough that they have “regulars”. And if Google Reviews are any indication of their service and food, then they are solidly at 4.3 stars. “Every now and then we get complaints about the price. This is not cheap food. We provide quality food and a full-service restaurant. This is not fast food,” Dawn said.
Strasburg has been undergoing a kind of renaissance with the addition of new shops and even a brewery on Main Street. “We like the way the town is progressing,” John said.
So, where did the name Old Dominion Doggery come from? “We knew we wanted to use Old Dominion,” Dawn said. “We were sure about that.”
“And we wanted something to refer to the hot dogs, so we made it Doggery,” said John. “We had to add ‘and Burger Shoppe’ to it though because there was some confusion as to whether we were some kind of pet store or grooming place at first.”
You will not be confused when you step in the door of Old Dominion Doggery and Burger Shoppe. One sniff and you are ready to eat!
Cindy Earehart Rinker is a writer and storyteller with Write Words of Shenandoah County.