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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 11/ 4/2010

DC-3 brings boutique hot dogs to Barracks Row

By Justin Rude

A triptych map adorns a wall at DC-3. (Ty Neal)

First it was burgers, then it was pizza -- are hot dogs the next casual comfort food to get the boutique treatment? If so, then Ty Neal and the other co-owners of Matchbox and Ted's Bulletin will be in ahead of the trend when DC-3, their 20-seat, aviation-themed, wieners-of-America concept, opens on Barracks Row next week.

The spot will offer a selection of regional hot dogs, some classically authentic, like the Chicago 7 and NY Coney dog, while others are more regionally inspired, like a Pike Place Ultimate Fish Dog representing Seattle, and another that is served Philly cheesesteak-style "Whiz w'it" (that would be Cheez Whiz with it). Which one resonates the most with the owner? "West Virginia is close to my heart," Neal says, "That's where I'm from. Sauce and slaw dogs -- that's what we call hot dogs with chili and coleslaw in West Virginia -- are what we ate at the little drive-ins growing up."

Nostalgia reigns elsewhere on the menu as well: think throwback sodas in vintage bottles, hand-dipped soft-serve and a cotton candy machine. In addition to hot dogs and sweets there will be fries, Italian beef sandwiches, rope sausage, corn dogs and vegetarian chili. Buns are provided fresh by local bakeries, including D.C.'s Lyon bakery and the Heidelberg bakery in Arlington. Prices range from $2.99 for the corn dog to $8.99 for the Italian beef, with most dogs hovering around $5.

The aviation theme is prevalent throughout the restaurant, from the menus shaped like tickets to the huge interior mural depicting a map of North America with lines connecting the cities that inspired its fare. But why hot dogs?

"We actually had a burger concept on the board two years ago," says Neal, "and then suddenly everyone and their brother was doing a burger concept. We just couldn't do another burger place, so we thought, well, let's do regional dogs. And now we are really having fun with this."

By Justin Rude  | November 4, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  restaurant openings  
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Hooray! Another option on the Hill! Long gone are the days when the only options were Mex/Salvadorean, Chinese and barfood (not that there's anything wrong with those yummy choices.)

Posted by: kbockl | November 4, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"W'it" is not short for "with it." Wit means with onions.

Posted by: ringo4 | November 4, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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