Now Open: Hotdog Opolis in West Boca

hotdog2
For years we’ve heard about a hot dog place on Federal Highway in East Boca. Lucky for us Hotdog Opolis just opened a West Boca branch on the north side of Glades Road just west of the Turnpike.
It’s next to the former Grill Time, which closed recently. This is the same plaza as Bagelworks and Party City, and just east of our friends at the International Jewelry Exchange.
hotdog1
The interior is nothing special. You walk up front, order your food, and sit down at some simple tables. This was a “soft opening” and the drinks machine on the left wasn’t working yet. There were cans and bottles in the cooler on the right.
hotdog-interior
The menu has a lot of choices, with various kinds of hot dogs and sausages, as well as burgers, salads and more. If you click on the image below you should be able to see more detail.
hotdog-menu-2
You can order your hot dogs boiled or grilled. We tried a few items, including a large hot dog with Korean toppings, a regular dog with mustard, and onion rings.
2hotdogs-orings
The hot dogs themselves were good. We would not do the Korean style again. We just like to experiment and this one wasn’t right for us. The onion rings were nothing special and we wouldn’t order them again, especially not with a $5 price tag.
But that’s just us being picky. We’re glad they’re here and will definitely come back and try some other items.
Here’s a closer look at the Korean dog:
korean-hotdog

Good News and Bad News: Restaurant Inspections

lime-fresh
We’ll start with the good news in our inspection report. We see two new licensing inspections in West Boca. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill had their licensing inspection on Friday, August 7th. We reported in November that they were coming, and reviewed the one at Promenade in Coconut Creek in 2012.
Also coming is Hotdog-Opolis, which will be on the north side of Glades Road just west of Boca Rio and the Turnpike. There’s one already on Federal Highway and another in West Palm Beach. This appears to be the third in the chain.
Both of them had perfect licensing inspections with zero violations. It’s common for licensing inspections to have very few violations.
Now to the bad news …


itsallgreekboca
The worst of our weekly inspection report goes to It’s All Greek in The Reserve at Clint Moore just east of 441. They had 29 violations including 4 marked “high priority.”

  • Employee handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without washing hands. … Dishmachine operator working dirty then clen ends of Dishmachine without handwashing.
  • Employee touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands – food was not being heated as a sole ingredient to 145 degrees F or immediately added to other ingredients to be cooked/heated to the minimum required temperature to allow bare hand contact. Establishment has no approved Alternative Operating Procedure. … Food Preparer having Bare Hand Contact with Feta Cheese as cutting it into blocks.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … WALK IN COOLER (at 4:30pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 52° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46°. AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 48° …WALK IN COOLER (at 5:00pm) … Soup 44° Raw Shrimp 53° Raw Squid 45° Mousaka 46° Spinach Pie 46° Lamb Shank 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 46° – thermostat Adjusted.
  • Raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in walk-in cooler. … Uncovered Raw shrimp, Uncovered Raw Squid, and Uncovered Raw Salmon directly above cooked, White Rice and Cooked Sauces. **Repeat Violation**

Palm Beach Bagel in the same plaza had 25 violations including 3 high priority.

  • Employee failed to wash hands beforechanging gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. … FRONT COUNTER (Display Cooler Front) salmons 55° white fish 54° cheeses 45° turkey 46° AMBIENT TEMPERATURE 55° – refrigeration Service called – presently in-route. If not immediately corrected food to be relocated to other coolers. **Corrective Action Taken**
  • Vacuum breaker missing at mop sink faucet or on fitting/splitter added to mop sink faucet.

Also, a food truck known as “Tastee Express 8” was temporarily shut down on August 3rd with 18 violations, and reopened the next day with 16 violations.
There weren’t many inspections in East Boca in the past week and most were call backs on previous inspections. Max’s Grill had a complaint inspection with 8 violations including 4 high priority. For “Near Boca” Beijing Palace on Jog Road in Delray and Steak & Shake in Coral Springs each had 13 violations. Little Caesar’s Pizza in Delray had a perfect inspection. In West Boca Puccini’s on Yamato near 441 was arguably the best with only three minor violations.
As usual our inspection spreadsheets are below.
West Boca
[gview file=”https://1k5cbf.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/westboca-8-9-15.pdf”]
East Boca
[gview file=”https://1k5cbf.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/east-boca-8-9-15.pdf”]
Near Boca
[gview file=”https://1k5cbf.p3cdn1.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/nearboca-8-9-15.pdf”]

Review of House of Dog – Boca Raton

Update: See bottom for a brief note about our return visit and concerns about pricing of kid combos.
house-of-dog-pano
We saw it coming – West Boca is now home to a new hot dog joint. House of Dog is open in the Shops at Boca Grove, on the west side of Powerline between Glades and Palmetto Park. We had lunch there today and enjoyed it.

This is a new location for a small chain that started as House of Dog Miami. The restaurant is in an outbuilding that used to house Boardwalk Burgers. The yellow arrow below points to the spot.
house-of-dog-map
You can see the long side of it in the image at the top. Here’s a picture showing what it looks like on the side facing Powerline.
house-of-dog-front
As dog owners (the canine variety) we appreciate outdoor seating and they have plenty. Some of the tables have covers for shade but they might not do much on a rainy day. Some people might also benefit from knowing how to raise your dogs bowl so larger dogs can enjoy eating alongside their owners with our outdoor seating.
dog-outdoor-seating
The interior is long and narrow. Unfortunately we had poor photo skills and did not get any good shots. It looked comfortable.
As for the food, some of our readers will be happy to hear that it’s kosher. If you’re not into kosher, that won’t bother you at all. We don’t keep kosher and we liked it.
The most prominent item on the menu is hot dogs, but there are other choices including burgers, wraps, deli sandwiches and schnitzel, along with some sides and appetizers. Also key is the selection of craft beers. The photo isn’t great but here’s the beer cooler:
beer-cooler
There are a few kinds of dogs with a wide range of sauces and toppings, and a number of specialty combinations you can try. And there’s a kids menu too.
One of us had a classic dog with mustard and banana peppers.
classic-dog
We also had a Jack Daniels dog with mustard. Both dogs came on pretzel buns that were nice and soft. The dogs themselves had good texture and flavor.
jack-daniels-dog
For sides we also got cole slaw, which was creamy and served in a dog bowl, and “Belgian fries” which were just fine.
cole-slaw
belgian-friesOverall it was a good meal. The hot dogs start at $5 with simple sauces and toppings for 30 cents or 50 cents. Others cost more and the specialty combos can add up. We will definitely be back again to try something different.
Update: Be careful and watch the pricing. We went back, one adult and two small kids. With tip it was almost $50. The kid’s chicken finger combo was $9 each and that doesn’t include a drink.
The loaded hot dog was great though. Chipotle dog with the Clint Eastwood toppings, plus “bacon” (kosher).

20140612-193836-70716161.jpg