The new hot dog shop opening in Vancouver tonight comes from a former Top Chef contestant and a Portland restaurateur. BJ Smith, owner of Portland’s Delores and Kim Jong Smokehouse, opens Smitty’s Original Coney Island tonight, serving hot dogs and burgers inspired by his parents’ Indiana restaurant.
Smitty’s will open in the space formerly home to Smokehouse Provisions, his barbecue restaurant on Mill Plain Boulevard. The restaurant, named for the restaurant his parents owned in South Bend, Indiana, will serve dishes straight off the original mid-century menu, including his family’s precious Coney sauce recipe they purchased from the original owner. “The Coney sauce has been around since 1944, so that’s definitely the focus. I can’t take too much credit for it,” he says. “It’s a recipe my mother held very close, so it’s the first time it’ll be made on the West Coast.”
That Coney sauce appears on the restaurant’s Coney Dog, a Mason’s hot dog topped with mustard, onions, and cheese, as well as the restaurant’s Frito pie and chili mac. The latter two appear on the restaurant’s list of appetizers, which also includes classics like chili cheese fries, clam chowder, and onion rings. The menu then moves on to a variety of hot dogs and sandwiches, including Mason’s dogs wrapped in bacon and several Oregon grass-fed beef burgers. No menu item exceeds $10 except for the combos, which include fries and a drink.
The restaurant is seriously family friendly, with a kid’s menu and arcade room; currently, the restaurant has two lanes of Skee-Ball, a car racing game, and Big Buck Hunter, but more games are coming. The restaurant will also have seven mounted TVs for sports throughout the restaurant. Take a look at the menu before the restaurant opens at 5 p.m.
• Smitty’s Original Coney Island [Official]
• Smitty’s Original Coney Island [Facebook]
• Smokehouse Provisions Will Become a Coney Island Hot Dog Spot in Vancouver [EPDX]