Restaurant Review: Newly-opened Rod’s Dogs is bursting with nostalgia and flavor

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Rod’s Dogs is located in the Easton Public Market. (Photo courtesy of Bernadette Russo ’24)

Bernadette Russo , Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

Since its opening last month, the new storefront Rod’s Dogs is bringing a blast of the past to the Easton Public Market.

Enter the space to travel back in time with old school-styled hot dogs, burgers, sodas and shakes. Owners Mike and Rebecca Pichetto have converted their former Full of Crepe space in the market into this colorful business that looks right out of the 1920s.

I visited Rod’s Dogs to see if their taste matches the aesthetics. When I walked up to order, I was greeted with warmth and excitement by the staff. Their friendliness lent to a positive atmosphere, and I was eager to ask the man taking my order what he recommended as “Rod’s Dogs staples.” He sent me in the direction of their signature hot dog, cheeseburger and fries.

After receiving my order and giving a first glance at the tray in front of me, I had no other choice but to test the dish that I came for in the first place: the hot dog. I was recommended to get the hot dog Rod’s is most known for, called a “ripper.” These North Jersey-style hot dogs are deep-fried to the point of bursting, or “ripping,” the casing of the meat. They sure did burst my taste buds with flavor.

I kept my hot dog simple with just ketchup as a topping, and even with that condiment, the meat proved to be mighty flavorful on its own. While I can’t say I have much experience to gauge what the perfect hot dog encompasses, my first bite was a nice combination of saltiness, sweetness and beef blanketed with a soft, warm bun.

Among the classic ripper dogs, Rod’s also offers bratwurst, chicken dogs and even vegan hot dogs. However, I would say that trying the ripper is a necessity for your Rod’s Dogs visit.

After trying the hot dog, I was ready for the cheeseburger. Rod’s Dogs’ burgers are hand-pressed with ground beef from fellow Easton Public Market vendor Saylors & Co. I was surprised when the man taking my order told me I must try the burger as one of the top three items to get. I thought that a burger was an out-of-left-field dish to order from a hot dog place, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Like the hot dog, I kept the burger simple on the toppings side with only onions and pickles to accompany the meat. The burger consisted of two double patties that melded together with melted cheese. It was surely on the tastier end of burgers I have had in Easton. The first bite was an explosion of flavor between the toppings, the cheese, patties and the bun.

I am honestly torn on whether I liked the hot dog or burger better, but there was much to savor about both. However, my pick would probably be the hot dog based on the price, as the burger rounded out to be $9.00 compared to the $2.50 spent on the hot dog. 

For my drink, I sipped on a homemade draft soda that I was told was from a local vendor. They had three flavors available: root beer, orange cream and strawberry cream, of which I had the orange cream. It was what I expected it to taste like, sweet and carbonated. I did enjoy the uniqueness in drink options, which definitely added to the nostalgia factor of the place as a whole.

It would have made for an incomplete visit if I didn’t try their waffle fries to round out my meal. A remnant of guilty-pleasure fast-food fries, Rod’s Dogs’ fries were delicious yet not overbearingly greasy. Each bite contained the right amount of crunch and salt, with a dip in some ketchup to enhance the tang. 

If there is one thing that is for certain, it is that Rod’s Dogs met my expectations; if anything, it exceeded them. For those who want a feel-good meal and great customer service, this place may just be the way to go.