ALBANY — The Little Red Doghouse, one of Albany’s tiniest eateries, just received some very big recognition.
The July issue of Southern Living magazine includes an article featuring “The South’s Best Hot Dogs.” Only three other hot dogs made the cut: Grumpy Dog in Wetumpka, Alabama, The Hotdog Co. in Stockbridge, and Shorty’s Famous Hot Dogs in Wake Forest, N.C.
The judges chose The Little Red Doghouse for its scramble dog, writing about the restaurant’s specialty: “The scramble dog is a beloved regional classic at this southwest Georgia hot dog hut that’s been here since 1981. It consists of a chopped frank and bun topped with chili, Cheddar cheese sauce, slaw, ketchup, mustard, and oyster crackers, all in a rectangular tray. This choice is just as distinctive as the shack that offers it from a service window six days a week. OUR PICK: Scramble Dog ($5).”
For those who are not hot dog aficionados, it is important to note that this recognition is even more significant in light of the fact that, according to legend, the original scramble dog was served at the Dinglewood Pharmacy in Columbus. It was created by Lieutenant Charles Stevens almost 70 years ago. His scramble dog has been served at the White House during the Carter administration and has also been seen on tables in Saudi Arabia and Florence, Italy.
The Little Red Doghouse has been owned and operated by the Chambers family since 1983. Michael Chambers is the owner/operator today. The restaurant has fine-tuned its recipe over the years to the acclaimed version served today.
“It is based on our homemade chili, and we’ve kept it consistent for the past 40 years,” Chambers said.
Full disclosure: I have to admit to eating scramble dogs from the Little Red Doghouse, located at 821 W. Broad Ave., on a regular basis for more than three decades. I have also eaten them at Dingles over the same period. I have to agree with Southern Living: They nailed it here in Albany.