I had an authentic Top Dog hot dog today. Instead of driving up to Northern California, I traveled the freeways of Orange County.
This story starts a few months ago when my Mom saw something in the Orange County Register. To summarize the article, the owners of a yogurt store in Mission Viejo contacted the owners of Top Dog in Northern California and worked out a deal so they could sell their hot dogs.
Today I went there with James and enjoyed a Santa Fe turkey dog. I would furnish some pictures, but I could not easily find my camera before I left. I picked one of the worst days ever to dive to Mission Viejo. It was 108 out there and the hottest day ever recorded in many places.
If you make the drive (the address is in the article linked above), look for the Del Taco; Berkeley Dog is a couple of stores away. It is in a huge plaza and I drove by nearly 50 stores before I found it. Do not expect to be greeted by a hot dog, the door still advertises the yogurt the store sells.
If that is too far for you, I did some research and just learned a second shop opened in Brea last month.
An earlier trip
This was the second time I have been there. The first time I went I wanted to go with someone I knew from Berkeley to get their input on the place's authenticity. So I called a friend who lived in Mission Viejo. When he got back to me a few weeks later he said his externship in Los Angeles prevented him from going. Next I thought of another Cal alumnus who was at UCI; Irvine is just a city over. I sent her a Facebook message but she never replied. Then I thought of a friend who would be up for an adventure if I picked him up and drove him there. I called a few minutes after noon but he did not answer. I declared my efforts to get other people interested a failure and drove there myself. He called me later in the day and explained he was still asleep when I called him.