“Quirky, Fun, Unique .... Oh Yeah, and Yummy Too!”
We visited Rail Dog on July 1, 2010. There were four of us in our family: my husband, myself, our 14-year-old son, and our son's best friend (also 14).
As others have said, this is a real caboose converted to a hot dog stand. Walking up to the order window, we were warmly welcomed by the owner who stood decked out in his conductor's hat and well-worn apron. We had expected to place our order and then eat at one of the adjacent picnic tables under the gorgeous summer sky. However, I happened to be wearing my Canada t-shirt (as July 1st is our "Canada Day" back home, and we were celebrating in our own small way despite being away from our homeland) which the "conductor" immediately noticed. "Are you from Canada?" he barked in his very thick Polish accent. When we said yes, he grinned and bellowed "COME ON INSIDE!!".
So, off we were led to the inside of the caboose by the sole owner/operator/cook, Antoni Wolan, who had us all sign his guest book which sits proudly just inside the door. He then presented each of us with conductor's hats to wear, and had us turn on the train lights and bells (sorry to the other patrons that day.....this is where their peaceful dinner ended). He took a family photo right there inside the caboose, and graciously allowed me to take a few pics of himself as well. Sitting us at the private counter alongside the cooking area, he conjured us up a feast of hot dogs, polish tacos, Dells tacos, tamales and fries while he entertained us with colourful stories of his business (how he got started, what he does on the off-season, his family, you name it). His enthusiam was contagious, and even my normally "cool" teenager and his friend were laughing hysterically at Antoni's antics (keep in mind he continued to serve a barrage of customers during our time in the caboose, cracking jokes and never missing a beat....this place gets BUSY sometimes but those hot dogs just go flying out). In all, we spent over an hour with Antoni devouring his amazing hot dogs, and laughing until our sides hurt.
You only want ketchup on those hot dogs? That travesty will cost you an extra $5!!! (not really, but .....) Got a big order? He'll dig out his Kindergarten counting beads and loudly declare that your $20 total will be "TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS PLEASE!".
The price here just can't be beat: our family's meal of five hot dogs (which included five orders of "free" fries....which were sooooo good), a Dells taco and fries, a Polish taco and fries, one tamale, and four drinks came to just $31.00 tax included, and we were STUFFED. Add in the entertainment value and the unique atmosphere (you can't help but want some photos of this quirky place) and it makes it a must-do if you're anywhere near the downtown area. A hot dog and fries is just $3.50 tax included, with a drink just $1 more. An awesome value!!! And my husband has raved about the Dells taco since our arrival back in Canada......I'm wishing now I grabbed Antoni's recipe before we departed.
During our week in the Dells, we had the pleasure of eating at some wonderful establishments. This one, however, gave our family some of the most unique memories of the trip. Definitely not "just a hot dog stand"!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.