ALLENTOWN, Pa. — For several years now, I’ve been wanting to try Yocco’s The Hot Dog King on the way back from my annual ski trip in the Poconos. Yocco’s goes back to 1922 and is perhaps the best known Lehigh Valley eatery. We stopped by the location near Lehigh Valley International Airport, just off of the Airport Road exit of US 22-Lehigh Valley Thruway (or the Double-Duece according to my friend Tom).
Going in, I had heard mixed reviews of Yocco’s. Tom said “really, Yocco’s?” while another acquaintance gave it the thumbs up. Tom’s contention was that Yocco’s wasn’t bad, but nothing special. After eating there, I have to agree with Tom.
My wife and I each ordered two hot dogs each with chili sauce, onions and mustard. She also added cheese; Kraft singles or something similar that is put in the bottom of the roll. The franks are Hatfield, a tasty brand that are the official hot dog of Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. Ours were not very fresh though, having sat on the cooler side of the stove for an indeterminate amount of time. The chili sauce was fairly tasty, but not very hearty and overall nothing special. One cannot expect much for $1.24 each I suppose. I also ordered the crinkle cut french fries which were fine, but nothing special. Mrs. T’s pierogies are also available as a side, but we did not order them.
Yocco’s is so named because the indigenous Pennsylvania Dutch population had trouble pronouncing Iacocca, the family who opened the restaurant and runs it to this day. Yes, it is the same family as former Chrysler chairman and Snoop Dog pal Lee Iacocca — he’s the nephew of the founder. Know run by a fourth Iacocca generation Yocco’s has six locations. They also have a great “hot dog king” logo that looks like the kind of sticker a pre-teen’s skateboard might have on it.
Yocco’s is cheap, decent and the backstory is good, but nothing really special. I may stop a Yocco’s again some time if I’m in the Lehigh Valley, but I am not going out of my way to do it.