A Taste With Rach: Tito's Sloppy Doggs

The list of places to grab a bite to eat in Downtown Wheeling continues to grow and this week on a Taste With Rach, Rach gets checks out a 7News favorite, Tito's Sloppy Doggs.

For the past two and half years, Tito's has been in different locations, one in Elm Grove and take-out/delivery setup in the Mull Center.  But they officially have a new home on the corner of 11th and Market Street in downtown Wheeling, across from Market Street Plaza.

Up an running at the new location for just a few weeks, they are already experiencing a busy lunchtime hour.

But just how did this all get started?

"We started with a food trailer, itt sat in my yard for about six months, but that's not what I wanted to do. I finally found a restaurant and it was in my budget and it worked," said owner, Chris Burress.

Chris always worked in fast food, restaurants and sales but says he "got tired of working for the man."

"I love food, I like cooking for people, I love the interaction with people," said Chris. "Mom's here, father-in-law's here, wife's here, so yea, it's a family thing."

Their first menu only had nine items on it.

"We just started adding dogs," said Chris.

He said their most popular hot dog is "The Barking" dog. That was actually made by two customers, one had buffalo ranch on their dog, the other had crispy fried onions on their dog. So they put them all together and came up with "The Barking"

"She (the customer) said "It's got a little kick to it, you should call it the barking dog"  so we did," said Chris.

It's more than the crazy topping combos for hot dogs though. They have chicken bacon ranch wraps, salads, burgers, but their best, according to Chris are the fresh cut fries.  They feature an 11 spice dry rub, just like their BBQ potato chips.  They go through about 50lbs of potatoes a day.

"I grew up around here, I grew up in east Wheeling, so this is my old stomping grounds. My mom used to work right over there at GC Murphy's at the diner, I would go in there and have milk shakes and gravy fries, so I want this to be as big as it was back in the day," said Chris.

So with owner Chris, where does the Tito name come from?

"My dad was Tito, he's been gone 16 years. And I said whenever I open up a restaurant, you know you get those pipe dreams, but Whenever I open up a restaurant I'm going to name it after him, and 14 years later I did," said Chris.

As for what's next for Tito's he says he plans to keep letting the downtown location grow and jokingly says the plan is to let the empire continue to grow.

"I'm thinking a Tito's on every corner," said Chris.

It could just be another "pipe dream" that can come true.  They're open Monday-Saturday, 11-4. A "grand opening" has not been scheduled yet so stay tuned for that.

Check out Tito's Sloppy Doggs on Facebook

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