The Roast Grill - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

The Roast Grill

This family-owned diner has been slinging chili dogs since 1940. 


Grill-roasted hot dogs, ice-cold bottles of Coca-Cola, and homemade baklava are on the menu at this family-run institution in Raleigh. Little has changed here since Mary Charles and George Poniros set up the joint in 1940. The retro furnishings are intact, black-and-white photos cover the wall, and the menu keeps it short and simple. There’s even a hundred-year-old fig tree growing on the premises.

The restaurant still tops its southern-style dogs with homemade chili from a century-old family recipe, plus, slaw, onions, and taxi-yellow mustard. George Poniros, the current owner, says his grandmother Mary Charles was never a fan of ketchup and the diner refuses to serve it to this day. 

Locals are particularly proud of the restaurant’s chili dog eating challenge. Photographs of contenders are displayed on the wall, with the all-time record belonging to a customer who wolfed down 26 hot dogs in an hour. Adam Richman, host of the Man v. Food on the Travel Channel, has an honorary mention for tackling 17 hot dogs.

Know Before You Go

The diner is cash only.

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February 14, 2024

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