"The O" on the corner of South Bouquet Street and Forbes Avenue
Essie's Original Hot Dog shop (commonly known as The Original Hot Dog Shop, The O or The Dirty O) is a restaurant in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
The Original Hot Dog Shop opened in Pittsburgh, in June 1960 near Forbes Field and the University of Pittsburgh. The restaurant quickly became known for its hot dogs and large portions of French fries, although the menu also includes sandwiches, salads and pizza. In 2001, Gourmet Magazine ranked the hot dogs fourth-best in America and The New York Times named it to a list of one of the "high spots in a nation of hot-dog heavens" in 2002. The O was also featured on Rick Sebak's nationally distributed PBS program A Hog Dog Program as well as on an episode of the Food Network's Unwrapped.
As part of CNN's 100 Places to Eat series, Travel+Leisure's Laura Kiniry ranked the O's fries among the best in the U.S. The University of Pittsburgh's student newspaper The Pitt News named The O "Best French Fries" in 2002, 2003, 2004 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
A location at Carnegie Mellon University lasted from 1996 to 2005, closing in the wake of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint and declining profits.