by Molly Reitter

MOORESVILLE – The Big League Hotdog Company looks like the dream bedroom of a boy from the 1950s.

The walls are covered with all things baseball: pennants, photos, signs and jerseys. There are low tables with section signs written in a baseball font. Stacked glass squares hold up a grey Formica counter surrounded by tall, red, swivel chairs. The menu on the wall is a replica of the Wrigley Field scoreboard.

There is even a dugout, painted in green with baseball cards, old mitts and bats underneath its roof. The crack of a bat or a loud “you’re out!” would not feel out of place.

But the sounds of the restaurant are mostly satisfied chewing of some darn good ballpark dogs.

Big League began in 2007 and recently changed ownership in April. Manager Heather Newell came in with the change and has happily been working here for six months. Prior to this job, she was a district manager for Carl’s Jr and a manager at Jack in the Box.

“I really like the fact that I can really give my full attention to one store,” Newell said. “And this store is just so fun to work at.”

Big League has a full menu of burgers, brats, kielbasa and Italian sausages. The fries are hand-cut, cooked to order and fried twice in the Belgian Fry tradition. The fries can be served plain or flavored with chili cheese, buffalo or parmesan/garlic.

Kettle chips are also hand-cut and cooked to order.

And the restaurant is now serving daily breakfast starting at 6 a.m. with omelets, breakfast sandwiches and egg wraps.

However, as you might expect, the big stars of the menu are the hotdogs.

The restaurant uses Sabrett hotdogs – the ones served by New York City street vendors under the blue and yellow umbrellas. The all-beef hotdogs boast a natural casing.

The dogs are served every which way including: chili dog, Chicago Dog, Reuben Dog and Carolina Dog. They can be fried, steamed or grilled and are available in spicy or foot-long.

The restaurant makes its own coleslaw, kraut and beans. All items are fresh and prepped daily. In keeping with the ballpark theme, desserts available are fried brownies, fried bananas or funnel cake.

Customer Rodney Crisco, of Mooresville, has been coming to Big League regularly since 2007. He is seated at the Formica counter reading the paper, occasionally glancing at the television recapping sporting events.

“The quality of the food is amazing,” Crisco said. “Plus the service and atmosphere keeps me coming back.”

The restaurant is most definitely a place to bring the family. A kid’s meal consisting of a hotdog, mini corn dogs, chicken mitts or a grilled cheese, fries or chips, a drink and a Popsicle will set you back $3.99.

There are televisions throughout Big League, and the staff is happy to put on a game of the customer’s choice.

“Doesn’t have to be baseball,” Newell said with a smile. Big League seats 48 people inside and 16 more on the patio.

The restaurant feels like eating in a museum; a great place to show the young and old alike the history of America’s pastime. All while chowing down on a most excellent, ballpark-quality hotdog.

Big League Hotdog Company

235 Medical Park Road, Mooresville