We suppose no kind of intellectual property theft should surprise us anymore, but we must admit to being a little taken aback when we discovered that a Berkeley, California hot dog chain with just six locations had gotten the royal treatment right on People’s Square. We learned of this transgression from Slums of Shaolin (blocked in China), a blog about Shanghai. Top Dog, according to a Shanghaiist contributor who did his undergrad work at Cal-Berkeley, is an “East Bay institution.” Basically, that means lots of students get drunk or high and eat Top Dog hot dogs late at night (one location is open until 3 am). In Shanghai, across from Fuzhou Lu, we have Mac Dog, and while the silly name is different, the logo is exactly the same. (They all kind of look like Mr. Hanky to us.) If you are still not convinced that Mac Dog is a rip-off of Top Dog, check this out:
I asked a lady who works there about the place. She was very friendly, and said her husband worked at a Top Dog for half a year, and wanted to bring back the hot dogs because they don’t have them in China. I pointed out that hot dogs are common, which they are, and she replied that they’re too expensive. A strange comment, as $.90 cents for a hot dog is definitely expensive by Shanghai standards. On the other hand, I’m sure those other hot dogs aren’t nearly as good. The hot dog I got (Garlic Sausage – Pork) was right tasty, although the bun was a little too substantial and could still use some work.