Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hot Dog!

Hot dogs, especially good, charcoal-grilled hot dogs, striped, blistered and even a little bit charred by the grill, always remind me of Ted's Hot Dogs in Buffalo, NY. I was thinking about them just the other day and wishing I could be in line there, anticipating that first delicious bite.

At Ted's there is always a line. It moves quickly, however, as they have an assembly line that rivals a Henry Ford plant. You choose your hot dog (white hot, red hot, foot long, Polish sausage, sweet Italian, hot Italian, whatever), it is speared and added to the line of dogs being grilled over charcoal, pierced frequently so the juice runs down and comes back up as juicy smoke that flavors the food. A few minutes later, blistered and striped, they are taken off by a second cook, popped into a bun and the cook looks up expectantly for you to choose your condiments. You name it, they've got it (onions, sweet relish, dill relish, mustard, catsup, whatever). Next you decide on "Fries or rings?" from the third cook, collect your drink from the fourth guy, pay the cashier and you are off to find a picnic bench outside (if it's warm) or a table inside (if, as usual, it's cold) and finally you get that first, juicy, smoky, salty bite. Pure Buffalo heaven!

Shortly after my first husband and I moved to Rochester, NY, we were befriended by Lois and Crane McDonald, a very friendly couple from Buffalo. They had moved to Roch-cha-cha for Crane's job but their hearts were still firmly rooted in Buffalo, so they introduced us to several of Buffalo's pleasures - Bisons minor league baseball, Ted's hot dogs and Buffalo style wings, to name a just a few.

Ah, Buffalo! It has such a bad rep - freezing weather, ungodly amounts of snow, decaying factories, Love Canal, unemployment. If you drive by on the freeway, all you see is ugly and more ugly. But, when you are introduced to the true Buffalo by a native Buffalonian, you can't help but love it.

Open, friendly people, cheerfully plebian food, beautiful parks, one of the best small art museums on earth, natural beauty and, yes, ungodly amounts of snow. But, every time I go to Buffalo, something nice happens to me. Like the time I got turned around on a toll road and stopped to ask the teller for directions - she not only set me straight with a smile, she also gave me a free pass through the toll in both directions. Or the time I watched a guy ahead of me hand a bright red rose to the toll taker along with his fare, which I thought was very sweet of him - then as I drove through, the toll taker gave it to me. Say what you will about Buffalo - I'm a fan!

So, this Fourth of July, My Beloved and I will be grilling hot dogs à la Ted's, savoring memories of Buffalo and wishing our country a Happy Birthday. She's looking good for 234 year old lady with a sadly oil-soiled petticoat.


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7 Comments:

Blogger Kailyn said...

Oh yes. The best hot dogs are ones with black spots from the grill. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, July 04, 2010  
Blogger Greg said...

Happy hot dog fourth of July!

Sunday, July 04, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Yahoo. We're doing dogs too!
Happy Independence Day.

Sunday, July 04, 2010  
Blogger Janie said...

You are making me very hungry for a hot dog, instead of the Scotty's sandwich that I got for the fireworks tonight!

Sunday, July 04, 2010  
Blogger Chilebrown said...

Oh this post is so relevant. Joey Jaws Chestnut juat ate 54 hot dogs in 10 long minutes.

Every fourth of July at Cony Island the hot dog contest is held.

Maybe Buzz will be up to the challeng next year.

Sunday, July 04, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Kailyn, thanks, we did and we hope you did, too.

Greg, right back at ya, buddy!

Cookiecrumb, 'twas a lovely one, wasn't it?

Janie, maybe we'll have hot dogs when we get together for Jack's birthday?

Chilebrown, Joey Chestnut was all over the news and the Sunday morning show on CBS yesterday so we know what a celeb he is! He scares me.

Monday, July 05, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, p.s. he makes over $200K a year, just from his eating prowess!

Monday, July 05, 2010  

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