hot dog heaven or relish the dog

dawgsI know what you are thinking.  People who give up cable to have a line item in their budget for cheese aren’t all that likely to like hotdogs*.  Don’t judge.  I actually can’t explain it either.  This isn’t to say I’m not just a touch picky about it but I like hotdogs.  There, I said it.  It could relate to my love for handheld food, relish or encased meat.  When I actually sit and think about it-my feeling is that it is probably relish.  I don’t like ketchup on dogs-ever.  I find myself most often adding relish, mustard, diced onion, a little mayo and even some sharp cheddar or hot sauce.   All of the above probably mask the taste of any hotdog under there.  At any rate, we had yet to try the Orlando landmark, Hot Dog Heaven, so Z took me there one Saturday afternoon before we succumbed to every homeowners joy, yard work.  It is roughly the size of a doublewide trailer and sits on a busy street and looks like it has been there about 25 years, which it has.  A giant dog on a double pronged fork passes for what is the …skyline.  We got in line and perused the menu while we waited.  Vienna red-hots (a Chicago staple) topped in every way imaginable with a side of fries.  I opted for standard Chicago style, a pickle, tomato, neon relish, onion and sport peppers.  A boiled water dog on a steamed bun.  The hot dog was standard.  I didn’t expect more or less.  It had that casing snap when you bit it, wasn’t over or underdressed, was a throwback to childhood and street vendors with carts.  The fries I could’ve left behind-dressed with a weird cold cheese (American?)-they dropped the experience a few notches and if you go, I’d say get chips.  Kind of an average hotdog experience.  I didn’t even have the heart to blog about it on it’s own.  But, roll it forward a month or so…

This begins with a story with a happy ending.  My sister was in town with her family for summer vacation.  We went to the Magic Kingdom for a day of thrilling and princessly rides with her four kids who range in age from 4 to 11.  Eight of us in all from A to Z.  While riding on the great Goofini’s Barnstormer (a short entry into roller coasters for kids) I was sitting behind my sister and oldest niece and watched the hat that not two hours before we had been told was my niece’s favorite (Z and I bought it for her) fly off of her head and past my outstretched fingers.  Upon exiting the ride we found out we could pick up the hat at days end at City Hall on Main Street.  Roll it forward a couple of hours to the most MASSIVE rain storm I’ve seen outside of a tropical depression and the eight of us huddling under the awning at the Enchanted Tiki Room.   Two hours and two passes through It’s a Small World later it still hadn’t stopped pouring.  So, wet to the skin we headed out sans hat.  Cutest niece says, ‘don’t worry about my hat.’  ‘ok.’ I say.  They headed off for a week at the beach.  Next day, Z and I pack ourselves into the car with no less than 5 bottles of sunscreen and head to the beach, after a brief stop at Disney Lost & Found where we …GOT THE HAT… They handed it over and said, ‘sorry it’s still a bit damp.’  Of all the exceptions in the world, this was exceptional.  So, we paid back their kindness by heading into the park for a Disney-taxed lunch of delightfully giant hot dogs from Casey’s Corner hotdogs.  Giant dogs and mine was ridiculously covered in an oniony pickley neon relish that I loved.  I had to eat it with a knife and fork.   Served up with some fries and cracker jack and washed down with a Coke while sitting outside with a view of both Main Street USA and Cinderella’s Castle it was worth every penny.  I also realized when pulling links for this blog that they serve mini-corndogs and have free cheese sauce as a hotdog topping so I am certain that is in my immediate future.

*true story.  Before I got married I gave up cable so that I would have money I didn’t feel bad spending on triple cream brie, manchego and piave.

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