National Hot Dog Day seems like a good time to share a very special experience I had this summer with a Nathan’s Famous beef hot dog. But it just happened to be on a stick, coated in cornbread, deep-fried to a golden brown and found in a little shack near the Santa Monica Pier. Yes, I’m talking about the original Hot Dog on a Stick! Opened in 1946, owner/entrepreneur Dave called his little place Party Puffs and sold ice cream and lemonade. The name changed to Hot Dog on a Stick when he began using his mom’s cornbread recipe and perfected the hot dog on a stick. Today, that little shack near the Santa Monica pier is still serving hot dogs and lemonade to hungry and thirsty beachgoers. You may recognize the bright colors and especially that striped hat from your local mall food-court.
Dave took his show on the road, hitting the County Fair circuit where he not only perfected his lemonade recipe but also decided on his now-recognized employee uniforms. Isn’t the County Fair a perfect place to introduce the masses to a new food product? In 1973 the first Hot Dog on a Stick debuted at a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are now more than 100 stores in 11 states as well as a few international locations.
Hot Dog on a Stick now also offers French fries, cheese sticks and funnel cake sticks. Do you sense a theme here? Everything tastes better on a stick and let’s face it, a whole lot of fun to eat! In addition to Nathan’s Famous beef hot dogs, you can get a turkey or a veggie dog on a stick. If corndogs aren’t your thing, you can get your dog in a bun. The original Santa Monica location also offers three types of lemonade: original, lime and cherry. At the suggestion of my young friend from Canada I got the lime-lemonade and it was fantastic, and a pretty shade of green too!
Next time you are craving a little bit of nostalgia, head to the Santa Monica Pier, find the little red shack on the walking/biking path and order a Hot Dog on a Stick and a lemonade!
By Trish Procetto