Cheap Eats: Hot Dogs in Tallahassee
â€œA hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.â€
Credited to the late American actor: Humphrey Bogart
It’s said that one should never ask too many questions about how hot dogs are made.Â For the most part, they aren’t the best protein in the world.Â They are full of saturated fat and preservatives.Â In fact, the photo at the top of this article is from a National Cancer Institute web site.Â Still, like a lot of you, I get an occasional hankering for a sausage in a bun.
This weekend, many PBS station aired the WQED-TV production, “A Hot Dog Program“. Â It was a voyage of discovery visiting some of the best hot dog stands in the nation.Â I figured that the program might get folks ’round here thinking about going cruising for a sausage in a bun and thought I’d open the dialog with my own home town favorites.Â Oh; I’m not including any chain restaurants, convenience stores or the like.Â Those places get plenty of publicity.
Ali’s Strawberry Shakes
Located on Crump Road just N. of Mahan Drive, Ali’s is a very busy business operation.Â It’s a produce stand, a seafood market, a meat smoking operation, a bait shop and a lunch counter.Â While the milkshakes at Ali’s are the signature item, her hot dogs are pretty wonderful too.
The dogs are all beef, cooked to order, and come with a wide variety of toppings.Â Personally, I normally go for an Ali’s Dog.Â It’s a hot dog with a whole bunch of fresh veggies on it and it’s really yummy.
While you’re there, be sure to try a milkshake and grab a banana for the ride home.Â Ali’s Market is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Dog Et Al
At this South Monroe cafe, the hot dogs are steamed. Â The dogs are sold by size ranging from a “little dog” to the giant “big foot dog”.Â Â Condiments include mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise (Mayo on hot dogs?Â Â Everyone knows that mayo belongs on french fries), cheese, chili, slaw, sauerkraut, relish, sauteed onions and bell peppers.
Rounding out the health food menu are curly fries topped with whatever you want. Â While steamed hot dogs are not my personal favorite, Dog Et Al is a popular eatery and the line is often out the door.
JB’s Festival Foods
So if the TallyCast is all about local, what are we doing promoting an operation at a big box store?Â JB’s hot dog cart may be located at the NE Capital Circle Home Depot, but it’s a locally owned favorite of mine, and from the daily lineup of local builders and shoppers, a few other folks too.
Dogs at JB’s stand are grilled (or as the hot dog cooker said last week, “not heated in greasy water”) and served to order.Â In addition to all beef hot dogs, JB’s serves sausage dogs made from our local favorite, Bradley’s smoked sausage.
I know I barely scratched the surface on local hot dog stands in North Florida.Â If you have a favorite spot to eat hot dogs, let us know.