Sunday, January 2, 2011

Paul's Hot Dogs

The holidays have slowed down the progress of the hot dog tour but we are trying to get back in the saddle. A couple of days ago I counted the places we have visited and found we have visited 28 local hot dog servers as well as 2 not so local. That makes 30. After visiting that many hot dog places some truths seem to be surfacing; more about that later.

This week we visited Paul's Hot Dogs in Trussville. There are two locations to visit, but we opted to visit the location on Chalkville Road. One thing that must be emphasized is that order number 25 is ready and should be picked up. We were treated to numerous notifications of that fact while we were there. Actually, he did finally pick up his presumably cold sandwiches. It seems he was very occupied with his walkie talkie (aka cell phone).

Now about Paul's. This place is a good basic hot dog stand with hot dogs that are predictable offerings in our area. Looking at their menu I see numerous items that don't always appear on the menu such as a "blackened bologna sandwich". Other items are just varieties of selected toppings that can be ordered or excluded. Robert and I took a couple of other companions (Aaron & Susie). Susie proceeded to order a hamburger and fries which she reportedly enjoyed. Of course the hard core hot dog guys ordered various hot dogs. The usual order for comparison sake id a hot dog and chili dog, both all the way. I also added a corn dog just to sample this offering.

I have always liked corn dogs when done right; so seeing one on the menu I couldn't resist. Perhaps I should have resisted because I have definitely had better. Maybe that should be my next quest...the perfect corn dog. Right now the best I have found around here is at Lyric Hot Dogs.

Paul's has a loyal following and was doing a brisk business. The chili on the chili dogs is good and their "special sauce" is also good. The orders take a little longer than at most hot dog places, but their signs say this is so they can serve a quality product. I'm not sure I agree; I've had equally good hot dogs served much faster.

Now regarding my comments above about the truths I am seeing after visiting this many hot dog servers. I have found that hot dog places seem to fall into two categories; predictable/ordinary and unusual. The ones I would call "predictable" are the normal hot dog places. They often have a sauce similar to Sneaky Pete's sauce and their dogs are similar. There are definitely differences as some are better than others but the basic serving has a predictable nature. On the other side are the unusual offerings. I have found that I really like the unusual products. The predictable ones can be very good, but I seem to love the new unexpected dogs I have found. At some point I am going to develop a ranking of sorts. I can see that it must include two basic categories; the predictable and the unexpected.