when we lived in the D.C. / Baltimore / Annapolis area we frequently asked others for suggestions on the local fare, hidden restaurants, hole-in-the-wall joints – places that you only get to know because you’ve lived in the area your whole life, right?
over dinner with friends one evening, we’re asked if we’ve ever had ann’s footlongs in glen burnie. we replied that we’d seen the place before but had not stopped to eat. oh my goodness, the litany that followed this was stunning: greatest hot dogs in the world, been there 50 years, we used to go there after school every day, they’re like hot dogs from God, when you go you HAVE to get the “double-dog” because those are the best, oh, remember that time when we went there, blah blah blah, 100% beef dogs that, if you get them done correctly, have chili, onions, mustard on them as well, and if you’re going to do it, you have to do it all the way, etc. etc.
well, it just so happened that i worked not a mile away from the mighty ann’s footlongs! oh, goodie!!
a plan of attack was devised and a week after this exchange i left school at lunchtime to grab an ann’s double-dog footlong.
i walk into the place and could tell it was a genuine greasy-spoon, hole-in-the-wall, been here forever kinda place. old-timers hanging around, folks behind the counter who look like they’ve been there since the eisenhower administration, grease that looks like IT’S been around since ike, too, old-timey seats and a standing-room-only lunch crowd waiting.
and the first red flag? instead of cooking their dogs on the griddle, they tossed them into this humongous pit of bubbling grease. i stood in awe (and disgust) at the sheer amount of grease and the huge number of dogs percolating therein.
i step up and boldly demand a double dog with chili, hold the onions. into the festering grease fly two more dogs.
red flag number two? they pull the dogs out, put them on a huge bun, slather chili on top, put the results in two sheets of aluminum foil, wrap several napkins around it, and put it into a paper bag. this wasn’t the red flag, though – the red flag came less than a minute later when, walking out to the car, the napkins and paper bag have soaked through with grease. and soaked through my clothes. and was about to soak through my seats in the car.
why, oh mercy, why didn’t i stop right then?
i ate the ann’s double-dog. it was a mess. it was a greasy delicious mess. it slid down my throat and began a toxic chemical reaction unparalleled in the anals (sic) of history.
it. was. disgusting. worst hot dog ever. period.
anyone with an iron gut would love it. otherwise, find another hole-in-the-wall place to eat (like the honey bee restaurant on rt. 2).
edit: one of the best hot dogs ever? chicks drive-inn in west haven, CT – mark took us there one of the times we went up with him. there’s something about open-air dogs on the beach with good friends.Â