You may have heard of Pink’s Hot Dog stand. I saw it featured on one of those Food Network shows. I remember the show, not because I like hot dogs, but because I couldn’t understand why people would line up and wait for what seems an eternity for a stinking hot dog! Well, plenty of people do.
What began as a $50 investment by Paul and Betty Pink, has grown from a cart on a neighborhood street corner into a thriving business that has survived for nearly 75 years in Hollywood, California. Today Pink’s has expanded to a handful of locations around the country, but this restaurant in the Cedar Point Amusement Park is the only one east of Las Vegas. That convinced me that this icon is pretty special.
Since I’m a fan of roadside attractions and diners, I couldn’t resist stepping inside the restaurant, even if hot dogs aren’t my favorite food in the world.
The line for orders was coming out of the door, but it was moving pretty quickly and it wasn’t long before we’d stepped inside the you-guessed-it, pink interior.
My husband and I stared at the menu trying to determine which dog we would try and settled on the Cedar Point Dog, thinking it clearly must be exclusive to Cedar Point.
We placed our order and waited in line as an entire team of employee’s worked together to get those dogs knocked out and in the hands of the waiting, hungry customers.
Number 4780 was called and my husband stepped forward to claim the single largest hot dog I had ever seen. Imagine a 9″ stretch hot dog oddly topped with relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, bacon, sauerkraut and sour cream. At this point I was beginning to wonder what kind of stupid enticed me inside this hot dog stand.
I noticed that many people were stopping to pick up extra napkins and to grab a fork, but we were impatient and moved past that line to the outdoor seating area.
I looked at our hot dog piled high with toppings and wondered how to eat a hot dog at Pink’s. I suggested that I go back into the diner to grab a fork, but my husband was hungry and didn’t think a fork was necessary. He scooped up the dog in two hands and moved in for the first bite, opening his mouth wide and barely managing to fit it inside. I watched his face carefully for clues as he decyphered the tastes of the unusual combination that had blended with that bite.
He raised his eyebrows and gave the nod and I knew he was pleased.
It was my turn. I picked up that hot dog, opened my mouth wide and you guessed it, the toppings fell all over the foil wrapper on the table. (It’s moments like these that I’m grateful that I’m the one that always has the camera.)
My husband’s mouth flew open in awe of my skill… okay, maybe that’s not what he was thinking. Honestly, I think he was a little bit frustrated by my mess and I’m sure he was wondering how he was going to eat his hot dog now.
Clearly, the way to eat a hot dog at Pink’s is to eat it with a fork. Unless you have a big mouth- then and only then- will you be able to skip the fork. For anyone else, I’d suggest the fork, extra napkins and maybe… a bib.
So, what did my husband and I think of our experience at Pink’s? The restaurant was clean, the service was great, the food was worth waiting in line for- even coming from someone who doesn’t like hot dogs- and I can’t wait to visit again. Hopefully next time we can visit with our teenagers because I’m pretty sure they would love it too.
What we ate: 1 Cedar Point All-Beef Hot Dog, 1 order of Onion Rings and 1 Orange Fanta
Total Cost: Just over $20
Would we return: Absolutely
Have you ever eaten at Pink’s? What hot dog did you choose?
© 2013, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.