If you read this blog, there’s one thing you must know about me: I love chili dogs. No bones about it, they are one of my favorite foods in all the world. People who say hot dogs are gross? Get out. I don’t care about you anymore. Chili dogs are where it’s at.
Growing up, my dad’s favorite place to take us for some classic Dad ‘n Kids time was the Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe. It rules there, and as you can see from the website, it’s “Just For You.” Whatever that means.
My dad, my older brother and I would plop down on the red plastic upholstered booth seats, order us up some grub and chow down. Typical fare was the classic everything dog (chili and onions), chili cheese fries (this season’s must-have) and a milkshake in one of their specialty cartoon cups that featured personified hot dogs in precarious situations.
It’s quick, cheap, served up by a lady named Marlene and so damn delicious you feel like you could eat a million of those precious, precious dogs. Whenever I go home, I make it a point to at least swing by the drive-thru, even if I am flying solo. Some people might call that a “problem,” but if you have a problem with happy memories, then you might be Hitler.
Anywho, when I went off to college, I was just pleased as punch to find out that not only did Washington, D.C. have a ridiculously tastytasty chili dog establishment, but it was a historical landmark as well! Some of us believe all chili dog establishments should be so lucky, but some of us just run personal blogs, not the universe.
Ben’s Chili Bowl wasn’t a place I visited until I started going out in the city, but soon its night owl hours and urban charm got the best of me, and I was craving those half-smokes with chili like it was Bill Cosby’s business.
Show up to Ben’s on a Saturday at lunch time and the line will be snaking out the door, somebody will cut you in line and you will invariably forget that Ben does NOT accept your debit card and have to use their rip-off ATM, but it will be well worth it. The food is so filling that you might get the Itis on your Metro ride home and miss your stop. “Not again, Greenbelt!”
So now I’m in Idaho, and blame it on all the white people, but there are no decent chili dog shacks to be found! And trust me, the elevation has done NOTHING to quell my cravings. Sonic is one of the only places you can actually find a chili dog on the menu, and fast food will just never stack up to a hometown dog.
I feel, however, that it can’t be impossible to find a decent dog around these parts, and have charged myself with the painful task of FINDING one in southeastern Idaho. So tell your kids, tell your wife, even tell your husband, because I am asking EVERYBODY up in here to tell me where I can find a delicious chili dog.
When I wrangle one, I’ll be sure to post a review, and until then, I’ll be sulking about how much I write about food. Amen!