Thursday, September 9, 2010

No Smiles, Sides or Cameras at Tony's Hot Dogs

Tony's Hot Dogs
Virginia Beach, Virginia

The worn out sign outside of Tony's Hot Dogs says it all.

It's the original.  It's the gold standard.

It's "Often Imitated" and "Never Duplicated."

So who exactly is trying to copy Tony's Hot Dogs?

Well, as far as I can tell, it's the DMV.

The truth is, I was actually looking forward to going in to grab a dog or two at Tony's Hot Dogs.

Hot dogs in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia are a kind of tradition.  In fact, like Chicago, they have their own "style" of hot dog.

It's chili, mustard and onions.

While the "Norfolk Dog" shows about the same creativity as wearing the same five shirts to work every week, this still shows this in area that CARES about it's dogs.

In fact, there are numerous little hot dog joints around Hampton Roads that have been serving 'em up for decades, specializing in catering to shipyard workers, military enlistees, construction workers and other
'blue collar grunts".

Tony's is one of these places.

And after I took a picture of the outside, I was really looking forward to chomping down on some dogs.

"Don't take pictures of the inside," the fellow behind the cash register bellowed as soon as I walked in.

Whhhaaaat?   You must be kidding!

What about the literally MILLIONS of readers all over the world?

How will they ever know what it's like at Tony's?

Of course, I couldn't tell him I'm Suit69 just to get "special treatment."

I couldn't tell him I'm one of the ultra-famous -- and suave -- writers for probably THE most influential restaurant review featuring anonymous, headless guys wearing suits.

I just had to to take in stride, and not let it affect me.

But knowing I can't let you down, please note that -- because of this restriction -- the following photos are NOT of the actual interior of Tony's.

Instead I've been forced to find pictures that resemble what I saw there.

In case you're wondering, here's what the dude behind the cash register looks like.
I was miffed, but I was also hungry, so I ordered a Norfolk-style dog -- called a Tony's Dog here -- and a dog with sauerkraut and mustard with a side of . . .

Nothing.  Sides at Tony's hot dogs are nowhere to be seen.  Not even in the kitchen which looked kinda like this.

They don't serve fries.  They don't serve onion rings.

They don't even serve those stupid little 50 cent bags of Lay's barbecue chips they always sell at airports for $3.50.

"This is new," I thought. Militantly lame.

Like the new "victim" group Al Sharpton would start if he accidentally stumbles and gets stepped on.
I looked around to see what the other patrons were eating, but there weren't any.

In fact, looking at some the art on the wall -- which unfortunately I couldn't take pictures of -- I was getting the feeling I was actually annoying the staff by being there.

The only other thing eating there besides me was a prehistoric-looking fly the size of a pro-football player.

At least they had beer.

But even then, they only had Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

My guess is the Ultra is for bugs that are watching their figures.

I chomped down on the Norfolk style dog, and it was good, but the bun on the sauerkraut dog had gone soggy and was about as perky as the attitude I was dealing with from Mr. Cash Register.

But I have to be serious.

He didn't really look like the guy I posted above.  He looked more like this.

The truth is, after I was finished with my dogs, I was glad they didn't serve sides.

Not because their food was horrible.  Not because the attitudes I was dealing with reminded me of DMV employee with a hangover and a hemorrhoid.

But because their chairs were so doggone uncomfortable.

Anyway, I finished up, left a lame tip for Mr. Cash Register who watching Judge Judy on their one TV.

Ah, I thought.  It all makes sense now.  Mr. Cash Register has that ambition, baby.  He wants to be something someday.

Well, maybe if he ever figures out how not to be such a wiener, he will.

But I'm not banking on it.

Rating:  Clean Grill With Shirt

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