This place is easy to miss. On a lightly-trafficked side street a bit away from the busier parts of Raleigh, with a sign so washed out that you wonder if the place is still in business, the neon "open" sign is your best landmark. Step inside and you will feel transported back in time. A small lunch counter with maybe 8 fixed stools that feel a bit too short and placed a bit too close together is on your right. In front of you are two half tables, each with room for 2 people. The place looks like it could use a good dusting. But the atmosphere feels so right. Businessmen in suits sit beside construction workers who sit beside artists and so on. The common bond is their love of the simple fare and the throwback feel.
The heart of the operation is a small griddle where the proprietor, George, a Scrabble fanatic, fries the hot dogs, turning them just enough that they get a nice blackened crust over much of them, just the way I like it. Your choice of toppings is mustard, onions, chili and slaw. No ketchup, not even if you beg. The dogs are $2.50 each and a small coke is a buck. Some beers are also available, as is homemade baklava and pound cake for dessert. Haven't had the desserts so I can't comment on those. The dogs, however, are really tasty. Nothing fancy in the way they are served; they are just placed on a piece of paper; no plates, no utensils -- very green actually. Most people order 2 or 3 hot dogs at a time, although even one makes for a nice lunch. Bottom line, if you are tired of flavorless boiled or steamed dogs or dogs that have sat on the griddle for so long that they could pass for jerky, and you instead want some flavorful grilled dogs (maybe topped with some chili, and/or mustard, and/or onions, and/or slaw) this is the place to come to. You sometimes have to wait a bit, especially on Saturdays, but it is well worth it.
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