The National Hot Dog Month 2012 Tour stopped in Cape Neddick, Maine today for a visit to an iconic little shack out on Route 1: Flo’s Hot Dogs. This rustic little shack on the edge of the road has been serving up steamed hot dogs since 1947. Current owner Gail Stacey’s mom started the hot dog business when she bought the place in 1959.
If the light is on, that mean’s Flo’s Hot Dogs is open for business!
Just don’t come on Wednesdays, they’re closed.
Gail’s rumored to be a bit of a character; like me, she rains on some good natured abuse if a patron asks for ketchup on their hot dog. The signage on the very strict “ordering instructions” even specifies age 15 at Flo’s cut off age for ketchup on a hot dog. Gail’s tough- I go by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council age restriction of 18.
Gail’s daughter Kim, heir apparent to the Flo’s empire, was filling in for mom today. Kim’s the third generation to run the place.
It’s real easy to see why Flo’s has endured over the years. It’s a simple place- just six stools at a counter with a few picnic tables outside. The menu is simple too. Kim says part of Flo’s success is “we never change.” There is something about that constancy that has a charm of it’s own, and even in the brief time we spent there, the sense of endearment by the regulars was obvious.
Hot Dog Joints, unlike any other eating establishment, seem to last because they don’t change with the times. The hot dog we grow up with- the one which stirs the fondest memories in our hearts- is the hot dog we want to share with generations of our own families. Flo’s represents one of those special kind of hot dog joints.
I go to many hot dog joints, and lots of folks ask about Flo’s. I went to an outlet they had in Wells a number of years ago, and I have been buying the relish for years, but this was my first trip to the original Flo’s.
I ordered up the house special- a boiled Old Neighborhood Frank on a steamed roll, with Flo’s Relish and mayonnaise.
Drew got the “Loaded Dog” with both green and Flo’s relish, mustard, chopped onions and celery salt.
Time to chow down! Flo’s serves up PIPING HOT dogs and the House Relish and the mayonnaise are a one of a kind encased meat experience. As they say around these parts, “it’s some kind of good!”
Enjoy the video!
Happy National Hot Dog Month!
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