The Frankfurter Diaries

I ate two hot dogs the other day. And now I’m going to talk about my feelings about junk food.

The circumstances were these: an early meeting at The Times, “breakfast” of a banana (and lucky to have that), and a morning of activities controlled by others.

Then there was a drive to the Jersey Shore. Just shy of noon, we stopped at a Garden State [1] Parkway rest area of the new style: a “choice” of bad fast food joints rather than just one. I begged my colleagues for some time to have a bite to eat. (It was a day that would include no lunch break.)

The choices were: prewrapped sandwiches, like smoked turkey with provolone on “whole grain” bread (it wasn’t); Burger King; Sbarro; TCBY; Quizno’s; Starbucks; Nathan’s. I was on the phone with a friend who largely shares my weaknesses and prejudices. I did not want a prewrapped sandwich, especially one that looked so dry and unappetizing. My first inclination was Burger King; he pronounced it “poison.”

O.K., but what wasn’t? Where was the real food? It didn’t exist. I gravitated toward Nathan’s. After all, I grew up going to Coney Island; my mother is from there. Nathan’s may not ever have been the best hot dog in New York, but it was iconic. Probably most important, the hot dog is to me comfort food. And it had been a long time.

Read the rest of this column, here.

Posted in Food Politics


  1. Jenn said...

    I love a good hot dog. I’m from the Northwest so our association here is usually having them at Seahawks or U.W. games. They’re quite nostalgic for me. Every few months we have hot dogs for dinner. There is always some special occasion and we always front load it with a salad loaded with veggies. My husband and I eat those first and the kids follow our lead. We also buy 100% beef uncured franks from a local farm. There are no “lips and assholes” in our franks. We know those ladies who make them and they’re committed to quality. Recently, I started making my own whole wheat buns from the Bittman whole wheat baguette recipe. Very tasty and I feel a little better about them. However, in the end they’re still hot dogs. We don’t have them often and we don’t eat meat nightly either. In my book, it’s o.k. eating them in this moderate way. No one has two hot dogs though. Thankfully there are only 4 per pack so it’s not an issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *