A man eating hot dogs
Writing a column can be a challenge. My dogs Molly and Riley were both snoozing beside me on the sofa, and with Fox News and Dish Network at odds, I couldn’t watch a lot of my favorite television programs. OK, so I’m spoiled. Aren’t we all with all of the new electronic “stuff” that gives us so much fabulous entertainment and keeps us in tune with world news?
So I thought I would do something different, I’d switch channels and begin a new column writing about whatever showed up on the screen. Wouldn’t you know the first thing I saw was a picture of a man eating hot dogs in some kind of contest. What else to do but talk about hot dogs, an American favorite if there ever was one. If I could choose to live in an area that held the best hot dog stand, and that was located close to many other great shopping and eating establishments, I would choose Concord, Calif.
My oldest son, Don, and his wife Earlene lived there for years and I got to visit once — long story, I ended up on a visit and stayed half a year — and besides the best hot dog stand they had great many other really fine
restaurants. We had no trouble deciding where to eat out, which was way too often. That hot dog stand had an assortment of “dogs” to choose from, my favorite was the Polish dog with sauerkraut and a helping of great fries. Slap on a little yellow mustard, add something good to drink and just leave me alone. A couple of doors away there was a place that served the most unusual donuts I’ve ever eaten. They had some kind of German name, but they began with a frying pan that had round indentations where batter was placed.
Slowly, as the batter heated, the cook would take a utensil and slowly twist the donut around to form a donut the size of a tennis ball. When finished they were removed and dusted with sugar. Then, not far from those two places was a rally fine Japanese restaurant and I love Japanese food.
Don isn’t crazy about Japanese food, so he would choose instead a place called Mello’s. I always tell anybody who will listen that you cannot get the best pizza unless you head to the east coast and New York or Philly. I’m wrong; you can find the very best at Mello’s. Get there early, when the door opens, or you will be waiting in line a very long time. The wait is always worth it.
Head into concord’s many shopping centers and in one you fill find a barbecue emporium right smack in the middle between a shoe store — know a woman that doesn’t check that place out — and a clothing store and see if you can pass without wanting a plate of ribs.
Close to where my kids lived and within easy walking distance was a Chinese restaurant, I always enjoyed the food. They only had a half a dozen tables, all with white linen tablecloths covered with glass tops. You could watch the cook as he prepared your food. Once Earlene had them cook a special meal for my birthday at the discretion of the owner. Out came a platter with a huge fish surrounded by all kinds of goodies. There were also side dishes and of course lots of tea and libations. It was a good thing we could walk home: I remember I could hardlv move. I’ve never had a better Chinese meal anywhere.
Concord also had a covey of tine steak houses and other pizza places and several excellent bakeries. I always smile when somebody opens what they call a “bakery” as I bring forth — in my memory bank — the sight of the special ones in Concord. They always had shelves filled with fresh donuts, pies, cakes, Danish pastry, rolls and loaves of assorted breads plus other goodies. Earlene and I always had to try one or the other on Saturday mornings, order coffee and enjoy picking out just what goodie we were going to eat that day.
Gee, I never got past that first sight of a man eating a hot dog during a contest, did I think I will get a couple “dogs” and rolls out of the freezer and check for sauerkraut. Sounds like a plan
Edna Van Leuven is a county writer. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.