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Hot dog stand and national treasure.

Our Review

A Gene & Jude’s hot dog, like a Cezanne painting, represents the apotheosis of a form, inessentials stripped away, almost the Platonic ideal of the hot dog. No tomato, and you don’t dare ask for ketchup. What you get at this middle-American icon is a perfectly warmed wiener with world-class snap, nestled in a steamed bun and layered with mustard, relish, onion, sport peppers (if you want 'em), and fries. That’s right: the fries, fresh cut with a hand-operated mechanism straight out of the Eisenhower administration, are laid gently on top of the dog, creating a steamy union of dog and fry that miraculously benefits both. There’s always a long line of hungry hot-dog freaks, and it’s always standing room only in this bright yellow-lit room, lined with a white wooden shelf bearing industrial-strength salt shakers (made of glass jars with holes hand-punched in the top). The locals consider this stand a national treasure, and when you bite into one of Gene & Jude’s franks, you’ll see why. Don’t be shy about ordering more than one: I’ve seen big guys order a six-pack to go (which usually means no further than the truck).

David Hammond

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Price: $

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