Saturday, July 16, 2005
Either They're At Pink's Or They're Handing Out Free Money Somewhere...Nope, They're All At Pink's!
Look! I found all the people...they're at Pink's!
By George, I think I've got it. No one was at Phillipe's because they're all at Pinks Famous Hot Dogs. My mystery is solved.
You'd think they were giving out free money here. Driving down La Brea Avenue this afternoon, there was the usual line of people outside Pink's. And being that it's summer, the line wrapped around the building toward the parking lot. There was an ambulance outside, probably coming to the aid of someone who had just had a heart attack from all the grease or who had passed out from claustrophobia.
The wait schedule at Pink's on a day like today goes something like this:
0:00- Get your ass in line. Mostlikey, you won't have to walk far from your car to the end of the line because the end of the line will be near the parking lot.
0:00-0:30- Shuffle your way toward the corner of the building in the bright sun with all the other poor saps.
0:30-1:00-Round the corner and start shuffling your way past the antique store that is never open.
1:00-1:30-You're not done yet! Make your way through the mini line maze towards the counter. Is there a ride at the end of this too?
1:30-1:35-Place your order. By now, you're so hungry you've already eaten all the mints in your bag.
1:35-1:45-Enter the door and wait another few minutes for them to ring your order.
OK, so maybe it won't take an hour forty-five all the time. Sometimes it'll only take an hour and a half. I suppose if you're a tourist, waiting in line for a hot dog isn't such a big deal since you've already travelled this far.
Pink's is, to me, one of those places I go when I need grease. This could be at 3am when I need something to soak up all the inebriants in my system (it's been awhile since I've been out like that though!) or it could be when I am simply craving junk food and want something more than Doritos. The last time I went to Pink's was a few months ago when my girlfriend and I wanted greasy picnic food but had no picnic to go to.
My dog of choice at Pink's is plain and simply, the chili dog. Depending on whether or not I've calmed down from waiting in line, I'm usually pretty happy when I bite into one of these. It's true--the snappy, juicy Hoffy dog literally pops when you bite into it. Pink's chili looks like a ground beef gravy with a pool of oil on top, but it's got a good, mild, beefy taste that seems to go really well with the tangy yellow mustard that's slathered on the warm fluffy bun. Instead of ordering a chili dog with sauerkraut, I always order myself a side of sauerkraut for 40 cents to sprinkle on to my chili dogs--I like to have control over my condiments! If I'm in a chili mood, I'll get a side of chili fries; if not, I'll go for a plain side of fries. Pink's fries are like a straight version of curly fries: seasoned and crispy.
Thank goodness I always order the same thing at Pink's; their menu would send anyone's brain into a tailspin, as if standing in line wasn't mindboggling enough. They've got dogs with bacon and tomatoes, Polish dogs with pastrami and cheese, dogs with pastrami, cheese and onions wrapped in a tortilla. If weiners ain't your thang, you can get a burger instead. But it's not just A BURGER that's on the menu--there are eleven to choose from! For the star-struck, they've got creations named after celebrities: the Ozzy Osbourne Dog consists of a Polish dog, nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole, and chopped tomatoes. The Martha Stewart Dog has a hot dog with mustard, relish, onions, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut, bacon and sour cream. Hmm, doesn't seem to be too much of a good thing. Too darn confusing.
So this is what people are crowding up my freeways for. I guess it is an LA landmark just like Phillipe's, only Pink's came around a couple decades later, in 1939. They do make a good dog, but there are so many other places to get a taste of LA history! Oh, but what am I talking about--Pink's wouldn't be Pink's without the line. Just like summer in LA wouldn't be summer in LA without the crowds and traffic.
Pink's Famous Hot Dogs
709 N. La Brea Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038