North Carolina-Hot Dogs-July 15

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-July 15

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special. Everyday this year I am doing a post on what I have learned new.

It is not uncommon to see restaurant reviews about North Carolina when it comes to Barbecue. A Google search for North Carolina Barbecue generated 669,000 items for me.

Google BarbecueWhat I don’t see often is a list of North Carolina best hot dog places. I paid attention to this list for two reasons. One my youngest son attends East Carolina University and likes a hot dog joint called Sup Dogs located in Greenville NC.

sup dogs

The second reason is I have a friend from Lumberton named John Rancke that promotes himself as a connoisseur of hamburger and hot dog joints. When I travel I often get leads on places to eat from John. He is always spot on.

Photo of John below in his new waterfront digs in South Carolina.

John Rancke

John can best be described as the Fodor’s Food Guide on Hamburger and Hot Dog Joints located in the Carolinas.

Earlier this summer John was looking for the list in Our State Magazine about North Carolina top Hot Dog joints. My hunch he can do a personal review on all of them. A link to the article is below:

The Dog Days of Summer: 10 Hot Dog Joints Across the State

A couple of North Carolina tidbits for me

Zach’s Hot Dogs * Burlington still serves Cheerwine out of the bottle.


Big League Hot Dog Company *Mooresville
Relax in one of the seats salvaged from Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium






  1. John Rancke · · Reply

    Hey Coach. Thanks. I’m gonna do a blog about dogs and burgers and open it up for comments! Keep writing!!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Reblogged this on John Tanner's Barbecue Blog and commented:
    Here’s a post from the coach4aday blog that brings both wonder and guilt to me.

    The wonder part comes from the author’s son, who wisely chose to go to college East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. ECU is surrounded by great barbecue — B’s, Skylight, and Sam Jones’ — and Bum’s, which has been receiving a lot of love from Garden and Gun lately. It’s a short drive to Wilber’s and Grady’s. It’s close but not too close to the beaches and shrimp burgers around Morehead City. With all of that, why would you eat hot dogs?

    The answer, of course, is that sometimes you just need a hot dog. Or, better, a chili dog. Birmingham is a great city for hot dogs, or used to be. An article in Town and Country about 50 years ago described Birmingham as a city of hot dogs and barbecue. (There was an article about Mountain Brook, the sort of suburb that gets mentioned in Town and Country; that was the only article in Town and Country I have ever read.) Back then, Birmingham was a steel town, with an all-night sunset glow from the blast furnaces in the west end. Now, Birmingham is a big medical city, and I suppose Town and Country would describe it as a city of golf courses … and barbecue. DC, where I now live, is (or regards itself as) famous for half-smokes, which are hot dogs on crack, more or less. Ben’s Chili Bowl, a long-time half smoke emporium, is listed in travel DC guides.

    So sometimes I need a hot dog. These days, I only eat them when I go to baseball games, or when we have a cookout for a bunch of kids. I used to eat more when I worked downtown, and would grab a couple of half smokes with mustard and onions from one a Sabrett’s cart every couple of months. They were quick and cheap, and the, uh, casual sanitary conditions were key to building up my immune system.

    But I don’t just stop on my travels and check out hot dog joints. Thus the guilt part: should I be reviewing hot dog places? Am I neglecting a duty? Frankly, I wouldn’t ask Nancy to start stopping for hot dogs. She already puts up with a lot with all the barbecue places at which we eat, and went far off the beaten track to try out a barbecue place in Hanoi when she was on her latest Operation Smile mission. Hot dogs would be a bridge too far for her, and probably — certainly — a bad idea for me. As it is, I have a full plate (all too literally) surveying barbecue places, and writing about other must-visit foods and restaurants.

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