One of my guilty pleasures is a good ol' hot dog, smeared with mustard and topped with sauerkraut. When I heard of All American Hot Dogs, it was mere days before I found my way to Waterford Lakes Town Center to give it a try. This east-side stand takes a dedicated dog eater to find it, hidden in the amalgam of commerce just a stone's throw from UCF.
All American's selection of hot dogs is overwhelming. After standing dumbfounded at the counter for a few minutes, drowning in the heavenly smell of grease, I picked the All American ($2.69), because it comes exactly how I like it. I downed the decent Vienna Beef wiener with spicy mustard and tart kraut on a poppy seed bun, but I was not yet satisfied. I contemplated my next choice, staring at the red, white and blue décor. Somebody here must like baseball, because Sammy Sosa and Cubs memorabilia plasters the room. It suddenly comes to me: the all-beef Chicago dog ($2.59).
Minutes later I'm cradling this plump and juicy Windy City rendition, with tangy mustard, the sweet-and-sour lift of relish and pickle, onion, tomatoes and peppers, all topped by celery salt. The taste is like an answered prayer.
Chicago isn't the only regional specialty represented here. There's a Philly cheese steak ($5.29), a Wisconsin dog ($2.69) with up to four kinds of cheese, a barbecue dog ($2.59), Italian sausage ($3.99) and Polish sausage ($3.09).
All 15 varieties of hot dog can be purchased on their own or as a basket with fries, a pickle and a choice of cole slaw, macaroni salad or baked beans. The accompaniments I tried were dull underseasoned beans, coleslaw heavy on the mayo and undercooked fries. The fries were OK, but I would have liked them better had they spent more time in the sizzling oil there was no shortage in that department.
At this busy crossroads, just be prepared to be pushed out of the way by aggro mothers on the way to SuperTarget or nearly run over by speeding college students on their way to find food.
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