Last Friday, Maggie and I made a 4-hour drive from the farm to Gallia County, down on the Ohio River. We were on a research trip for a work-in-progress and our gracious hosts, Chuck and Marjorie, suggested a popular lunch spot in Gallipolis.
Because “they have the best hot dog sauce,” Marjorie told me. “If you like that sort of thing.”
I said “Sure!”
Then I spent a day asking everyone, “What is hot dog sauce?”
Most of my West Central Ohio friends and family answered with a shrug.
“I don’t know. Ketchup?”
Well, on Friday, we found out. And it turns out Remo’s isn’t just popular with the locals. Folks come from all over for this!
It’s a simple, little place. Little, indeed. And on this day, the temperature was teasing 100 degrees outside and maybe just a little below that indoors. But, even so, people packed in shoulder to shoulder waiting to order.
Ordering is pretty simple. I took my cue from my the guy in front of me. “I’ll take one with sauce and pickles.” No one asked “One what?” That’s because the only thing on the menu is – you got it – hot dogs. You can get “one with sauce and ketchup” or “one with sauce and onion and mustard” or even “one with sauce and hot sauce.” But while I was there, no one ordered one without sauce. The sauce is what makes Remo’s Remo’s.
Here’s my “one with sauce and pickles.” A footlong hot dog, topped with a delicious, homemade, rich, tomato-y, kind of peppery, meaty, messy sauce. And dill pickles! All my life, I’ve suffered ridicule and shame for putting dill pickles on my hot dogs. Here, they’re on the menu! Finally, someone understands me!
Maggie ordered “One with sauce.”
We were lucky. We got a seat at the counter where we could watch the fast-paced hot-dog-making action up close.
So, thanks to Marjorie and Chuck and the kind folks at Remo’s, Maggie and I have officially experienced and enjoyed our first Italian Style hot dogs – with sauce!
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