Thursday, October 06, 2005

Paul's Place

The rain and wind continued today. I decided to drive over to Rocky Point for lunch of world famous hot dogs at Paul’s Place. As a kid, whenever we drove north of town, Paul’s Place was the first stop. Hot dogs were 25 cent each or 5 for a dollar and the meal was rounded out with a bottle of Coke or Sundrop. Paul’s is located at the junction of US 117 and Highway 210, just a few miles north of the Northeast Cape Fear River. They’ve been selling hot dogs there for 77 years. Back in the 20s, Paul’s boasted not only hot dogs, but was also a gas station and a dance hall. About the time the automobile became standard, Paul positioned himself to capitalize on a more mobile society. Originally the dogs were smothered with chili, but during the Second World War, with meat scarce and rationed, Paul developed a cucumber relish as a substitute for chili. This relish, and a steamed old style hot dog bun that’s cut along the top, continues to be the hallmark of a Paul’s Place hot dog. As you may remember in a previous post on making green tomato relish, I consider relish to be a key component to a good dog!

Today, Paul’s is off the beaten path. Interstate 40 has surpassed US 117 as the primary road heading north. But Paul’s grandsons are still there, serving the same dogs as their father did when I was a kid. Of course, they’ve gone up in price a bit. Even though the through traffic bypasses Rocky Point at 70 mph, Paul’s Place is still busy. This area has changed greatly since I was a kid (last summer I wrote about how odd it was to see that the old Adventist Church in Myrtle Grove Sound now serve as an Islamic Center). It’s good to know that some things never change. Tonight, I’ll head back to one of the beach bars. Many of them are still in business, although their clientele seems to have gotten younger. I wonder if the bouncer still asks for ID cards?

10 comments:

  1. It has only been recently that I tried relish on a hot dog and while it sounds odd, it was pretty good. There is a place here that sounds the same - family owned, been around for as long as I can remember and they excel at hot dogs and homemade root beer. Now that is amazing stuff.

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  2. A few years ago, a "Dog-N-Suds" came to town. My son loved hot dogs then. He was so sad (he even cried) when he found out it had closed. I told him the service was terrible (it was!) and that's probably why it closed. Now, every once in a while, he'll say when he grows up, he wants to open it back up and provide good service!
    Oh, the dreams of a youngster!

    ENjoyed the read. Michele sent me.

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  3. Those family-owned local places are always the greatest. No chain restaurant could ever begin to touch them for quality and coolness.

    Michele sent me!

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  4. places like those are rare and far between. a home-cooked mean (as opposed to fast food) will hit the spot every single time. hello! here via michele today. :)

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  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love those little shops. I love the atmosphere, the feeling of history, a kind of heritage you don't get just going to McD's.

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  6. You better believe it...a key component to a good hot dog..that relish!! Yummy! Hotdogs are still part of our monthly meals. That place sounds so neat.

    I went back in late spring to N.C. Mooresville, Lake Norman-The Point for about 2 weeks, I truly enjoyed it. Always wanted to go though to Cape Fear, probably because of the movie. (what beautiful scenery)

    Hope you got carded!! (smiling)or perhaps a more entertaining experience...please fill us in! (LOL) Sounds like the beach bars and beers are very inviting! Have fun!

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  7. Actually relish is kind of foreign for us NC folks--we normally put slaw on everything--and slaw also makes a good hot dog (add a bit of celery seed to make it a high class experience.

    And no--I didn't get carded. Thanks for suggesting it, but those days are long gone. I haven't been carded since I grew the beard (this is my second beard and by far, my longest running one)It's been 17 years ago this summer that I last was clean shaven. BTW, I was still being carded when I was 30, before growing the beard.

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  8. My husband also visited Paul's Place as a youth, in the 1950s. We sought it out on a trip in July and bought a jar of the relish, which we have since taken with us whenever we've been to our favorite local purveyor of dogs. Today we used up the last spoonful. What to do? Can it be gotten by mail order? This place is so laid back and old fashioned it doesn't seem to have a website! Regards,

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  9. I wrote earlier about having run out of the relish and not being able to find a website for Paul's. Right after that I located www.paulsdogs.com, which didn't have a way to order on-line but did have a phone number. A very alert lady took my credit card number and promised to send 6 jars pronto.

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  10. Pauls place hot dogs are not the same as they were they are not beef and are always cold and rubbery. The slaw is not chopped as fine and the relish is gross definetly lost there secret recipe

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