I was weaned on HoJo’s famous pancakes we’d have on Sunday mornings after church, 1960s after-movie date night would end up there for ice cream sundaes, anytime was a good time for their clam rolls, and who didn’t ADORE the almighty grilled hot dog in the best bun known to mankind, a toasted top slit flaky bun. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Our go-to HoJo was on Concord Pike, there as long as I can remember with the same waitresses who were named Betty or Madge. Hard working, in their Ho Jo uniform of a blue (?) apron and paper hat, serving up huge trays of food to the regular and hungry crowd. I can remember having to wait in line on certain days and who didn’t love their ice cream, then they hand packed it at the store to take home. Black raspberry please.
My walk down HoJo memory lane started yesterday when I was asked to bring some 1960s American classics to a barbecue party on Sunday.
What’s more classic than a grilled hot dog on a grilled bun?! But good luck finding a GOOD top slit bun in New York. Ugh. No offense Pepperidge Farm, but stick to Mint Milano cookies, not hot dog buns. These have WAY too much bun bread, too fat, too thick. It would overwhelm the hot dog.
No flat surface to grill to get toasty. The mother of all hot dog buns was JJ Nissen, a brand I can’t find here (maybe they do mail order?)
PERFECTION. See the grillable sides???? See how little bun there is per square inch versus the Pepperidge Farm?
My mother used to slit the hot dog too, fill it with hunks of Velveeta (yes kids, we are still alive after eating Velveeta), then she’d WRAP the hot dog in BACON. Oh my oh my oh my. They were scrumptious.
I felt I had to buy the buns I saw at the store today, but I’m still on the hunt for the real kind.
The other thing I’m going to bring, but make from scratch, not buy in the bag, is The Original Chex Party Mix, a conversation of same on the blog Deep South Dish.
This is what Chex Mix has devolved into – miscellaneous crunchies that I pick out. It’s awful.
I have to bring a classic 1960s dessert too – fudge? Taking suggestions, any and all. Meanwhile, I have a craving for a grilled hot dog but there aren’t any HoJo’s around, are there? The closest one was in Old Greenwich – you Greenwich readers – is it still there? If yes, I’ll see you there in what, forty minutes okay?