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Bowl With at Texas Tavern
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Cheesy Western from Texas Tavern
They’re less than a half-mile apart – “The King of Hotdogs” and the “Millionaire’s Club” – icons of an era when cheesy ruled, when dogs were truly all-American and when Roanoke was a coal-dusty rail town.
The question at hand: Has either taken a dip into 21st century dining?
Well, Center in the Square sort of forced the hand of the Weiner Stand, with the renovations demanding new digs for the dog king. Texas Tavern? Well, it’s been ensconced there on Church Avenue since the 1930s and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Still, despite changes in one and none in the other, there’s a certain need for navigation help for both: the top 5 things to keep in mind on a visit to each:
5. Be ready to shout out your order to the cook while concurrently joining the conversation amongst the 10 bar stools.
4. Give your plastic a rest, for once (make sure you’ve got cash for payment, or else).
3. Be very cautious not to ask for ketchup – to avoid the lecture about “sissy sauce” being for just two things: “Fries, and we don’t serve those, and covering up bad meat, and we don’t serve that either.”
2. Avoid any argument, along those 10 stools, about how to spell “chili,” which is of course how you spell it, except at the TT, where they claim they’ve now served 20 million bowls of “chile.”
1. Remember that use of “the lingo” is essential . . .”Cheesy, Bowl, With, Hot, Without, Walkin’, Streaker, Add a Slab, etc.”…You get the idea, so do your homework.
5. Be able to ignore the new-fangled interior and instead appreciate the vintage neon signs that still exist.
4. Remember that the default on a hotdog is “all the way,” and that if you want anything less, you better speak up!
3. The combo is, simply, one of the best deals around town: two dogs, fries and a soda for $6. Can’t beat it.
2. Appreciate John, the cook, and his syntax; he does grill-up the perfect dog.
1. Don’t be deceived by your dog wrapped in wax paper; it’s happened since the 1950s and that’s how it’s supposed to be.
The overall winner, you ask? Neither, of course, because it’s all about the timing. Got a group of friends downtown looking for a classic lunchtime outing? The Stand. Same friends nine hours later, spilling out of a nightspot? The TT.