In an earlier post I wrote of the saddest sight in Slippery Rock- the vacation notice of Bob’s Subs. Luckily for us that closing is only temporary. Roast beef subs with secret recipe mayo are once again available to all.
However, in the town of Butler the saddest sign is the ‘For Sale’ sign in the window of The Hot Dog Shop.
I’ve read of people crying because their favorite restaurant in all of Butler closed and they were not aware of it. It closed a few years ago. If a kind soul redirects them to a nearby restaurant with similar ingredients, the citizen is grateful yet aware that it is JUST NOT THE SAME.
Let me explain. The Hot Dog Shop did not just sell hot dogs. One could get a hamburger, or strawberry pie, or a fish sandwich. But the dogs were special. It was the chili sauce. Mmmm. Recipe? If one searches the internet for ‘Butler Hot Dog Sauce Recipe’ several will appear. (It makes a gallon of sauce so use an 1/8th of a CUP of salt.) The best dog followed these steps: steamed bun, then grilled hot dog, chili sauce, diced onion, and pickle spear. Served with French fries with gravy and whipped chocolate milk (I hate milk but I drank this!) And the ambiance of the restaurant cannot be duplicated. To some, it looked dirty. On closer inspection, it was just dingy. The place had been in operation since before WWII. The waitresses never wrote anything down. They yelled to the grill, which was in the front window, whatever the order was. “Two hots, everything and pickle, fries gravy.” That’s right. Like a diner. And everything did not include mustard, ketchup or pickle.
Did I say fries with gravy? Yep. (Obviously not the healthiest meals I’ve ever eaten.) It wasn’t beef gravy (I think) or chicken gravy (I think). It did have paprika in it.
Now, for the locals there is some salvation; the chili recipe and the gravy recipe are sold at the same meat market that prepared them for the shop. The recipe belongs to the family that owned The Hot Dog Shop. So, it is the SAME. The chili sauce is also available in the grocery stores. (It must be kept refrigerated.)
PS You might ask why such a popular old restaurant closed. Money. Let’s leave it at that.