[Added: 01-25-09]

Pop N Fresh (not his real name) from the GL1800Riders.com board posted a thread about a hot dog joint he saw on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" (with host Guy Fieri).

It featured the Baltimore hot dog emporium...

G&A Restaurant
3802 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224

He expressed an interest in coming down to Baltimore to sample their wares...

And that's how it started...

I started compiling a list of all the "significant" hot dog joints in Baltimore. Man... I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Here's a partial list I came up with after just a few hours of research:

The first five Tube Steak Emporiums were awarded "Baltimore's Best Hot Dog" by the Baltimore City Paper:

2007 and 2008 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog
8923 Old Harford Road
Parkville, MD 21234
(410) 665-9939

2006 winner of Baltimore's Best Hog Dog
Pulaski Liquor Emporium and Dog House Tavern
6425 Pulaski Highway
Baltimore, MD 21205
(410) 483-7500

2005 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog
Attman's Authentic New York Delicatessen
1019 E. Lombard Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 563-2666

2004 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog...
Conspicuous by its absence was the 2004 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog. So I contacted the Baltimore City Paper - and this is what they (she) said...


I'm sorry this has been causing you so much consternation. We simply did not have a Best Hot Dog category in 2004. Categories vary from year to year.

Anna Ditkoff
Special Projects Editor
Baltimore City Paper
812 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201

(So now... We know "the rest of the story"...)

2003 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog
The Dog House
617 Fallsway
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 685-7269

2002 winner of Baltimore's Best Hot Dog
G&A Restaurant
3802 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 276-9422

Ann's Dari-Creme
7918 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
(410) 761-1231

Here's another one I found on the Baltimore City Paper's web site...

Konstant’s Hot Dogs
Lexington Market
400 W. Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 685-4422

And another one I forgot about (although how I could forget about Pollock Johnny's is beyond me!)
Polock Johnny's
3212 Washington Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 644-5997

I even created a Google Map to get a handle on where they were all located in relation to each other...

There was a lot of vacillating about the date. Should we have it the first Saturday in 2009 to make it the "First Official Ride of the New Year"? Should we postpone it until later in the year in deference to our riding brethren who may still be dealing with the after affects of their New Year's Eve festivities? (Although going on a "Hot Dog Run" could certainly be perceived as a derivation of "biting the dog that bit you"... But I digress)

After much going back and forth, discussing all the possibilities, weighing all the options, considering the lessons of history - we decided on the 2nd Saturday in January - the 10th - as the date for our first "Bawlmer Wienie Run". But, wouldn't you know it, the weather prognosticators prediction of 70% chance of "wintry mix" encouraged us to invoke the "rain clause" and move it to Sunday, the 11th...

Unfortunately, a scheduling change at work forced the instigator of all this - Pop N Fresh - to miss his ride...!

What the HELL!

Sunday the eleventh dawned cold and blustery. By 10:30 I was huddling in the entrance way of Zack's - waiting for the kind lady inside to open the door...

(Should I be concerned that Zack's is co-located with American Medical Services)

I was there...

But I was all alone...
Y'just gotta love a hot dog joint that has their own van!

I'm not sure why their signs were on the ground, but I was concerned that the rest of our band of intrepid hot dog connoisseurs wouldn't be able to find me, so...

...I made sure to place one so it couldn't be missed!

It must have worked, because around 11:00a.m. (our planned meeting time), the rest of the folks started showing up...

That's "The Astute Reader™" & his wife Caroline on the left, Scott "Sebringdcp" is just pulling in. Wheels is out of the frame to the left & his wife Nancy arrived by "cage" (She had chores to attend to and couldn't complete our journey with use...)

So there we were - six hardy hot dog hungerers...

(Yeah... I know... That was really bad... I chalk it up to well intentioned euphony)

...at 11:00a.m. huddled outside of Zack's in Parkville.

Included in our number were four members of GL1800Riders (Margarita Will, Wheels, Sebringdcp, The Astute Reader™) and two wives (Wheels' wife Nancy & The Astute Reader™'s wife Caroline).

Right at 11:00a.m., the kind lady inside the warm hot dog emporium let us in to begin our odyssey...

Now, Zack's has taken an interesting approach with their menu. They've decided to present a broad spectrum of regional hot dogs - as well as other well known sausages. If you are not numbered amongst the hot dog cognoscente, you may not even be aware of the huge range of hot dog presentations available across the width & breadth of this great country of ours. Heck, there's even a National Hot Dog & Sausage Council!

At Zack's you can order your hot dog:

  • Chicago Style - Those in the know will order theirs "dragged through the garden" - meaning: topped with tomato slices, diced onions, neon green relish, a pickle wedge, two (Not three, not one... Two!) sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt all served on a poppy seed hot dog roll!
  • New York Style - topped with chili and New York-style "street cart" onions
  • Southern Style - topped with chili and cole slaw
  • Baltimore Style - a "Kosher style" all beef hot dog wrapped in bologna and grilled - While some may know this presentation as "Baltimore Style", it's not unique to Baltimore, but is enjoyed in several other parts of the country
  • Southwestern Style - This presentation is a little more difficult to nail down, as there doesn't seem to be a "traditional" method to top this dog - but I've seen it commonly served the way that Zack's does: salsa, cheese & jalapeños - and Zack's finishes theirs off with a chipotle mustard sauce

Besides "regional" preparations, Zack's also serves other members of the sausage family:

  • Polish Dog
  • Italian Dog
  • Footlong
  • Corn Dog

And some originals:

  • Pulled Pork BBQ Dog - an all beef hot dog covered in "tender chunks of pulled pork in homemade bbq sauce" - This appears to be Wheels' favorite. He's been to Zack's twice and got this dog both times. (High praise indeed!)
  • Reuben Dog - a "kosher style" dog topped with sauerkraut, melted swiss cheese and their own special thousand island dressing

 I found an article on the Internet about Zack's written by Rob Kasper back in 2004:

The Astute Reader™'s Chicago-style hot dog...

Wheels' Pulled Pork BBQ Dog & Nancy's... some kinda dog... with... it appears to be... saurkraut...

Sebringdcp's footlong...

My Southwestern Chipotle Dog!

Zack's was selling a t-shirt that disturbed me... a bit...

"Put our footlong in your mouth"

(Don't believe me? Move your mouse over the picture!)

What the...?!?!


For the truly curious, I figured I'd throw in a digital scan of Zack's complete menu...



After Zack's, we mounted up to head over to Ann's Dari-Creme, a Glen Burnie, Maryland tradition for over... well... a whole buncha years!

Now Ann's has one of the smallest menus you can imagine...

  • Footlong/Double Footlong
  • Steak Sub/Cheese Steak Sub
  • Hamburger/Cheeseburger

Plus some great shakes made with soft serve Vanilla ice cream. They serve the "Holy Trinity" of Shakes (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry) plus Cherry, Orange and Banana.


I ordered the Double Footlong with Chile...

...and a banana shake.

Can y'taste it?!?!

Our friend "captcarl" (not his real name) was supposed to join us, but decided to go to his Brother's house for dinner... (Or did he?!?!?)

Move your mouse over the picture to force "captcarl" to participate in the 1st Annual (Last, Probably Ever!) Bawlmer Wienie Run!


As always, with this band of reprobates, I had a blast and am looking forward to our next round of gustatory galavanting!