Pink's - Buena Park
If there was a hot dog stand more hyped than Pink's, I don't know what it is. You can't watch a travel show about L.A. without hearing about the lines and the celebrities who have wrapped their collagen-puffed lips around their snappy-skinned wieners.
For a while, the iconic stand insisted they never wanted to expand. I heard them say that their original location on La Brea near Melrose was good enough; and that it would dilute the brand to even think of exporting the dogs out from that spot.
One might wonder then, why they recently broke the vow by opening a Pink's at Knott's Berry Farm. But the fact that they did allows this hot dog skeptic to try it without schlepping it to L.A. to wait in a forever line.
And I'm glad I didn't have to, because while the Guadalajara Dog ($3.85) that I had was good--the skin snapped with a satisfying pop 'neath my incisors--it's still just a hot dog. What made it Guadalajaran? Why that thin drizzle of sour cream, of course! Duh!
My bun was softly steamed (I think) rather than toasted, which is how I much rather prefer it; but the toppings were done as if presentation counted for something.
The Brooklyn Dog ($5.55) used the same 9-inch wiener, but had an excess of pastrami piled on top, all of it chewy thick and remarkably flavorless. I didn't get to taste the Polish sausage ($4.60) a friend had, but he ended up knife-and-forking it. It came with chili regardless of the fact that it did not say it would...which is not a complaint, just an observation.
A side order of fries ($2.95) were cajun-battered, and the onion rings ($3.35) had a crust that reminded me of hush puppies despite the mushy onion beneath.
We ate all of it within earshot of roller coaster screams and smelling distance of Mrs. Knott's famous fried chicken, another lauded eatery that did not choose to expand (a theme park was just built around it). Any bets on when we'll see a Mrs. Knott's chicken franchise taking on KFC?
Pink's Hot Dogs at Knott's
8039 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90620
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