Thursday, June 7, 2012

Amos 'N Andy


One of my plans for this blog was to feature entries for dearly departed hot dogs… hot dog businesses I fondly remember and wish were still around.

No such entry would ever be complete without the legendary Amos ‘N Andy. Although I probably ate there more before I can remember, I only have memories of three times. Oddly, those three were at three different locations. The first was what I assume to be the original at the site of the current Durham Marriott. As I recall, it was a long room with a counter on the left. The man preparing dogs would line them up side-by-side along his arm… I assume he had clean arms. He had topping the dogs down to a science.

The second Amos ‘N Andy location I visited was on NC 55 heading out of town. This additional location was a stand-alone building that remains today, but it has been a combination of numerous establishments, as well as vacant, since that meal back in 1972. I remember the year because “Stuck in the Middle With You” was on the juke box.

The last time I had an Amos ‘N Andy dog would have been in the late 70s or early 80s. By that time, the original location had moved closer to Five Points on Main. The hot dogs were as good as ever, and they’re really the standard by which I judge a hot dog these days—however, fair that may be, considering time and romanticism may have made them even better in my mind… but I don’t think so.

My verdict: Five out of Five Weenies

Endangered Durham used to have a picture of the business, but it has either been taken down or put behind a firewall. If I find it again, I'll post the link.

17 comments:

  1. I remember eating dogs from Amos'n Andy as a kid. My dad would not let us (my mom, little brother and sister) go inside because he said they sold beer inside. I've since wondered if maybe it was that he wanted to drink one himself. :D. I had a few at their 5 Points location in the 80s and they weren't nearly as food as my memories. We used to also eat at Paschall's Grill on Holloway and remember those as comparable to the also wonderful King's. Glad to see someone blogging about something so near and dear to my heart.

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  2. Hi Lynn! I just saw your comment. Thanks for writing, and I apologize that I've been slack! Great to hear from someone who also loves good hot dogs. I'd love to have about three and an ice cold beer right now!

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  3. Amos and Andy Chili Recipe/Ingredients from Facebook post

    Here's the recipe, courtesy of Dan Cagle, son of DHS's principle in the '60's (you can divide by 3 for a smaller portion):

    AMOS ‘N’ ANDY CHILI

    1) 3lbs. Texas Onions (chopped)
    2) #3 can tomatoes
    3) 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
    4) 3lbs. hamburger (not browned)
    5) 3 tbsp. sugar
    6) 6 tbsp. chili powder
    7) 5 tbsp. paprika
    8) 1 tbsp. red pepper
    9) salt to taste

    Haven't tried it but have been told it is the same. I have a copy of the Photograph of the Downtown location. Used to go to the Dentist in the CCB building (now Suntrust) and then we were treated to a hot dog and a coke while seated on a coke crate.

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    1. Thanks! That recipe looks pretty darn good. In my research and experimentation, it seems one key to making hot dog stand style chili is to avoid browning the meat. Almost all recipes start with browning the ground beef, but to get the texture that is so much a part of the Carolina Hot Dog experience, most recipes suggest adding water to the raw beef and creating a slurry.

      My experiences with Amos & Andy were similar to yours... minus the dentist trip.

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    2. I don't think this is it...just sayin'...I have a recipe close to it, but I ain't sharin' !!!

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  4. What a great place that was. I ate many fantastic hot dogs there and it is still the gold standard of Carolina dogs.

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    1. I have to agree. The Gold Standard. I think the Roast Grill in Raleigh gives it a good try, too.

      For remembering these hot dogs of yesterday, I've created the hashtag #dogsgonebye. Please use as appropriate.

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    2. Does anyone know what was Amos and Andy's real name and if they played the guitar and sing?

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  5. Hi Julia. I think that Amos and Andy are unrelated to the legendary hot dog stand. I could be wrong.

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  6. So glad to see someone blogging about this place! I miss it soooo dearly. I grew up going to work with my mother there(before & after preschool) & having my own hide outs & special creations! I agree with ya'll there is NOTHING like an Amos N' Andy's hotdogs ATW (chili, mustard, & onions). The only 2 places I have found even remotely close is The Roast Grill in Raleigh & Shorty's in Wake Forest.
    Some great personal memores & photographs. Wish it was still around

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  7. Hi Christina, I love the Roast Grill. There's a booth at the NC State Fair that says it is The Roast... but their slaw wasn't as good.

    I will put Shorty's on me "short list."

    All the best!
    CHD

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  8. Grew up in west Durham in the 50's/60s and after my father took me to Amos and Andys, must have had a hundred of their dogs over the years.Moved to NYC after college and never found one better. Miss A&A! Jim Rigsbee

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    1. I miss them, too. I don't know if time has enhanced the memory or what, but you just don't get hot dogs that taste like that anymore.

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  9. My dad use take me by Amos & Andy Hotdog Cafe when we came to Durham. There was a young man named Lawrence (I think) was the man that prepared the hotdogs; and, he would literally have a string of hotdogs dressed from his hand all the way up his arm to the shoulder. I have never seen anything like it before. He was not the owner when I first came to the cafe; however, he was so good at preparing the hotdogs (and he was fast too) that, the owner of the cafe left the business to him when he retired--I was told. I used eat 6 of the hotdogs (w/chili, mustard, and onions) every time I ate there. Durham, being the home of Duke University, the cafe had photos on the wall in the cafe of some of the Duke Football Team challenging each other in who could eat the most. There was small bar to be served the dogs that would seat about 8 people; and a small room in the back with tables & benches. Many times I would have take out the dogs because their not enough room in the cafe for everybody at certain times of the day. I have very fond memories of the cafe, especially with my Dad, who knew the owner. I am trying to find a Amos & Andy Chili Recipe; the one mentioned above in this forum is fine; but, it does not tell how to mix the ingredients, and how long to cook. If anyone knows recipe and how to prepare the chili; I would appreciate it very much.

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    1. The owner (and guy who lined the dogs up his arm) was Norris Eubanks. They also had Pepsi crates in the "little room in the back" that we used as seats. We turned the crates on their end and sat and ate our hot dog. Did that many, many times.

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    2. Definitely a legendary hot dog experience. Some of the memorabilia Karl mentions reminds me of some of the stuff at Jimmy's Hot Dogs on Guess Road. I believe there is a cutout of a man with Eubanks on his shirt. I'll have to check the next time I visit.

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  10. Thanks for the correction. It was Norris; not Lawrence.

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