Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Having 'em Flo's Way.
Along Route 1 in Cape Neddick, Maine is a little place called Flo's Steamed Hot Dogs. It was begun in 1959 by Florence Stacy and since then thousands of people have flocked there to enjoy the steamed hot dogs. Flo was quite the character when she ran the place. A hardworking, laconic, no-nonsense, Yankee she had a very low tolerance for bullshit. She welcomed surfers, families, teenagers, truck drivers, retirees, the country club set and motorcycle gangs with equal hospitality and was never intimidated by anyone. She even welcomed me when I was a young boy. Everybody loved Flo but if she didn't like your attitude she had absolutely no problem ejecting you from the place, a trait envied today by Chefs everywhere. She served the best damn hot dogs ever. Not once did I ever hear her say the words: "Have a nice day!"
Flo has passed on like so many of the Aunts, Uncles and extended family members who took me there on rainy Summer afternoons. The spot is still owned and operated by her family. The steamed dogs are served on steamed buns with a variety of condiments including the typical relish and mustard, which is silently frowned upon. True aficionados will only order them "Flo's Way", with a generous spoon of their patented hot sauce, a dollop of mayo and a sprinkle of celery salt.
Flo's hot dog relish with "secrets locked inside".
After decades of requests the family finally made the famous hot sauce (the only term they use for it despite the word relish on the label) available to the public a few years back. They now sell far too small jars of it at the stand and online.
I visited a few weeks back and, other than the fact that two of us were now checked in on FourSquare, everything was exactly the same. The place was mobbed. The line extended far beyond the familiar, creaky, screen door at the entrance. The business cards from patrons the world over are still strewn about. I was the only one, however, to get an extra smile and a nod and that's because no one else had ordered their lunch "Flo's way."
You can order the famed hot sauce at the website here: Flo's Hot Dogs.
Flo's Hot Dogs
Cape Neddick, Maine
Flo's is still proud that they have no telephone number.
Hours: 11:00am - 3:00 pm daily. Closed all day Wednesdays.