Canton Street abounds with world class restaurants, but not one serves a world class Italian hot dog.
Now don't get me wrong, I love Roswell, but I haven't had a satisfying hot dog since I moved here!
When I was 17, my father took me to Mr. Waters' Barber Shop. Mr. Waters was a Spanish American War veteran who had been cutting hair in Newark, New Jersey since the early twentieth century.
I remember the first day I walked into his shop. The sweet odor of shaving cream, after shave lotion, and Clubman Pinaud talc permeated the air. Some of the customers were arguing over whether Sugar Ray Robinson had deserved the 10-round decision over Ralph Dupas the previous night; and two old men were beating each other up on the homemade wooden checkerboard in the corner. James Moody was riffing effortlessly on his saxophone on a timeworn Emerson radio.
The overpowering odors. The incessant chatter. The ceaseless smooth jazz and gut-bucket blues background music. Sensory overload! I knew right away I was going to love that place.
And yet, that first impression is not what I think about when I remember Mr. Waters' shop today. Here is what's most memorable.
The only time the shop was ever really quiet was right after Leon, the fledgling apprentice barber, returned with the shop's lunch order from Jimmy Buff's hot dog place over on 14th Avenue and 9th Street.
The aroma of the onions and peppers would actually waft into the room just before Leon walked through the door, two jumbo-sized, grease-stained brown paper grocery bags clutched under his arms.
Everything stopped. No chatter. No buzzing clippers. No political or sports talk. Everyone was transfixed by what Leon started to pull out of those bags.
Leon would pass out the dogs and everybody got busy.
"Pass that napkin over here, boy!"
"Leon, where's my Coke?"
"Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm!"
Jimmy Buff's Italian hot dogs. Even now, my mouth is watering just writing about it.
Now... Jimmy's dogs didn't cost $25 at the time. I think they were probably about $1 or maybe $1.25.
Yeah, I'd pay $25 for a genuine, deep fried, greasy New Jersey Italian hot dog.
My Roswell Hot Dog Quest
So that's the source of my frustration. Why can't I find a decent Italian hot dog in Roswell?
If you take a trip over to Canton Street, you'll find a bevy of world class restaurants. They have it all. No matter what type of cuisine is driving your hunger, you'll find a place that will probably satisfy your craving.
Unless, of course, you are yearning for the storied Italian hot dog. That is, if you can classify the hot dog as cuisine.
If you know of a place in Roswell where I can get a great hot dog, a dog that makes you want to dive neck-deep into the peppers, onions and ketchup, please help me and leave the location in the comment section below.
I'm talking about in Roswell. Roswell hot dogs is what I'm searching for!
I've already been to Atlanta and their dogs don't measure up.
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