Digital Exclusives: National Hot Dog Day

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“I’m here to have hot dogs. I heard it this morning on WBRE that it was National Hot Dog Day and when lunchtime came around today I went ‘huh what are we gonna have for lunch?’ and I went ‘you know what let’s have hot dogs today,” Bill Megela said.

From Lackawanna County to Luzerne, hot dog spots all over our area were filled with customers celebrating the holiday, whether they knew about it or not.

“We got a pretty good amount of them so far. Couple of twenty to go jobs. Phone’s ringing for another one, people are coming in so it’s a good – gonna be a good day,” Pete Ventura said.

And these local staples have a lot of history. For owners…

“We’ve started in a small shack up across the street from Sheetz on Route 315,” Gary Okun said.

“Torony’s every day is hot dog day. We have been in business for 67 years,” Roberta Torona said.

“My brother Gary and myself, we’re the third generation. And we’re just trying to keep it going,” Scott Druby said.

And for customers…

“I lived in Denver for like thirty-five years. I come back to visit family and friends and have Pete’s Texas wieners,” Jim Cusick said.

The history of the hot dog itself is unclear. And so is another thing: are hot dogs sandwiches?

“Yes I consider a hot dog a sandwich,” Bill Megela said.

“Uh no, I don’t. It’s on a bun. It’s not a sandwich. The National Restaurant Association has this national sandwich thing where they want you to put your stuff in there to try to get an award. And I never submit because it’s not a sandwich,” Ventura said.

“Do I consider it a sandwich? No. I consider it a hot dog. Much better than a sandwich,” Jim Cusick said.

“Do I consider a hot dog a sandwich. No, I consider it a hot dog,” Scott Druby said.

“Because you’re putting it on a bun, which will make it a sandwich, and whatever you know things that you put on top of that really makes it a sandwich so yes, I think it’s a sandwich,” Gary Okun said.

And the second most debated question is, should you put ketchup on your hot dog?

“No, I do not put ketchup on my hot dogs. Uh uh,” Bill Megela said.

“Yeah ketchup they say is strictly for cheeseburgers or hamburgers. But yeah no we get people that put ketchup on hot dogs,” Scott Druby said.

Whether it’s ketchup, chili, cheese, or a little bit of everything, it’s no question that hot dogs are a NEPA favorite.

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