What do you expect to find when you enter the lobby of a medical building? A reception center? A pharmacy, perhaps? A hot dog stand? What???? Well, if you're visiting the Mercy Rehabilitation Services building on Sunrise Avenue, in Roseville, CA, you'll find Java Queen, in the lobby of the building, facing the elevator bank.
Photo: Here's the lobby view of Java Queen as you approach the restaurant. The elevators, not shown in the photo, are immediately to the right of the photo. Note small glass refrigerator that keeps soft drinks cold. Norma at the refrigerator at the right of the photo, getting my hot dog ready.
I have to admit that I was quite surprised to find Java Queen the first time that I had an appointment in the building. As you look at the building from the street, it just looks like a boring, three-story medical office building, without a hint of the jewel of a hot dog stand that's located in the lobby. Life is full of surprises, some good, and some not so good, but Java Queen is a good surprise!
All clients enter through the back door of the building from the rear parking lot, as the front is reserved for staff. As you turn the corner to approach the elevators, you'll find Java Queen, run by friendly Norma, is facing you. So before you get into the elevator to attend your medical appointment with the MedClinic Medical Group, or Sierra Council on Alcohol abuse, you have a chance to eat a delicious hot dog, or sample one of the smoothies, iced drinks or coffee that Norma is proud to serve. If you have the munchies, you'll find that she has bagged candy, chips and lots of other goodies that will keep you happy.
Photo: Our friendly hot dog gal, Norma, poses against the on-site refrigerator, which is a rareity among hot dog stands.
Java Queen has a HUGE advantage over outdoor hot dog stands, in that she's inside a building which keeps regular hours, and locks its doors at closing time. She doesn't have to deal with vandals, the elements, or thieves, and she doesn't have to stow everything away and drag it home each nigh. When she closes shop at 5:00 P.M., she simply has to close everything up, clean everything up, and go home, and it's waiting for her when she opens at 9:00 the following morning. Since it's located in a medical building, there's no weekend duty, as this building locks its doors for the weekend at 5:00 Friday afternoon.
On my visit of Friday, April 6, 2007, I arrived not long after opening time, and Norma hadn't yet fired-up the vertical hot dog roaster, that you'll see in many of these small stands. I asked her what sort of dogs she serves, and she told me that she has regular dogs, and polish dogs, both regular and spicy. I can never resist a spicy polish dog, so that's what I ordered. Since the roaster wasn't fired up, she offered to nuke one for me, which is ok in my book. This hot dog stand is well-equipped, as she has a microwave oven and a refrigerator; I guess this is another fringe benefit of being located inside a building, as she has ready-access to electricity. As Norma was puttering around the fridge getting a hot dog, I drew out my digital camera, and fired the first salvo.
Photo: Norma poses for me behind the counter of Java Queen. The hot dog cooker is to the right of the photo. After asking the usual "Why are you taking my photo" question, she warmed up to my camera.
Photo: How often do you get a hot dog maker to look you square in the eye as you snap her photo, as she prepares your hot dog? Not really much of the time, but Norma rose to the occasion.
When she asked me, "Why are you taking my picture?" I used one of my standard remarks, "Because I love to take photos of beautiful women," which she didn't seem to buy. "Now really," she asked, "Why are you taking my picture?" My second line of defence: "Because I like hot dogs!" I could tell that she didn't buy it, so I decided to be honest and let her know that I'm trying to sample as many hot dog stands in the greater Sacramento area, and I'm publishing my articles on the web, and I'm taking photos of everything. Naturally, she was skeptical, as who in their right mind, besides the author of this web site, would be interested in hot dog stands? I started telling her of some of my travels to Mexico, and some of the adventures that I've had in pursuing my hobby, and then it came to her, crystal clear, that although I'm a geek-with-a-camera, I'm a truthful geek. Naturally, I gave her the u.r.l. of where this article is published, and asked her to wait a few days until I can get it published.
Photo: Oh boy, my dog is ready and I've applied my favorite condiments, which are sitting on the condiment section of Java Queen's counter.
Java Queen serves delicious hot dogs! In a matter of a couple minutes, I was rewarded with a quarter-pound, eight-inch long, spicy polish dog, seated in a fresh bun that fit the dog perfectly. Naturally, Java Queen features all the standard condiments, such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, diced onions, sauerkraut and more, but I was in sort of a "plain" mood, so I chose only my three favorite condiments on a polish dog: Mustard, mayonnaise and relish. Mmmmmmm good!
Price for a slice of polish dog heaven? Only $2.50, which is the cheapest polish dog in the area. Norma offered to give me my dog for free, since this article will generate a lot of exposure, but I chose to pay the full price, plus a tip, and I told her that I'd take her up on her offer after this article has generated a lot of business for her. She's a nice, hard-working person, and she serves great hot dogs.
know, some day when I retire from my real job, I just may open
up a hot dog stand. I told Norma about my ambitions, and
she said that it's a good thing, as everybody loves hot
dogs, which is certainly a true statement.
Java Queen doesn't offer sit-down, dine-in seating, but all you have to do is take your hot dog, and your smoothie, and walk about a hundred feet and leave the building by the rear entrance/exit. The building features an enclosed, covered patio, which has several tables with benches, where you can enjoy outdoor dining. So, bring your dog outside, and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Since the building houses medical offices, smokers are kept at bay, so you'll enjoy a smoke-free dining experience.
Photo: A close-up photo of my dog, dressed to kill, in my favorite condiments.
If you're leaving your medical or counseling appointment and you're in the mood for a great hot dog, check out Java Queen, as Norma is a hot dog queen, and her hot dogs can't be beat. Highly recommended!
Copyright(c) 2007 eRench Productions. All rights reserved. This site has been on the web since December 22, 2002.