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One block west of the state capitol building, in downtown Sacramento, California, is located one of the friendliest hot dog vendors that I've ever had the pleasure to meet.. Amy, who runs a hot dog cart on weekdays, at the corner of 9th Street, and Capitol Mall.  You couldn't pick a nicer location to sell hot dogs, as its beautifully landscaped, shaded by 150 year-old oak trees, and during the lunch hour, there's ample vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  During many of my web surfing sessions, I'd read customer reviews about Amy and her hot dogs, but since I rarely visit downtown Sacramento, the opportunity hadn't presented itself to pay her a visit.  However on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, opportunity knocked on the door, as I needed to visit the Mexican consulate to obtain a Mexican visa, so when my business was finished, I made a bee-line to Amy's hot dogs.

Photo:  Any's operation, with Amy at the controls, located one block west of the state capitol building of California. That's Capitol Mall in the background, looking west toward the Sacramento River.

All customer reviews that I'd read about Amy mentioned what a nice and friendly person she is, and I found out the reviews that I'd read about Amy were true, as I was greeted with her award-winning smile, and a cheery hello. As I was ordering a Jumbo Hot  Dog, I remarked to Amy that I'd heard about her on the web, and that I'd been wanting to pay her a visit, to see if all of the rave reviews were true.  She laughed, told me that other customers had mentioned the fact that she's on the web, but she hadn't been able to read any of the articles, as she doesn't own a computer.  As I took photos, I told her that I was planning to publish an article about her, and her operation.

As friendly Amy was preparing my Jumbo Dog, I engaged her in pleasant conversation, as I wanted to learn more about her operation.  She doesn't own the hot dog cart, as it's owned by S & F Catering; she only operates the cart. According to Amy, she's been selling hot dogs in the same location for seven years, and she has the cart in place by 10:30 in the morning, and wraps up business at 1:00 in the afternoon.  She's in the same location, Monday through Friday, and not open weekends, as, the way she puts it, "Downtown Sacramento is dead on weekends."  I asked her what she does when it rains, as most people don't venture out in the rain, and she said that she stays home and doesn't make any money.  It does give her ample opportunity to crochet doilies.

Photo:  With a happy smile for my camera, Any prepares my all beef, Jumbo Hot Dog.  

In addition to hot dogs, Amy sells hot links, Polish sausage, chips, candy, various sodas, and water.  Condiments include two types of mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, diced red onions, relish, dill pickle slices and sauerkraut.  For a small price extra, you can have chili, cheese, or both added to your hot dog.  After pondering my choices, I chose an all-beef Jumbo Hot Dog, which Amy happily remarked that it was her best seller.

While my dog was being prepared, I asked her about the colorful doilies that were hung between the hot dog cart and a lamp post.  She told me that she crochets them by hand, and that they're for sale, which is quite apparent as each one sports a price tag.  I was tempted to buy one, just to give her a little extra business, but I have no idea what I'd do with a doily, as it's not exactly something that I would have much use for.

Photo:  Amy hangs up another of her homemade doilies that she sells.  Note the for sale tags on each doilie.

The Jumbo Hot Dogs are big, probably a quarter pound, and they're broiled, not steamed, thank goodness!  I chose to adorn my dog with mustard, diced red onions, relish, dill pickle slices, and a touch of sauerkraut.  When my hot dog was dressed to my satisfaction, I sat down on a large tree root, under a nearby shady oak tree, and proceeded to enjoy my delicious meal.  The Jumbo Hot Dogs are advertised as 100% beef, they're spiced just right, and they snap!  when you bit into them, just the way a good dog should do when you bite into it.  Not to mention the fact they're served on a nice, big, soft, chewy roll.  This lady serves a magnificent hot dog!

Photo:  Oh boy!  My Jumbo Hot Dog is dressed out and ready to eat!  That's a quarter pound of pure heaven on a bun, dressed to kill.

Photo:  Your author and web master, at the corner of 9th Street and Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento, ready to enjoy a delicious Jumbo Hot Dog.

Hot dogs are meant to be eaten outside, under a shady tree, sold by a friendly vendor, on a downtown street.  I love to patronize hot dog carts, not only because I'm helping to support "the little guy," but you not only enjoy a delicious hot dog, but you get to meet the person who's responsible for the meal.  Restaurants are more impersonal, as I prefer the up-close-and-personal approach that a street vendor has to offer.

Amy's hot dogs are good, very good, and when you combine her delicious dogs, her friendly personality, and the park-like surrounding, you've got a deal that you just can't afford not to take advantage of.  I'll be visiting her the next time I find myself in downtown Sacramento.  Who knows, I just might purchase a doily or two!

S&F Catering
640 Houston St. Suite B
West Sacramento, CA 95691
916 371-0951

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