Our State magazine, food writer David Bailey's article "100 foods you must eat in 100 counties" really piqued my interest. I am a native North Carolinian. In fact, the only other place I've lived is France. At one point in time, we interviewed for jobs as far away as New Mexico and Washington state, but we decided to stay put. And I was secretly relieved. I love my state. In the western part of the state, we have the Appalachian Mountains, where I was born and lived for 22 years. Our eastern border is the Atlantic Ocean. And the Piedmont is in between the two. That's where I have lived for the past 30 years. I guess I don't move around much, do I?
Anyway, I reached back into the past to my 7th grade North Carolina history class at Deyton Middle School in Spruce Pine with Mrs. Felts and started a mental journey through the 100 counties that make up my state. Luckily for me, though, Our State included a little North Carolina map before each entry, with the county colored in. I discovered that I have already been to the Durham choice (Magnolia Grill) and the Wake one (Angus Barn). I just crossed another one off the list this week. The Ex-Ex and I decided to drive down to Washington, NC to visit his parents, my beaux-parents (the French are so nice on this one-- literally my beautiful/handsome parents and I am indeed very lucky- they are the best!). So, magazine in hand, we drove into downtown Washington (Beaufort county) to get lunch at Bill's Hot Dog Stand. This is a no-frills pick'em-up-and-take'em-with-you joint. The three ladies behind the counter could fix these dogs with their eyes closed. The dogs are fried and come with white chili, onions and mustard.
Now, when you tell some people that you love hot dogs, they scrunch up their noses, make a face and demand to know if you actually know what is in one of those things. I just shrug and tell them that I don't care. And I really don't. No lie. These dogs are injected with something spicy, too. A nice touch, I think.
And here's something you don't see very often anymore--
My only suggestion-- these ladies need to put a tip jar on the counter, right next to the cash register. Seriously. They deserve it.
Only 97 more places to check out on our travels across the state...
Bon appétit, Bill's Hot Dogs and Beaufort County!