Breathe deeply and you’ll smell beach air infused with the aroma of a backyard cookout.
And if you can picture a sea of massive three-story 19th Century Victorian mansions adorned in gingerbread trim, picture-perfect manicured lawns and rose flowerbeds, complete with beach cruisers and the latest Range Rovers parked in 30 foot-long driveways…
You’ll be picturing Cape May, New Jersey.
Now, picture a dog spot.
And not just any dog spot…but a top-rated hot dog joint Jersey shore visitors know as Hot Dog Tommy’s.
An eatery with two very distinct traits –
The first is that it’s nestled smack dab in the middle of a 400-year old conservative and historic shore town.
The second is that its owner flat-out refuses to offer his customers seating.
That’s because Hot Dog Tommy’s is a walk-up counter notoriously accompanied by a long line of hungry beach-goers who would much rather pound sand than sit in chairs while they eat.
If you’re like them you’ll do the slow stroll across the street and eat on the beach.
In the off chance that sand and ocean waves aren’t your thing, you can walk your doggies a few feet away along Beach Avenue and find ample bench seating.
Now I should warn you — there is a downside:
Having to decide which one or two or ten of the 30 mouth-watering toppings you want on your hot dog.
Think mashed potatoes, cranberry cole slaw, crunchy onions, or bleu cheese…melted cheddar, maple bacon, buffalo sauce or tortilla strips -- a foodie’s dream!
So be prepared to nominate someone in your group who’s strong enough to carry a fully loaded half-pound sack of first-class Angus goodness.
If calories are a concern, you’ll be happy to know you have your choice of gluten-free, vegan, and leaner wiener options.
And at under $10 each, these delicious hot dogs won’t break your piggy bank.
If you’re like me you check out what other people are saying before you try someplace new. If you do, you’ll see this place is a people pleaser.
Hot Dog Tommy dogs have earned themselves 4.5 out of 5 golden stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, and Foursquare ranks them 8.6 out of 10, with comments like “heaven on a bun” and “most unique hot dog”.
Even though Cape May is a little piece of heaven people travel hundreds of miles to visit, you won’t see the elbow-to-elbow crowds like most other beaches.
Take a lazy stroll around the streets leading to Hot Dot Tommy’s and you’ll enjoy beach side shopping at ice cream parlors, dress boutiques, smoothie bars, and family-friendly arcades.
And because this quiet beach town is also known for its bed & breakfasts, you’ll be hard pressed not to find a cozy place where you’ll be awakened by the scent of blueberry muffins and fresh-brewed coffee.
Right now is the perfect time to visit and here’s why --
Each year for a limited time, Expedia offers unbeatable deals on vacation packages. Right now they’re at it again so book your trip before Tuesday when the deals are set to disappear.
Now is your chance! Prepare to feast on flavor-packed beef links that have reinvented the backyard BBQ as we know it.
Your dogs are waiting… and remember, reviewers do not hold back on the world wide web, so the superb ratings you read are ones you can trust.
I am convinced your Hot Dog Tommy dogs will make your mouth happy and your fingers post on social media.
In fact, I’m so sure you will thoroughly enjoy your hot dogs that I’ll buy them for you.
I know how much I enjoy eating these succulent hot dogs while kicking back on the beach, and I don’t want you to have any reason not to experience all that this popular food stop has to offer.
So come to Cape May and we’ll hit Hot Dog Tommy’s together. I look forward to seeing you soon!