Mel's Hot Dogs, Tampa
When we first moved to Florida, this is one of the very first unique places that people steered us to, especially after hearing that Ed lived in Chicagoland for a while. Vienna Beef hot dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches and close to Busch Gardens, what could be better?
Well, if I'm perfectly honest, the price. The price could be a LOT better. We got two average size dogs, not even coney length, no extra meats on them, and having one as a combo, one drink and a small order of onion rings set me back almost 18 bucks. I was kicking myself that I didn't talk GameTeen into going to Tijuana Flats, or go to his first suggestion, Five Guys, because we would have left either place stuffed to the gills for a few bucks less.to the gills for a few bucks less.
Yes, those prices are for only the sandwich. I've spent less for burgers at sit down establishments. (I know, I am harping on the price.)
These dogs are boiled and placed into a steamed poppy seed bun. You can get a variety of toppings, and I opted for mustard, onions and sauerkraut (the Mel's), while GameTeen opted for a plain dog with ketchup and mustard.
I was worried that splitting an order of fries might not be enough, so I got a small order of onion rings. Oh yeah, the combo-it's either beans or cole slaw and those fries. I didn't state my choice, so mine came with cole slaw. It's slightly sweet, slightly mustardy. I liked it.
The onion rings are made to order and were nice and crisp. They had good flavor, and the fries were hot, crispy and slightly salty, which is perfect, IMO.
I still can't get over my sticker shock and paying the usury rates you get at a ball park, though.