The Hot Dog Shack
Is there anything better than a summer day at the beach? I love living within an hour of a great beach in South Haven. For reasons beyond our control, we just haven’t been able to make it over this year as much as we’d like to.
This past weekend, we were finally able to get to South Beach for an afternoon. We got there a little before noon and swam and played in the sand for almost two hours before L started to get exhausted. To get her back to the car, we promised her we’d stop and get ice cream on the way home. We were going to do so in South Haven, but downtown is too far to walk with an overly tired toddler and parking on a busy weekend isn’t very easy either.
Instead, we started heading back towards Kalamazoo. On the way too the beach, we passed a place in Bangor that advertised ice cream and hamburgers….something for everyone.
The Hot Dog Shack has been open about six months on the east side of Bangor. I always remembered seeing the place as a Mexican restaurant called El Palenque. We never stopped there, but it always stood out as a large red pole building just on the edge of town.
Surprisingly, L stayed awake for the drive back to Bangor, so we lived up to our promise and stopped in for ice cream. I hadn’t eaten lunch yet because we stopped at McDonalds in Bangor on the way to the beach to get something little for L so she wouldn’t be going to the beach hungry. I’m somewhat forced to eat fast food a lot during the week at work, so I passed and just went hungry until we could get someplace better.
The Hot Dog Shack isn’t a fancy restaurant. For such a large building, the dining room is kind of small. There are several old restaurant tables in the space which also has an ice cream case which is where J and L headed off to right away.
I stopped at the door and looked over the large menu hanging on the wall. I was pretty hungry by the time we got back to Bangor, so I was happy to see hamburgers on the menu….and not just any hamburgers. According to the sign board out in front of the store, the “Best Burgers in Bangor.” I have nothing to really compare them to. I’ve only eaten at one other place in Bangor.
I ordered the 1/2 lb cheeseburger and added on bacon ($.60) and fries ($2.00). I got the burger plain although they do have a large list of toppings if you like to ruin burgers with things like lettuce and mayo.
I told the guy taking my order that we were going to get ice cream too, but he wanted to ring up my order and get the ticket back to the kitchen. He said he’d someone else out to take care of J and L. The bill for my meal was just a little over $9 which I paid for with cash.
Once my burger was on the grill, a different lady came out of the kitchen to get ice cream for J and L. We let L pick out her own and she picked the rainbow sherbet. She liked the colors, so we got her a bowl of it which was two scoops. She ate a good portion of it and didn’t really like that I stole a couple bites.
J got two scoops in a sugar cone. Not really sure what flavors she got, but they were two large scoops perched precariously on top of the small cone. The two ice cream snacks cost a little over $5 which J also paid for with cash.
It took less than 10 minutes for my order to be handed to me. We headed outside to a picnic table out back to finish eating.
I started in with the fries because everything in the Styrofoam container was hot and fresh made. I couldn’t pick the burger up yet and even eating the fries at that point was a bit of a challenge. I took small bites because I was so hungry I just couldn’t wait for it to cool down.
The fries weren’t anything too special. They were frozen restaurant fries. There was a large portion and I ate half before starting in on the burger before coming back to finish the fries.
The burger was very delicious. It was two fresh patties with cheese in between the layers. The bacon that was added on was chopped up in to little pieces and it was very crispy. The fresh beef patties make all the difference. The meat is juicy and tender and so full of flavor. I haven’t eaten every burger in Bangor to tell you if the sign out front is right or not, but this burger was very good.
When we passed The Hot Dog Shack on the way to South Haven, I was thinking to myself, “we should stop there.” I didn’t really think we would, but I’m glad J suggested it as a place to get ice cream. The burger was very good…which is funny coming from a place that specializes in hot dogs…heck, I haven’t even talked about them in this blog because the burger was so good, even if I liked hot dogs I would tell you to get the burger.