Best Five Inches of Pure Beef

Okay, so you have time for one last meal before it all goes to hell. What you gonna do? The answer, of course, is the answer that’s always been the answer, apocalypse or no: hot dog! A San Fernando Valley urban legend holds that a local hippie named Steve who lived at home with his folks in the early ’70s needed a front from which to deal drugs, so he decided to open a hot-dog stand. But Steve wasn’t content with serving the local community the best contraband in the area; he also came up with the finest 5-inch stick of pure beef this side of Chi-town. Steve topped the dogs with mountains of coleslaw, shredded cheese, chili and sauerkraut. Not much has changed in more than three decades: The joint is little more than a dressed-up shack with a Googie-inspired “Wiener Factory” sign on top; it hasn’t been painted since Keith Moon was alive; and the dudes who serve up the wondrous wieners are still cut from Jeff Spiccoli’s cloth. Above all, the dogs remain the best in the city of Los Angeles, bar none, and that includes Pink’s and Carney’s. (Jonathan Gold puts in votes for The Stand and QT’s Chicago Dogs, both in the Valley.) Make it a meal with a side of the scrumptious hot German potato salad and you’ll be free-falling onto Petty’s boulevard with a bounce in your step and a belch in your belly. Get there early. The factory closes most days at 6 p.m. Rumor has it that the ghost of Steve just gets way too freaky for customers after dark.

14917 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 789-2676.


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