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It requires neither reservations nor a gold-level credit limit. it resists the gentrification that has made a mockery of the hamburger (you won’t find a $41 frank on anybody’s menu). The hot dog endures both for its simplicity and its ease of embellishment. The classic add-ons are free, or close to it. Along with the ice cream cone and the pizza slice, the hot dog is one of America’s great one-handed foods. Like the other two, it can be messy to eat, but as this 1949 Palisades Park photo shows, the task can be handled with charm and finesse. Dignity goes out the window, but elegance? Not necessarily, as generations of dog devotees dabbing the corners of their mouths with paper napkins can attest.
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