45 Bowdoin St. Boston; (617) 742-5242
Joe and Nemo, the Hot Dog Kings is the full title and they do seem to hold the hot dog title in this town. Founders Joe Merlino and Anthony Nemo Colligero no longer run the show, but then, the original 50 red hots ain’t around anymore either. Today, behind the State House, sits the sole remaining outpost of a chain that once stretched from Scollay Square to Revere Beach.
What also remains are the steamed Pearl all-beef franks, in the crunchy natural-casing, for $1.40. For a quarter more, you can top your dog with chili or cheese. J & N also grills allbeef, quarter-pound hamburgers ($1.60), to which you can again add various condiments. In fact, a burger with chili and cheese at a whopping $2 is the king of the menu.
There’s something to be said for specialization; the franks are still terrific. For that true old-time experience, enjoy one while standing at a counter along the wall; there are no seats here. This is fast-food from before the phrase was invented. Open weekdays only, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.