The Story Behind the Name.
Started back in 1939 as a pushcart vendor near the corner of La Brea and Melrose, Pink’s Hot Dogs is an LA institution that has been featured in many movies including the Muppets.
In fact, back in the eighties, long before I ever set foot in LA, I remember hearing about how Madonna met her then husband Sean Penn while standing in line at this very restaurant.
The iconic food venue, celebrating 75 years this month has expanded over time and offers their fantastic service in several other locations like Ohio, San Diego, Connecticut and Las Vegas as well as operating stalls at many southern California summer fairs.
The original Hollywood eatery we like to frequent was built in 1946 and is a relatively small but quaint place for diners to come and get their hot dog fix.
The indoor area walls are decorated with a growing number of photos of celebrities who stopped by and enjoyed the food.
It’s perfect for antsy children to explore while their parents are dining while the outdoor ‘patio’ area with tables further apart and plenty of shade under the large beach umbrellas, is quieter and better suited for special needs families.
The Pink dining experience starts while waiting in line.
It moves surprisingly fast considering how long the lines can be at times.
Before you even order your food, you get to look at how the food venue evolved through the decades and choose your hot dog from their extensive menu.
Can you believe that there are 31 different varieties to choose from?
Our son with autism who hates standing in line for anything enjoys checking out the old photos displayed and chatting with fellow customers.
The colorful menu provides not only written descriptions but pictures too.
As well as offering hot dogs, burgers( including a burger dog combo called ‘Jaws’), must try side dishes like chili fries and onion rings to go; they even have desserts.
Portions are on the large side so younger children can share a hot dog with a sibling. With prices ranging from a basic dog at just over four bucks to a three dog extravaganza that is ten dollars and change, the prices are very affordable.
As the leading hot dog eatery in Hollywood, many of their combos are named after the celebrity that created them.My son picked the ‘ Martha Stewart’ a dog with mustard, relish, onion, chopped tomato, sauerkraut, bacon and sour cream and the ‘Ozzy’ a spicy Polish hot dog with nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onion, guacamole and chopped tomato as his favorites.
Mine turned out to be the Philly cheese steak dog with grilled steak, grilled peppers, onions topped with American and Swiss cheese as well as the 9-inch stretch dog with mustard, onions, cheddar cheese topped with a generous helping of tasty chili called the “Brando,” yes, named for Marlon.
They even have Souvenirs
For the out-of-towners who wish to remember the visit, as well as the collectors among you, be sure to check out their cute souvenirs especially the pins, shirts and beaded bag in the form of a hot dog.
Autism Travel Tips
What makes Pink’s, even more, unique is the owners’ dedication to helping special needs families.
Not only have the Pink family and their establishments been very active in many local charity events but their autism awareness is commendable.
During the interview with the owner, I mentioned that some patrons with autism might not be able to wait in line to order food. Both him and his lovely sister assured me that if customers call and place their order by phone a few minutes in advance, the restaurant’s servers will ensure that the food is ready by the time they arrive so they won’t have to wait at all!
Disclaimer: All or part of this experience were provided free or at a reduced cost for review purposes.All opinions are solely that of the writer and cannot be bought or swayed in any away.