Category: Ride to Eat

The 200-Mile Hot Dog and Other Mental Afflictions

The 200-Mile Hot Dog and Other Mental Afflictions

One of the things I contemplate often, especially recently, is the reasons why I commit myself to ride or drive around looking at…stuff. What’s the actual point? Why do I mark a place on a map hundreds of miles away to go and look at a sign, or a statue, or eat a donut?

Is the hot dog that is 200 miles away from home really any more tasty than the one in town, or heaven forbid, the one I could make at home? The answer is of course, yes. And, no.

File Under: It’s Not the Destination it’s the Journey

You can argue, and sometimes I do, that it is the actual journey that makes that 200-mile hot dog delicious. It is the life that is experienced in the space between your front door and the mustard that really matters. I mean, what else is there if not life experiences?

The sheer number of thoughts and ideas that are sparked by a 200-mile ride are myriad! Maybe it is on that ride that you will witness the most memorable sunrise of your life, or find the thread to finally begin writing your book, or snap your greatest photograph.

Holydog hot dogs in middletown new york - outside of building

Cue deranged thoughts: If I don’t go I’ll never have another unique experience, an inspired thought, and all of my chances with the universe will dry up because I was presented with an opportunity and I’ll be punished because I didn’t take it!

Or maybe I’ll just be going through the motions and see nothing interesting at all and will be bored and kick myself because I could be comfortably sitting in my favorite chair watching Jersey Shore reruns instead of sitting in traffic.

The Curse of Magical Thinking

It is this type of magical thinking that when taken to the extreme, has pressured me with irrational feelings of FOMO. If I don’t go, I could be missing out on “x.” This fear of missing out has a steep downside that doesn’t typically get framed as such. For the most part it is observed positively with only the highlight reel in focus. What could possibly be bad about having travelled thousands of miles looking at cool stuff?!

But when gritty reality comes knocking we learn that nothing comes without a cost, the value of which only has meaning to the person who has to empty their pockets to pay it.

For me, this constant motion kept me avoidant and unable to relax. There is an all consuming ripple effect and human toll to that.

Holydog hot dogs in middletown new york - inside grill

When used for good my obsessive personality has generally served me well. It’s been the butt of jokes, “ahahaha, you’re totally obsessed with…,” that even I chuckled at prior to understanding myself better. And it’s made me strive for things and helped me to achieve personal goals.

On the flip side, when my obsessions are self-destructive they implode my life. I think riding motorcycles and traveling have long served as a bandage to stop my internal bleeding. While I kept my eyes trained on consuming “positive” experiences it has been easy to ignore unhandled traumas.

Unfortunately one of the funny things about suppressed feelings that need attention is how patient they are. They don’t go away. They wait.

eating Holydog hot dogs in the car in middletown new york

For years I’ve wondered whether my love of riding motorcycles is equally as rooted in escapism as it is in the actual act of riding. Perhaps the motorcycle really is the perfect vehicle for someone like me because it caters to those of us who dwell in avoidant behaviors. It’s just you in your helmet at the controls – an autonomous being.

In its most natural application, you don’t glance over and chitchat with someone sitting beside you or sip a soda as you cruise along on your motorcycle. It’s just the solitary act of doing this activity which requires you being fully present.

“You’re like a shark, if you don’t keep moving you’ll die.” This sentence uttered about me has been firmly lodged in my brain for years. It ping-pongs around in my thoughts lately because it is in stark contrast to my current reality.

My pendulum swings wide never comfortably settling in the middle. Where the weight had been stuck firmly for years on the keep moving side, things have dramatically changed.

holydog hotdog - danish dog - remoulade, mustard, pickles, ketchup,

I go through periods of wanting to go, go, go which are then offset by episodes of paranoid isolating and not leaving the house for long stretches of time. And when I’m in at-home mode, I simultaneously feel safe and that it’s what I need to be doing – and a burning self-hatred because there is a muffled voice inside of me that wants to send me screaming from the front door to just be out… there.

Needing to feel grounded, to be home, to be what I see as the opposite of curious, shines a light on what I’ve decided is my emotional weakness. Coming to terms with that weakness burns.

In some ways it is like I am at odds with the person I’d set myself up to be and existed as for decades, and the person I actually am. My reality has fallen short of my expectations. That is the earmark of failure, isn’t it?

However, when it comes to my thoughts about other people who might be going through a similar experience, I wouldn’t think of them as failures at all. I’d think they just want a different path than they’d originally thought. The measuring stick which I use for myself and the one I use for others is very different.

Maybe I should head out across 3 states for a donut and consider the matter some more.

Ride to Eat: Tuesday Night Supper Club – Burgerology

Ride to Eat: Tuesday Night Supper Club – Burgerology

Burgerology – My Favorite Degree!

On Tuesday nights, I try to meet up with friends to get out and get some air on the bikes. This usually involves a little riding, a little eating, lots of laughing and shit-talking. Burgerology in Huntington was a perfect fit.

yamaha fz07 in huntington new york

Here on Long Island, we have tons of places that now offer outside dining. It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to push us in this direction, but I’m happy we’re here. We’ve been sorely lacking a thriving outdoor cafe culture for far too long.

Burgerology now offers sidewalk seating!

burgerology huntington new york

Now, I’m not usually one for posting food photos (donuts don’t count) but this mac & cheese bacon burger on a pretzel bun with truffle fries was really good and I thought you should know about it 🙂

burgerology mac and cheese burger huntington new york

The burger was so good in fact, that when I spotted it on the menu and said so out loud, someone immediately copied me and ordered the same thing.

As is my right by the ancient laws of restaurant dining, I made sure to tell the waiter that I saw it first and that I was indeed being copied. The waiter, caring deeply with every fiber in his soul, looked at me sympathetically. Or, it might have been the look of who gives a shit? It was dark out.

baby yoda mural in huntington new york

As if the Mac & Cheese burger weren’t enough of a reason to hit this place up ~ on the back-side of the Burgerology building, there is a knockout mural painted by Andaluz the Artist, featuring Baby Yoda holding a cheeseburger. Does it get any better than this?

Amazing food, great artwork and a ride on your motorcycle? A win all the way around!

baby yoda burgerology yamaha fz07 in huntington

Not only did my order get copied, but this guy cockblocked my photo opportunity! Man, with friends like this… 😀

George’s Coney Island – Worcester, Massachusetts

George’s Coney Island – Worcester, Massachusetts

On the way home from Lynn, Massachusetts, where I visited the greatest mural ever, I made a pit stop in Worcester to “eat here and get gas,” as it were. After filling up my tank I filled up my belly with the works (hold the onions).

What is Coney Island’s secret? The between-wars ambiance of the building. The unapologetically splendiferous sign. The secret chili sauce. The American love affair with the hot dog. All may have had a part to play in the business’ success…

And a splendiferous sign, it is. The first time I ever saw it in a photograph online, I just knew one day I”d have to visit.

The hot dogs were tasty. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed them the whole 100+ mile back to the ferry. #heartburn

I enjoyed my trip to Coney Island and I forsee stopping in again. They’ve been servin’ up dogs since 1918, so I guess plenty of people feel the same.

George’s Coney Island
158 Southbridge St.
Worcester, MA 01608


New Haven Pit Stop – Louis’ Lunch

New Haven Pit Stop – Louis’ Lunch

A few weeks ago, Kenny and I stopped by Louis’ Lunch, “the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich” in New Haven, Connecticut. A joint that’s been slingin’ the same patties since 1895 must be doing something right, right? I figured it was worth a look-see.

While the burger wasn’t my thing, I loved the potatoe salad. And the ambiance can’t be beaten if you’re interested in nostalgic eateries. Watching their throwback toaster and their burger broilers in action is a unique experience.

The restaurant is small and I’ve read the line can be out the door and the wait for food, quite long. Kenny and I lucked out, walking right up to the counter to order. But while we waited for our noms, the place filled wall-to-wall in a blink.

Know before you go: Cash only and you get the burger their way. It’s served on white toast, medium-rare, with the choice of the following toppings: cheese, onion, and tomato. Don’t even think about asking for ketchup or fries, you will be killed.

Louis’ Lunch
261 Crown Street
New Haven, CT 06511-6611

Hillbilly Hotdogs in Lesage, West Virginia

Hillbilly Hotdogs in Lesage, West Virginia

A Road Food Oasis Like No Other

While cruising along the Ohio River on my way to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, I made a pit stop at the glorious Hillbilly Hotdogs. If you’re ever in the area, it is not to be missed.

Previously, I posted about a postcard from my friend Chris after his visit to Hillbilly Hotdogs. Seeing the place with my own eyes and enjoying the experience first hand was somethin’ else. I’ll tell you what, this place is worth the trip!

hillbilly hotdogs postcard

Walking up the driveway is a feast for the eyes. With layer upon layer of stuff all over, you don’t quite know where to look first.

After my first pass around the property, it was time to sample the hot dogs. The only problem being that I couldn’t quite figure out where and how to order something. The place is so jampacked full of nooks and crannies, it takes a minute to get your bearings and find the actual door.

welcome to hillbilly hotdogs

The ambiance of Hillbilly Hotdogs is unparalleled. I dined at a picnic table next to a hanging toilet seat. How many times in your life can you say you’ve done that? Since it looked like a horseshoe, I thought it might bring me luck.

Chris mentioned that he’d waited online for something like an hour to get his food when visiting on a weekend.

As you can see from the photo below – lunchtime on a random Tuesday in September is the time to stop in. There was only 1 couple in front of me.

Fuzzy is the bomb!

This weddin’ chapel seemed perfect to me. Perhaps because Kenny and I were married in a bar by an ordained minister named Catfish.

hillbilly hotdogs wedding chapel

And this, the pièce de ré·sis·tance, was my lunch. Say hello to the Strictly Business dog, hold the onions. It featured coleslaw, jalapenos, fried spam, shredded cheese, mustard, and a deep-fried weenie tucked into that bun.

The good luck toilet seat must’ve worked since I didn’t get heartburn or any other stomach distress from eating it. A Christmas miracle.

the strictly business dog from hillbilly hotdogs


Hillbilly Hot Dogs
6951 Ohio River Rd.
Lesage, WV