The last time I found myself ravenous on the Jersey Turnpike, I got fried chicken from Roy Rogers and was frankly amazed at how good it was. Over the weekend, hunger overwhelmed me again on said road, and this time I availed myself of Nathan’s. There are dozens of Nathan's on Long Island, but I can't remember the last time I ate at one. When the craving for a hot dog sets in, I usually opt for a kosher-style deli.
What I learned at the Walt Whitman rest stop, however, is that Nathan’s hot dog has not suffered from being mass produced on a galactic scale—it’s a juicy, salty, meaty marvel. I even convinced myself that, with its spongy white bun and accompanying sauerkraut, it constituted a fairly balanced meal. Nathan’s fries may be pretty good for frozen, but they are a distant memory of the ones that used to be crinkle-cut, fresh, in the stores.