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[Original artwork and photographs: Hawk Krall]

Famous Lunch is an awesome old-school counter joint right off of main street in the small city of Troy, New York, about six miles up the Hudson River from Albany. The dogs here are tiny: slightly larger than a cocktail weenie, about three-inches long and 65 cents each. This is the style here and in nearby Watervliet, where we had similar dogs at Gus's.

Most of these Capitol Region mini-dog spots sell the same grilled Helmbold's hot dogs, but what really sets Famous Lunch apart is their "Zippy Sauce," surprisingly chunky and delicious. The sauce in the NY/PA/NJ area is in the "Greek sauce" family, but much more aggressively spiced, so loaded with paprika and cumin that bright red oil bleeds into the mustard and stains the rolls.

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Famous Lunch has been a Troy landmark since 1932, originally opened as "Quick Lunch." The whole mini-dog thing started with local butcher shops like the Troy Pork Store who supplied Famous with their dogs until they closed their doors a few years ago. Today Helmbold's Meats supplies the dogs, but you can still get butcher made mini dogs at Rolf's Pork Store in Albany, a real-deal old-fashioned German sausage shop that makes their own everything. If you come up here for the dogs, be sure to stop in and bring home some sausage and weiners.

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Besides the dogs—just four for $3, washed down with an ice cold RC Cola—Famous Lunch also makes some serious rice pudding, not to be missed. Grab some to go and take a stroll down the historical streets of downtown Troy.

Famous Lunch

111 Congress Street, Troy New York 12180 (map)
famouslunch.org

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