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[Original artwork and photographs: Hawk Krall]

Last week we featured mini hot dogs from Famous Lunch in Troy, New York. To keep the slider-sized wieners theme alive, this week I picked Krystal in South Carolina, a chain that could best be described as southern White Castle on crack. Not just mini burgers but also mini chicken sandwiches and these "pups" that far exceeded my expectations.

Fast food hot dogs pretty much go against everything I believe in, but there's something magical about Southern chains. I'm not sure if it's the brightly colored, vaguely retro signs or just the fact that it all seems so foreign, but after days of driving past hundreds of bright yellow down south fast food emporiums I finally broke down.

Krystal's "pups" are tiny two-bite franks cradled in small buns and sloppy with chili and shredded cheddar. Really much more of a Cincinnati-style situation going on with cocoa-spiked chili and shredded cheddar cheese—although the cheese quickly melted down into a Wiz-like goo whereas Cincinnati Coneys magically retain their giant crown of neon orange cheese.

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A nice break during a very slaw-heavy trip, I could have eaten four or five of these, but instead opted for a mini corn pup (pretty good but a bit greasy) a standard Krystal burger (I still prefer White Castle) and a Krystal "Chik" slathered in mayo that was awesome.

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They also crank out some pretty exciting limited-time specials like banana pudding milkshakes (still upset I missed out on that one), crispy onion burgers, and mini chicken bacon clubs.

Krystal Burgers

Multiple locations; krystalist.com

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