Ugh, has this place gone downhill.
I don’t usually write reviews but I just had to let people know about this place, given how horrible my experience was compared to the day before.
When I ate here just one day ago – July 4 – this place was full of energy. There were hundreds of people excitedly cheering and shouting. There were TV cameras. A guy announced my arrival over the PA system like I was a UFC champion. They placed an endless buffet of hot dogs in front of me – that’s what I come here for, always – and it was bedlam.
But today there was none of that. When I tried to run up to the front of the restaurant, people yelled at me like I was doing something unethical. I actually had to go back and wait in line behind a bunch of other people just to get my hot dogs. Ridiculous.
The woman who greeted me at the counter, Luca, said “may I have a name for your order, please?” Really? That’s no way to treat a customer, Luca. I don’t know if you read these reviews, Nathan’s, but this woman deserves to be fired.
When I told her to just bring me as many as I could eat, she said I had to order a specific number of hot dogs. Excuse me – Is there some kind of hot dog shortage in America right now? Was it a “bad year” at all the wiener farms? Guess I missed that news story on CNN, LOL.
Not only that, but they made me give them money. As in, I couldn’t even eat the dogs until I paid for all of them up front, like some sort of criminal racket. Citibank, I’ll definitely be protesting the Nathan’s Famous charges on my credit card.
I decided to buy eight hot dogs. It came out to 45.52, before taxes. I guess that’s not a bad deal, if you think about it. But yesterday they were free. I wish they’d give you a little heads up when they decide to change their pricing structure like that.
Because the vibe was so blah compared to the day before, I sat at my table and ate pretty slowly. I must have lost track of the time, because when I finished my dogs I looked at my watch and realized I had been at the table for a minute and 12 seconds.
It was creepy how chill it was in there. Instead of hearing thunderously loud chants of “GOOO JOOOEEEYYYY!” I had to listen to the woman sitting next to me tell her friend about how it’s harder to make an appointment with her dermatologist than it was six months ago. TMI, lady, TMI. It was so hard to eat in that atmosphere.
Yesterday, there would have been a cute smiling girl standing behind me holding up a sign that said I had eaten 8 hot dogs, but not today. It’s just not the same. They must have had a round of layoffs last night.
Normally, I dip my hot dogs into a big bucket of water so that the buns are thoroughly soaked when I eat them. Today, no buckets. I had to buy a bottle of water. A guy saw me pouring my water out all over my second hot dog and he said “there’s mustard over there, you know.” I don’t know where the dude was from, but literally nobody puts mustard on hot dogs in America. It makes it so much harder to eat. Who has time for that, anyway?
Normally, when I leave Nathan’s, I’m on a high. My heart is racing. Right after I get back to my hotel I vomit my brains out. I literally wretch uncontrollably several times, sometimes even clogging the toilet or making it overflow. Today, after only eating 8 dogs, I went back to my hotel and just felt gross. Has anybody else had the experience of feeling gross after eating only 8 hot dogs? Nobody in my friend group, for sure.
So overall, a terrible experience. I will probably still go back, because the hot dogs are that good. But if you’re going to cut back on all the fanfare and excitement, Nathan’s Famous, maybe offer a side salad. I think that would make me happy.
photo by loozrboy
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Drew is the past tense of draw, which basically explains everything. He has been a regular cartoonist for the New Yorker for over twenty years, in addition to drawing for Wired, Esquire, and various other publications. His first middle-grade book, Elvin Link: Please Report to the Principal’s Office, was published in 2020 by Henry Holt.