Posted Jun 4th, 2019 in Foodie Fodder
If you’re looking for a restaurant with a solid reputation worthy of its almost 30-year history, look no further than Louie’s Hot Dogs in Downtown Wilmington.
In 1989, Louis North started selling hot dogs from a street stand before he bought his own place downtown. Years later, the business moved to its current location on Princess Street, a place Louis often referred to as “the smallest business in downtown.” With the premises being just over six feet wide, he could be right! However, people who know Louie’s Hot Dogs will attest that great things come from small places.
The menu board lists 20 delicious ways to dress your “dog” and when the topic of conversation turns to ways to serve hot dogs, the question on people’s minds is always, “ketchup or mustard?”
Believe it or not, there is actually a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC) that determines correct hot dog etiquette. According to the NHDSC, the general rule of thumb is don’t use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18…mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable. Many other rules are outlined.
Mary Garner, the current owner of Louie’s Hot Dogs says the most important rule to her is that the customers enjoy their hot dogs. Customers can choose from 100 percent beef, turkey, vegetarian, pork sausage or even jalapeno-cheddar for the protein.
Each menu item has a story. The most popular hot dog ordered is the “Mr. Brown.” Named after an employee who came with the business when she bought it from Louis, this hot dog is “all-the-way,” southern style so it is served dressed with mustard, ketchup, chili, onions and slaw.
Another menu item came from a customer who always placed a custom order for a hot dog dressed with ketchup, mayo, cheese, bacon and coleslaw. After several visits, she asked why her variation was not featured on the menu and was told the whole menu would have to be re-written. The following week, Mary was surprised by the delivery of a new menu board that included the lady’s custom order named, “Scurvy Dog.”
That same menu board still hangs on the wall today…alongside a picture of Mary with one of Wilmington’s most famous hot dog lovers—Mayor Bill Saffo. If you’re looking for a recommendation, endorsement by Wilmington’s Mayor goes a long way!
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Fri, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m., Sat, 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m., Sun, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Louie's Hot Dogs
204 1/2 Princess St
Wilmington, NC 28401