If you follow RoadsideWonders, you know that I tried to fit a whole lot of “wonder snagging” into one afternoon in the Scranton area the weekend before last. I met some new friends at the Glider Diner in Scranton, spent way too much time at Olde Good Things (a wonderful place just doors from The Glider … more on OGT later), explored Scranton’s downtown area, and then found myself facing the harsh fact that the sun goes down way too early in mid-November.
By the time I started hunting-down Wilkes Barre’s giant cow, it had been hours since lunch at the diner and I was hungry. Going through a drive-thru window while on a road-trip is just about a cardinal sin for me, but in the interest of outrunning the sun by just a few more minutes I opted to try Abe’s Hot Dogs drive-thru window. If I had to save time, I felt less guilty about doing so at Abe’s than at “Micky-D’s”.
Now, the Scranton/Wilkes Barre region is just a little more than 2 hours from my home … so I wasn’t expecting that I would have a cultural communication problem when ordering a hot dog. I was wrong. You see, I didn’t realize that Abe’s is famous for hot dogs with “special chili sauce”, onions, cheese, and relish. So, if you want one “with everything” … you want one “Wit”.
What follows is my drive-thru conversation as closely as I remember it …
Abe’s Drive-Thru Attendant (AD-TA): Can I take your order?
me: Yes, I’d like 1 hot dog, please.
me: Oh, ummm, a Diet Coke.
me: Yes, Pepsi is even better. A Diet Pepsi.
me: Yes, a Diet Pepsi, please.
AD-TA: Ok, you want a Diet Coke.
Ya’ want your hot dog Wit?
<by now I’m getting the sense that something is amiss>
Me: Ummm, yes? I want it with my soda.
AD-TA: No. Your hot dog … ya’ wannit’ Wit?
me: <silence> I’m quite sure that there was a sigh coming from inside …. but I didn’t actually hear it — so Kudos for Abe’s patient customer service!
AD-TA: <spoken very slowly to benefit the poor slob who is ordering>
What do you want on your hot dog?
me: OOOOhhh! Ummm, ketchup.
AD-TA: JUST ketchup??
me: <terrified uncertainty in my voice> Ummm, yes. Just ketchup.
AD-TA: You only want ketchup?
AD-TA: 1 hot dog (just ketchup) …. <and this is when you could tell she really just wanted this order to be over>
me: Oh, and do you know how far I am from the Giant Cow?
AD-TA: Excuse me?
me: The Giant Cow … am I close?
Now, I don’t claim to have actually heard her head hit the counter inside … but I’m sure it must have!
If you visit:
Brush-up on your North East PA “speak” and also be specific about which “Abe’s” you want to enjoy. As far as I can discern, there are two separate “Abe’s Hot Dogs” chains, and each has several locations in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre, Mountain Top area. There are fans of both chains who fight vehemently about which Abe’s is the best.
Check the link at the bottom of this post. It might clear things up. Or not 🙂
A Peek Through The Window … So cool that I promise I’ll go inside next time!