Abe’s Hot Dogs
780 Wyoming Avenue
Kingston, Pennsylvania
submitted by: “wendyvee”

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.
AD-TA:     Wit?
me:     Oh, ummm, a Diet Coke.
AD-TA:     Pepsi?
me:     Yes, Pepsi is even better.  A Diet Pepsi.
AD-TA:     What?
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?
me:     Yes
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!

Exploring NEPA’S Hot Dog Havens (via The Weekender)

15 thoughts on “Abe’s Hog Dogs

  1. OMG that’s too funny!! First off, I said the exact same thing on the way home from Scranton “it gets dark too early this time of year, nothing fun to look at!”- AND when I was heading home from Scranton the last time – and hungry b/c I had eaten in a diner earlier ( the Bowmanstown Diner – excellent) I also didn’t want to fast food franchise it. I ended up stopping at the Victory Pig in Wyoming and when I told the girl waiting on my table that I had no idea what I wanted ( a wimpie? A tray? A Cut? – what language is this!!) I swear she had that same OH, GOD expression in her voice as the lady you were dealing with. Luckily I managed to order a slice- oops – a CUT of NEPA style pizza, and it was wicked tasty. Thanks for letting us know about Abes!!!

  2. LMAO! I once ended up with a cold slice of tomato-sauce only pizza near Hazelton or Bloomsburg or somewhere like that ‘cuz I didn’t understand the local lingo. Have you visited MD’s eastern shore — I’m convinced the lifers there don’t even speak English. :^)

    1. I drove the cage that day. It was about 34 when I left in the morning. Plus, I knew it would be dark (and possibly colder than that) by the time that I got home.

      I really missed my bike from noon – five,though, because it was a beautiful afternoon!

    1. I wasn’t going to approve your comment because I didn’t think it really added to the conversation. However, upon reflection, I have come to truly recognize the brilliance of your observation. I admit that it took me awhile to truly understand it … you know, because I’m “slow”.

      What I thought was a semi-humorous take on regional accents and customs was simply a demonstration of my lack of intellectual ability. I shall carry the shame with me for the rest of my days.

      Now that you have pointed out my cerebral shortcomings, I think we should always be best friends. You can always feel comfortable telling me how stupid I am — and I can feel comfortable calling attention to how humorless you are. It is a match made in heaven!

      Your new BFF

      – Wendyvee

  3. I would still LOVE to be part of a book about the amazing hot-dog diners of Pennsylvania — they have so much character and charm — but I would just have to be the photographer or french-fry ranker, because I don’t think any of them have Morningstar Veggie Dogs on the menu.

    1. You can be the photographer and co-author!

      I didn’t know that you were a vegetarian. I was once for about 6 months years ago and then I caved.

      Stackpole Books is only a few miles from my house. I’m sure they’ll agree to publish and give us a big advance if I just walk right in LOL

      1. Actually, I’m a pescatarian (since mid 2013), which is basically either (1) a vegetarian who is too lazy to fully commit, or (2) a vegetarian who can’t get angry enough about the inhumane treatment of fish and shrimp to stop eating them.

        Stackpole Books financing plan sounds good. I’ll mark the calendar, lol. 😉

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