Crossing the Orange Curtain to visit Pink’s

Today’s post isn’t really about colors. It is about crossing borders and eating hot dogs.

On a sunshiny Saturday morning we set out for Los Angeles. We live in Orange County, California, which has a very different culture from Los Angeles. While our destination was only 40 miles away, it might as well have been across the country.

The freeway traffic was light as we ventured north on the 5 Freeway. When we got to the border of Orange County and Los Angeles County, we came to an abrupt stop and suffered stop-and-go traffic all the way into L.A. While it is usually expected during weekday rush hour traffic, it was extremely frustrating to spend two hours on a Saturday morning in gridlock.

You are probably wondering why we went on this serendipitous adventure to the corner of Melrose and La Brea, just down the street from Paramount Pictures. This past week we saw a re-run of Huell Howser’s, California Gold program. On that segment he visited a Hollywood legend since 1939, Pink’s – famous for chili dogs for 74 years. He delivered such a powerful message we decided we just had to see this legend and taste their hot dogs.

“History of Pink’s Famous Chili Dogs

Pink’s is probably the most famous hot dog stand in the country…certainly in Los Angeles! It has been in the same location for 74 years. It is not unusual to see a Rolls Royce pull up to Pink’s (the chili dog ordered will be for the occupant, not the chauffeur). Movie stars, well-known dignitaries, struggling musicians, businessmen, housewives, school children…all have savored Pink’s Famous Chili Dogs.

Paul & Betty Pink started their hot dog stand in 1939. It was only a large-wheeled pushcart in those days. The depression was on and money was scarce. Pink’s Chili Dogs, complete with a large warm bun, oversized hot dog, mustard, onions and thick chili sold for 10 cents each. His hot dog wagon was located in “the country” among the weeds, rolling hills and open spaces…that was the corner of La Brea and Melrose 74 years ago!

Times have changed, but not at Pink’s. In 1946 Paul & Betty traded in their hot dog wagon for a small building (constructed on the very same spot where the wagon had stood). But the stand hasn’t changed since those days. Pink’s still gives that very same quality and quantity…mouth-watering chili, generously topping an all-beef hot dog with mustard and onions. Pink’s now offers over 30 varieties of hot dogs and 12 combinations of hamburgers. Pink’s has not only survived for 74 years, but has become famous. Pink’s Hot Dog stand is a quick lunch, a nostalgic trip into the past, and a delicious experience. It is definitely a landmark in Hollywood.”

We did enjoy our hot dogs, onion rings, and root beer. Would we do it again (two hours driving in L.A. traffic – not counting the return trip)? – no!

Imagine our chagrin when we read on the menu that they have several other locations – one being in Orange County at Knott’s Berry Farm!


Source:  Pink’s, A Hollywood Legend since 1939,