Ted’s Hot Dogs

If I were to write a list of “things I know about my Dad” one of them would be the fact that he worked at a hot dog stand in Buffalo, New York after graduating from high school. There are 3 things he’s taught me that he learned from that experience:

  1. How to cook a hot dog. Specifically ways to score or puncture the outside surface (or casing) of the hot dog to ensure even cooking and an attractive finished product.
  2. When returning change to someone, hand it to them, don’t slide it across the counter, because it’ll take them a long time to pick up.
  3. He didn’t want to work at Pat’s for the rest of his life.

That he spent the entirety of his career working at IBM, and yet his summertime stint at Pat’s Charcoal Hots left such an indelible mark is worth taking note.

Pat's Hot Dogs at Sheridan Drive and Parker in Tonawanda, NY on their last day in business in fall of 1984 © William Dick
Pat’s Charcoal Hots © William Dick

Pat’s doesn’t exist any more, not since 1984, but Buffalo’s love of Sahlen’s hot dogs cooked over a charcoal fire lives on in the form of Ted’s Hot Dogs. I remember my Dad taking me to Ted’s during our visits to Buffalo when I was younger and telling me his stories from that summer in 1967. I don’t know if I have my dad to thank, or genetics, but I do love me a good hot dog (Exhibit A, Exhibit B), so I was excited to relive the experience while we had the chance—even given the circumstances.

Ted's Hot Dogs Sign
Ted’s sign
Ted's Hot Dogs grill
Ted’s grill
Ted's Hot Dogs cup with logo
Ted’s cup
Ted's Hot Dogs foot long with famous homemade hot sauce
Ted’s foot long with their famous homemade hot sauce


nice storry ;-)) – and the hot dogs looks great – much better than the hotdogs how are offerd from IKEA stores. Is Ikea in usa also offering this cheap flabbering hot dogs ??


The picture looks great, and I love the Ted’s photos! I live in Missouri and you can’t get charcoal broiled anything….makes me hungry!

Geli, yep, you can get cheap hot dogs at IKEA in the US (as well as swedish meatballs). In fact Stephanie and I will need to visit IKEA soon, so maybe we’ll take some pictures. I wonder how/if they change their menu for different countries.

Bill, thanks again for letting me use what appears to be the only photo (that I could find) of Pat’s on the web! Not to be confused with another Pat’s. Hope you get back to Buffalo sometime for some real “charcoal hots”.

hi justin – i didn’t think – that they change the menue.. i never visit the indoor restaurant of ikea its normaly located between all the furniture – and after you payed at the ceckout they offer hotdogs and softice – also some swedish specialities – just like cakes, cookies. You get a hotdog in the roll – and than you can add onions, cucumpers, mustard and ketchup ;-)) – i prefer to add all of this – it makes the hot dog sausage tastless *ha..ha..* and i have to tell you – all mans hat to visit ikea with there girls ;-))) the fact : all the stuff in the uper floor …

…sorry – my bad english.. i mean the staff downstairs ;-))


And I’ve raised the quality of the scoring of a hot dog after working there to using a sharp knife and forming an intricate cross-hatch pattern on our hot dogs. [But be careful not to nick your fingers when you do this – this has always been a worry of mine but so far I still have all ten digits unlike some of my relatives but that another story] Originally the scoring was done for several reasons, one of which was to insure that the insides were heated/cooked quickly on the grill-line since each hot dog had a casing, and second, this made them more tasty IMHO because the casing was browned and crisped. I have always wanted to further raise the scoring from cross-hatching to actual art – maybe a retirement opportunity, who knows!

Dad, I see an illustrated blog post in your future…!


I worked there the summer of my senior year at Bennett 1958 and my 1st summer coming back home from college. The worst assignment Tasty Freeze. The best, working till 1 AM Sat and then partying till 3, then Sherkston Quarry. I could tell a few stories from there some are Xrated but most are just fun. Go Tigers.




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