Cozy Dog Drive In - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Cozy Dog Drive In

This diner serves Route 66 nostalgia and what it claims is the 'original' hot dog on a stick. 

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As with many iconic American foods, there’s a certain amount of debate as to who invented the corn dog. Pronto Pup, in Oregon claims to have invented the corn dog, although most sources point to Carl and Neil Fletcher, who first battered their wieners at the 1942 Texas State Fair. Then there’s Cozy Dog Drive In, a roadside spot on Route 66 that opened in 1949.

Supposedly, the restaurant’s founder Ed Waldmire Jr. tried a “corn-dog,” or hot dog baked in cornbread, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. After he told a buddy about the idea, they came up with a batter that would stick to a sausage when deep-fried. As Waldmire told his son in 1959, they “made a very tasty hotdog on a stick, that we called a ‘crusty cur.’”

Understandably, the name crusty cur didn’t stick. The duo launched their newly dubbed ‘cozy dogs’ in 1946 at the Lake Springfield Beach House in Illinois. They made their Illinois State Fair debut shortly thereafter. Today, the third-generation family restaurant is in the same location it has been since it relocated in 1996. Baskets of cozy dogs remain popular, whether or not they qualify as the OG corn dog.

 

 

Know Before You Go

The prices here remain impressively inflation-proof. As of publication, a dozen cozy dogs will only set you back $33.

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June 12, 2024

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