Let's Do Lunch: Hot dogs!

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Melissa Pratt, manager of a hot dog cart stationed near the Campus Center and Cavanaugh Hall, displays a hot dog with mustard, ketchup, onions, cheese and relish. Photo by Tim Brouk, IU Communications

Pleasant spring weather is -- possibly, maybe -- here, which allows for outside dining opportunities for lunch.

Since mid-March, a hot dog cart maintained by Mr. and Mrs. Food Service Mobile Concessions has been serving up dogs, bratwurst and walking tacos across from the Campus Center on University Boulevard -- weather dependent, of course.

"It's snowed a few times since we've been out here," said Melissa "Mrs. Food Service" Pratt, who's been in the hot dog stand business for most of 30 years.

Pratt and her stand will be at their station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Friday, April 26 and 27, before taking a break in May. The stand will then return for summer sessions from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and again in the fall. 

The smell of the hot dogs, chili and onions is intoxicating. On brisk days, the steam from the cooking hot dogs can be seen from University Hall.

Top sellers are the jumbo beef frank and the walking taco, the classic State Fair staple: a small bag of original Fritos corn chips is opened at the top, and the chips inside are covered with nacho cheese, chili, jalapeños and onions. Customers use a fork to dig out the zesty goodness right from the Fritos bag.

The dogs, brats and sausages are served piping hot and with a choice of toppings. Ketchup, mustard, onion, relish and banana peppers are free, while chili, cheese, jalapeños and sauerkraut cost extra.

"It's something a little different, and it's a reminder that spring is here," Pratt said. 

Maybe. Probably …