Walter’s is fun just to look at. Opened in 1919, it resembles a pagoda, complete with lanterns hanging off the edges of the roof. On a sign over the road, letters that spell out W-A-L-T-E-R-S at first appear to be the elegant brushstrokes of Asian calligraphy. On close inspection, the brushstrokes turn out to be facsimiles of hot dogs.
Yes, hot dogs are the thing to eat – the only entrée on the menu. Diminutive tubes of pork, beef, and veal made from an original recipe developed by founder Walter Warrington, they are split nearly in half and grilled until brown and light-crusted. The iron on which they grill is spread with Walter’s secret sauce, a clear, buttery dressing that gets sucked into the pink meat of the wiener and gives it a soft taste that many East Coast frankfurter connoisseurs consider to be the world’s best.
The grilled dogs are nestled in toasted buns; and there is only one condiment to consider: mustard. This is Walter’s own mustard, a dark blend dotted with tiny bits of pickle. Two or three hot dogs and a side of French fries (or spicier curly fries) are a memorable meal. Soft drinks are available, but do note that behind the counter is a vintage malt powder dispensing machine; Walter’s chocolate malts are superb. Also, Walter’s offers Cowboy Shakes — they are made with six scoops of ice cream instead of the usual four.
Service is strictly walk-up, rain or shine; seating is limited to a grove of picnic tables and a grassy lawn adjacent to the restaurant.