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Flo's Hot Dogs - huge dissapointment!

Maybe my expectations were too high, but I couldn't believe how average I thought Flo's Hot Dogs on Rt.1 in Cape Neddick, Maine, were. It was one of our last stops on our long weekend trip to Oqunquit and I had seen Samantha Brown rave about this place on her TV show, which in turn led me to read glowing reviews everywhere on the Internet about this being one of the 10 best hot dogs in the country, if not the best. The hot dog itself was not unlike any hotdog you can buy at the supermarket, and her signature relish was just 'eh' - not bad but nothing to get excited about.

Me, my girlfriend, and our two friends all agreed it wasn't a bad hot dog, but the fact that this place has constant lines around the door and waits up to two hours, on top of the national press and notoriety is something we'll never understand. I'm from Western Mass and think Nick's Nest in Holyoke, or even a dog from Rondeau's in Palmer easily surpass what we had today. I realize I'm in the minority with my opinion so maybe I'm the weird one!

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  1. I’ve been to Flo’s a number of times. I’ve tried the mustard-hot sauce combo, the hot sauce-mayo combo, plain, etc. The dogs, themselves, remind me a bit of Rhode Island “wieners” in taste and consistency though they’re different in that the buns are steamed and the dogs boiled.

    I guess a lot of people go for the experience, having to stand in line while the woman behind the counter places the buns in the steamer and takes the order of about 10 to 15 people then prepares the dogs and collects the money en masse. She’s sort of mildly pleasant, yet New Englandy standoffish and everyone feels the tension of wanting to “fit in” and not be regarded as a tourist (though most of us are). This is one of those places that the culinary tourist must try at least once to add another notch to their belt. Standing in line one can imagine the thousands of people that have visited and done the exact same thing for many years prior, all stressed out trying to comprehend how to order.

    The last time I was there I told myself never again will I stand waiting in this cramped little space and pay for a just slightly above average dog to help pay for the lady’s annual timeshare in Aruba (though I also told myself the same thing the time before that).

    1 Reply
    1. re: bewley

      To be accurate, proper RI New York System weiners have steamed buns too, though the weiners themselves are not steamed.

    2. I have been to Flo's on several occasions and I totally agree that it a very overrated experience and hot dog.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Delhiwala

        I agree as well. I've posted here and on other forums about Flo's. It's one of the 3 most overated hot dog joints I've been to. The other 2 are Walter's in N.Y. and Hot Dog Johnny's in N.J. Flo's used to use a mild, bordering on bland dog from Schutz, which closed down. Currently they use an equally mild dog that is steamed or boiled, which is not the best way to bring out the flavor in a mild beef/pork dog. I haven't had their popular relish as there are onions in it. Also mayonaise.

      2. I liked it. We went early, after having breakfast buffet at our hotel down the road, before driving back to Hartford. Noone was in line and I was the only one there. We just got a single hot dog, and when asked how I wanted it, I just said 'however you make them.'

        I think it had mayo, their special sauce, and celery salt. I think.

        Amazing? No. Better than average? Hell yeah.

        1. Spent years driving by this place to head for our favorite Chili Dog at Perkins Cove at the Lobster Shack - still amazing after all these years. Flo schmo - finally stopped and cannot believe the hype - mediocrity at its worst. And the mayo thing? That's the magic? I will never understand the hoopla of Flo's. Go to Perkins Cove and feel good having an affordable chili dog amongst the lobster roll and chowdah tourists spending top dollar.

          1. steamed dog are steamed dogs...sauce or not...lived in Kittery for a bit...never went.

            My vote for a dog?

            Wassues in Belfast....cooked on the grill swimming in peanut oil and chopped onions.......slice of bacon......yum.

            If i get the inkling....some of that cheese wiz......stuff just melts the syeamed bun...grrr

            3 Replies
              1. re: westernmaine

                Do they keep the onions and bacon on the grill at all times, kind of like diner home fries?

                1. re: westernmaine

                  Wasses is also in Rockland. Nice dog too. The things that makes dogs special are either if they are made local and not commercial or the preparation. Wasses to me is all about the prep.

                  Yet to do the hot dog pilgrimage tour, still working on all the clam, crab, lobster shacks in New England all the great places I hope Food Network never finds!