The Red Sox batter steps up to the plate with two outs and bases loaded. The bat cracks a sixth-inning fastball, sending it sailing into the stands as the crowd leaps to its feet. All that excitement can sure make a fan hungry.
This can only mean one thing: an all-American Fenway Park hot dog. While you don’t have to head to Boston to bite into this tasty tradition, you will have to go north – as in North Myrtle Beach. That’s where you’ll find the humble hot dog shack called Gary’s, one of the only places in South Carolina where you can get Fenway dogs, according to owners Chris and Jamie Whitt. That’s because they use Kayem “Old Tyme” franks, the very ones served in the legendary ballpark. With dogs that can claim that kind of pedigree, it’s understandable the Whitts are renaming the business “Fenway Grille” beginning January 2018.
“We want a name that more closely represents our hot dogs, though we’ve got lots of other items that are just as great,” Chris said. “Gary’s is an institution around here, and we aim to make sure our operation remains a favorite with visitors and locals.”
While Gary’s has been around a while, it was acquired by the Whitts in March 2017 and remains as popular as ever. One-time operators of popular food truck, the couple moved their family to the beach from Sanford, NC, bringing with them a history of masterful hot-doggery. Their dogs earned them recognition on TV programs like “Carnival Eats” and “Eating American with Anthony Anderson.”
“We make our own chili, our own coleslaw and even our own Thousand Island dressing,” noted Chris, a retired firefighter.
Hot dog aficionados – this is your haven. You’ll find savory tube steak tucked into steamy buns in all your favorite incarnations, including an All American with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions; a true, drug-through-the-garden Chicago Dog with neon relish; Jersey-style with spicy mustard and kraut and, for Southern taste buds, the Carolina Classic with mustard, slaw, chili and onion.
Among the specialty dogs, try the “Good Morning,” with crispy bacon, a fried egg, spicy onions and cheese. And don’t be shy about wandering into the menu’s “Dog-free Zone.” There you’ll find juicy, hand-patted Angus chuck burgers that hold their own against the dogs.
But perhaps your best game strategy is showing up on a Friday and Saturday during the warm weather months. That’s when lobster rolls hit the menu. Arrive early, as they go fast. Hot dogs, hamburgers, lobster rolls – when all your bases are loaded, go ahead and hit that home run with a warm, cinnamon-sugar pretzel drizzled in maple syrup or a frosty root beer float. Either way, it's a win-win.