Here are a few fixes for us cheapo hot dog fans, but there's no lunch counter where you can debate politics, sports, or other stuff. I guess you'll have to do that in a park or over your cell phones or something.
http://www.thorntonsinc.com/ (in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio)
http://www.speedway.com/ (in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and West Virginia)
http://www.kwiktrip.com/ (in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin)
Thornton's is a better call because of the wealth of toppings available (even celery salt for us Chicago Style fans
, but no poppy seeds on the buns
). Kwik Trip has a decent selection of condiments, too, and sells real milkshakes
but not malts
and it's not a bad place to get staples like milk and eggs instead of making a seperate trip to the grocery store. Speedway (or SuperAmerica, depending on location) is a LOT less expensive than either of the others, and a not bad choice when you have to eat and only have $5, and it's between home and my job, so I eat there fairly often.
My advice in these three places is: stay away from the pizza or prepared sammies and stick with the hot dogs (or other sausages). They all do pretty good coffee and fountain pops.
They all beat the snot out of other cheapo food purveyors like Taco Bell, Arby's or KFC, the carrier of the only bad shepherd's pie I ever had, and that includes some I've cooked!