The Dew Drop Inn is not by any standards deluxe, but it is culinary royalty. This is the restaurant that introduced hot dogs to southern Alabama! The date was 1924, and proprietor George Widney soon became known as The Hot Dog King.
Hot dogs are still the prime attraction, especially for natives who move away then pine for a taste of home. Waitresses tell tales of families from Memphis, Louisville, and even farther North who return like expatriates to a beloved homeland so they can weep for joy over plates of Dew Drop dogs. The hot dogs themselves are merely bright red steamed franks of medium size, but the presentation is awesome – in toasted buns, topped with cool sauerkraut, a moist layer of sweet beefy chili, mustard, ketchup, and a pickle slice. Some aesthetes order them upside down (the dog sits atop the condiments) and others like them "shaved" (without kraut). The same unusual chili is used as a topping for Dew Drop cheeseburgers, which singer Jimmy Buffett (a Mobile native) credits with generating his burger lust when he was a boy.
Hot dogs and hamburgers are the star attractions, but there is a whole large menu of po boys, gumbo, Gulf shrimp and hot dinners accompanied by such good vegetables as turnip greens and rice and gravy. Coca-Cola is served the true-South way, in its shapely classic bottle alongside a glass full of ice. Banana pudding is the choice dessert.
The setting is cool and comfy, a wood-paneled roadhouse of laminate tables with little flower arrangements in Coke bottles on partitions between booths. Service is speedy; checks are delivered with meals.