I’m a very picky eater. Always have been. So when I ventured out and ate foods such as steak and even swordfish, even my closest friends and family were surprised. Being in Athens, your main choices are either bar food or restaurants with eclectic menus; there is no middle ground — that is, unless you want your typical American dining such as Applebee’s and Ruby Tuesday.
For the rest of us, I have found a restaurant for even the pickiest of eaters out there. None other than Athens’ very own O’Betty’s.
Being in Athens for about two years now, I have never seemed to find the time to venture toward the end of Court Street to explore this little hot dog heaven. It’s a shame this was my first visit, because I know I’ll be making multiple return visits before I graduate.
Having walls colored with bright reds and yellows, customers are hungry for their condiments in O’Betty’s. When I walked in, I was greeted immediately and asked what dog I would choose. A fascinating aspect of this joint is that all the dogs are named for burlesque performers. Not only that, the symbol for O’Betty’s is also a burlesque dancer. Being such a picky eater, I skimmed the dogs loaded with sauerkraut, relish and pickles, and settled on the Dixie: a chili dog — sans the mustard. Loaded with homemade chili, cheese, and plenty of onions, this dog did not disappoint.
The hot dog itself had a natural casing, which was something I haven’t tasted before. The natural casing was a tad bit crunchy, which wasn’t something I’d like in my hot dog. But the dog itself was juicy, providing for a delicious dinner. Being a Cincinnatian, I know good chili when I taste it. The Dixie dog’s chili had a taste similar to one of the famous chili place’s back home, so I was keen to the dog from the start. Only, toward the end did the taste get kind of off: the casing tasted too rubbery, and the chili got too spicy for my pickiness. Because of all of this, the Dixie gets an A-.
O’Betty’s itself was busy—in more ways than one. Being a small restaurant, it has limited
seating, however, the longer I sat around, the more customers came in jonesin’ for the colorful dogs. From where I sat, I was able to get a full-on view of none other than O’Betty’s Wiener Museum. Walls were filled with hot dog memorabilia the would rival that of the Smithsonian. With stuffed hot dogs, recreations of the Oscar Mayer wiener mobile, hot dog plates, plates shaped like dogs, even hot dog phones, to have such an elaborate collection in a small area, this was an impressive sight.
Not only were the decorations an impressive feat, so were the portion sizes O’Betty’s offered. The Dixie was $3.00—a great price for the portion and the quality of the dog. Plus, I was able to order a large fries for $3.25. A tad bit expensive for my taste, but the size of this basket left me full.
The most intriguing thing O’Betty’s has to offer is the method of payment: although at most counter service places, you’d pay for your food up front. However, here, you order, eat then pay. The warning I hazard to all patrons though, is, O’Betty’s doesn’t accept credit cards. So for us college students, remember to take a trip to the ATM before heading out. Although there were no true servers, two girls brought out the drinks, fries, and hot dogs for me. All the food was brought out promptly, and the girls always came back to ask if I needed anything else. For ambiance, service and portion sizes, O’Betty’s gets a solid A.
My final grade for O’Betty’s would be a solid A. With attentive service, colorful décor and dogs that even Oscar Mayer would be jealous of, I found an oasis that even us picky eaters can enjoy.