I should wait until I can post a photo, but I’m cold and unready for sleep with this computer in my lap, and so I won’t. I’ve never gone through Grand Rapids [since leaving my Michigan home] without stopping at Yesterdog. Once, I got a dog to go and it was the strangest thing, my purchase making me indefinitely part of a larger conversation about the legitimacy and taste of a Yester to go. But never G.Raps without Yester.
The other night I sat the whole evening in the circle booth in the back while my friends cycled through. Two Ultra’s to start, another in a bit, and one more before I left. Sometimes I switch it up, get a Cheddardawg – the chili and cheese unmasked by the regular Yester ingredients…but not this trip. And not 7 Ultra’s like last time either [though I mostly maintained Whit’s method of knife and fork, and thus, suffered ridicule]. Just enough to be surely convinced that these hotdogs are delicacies of the Michigan menu. And I am convinced, regardless of opinion otherwise, or haters of the “atmosphere”…I truly love that place.
The new area is like a copy-paste of the Yester I know. A little half-shop behind the coffee shop from next door with dark wood panels already carved and etched like every inch of the place. I found the cousins carvings, always forgetting which booth they’re in. I try to remember how I first found out about Yesterdog…was it from the cousins, like so many other things in my life? This particular night, I found my old roommate’s family in the new area, which was warm and the benches were duct-tape-less [weird]. Seemed appropriate. Soon enough, it’ll develop character like the rest and the new kids will never know it was added on.
Some things stay is all I’m saying. Not sappily, like how ending a friendship or moving away are heartbreakers. No, just that the strangest things are constant. The hot dog shop in East Grand Rapids [nearly next door to the finest Indian food I’ve ever eaten] has been there as long as I’ve known. It was there through people I know before I knew. And I still stop there every time I’m in town. Yesterdog stays, that’s all.