Dog And Spud isn't just a cute, convenient, affordable and extremely tasty place to eat. It's the culmination of a love story that has lasted over 40 years.
David Ford, 63, and Kay Forgy, 60, both native East Texans, fell in love and were married roughly 45 years ago.
Inseparable, they have worked together for much of their careers — most recently for the nursing home administrative industry before starting their own tiny restaurant in the 800 block of East Rusk in January 2012.
"We've always worked together, so it was natural that we would open up our own hot dog stand," said David Ford.
But Dog And Spud is much more than a mere frankfurter stand. This yummy oasis provides amazing chili dogs, jumbo baked potatoes — with all the trimmings and stuffings — nachos, Frito pies, barbecue chopped and sliced beef, pulled pork, smoked sausage, hot links and a variety of drinks. Plus, homemade barbecue sauce.
Joined by Virginia Moore, their friend of over 25 years, the couple has worked slavishly to create their own niche in the Jacksonville fast food scene.
After some initial hiccups when the business first opened, they have amassed a loyal customer base, cooking for up to 70 customers a day — which translates to 40 potatoes and 40 hot dogs every 24 hours, they said.
"We didn't start off this way," David Ford said. "At first it was two customers one day, three the next, and none the day after that.”
That started changing around September, Kay Forgy said.
"Now we have a loyal following," she said. "Our customers constantly volunteer to help us by passing out our flyers."
Both consider their best lunch deal by far to be the $2.25 chili cheese dog — a magnificent convergence of homemade chili, hot dog, and generous helpings of cheese and sour cream.
(BTW, This isn't your mother's helping of sour cream. Dog And Spud's heaps of sour cream goodness go far and beyond the standard squeezable packet that only allows a hungry patron to access no more than a dollop.)
"You have to eat it with a fork," she said. "We have a popular kid's venue too. I have year-round snow cones we make with our own shaved ice."
Their Frito pies are popular as well.
"They're huge," she said. "Our helpings are so big our older customers can come in and split a potato with one another."
To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast.”
But Love also makes amazing drive-through dishes that can satisfy both burly lumberjacks and full families at the same time. Dog And Spud is truly the restaurant that Love made.
Contact Ben Tinsley by emailing email@example.com or call him at 903-586-2236. Tinsley can also be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/bentinsley or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ben.tinsley.12