Unlike the old adage about sex — when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good — a bad chili dog is just plain bad.
But a good chili dog is an iconic American food that deserves a place alongside pizza, fried chicken and barbecued ribs.
Such a creation is the Killer Chili Dog at Sandbar Subs in Lawrence. Three bucks gets you a brat-sized all-beef dog on a dense bun baked in-house, blanketed in beef-and-bean chili and sprinkled with cheddar cheese. At no extra cost you can get onions and/or jalapenos on top.
There are three Sandbar Sub locations in Lawrence, and they all have a great, geographically inappropriate beach theme. My favorite, for oddity’s sake, is the one at 745 New Hampshire. It shares space with a People’s Bank lobby — where else can you drink a Red Stripe while you deposit checks?
As the name implies, Sandbar Subs also makes submarine sandwiches that measure up well to the standard-bearer, Yello Sub. The Hummus Hammerhead is a yummy vegetarian option, or you can build your own with whatever you fancy. Gourmet potato chips, fountain drinks, bottled beer, cookies and cinnamon rolls are among the other offerings in the self-serve establishment.
Open 24/3 (around the clock Thursday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday), Sandbar Subs also serves breakfast: biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos and English muffin sandwiches.
It’s a wide-ranging menu, but when temperatures plunge, the Killer Chili Dog is a no-fail choice.Sandbar Subs
745 New Hampshire St., Lawrence, 785-842-0111, SandbarSubs.com
: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 24 hours Thursday-Saturday
: Killer Chili Dog, $2.99
Vegetarian option: Hummus Hammerhead Sub (roasted red pepper, hummus, spinach, tomato, provolone and Parmesan cheese)