Restaurant Review: Links-N-Lemonade

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Links-N-LemonadeAll photos by Susan Post
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Links-N-Lemonade opened up its very own brick-and-mortar hot dog joint in Graceland Shopping Center this summer. Like its food truck, the operation offers a very specific food genre: hot dogs and lemonade. In the case of its Graceland joint, it’s in a right-place/right-time situation. There’s not a lot of hot dog competition in the area, and the relatively low-cost of a hot dog meal helps it fill a neighborhood void in the budget-friendly dining department. 

That said, the dogs aren’t particularly cheap. Hot dogs are usually bargain fare. While they’re affordable compared to the ubiquitous $15 gourmet burger, a Links-N-Lemonade dog starts at $4.75 without toppings. With fries and good condiments on the dog, you’re probably looking at $10. 

Still, it’s cheaper and faster than lots of the other nearby dining options, so it has a place in the local game. Plus, the hot dogs are quarter-pounders made from 100% beef, so that’s worth something.

It’s order-at-the counter, and during visits, even the pre-set combos required guests to choose topping options during the ordering process. So for example, when ordering the Bacon Cheddar Dog, there’s a spot where you opt-in for cheese (because a bacon cheddar dog without cheese would be disappointing and weird).  

The quarter-pound dogs are good, generally speaking. The kitchen’s approach is to split the dog right down the middle lengthwise before topping it, which seems like a generally good idea. Wait: it doesn’t just “seem” like a good idea, it IS a good idea. Splitting the link lets the toppings settle into the dog, and facilitates a better merger of flavors.

So, in the case of that Bacon Cheddar Dog ($6.25) option, a crispy strip of bacon sits in the middle of the split link, covered with enough shredded cheese to blanket it all in a golden glow. With the aforementioned power to add condiments to combos while ordering , you can go crazy with a bunch of add-ons, ketchup, mustard, peppers, whatever else you need. 

Bacon Cheddar Dog

Or you could just go for a different pre-loaded dog, like the Famous Coney Dog ($5.75). It features a good coney sauce, one that boasts an uncommonly respectable, thoroughly meaty texture. Commitment to good meat sauce is notable in the hot dog scene. Opt in for some cheese, and you’ve got yourself an old-timey masterpiece.

Famous Coney Dog

For something that covers the recommended daily allowance for veggies, perhaps the Windy City Dog ($6.50): a dog with onions, relish, lots of crunchy dill and jalapeño peppers, sprinkled with celery salt and poppy seeds, plus a beautiful zigzag of mustard. 

Windy City Dog

Or fries. The fries are solid, if kinda pricey ($4.25): hot, crisp and fresh cut.  There’s better value when teamed with the house coney sauce in the Loaded Fries ($6.50). The combo pairs the fries with the meaty sauce, cheddar and barbecue sauce that gives it all a little sweetness. The menu mentioned bacon as part of the package, but that was MIA in the last visit. 

Loaded Fries

The Lemonade ($3.50) is said to be handmade. That’s hard to verify, as it’s poured from a dispenser. A few rinds or something would probably provide some authenticity for those with a moment of skepticism: otherwise, it’s tart and sweet and does pretty much the things you need lemonade to do.

You’ll find it at 128 Graceland Blvd, inside the shopping center. For more information, visit linksnlemonade.com.

All photos by Susan Post

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