Let the record show that I’ve been really good in the past few weeks, offering up FEAST readers a bevy of salads and vegetarian fare and doing my level best to keep things on the lighter side.

But here’s the thing: As much as I know that I should be eating these things, there are some lunches that call for a big, old, loaded hot dog. I’m talking a helping of crisply grilled encased meat, nested in the safe confines of an enriched white bread bun and covered with a murderers’ row of fixins, piled unceremoniously on top in a manner that should strike fear into the hearts of those nearest and dearest to you as they worry about your well being.

At this moment, I can’t think of a better example of this idea of culinary decadence on bread than the Carolina Dog from Papa Tom’s Fancy Franks. This substantial G&W frank comes with classic yellow mustard, a thick and meaty chili and cap of cole slaw and white onion. The Carolina Dog is a staple of fast-food joints and roadside burger shacks from the green hills of Asheville, N.C., to the sandy dunes of the Tar Heel state’s beaches; a trifecta of harmonious yet distinct flavors stacked one atop another, striated like neapolitan ice cream and every bit as tasty.

The best part: For lunch this week, you don’t have to gather tar on your heels to partake of this regional specialty. You simply have to be lucky enough to find Papa Tom’s within walking distance of your desk. Rest assured; the walk back will do your body good.

Papa Tom's Fancy Franks, papatomsfancyfranks.com, facebook.com/GatewayDogHouse, twitter.com/PapaTomsFF

Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.


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