The Triumphant Return of Lucky Dogs


According to this week’s Gambit, Lucky Dog vendors will hit the streets of the French Quarter soon. This may seem petty and unworthy of a mention here, but Lucky Dogs are very much entwined in the 20th century history of the French Quarter. Consider this; the hero of Confederacy of Dunces was, for a brief stint, a Lucky Dog vendor. The hot dog shaped vending carts are considered to have historic status in the Quarter, and because of this the company owns an exclusive vending permit with the city. They are the only vendor allowed to sell food from carts in the French Quarter– the legality of this was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. For Lucky Dogs to not return to the city would be blasphemy. As a hot dog man, I knew their return was only a matter of time.

To this end, Lucky Dog GM Jerry Strahan published a book in 1998 called Managing Ignatius. Quickly summarized, it is his tales of working for Lucky Dogs starting in the early 1970’s, alongside an ever-changing staff of vagrants, crazies, and crooks. More importantly, the book is the final chapter in the city’s history as a seedy, flophouse ridden place of charm and wonder. It is the story of the Quarter’s transformation from a colorful bohemia into a sinner’s Disneyland. The pretext to this book is a book called The French Quarter, written by Gangs of New York author Herbert Asbury. It reads like a textbook history of the city’s criminal element, a jaw dropping and entertaining read, if not completely factual. I’d like to add both of these books to Laureen’s list.

8 Comments so far

  1. Cap'n Ken (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 8:59 am

    There is nothing petty or unworthy about Lucky Dogs coming back. Their return should be heralded just as the return of local musicians, Hubig’s and the million little things that make your city special should be.

    Yet another place to drop a buck next time I come down.

  2. Shannon (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    I have never eaten a Lucky Dog, and am in fact a vegetarian, but I think I may need to eat one now… just on general principal.

  3. Joe B. (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    I’m glad to see them back, but I still couldn’t bring myself to eat a hot dog. Or bologna for that matter. Now if they were selling brats, that’d be a different story.

  4. Rayna (unregistered) on January 30th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    I can’t wait to see one of these lucky dog carts in action and try one of these hot dogs out for myself. I read Confederacy of Dunces and can’t wait to see and taste a lucky dog in person.

  5. NO_Doc (unregistered) on February 1st, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

    What about a muffaletta?? R&O’s hasn’t gone back to making muffs yet, and Central Grocery is damn far for me to drive (let alone deal with the parking issues). Only place I been able to get a muff lately has been at Dorgnac’s, which is selling so-so half muffs in their deli to go.


  6. Joan (unregistered) on February 7th, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

    Boy, am I glad to hear that Lucky Dogs are back! I can’t wait to get back to N.O. and get one. I am not a big hot dog fan, but I love Lucky Dogs. Got a craving now.

  7. Nicole (unregistered) on February 14th, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

    Love the Lucky’s…nothing like a hot dog and a hand grenade after a long night in the quarter…I am a michigander looking to order Lucky Dogs….anyone know if they will ship them?

  8. Laurie (unregistered) on February 16th, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

    O, yeah! Well, I’m goin’ get me some boiled crabs an’ crawfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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