Story and photos provided by: Anayley Garcia
Underneath the delicious rubble of thick, brown gravy and melted cheese sit golden, crispy fries, better known as poutine.
We slowly crept up to this tiny little shack in what seemed the middle of nowhere. I noticed my friends getting irritated.
“Where is it, anyway?” says Johnny McCarthy. “Is it even open?”
Before the peanut gallery stuffed in my sorority sister’s car could say another word, our eyes opened in anticipation. We noticed a sign on the floor that read, in white letters on top of a red canvas, “Clare and Carl’s.” We had found it. Finally.
Clare and Carl’s Hot Dog Stand, located on Route 9, is very small, only accepts cash, and from the menu, seems very limited. Needless to say, I entered this place with some doubts. Judging from the outside façade and decoration, Clare and Carl’s didn’t look like it was going to appeal to me. The stand seemed to be literally falling apart; the building looked old and abandoned. The decorations were a little outdated as well.
As soon as the car pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a lot of people sitting outside on wooden benches chomping down on hot dogs, burgers, fries, and poutine — thick-cut french fries drenched in chunky gravy topped with melted cheese. Before I got a chance to get out of the car, a bubbly woman approached the car in rollerblade sneakers and asked us what we would like to order. That’s the moment I knew I would love this place. My preconceived notions flew out the window.
We decided to eat inside the little old shack, so we hopped out of the car and proceeded indoors. Inside was even busier than outside. Men lined the bright red stools, and Michigans were lined up from side to side. Michigans are a North Country staple and are more or less a hot dog topped with a chili-like sauce. However, locals might get offended at such a measly description. The men didn’t seem to bat an eyelash as we walked in, but we were amazed at the spectacle inside. I proceeded to the cash register, and the familiar bubbly woman with the rollerblade sneakers welcomed us.
Poutine and Michigans are a perfect combination that will surely satisfy anyone's hunger on a warm day.
I ordered two Michigans with no onion or mustard and a side order of poutine. Being from California, I never had a Michigan, or even poutine for that matter, but everyone in the North Country raves about them.
We scurried outside, since it was a beautiful spring day, and anticipated our meal. Ten minutes passed by, and we finally had in front of us what we drove all the way out to eat.
A Michigan is a staple of the North Country; in between a warm bun, a savory meat sauce tops a juicy hot dog wiener.
I peeked through my sunglasses and noticed my friend had annihilated his Michigan before we even had a chance to say a word. A sense of satisfaction overcame me. Clare and Carl’s Hot Dog Stand will now become one of our favorite spots in town. Everything from the delicious Michigans to the salty and tasty poutine made the drive worthwhile.
Before coming to Plattsburgh, I had never heard of poutine. Everyone seemed to know what this dish was except for me. I thought it was about time to try this North Country delicacy, and having it at Clare and Carl’s for the first time was absolutely perfect.
Overall, APN gives Clare and Carl’s Hot Dog Stand five out of five stars. The Michigans and poutine were amazing, the service was speedy, and the overall ambience was relaxing and welcoming.
If you were to invent a hot dog, what would you name it, and what ingredients would it have?