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Zesto's Dip Dogs

Re: Recipe Request
From: Dan
Date: 11/30/2021, 7:50 AM

On 11/30/2021 7:20 PM, Dan wrote:


When I was I was in high school in Huntsville, Alabama, we used to go to a drive-in in five points 
called "Zesto's" and hang out. They were famous for their ice cream, but they also had something 
that was basically like a corn dog, but much better. They called it a "dip dog" or maybe it was 
"dipped dog". I'd like to find the recipe and make some of these. Can you help? 


Hi Dan,

From what I read, Zesto's also had a "Zesto Burger", which was a hamburger in which the meat patty was dipped in the dip dog batter and deep fried. I wonder what that was like... Zesto's seems to have been a small chain of drive-ins, mostly in the Southeast. They were mainly notable for their ice cream. The ads and menus for different Zesto locations appear to vary a bit. They all had the ice cream, but some had variety of sandwiches and accompaniments. The only Zesto's that I can find that advertises the "dip dogs" is the one in Huntsville, AL. People used to think Zesto's invented the corn dog, but I'd take that with a grain of cornmeal. It's likely that the corn dog originated in Texas and was popularized at state fairs, predating the origin of Zesto's.

I actually found three recipes for Zesto's "dip dogs":

This one is the simplest, and is admittedly a "copycat", not an authentic recipe: Favorite Copycat Recipes

I found the second one on a message board about Huntsville. It's a bit more complex than the first version, with optional spices such as red pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. The person who posted it appears to know what they're talking about: City-Data Huntsville

The third one is on the "Huntsville Revisited" Facebook page. It may be the most authentic of the three, because it is on a photo of a placard that appears to be from a restaurant. Anyhow, it seems to have all the right ingredients and it's very similar to the second recipe.: Huntsville Revisited. I've transcribed it below.


Zesto Dip Dogs

2 cups self rising flour
1 cup self rising cornmeal
1 cup carnation milk
1 cup water
8 Quality dogs
8 wooden  skewer sticks

Fold dry into wet mix. Place mixture 
into tall small diameter glass
(Impale dog on stick lengthwise & dip 
into glass of batter until completely 
Heat oil 350 & cook until golden brown.
Mmmm Mmmm.

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