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A Match Made in Hot Dog Heaven

A little matchmaking sparked more than just a new romance between Nick Annenos and Susan Norton. It also sparked the beginning of a Main Street business in downtown Dunedin.

Can a personal chef ever be compatible with a tile installer whose dream is to own a hot dog cart?

Apparently, the answer is yes, at least according to eHarmony, where Nick Annenos, the owner of Oceanside Tile Installation, was matched with Susan Norton, a personal chef.  

Annenos had always wanted to own a hot dog cart for when his tiling business was slow. He thought it would be fun way to meet people and it was easier on his knees.

On the other hand, Norton cooked for families and people with special diets. She had moved to Pinellas County from New York after the tragedy of 9/11. When she first moved to the area, she got a part time job in pain management at  as a way to meet friends. The window in her office looked out on Dunedin’s and she would often comment to co-workers that one day she was going to own a little restaurant right down there, pointing directly at the strip of shops on the corner of Main Street and Highland Avenue.

On the couple’s first date, as a way of making conversation, Annenos asked Norton how she would describe herself and she said, “I love extravagance and simplicity in the same moment.”

Poor Annenos thought, “oh boy, I’m in for it,” but the two got along fantastically.

After dating for a year, the couple walked past a “For Rent” sign in a small space on Main Street.

“It was the perfect size,” Annenos said. “It was meant to be, like a hot dog cart with a roof on it.” And it was the very spot that Norton used to look down upon 10 years earlier.

They decided to open a simple hot dog stand but with amazing ingredients and something for everyone. Or as Norton says, “I want every bun to be happy,” so Hot Dogs on Main offers both Chicago-style and Brooklyn-style dogs. They also have organic gluten-free turkey dogs, Kosher dogs and a vegetarian dog that is cooked separately from the beef ones. For kids they have smaller dogs called puppy dogs that only cost $1.25. And since this is Dog-edin, all hot dogs are given water and a biscuit.

“We just love it here,” Norton says. “Dunedin has been so welcoming. Sometimes we are still in shock about how nice everyone is. When the (Tampa Bay) Times’ food critic Laura Reiley wrote an article about us, we unexpectedly had lines around the block and we ran out of food. Nick said to me, ‘You’ve gotta tell ‘em we’re out of food.’  I said, ‘I’m not gonna tell ‘em. They’re gonna throw things at me.’ So I reluctantly walked out to the sidewalk and sort of cleared my throat and then said, ‘We ran out of food,’ and then I waited to get hit. Instead everyone started clapping. It was such a wonderful response.”

And Annenos finally understands what Norton meant on their first date. Their friendly service combined with consistently great food, and the tranquility of the corner of Main and Highland have created a dining experience in Dunedin that is both simple and extravagant in the same moment.

Try the original Greek Hound Dog with cucumber, feta, olives and tzatziki or The Southern Dog that is topped with fresh coleslaw and then review it on Patch!

Want to go?

  • Where: Hot Dogs On Main, 505 Main St.
  • Contact: 727-408-5103
  • Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Stacy Hamacher May 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Honestly, I love the hotdog topping combos! Its the only place besides my house that I can get a chili cheese slaw dog with onions and mustard. Yummy!
Molly May 07, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Sounds good!!!!
Dave Holden May 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
They have the best dogs and friendly service.
Len Dozois May 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Nick & Susan have great hot dogs. I've eaten them often. But be careful with the article headline, because there really is a Hot Dog Heaven in the OTHER Dunedin (the one on 580).

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