Owner of the World Famous Hot Dog Stand, one of Flensburg’s key attractions, dead at 66. Successor and future unknown.
FLENSBURG/ KRUSA (DK)- During my first time in Flensburg in 2010, I had a chance to visit several key wonders that made the city and the region famous. Flensburg is well-known as the rum capital of the world, has a first class handball team, prides itself on the beer, has the last of the coal-powered steamboat (Alexandra), several Danish eateries and food stores,….
and this one: Annie’s Kiosk.
The way to the kiosk was simple: over the Bridge of Friendship by bike into Denmark, followed by 10 minutes of hills and forest before entering the village of Krusa, the first Danish community along the Flensburger Fjorde. There, one is greeted with two islands within a five minute swim from the shore (Oxen Island) onthe right, and this one on the left. Flanked by several bikers, campers and other cyclists, the first impression of seeing the place is simple: people lining up to eat a world famous hotdog with various toppings on there- be it onions (fresh or dried), radish, many types of mustard and ketschup, cucumbers- whatever they had that was local and typical of Denmark, if you love it, you slap it on before indulging in the delicacy. 🙂
When I finally approached the stand, I was greeted by a old and friendly lady with red hair and glasses. She spoke several languages, including English, and did not take long to recognize that I was an American tourist and writer wanting to try the hotdog that the place was famous for. While the encounter was brief, she made sure that whatever I wanted on that foot-long hot dog, I got that would satisfy the taste buds and the belly. It was the first time I was introduced to horseradish sauce that didn’t taste as sour and salty as the American counterpart. In fact, it was really juicy and somewhat a bit sweet- but just right. Together with fresh onions, homemade mustard and a bit of ketchup, it was the hotdog that came from heaven. Normally, while eating a hotdog at an American restaurant, like the Dairy Queen (which is famous for its Blizzard ice cream treats), one only needs a few minutes to devour a hotdog with Heinz Ketchup and mustard. However, it took yours truly a good half an hour to enjoy the hotdog, carefully made by Annie, and another first in addition- Danish ice cream twists with chocolate sprinkles, all vanilla flavor, which was also a first. 🙂 The food Annie offered reminded me of my grandma’s home-cooked meals, which also included hotdogs with chili and cheese (a.k.a. chilidogs) and homemade pie with ice cream provided by Well’s Blue Bunny Dairy in the Iowa community of LeMars. It was that delicious and it showed that local foods not only always taste better, but they bring in the best and happiest of people young and old. The love and care of that local hotdog brought in more people every year. Others like myself have added this place in the top 25 of places most likely to be revisited- preferrably with friends and family. Annie and her hotdogs attracted everyone from all aspects.
Unfortunately, the future of the kiosk is in question. Annie (her real name is Annie Bogild) died unexpectedly today, according to the local newspaper Nordschleswiger and confirmed by the kiosk’s facebook website. She was 66. She had been selling hotdogs for over a half century, having taken ownership of the place partially in 1974, and fully shortly afterwards. Her warm hospitality and friendly service will be remembered by many who either have heard about the world famous hotdogs and have tried it themselves, or have stopped there regularly for a coffee and hotdog. According to the facebook site, funeral services will take place on October 28th at a church in Holbol. A successor has yet to be named, but regardless of who takes over, Annie’s Kiosk will never be the same again. No matter how perfect the hotdog, it too will not have the woman’s touch, like Annie did with the billions she made and served in all those years.
I recently visited a newly opened hotdog restaurant in Weimar called Capone’s, located on the main road between the train station and Goetheplatz (city center). The person serving my dog had the same care as Annie. The hotdog with bacon, cheese and cucumbers was really delicious! 🙂 It is unknown whether he spent a summer working as a student worker at Annie’s Kiosk. If so, he and many others have Annie to thank. Sometimes a little bit of work and recipes bring ideas for your own business. Annie had just that. 🙂
The Flensburg Files would like to offer its condolences to the Annie Bogild’s family as well as thousands of visitors and patron who have paid homage to her beloved hotdog stand. Flensburg lost a local great that can never be replaced.