Ask Bob Allen about the gold standard, and he's got some sobering news about the U.S. economy. Ask Bob Allen about the greatest city in the world (Chicago), and he'll drop names like a bad habit (he allegedly used to be a bodyguard for Mayor Richard M. Daley). Ask Bob Allen about State Street in Madison, Wis., and he can point out about 714 things it has in common with the Newport Avenue area in Ocean Beach.
Ask Bob Allen about the really important stuff (like hot dogs), and he'll claim his new OB'Kanobe's is the only venue in the country that serves all the major brands as a matter of routine. Hebrew National; Vienna; Sabrett; the wildly popular Jennie-O turkey wiener; even a soy dog for you crazy ol' vegans/vegetarians: Those and more are all under the same O.B. roof here, and Allen says he wants it that way because some fare responds better to certain condiments than others. Try a Hula Dog, and you'll see what he means. Onion-pineapple relish combines with mozzarella cheese in a colossal fete to the 50th state, and at $4.75, it's the cheapest homage you'll find anywhere. Add a stinkin' dollar, and you get a bag of chips and a soda (that goes for OB'Kanobe's 11 other daily entries, none of which exceeds $5). Sides, like chili and bacon bits, are 50 cents max, and $6.50 will get you a giant Saturday Night Special (hot dog, turkey dog, chips and soda).
“The thing is, it's so Ocean Beach,” Allen said of his month-old venue—and as 1940 Cable St. is two blocks from the Pacific, he's absolutely right. You can ask him about it anytime between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. The number is 619-213-3984. If he's there, Allen will be all too happy to trade stories and educate you on what you're eating at the same time. When it comes to Chicago and hot dogs, he's as worldly and right-on as they come.