Smile Politely

Long live the Railsplitter

Cody Caudill and Joel Gillespie have several things in common, one being that they’ve both recently enjoyed the Merry Ann’s Diner dish known as The Railsplitter. Joel rang in the new year with an early January 1st meal, while Cody indulged just a couple of weeks ago. Here are their stories:


Cody Caudill

The makings of “The Railsplitter” are: Two hotdogs on the bun covered with fries covered with chili covered by slices of American cheese.

If, like me, you ever find yourself staring down at the glossy surface of a Mary Merry Ann’s menu late one Friday night and you happen upon “The Railsplitter,” you should really consider what you are up against: good ol’ fashioned US excess.

Taking the ingredients individually, there is nothing really all that impressive about “The Railsplitter.” Two hot dogs, fries, and some chili with cheese sounds like the makings of a pretty decent backyard barbeque or the results of a drive through the local Wienerschnitzel. But heap them all together on a plate and one can’t help but drool.

This creation is really all about the chili. I enjoy chili and I hope you do too. Even vegans love (vegan) chili*. Every bite of french fry, or hot dog, or hot dog and french fry ultimately becomes a complimentary vehicle for chili. There really is no way to take a bite of “The Railsplitter” without tasting some chili and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If I had one complaint about “The Railsplitter” it would be the cheese. Don’t get me wrong; I love my cheese individually wrapped and void of dairy. I find it much easier to trust my cheese this way. But the stuff has “melting problems.” The only way to step this thing up is to go full-on nacho cheese. I know that Marry Merry Ann’s carries nacho cheese, so if you do decide to tackle the splitter, step it up and ask for the good stuff.

This dish really isn’t for the light of heart or for those trying to be lighter of body, but it is a pretty legitimate late night spectacle. I give it my fully half-hearted recommendation.

*Please note that “The Railsplitter” is by no means “vegan.”


Joel Gillespie

It seems appropriate to do a before-and-after picture of my Railsplitter and I. Before:

And… after:

Victory is mine! It’s possible that I was slightly intoxicated when each of these photos were taken, which I believe is the preferred state for any Railsplitter diner. Otherwise, your brain might tell your stomach that it’s full, and then the end result will not be complete and utter triumph. The Railsplitter is what I imagine would result if you left the average American 8-year-old boy at home with a well-stocked fridge and a couple hours of complete absence of parental control. Except with less pizza. And better presentation.

I agree with Cody that the cheese is the only part that I would change, but for me it’s a quantity issue. To be clear, I wish this dish had more cheese, be it american or nacho. I mean, you’re already eating hot dogs, chili, and french fries; there’s no need to go anything less than all-out on the cheese. Other than that, though? Perfection.

Top photo by Cody Caudill. Before and after photos by Molly Poganski.

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