If you’re anywhere near the beach in Grand Haven this summer, one spot you have to try is Pronto Pups, a staple of the Grand Haven street food scene. It’s hard to miss the tiny, quaint “corn dog” stand on the waterfront between downtown and the Grand Haven State Park beach. “Corn dog” is in quotes because the batter is not actually made from cornmeal. It’s more like pancake batter.
“It’s a wheat-based batter,” says Jaclyn Gettings, whose grandfather, Chuck Nelson, started the business in 1947. Gettings’ parents Carl and Nancy Nelson own it now. And don’t ask for the recipe. It’s a family secret.
The only hint Gettings offers about preparing these savory snacks is that they’re flash-fried till they’re golden brown. This cooking method creates a thin, delicately crisp outer shell that sticks to the hot dog, creating a snap in every bite. The hot dogs are the highest quality available, according to Gettings.
The reason it’s hard to miss the 9-foot by 7-foot building, the same structure the business started out in 76 years ago, is that on any hot summer day you’ll notice a very long line of people cued up outside.
Don’t let it deter you. The line moves very fast. There’s a reason they’re called Pronto Pups. It doesn’t take long to make them.
The menu is brief. You can get them with catsup, mustard or both. Pronto Pups cost $1.75 each (which includes sales tax). A small soda is 50 cents, and a large one’s $1. Cash only. That’s the full report.
The long and short of it is, everyone loves Pronto Pups. If you see a short line you better jump in.
Pronto Pups 313 S. Harbor Drive, Grand Haven (616) 502-3583