As preparations continue for next weekend's 35th annual Taste of Buffalo, Louie's Original Foot-Long Hot Dogs has been named the winner of the event's Silver Fork Award.  Can there be a more deserving restaurant than Louie's?

Louie's Original Foot-Long Hot Dogs has been a vendor at every Taste of Buffalo since the event began in 1984.  And they're the only vendor that has been there since day one.

Angelo Turco and his sister Debbie with the Taste of Buffalo Silver Fork Award (Dale Mussen photo)

Owner Angelo Turco and his sister Debbie have carried on a tradition begun by their father Louie and it's something they intend to continue as long as they're physically able.  The idea for a foot-long hot dog actually came from Louie's wife who back in the early 1950's thought that a 12-inch hot dog would be something that would set their hot dog stand apart from the rest.

It did for a while, until all of the other hot dog stands decided to add foot-longs to their menu.  But their name says it all - they're the home of the Original Foot-Long Hot Dogs.

Louie's on Grand Island Blvd. in Tonawanda adjacent to Sheridan Park Golf Course has been in operation since 1951.  I've been going to Louie's since I was a kid and in all those years their quality and friendly service has never changed.  And this past spring they opened another location on Niagara Street near Amherst Street in Black Rock.