In the South Burlingame neighborhood, in between Hair Architects and Bella’s Garage, there is a Pronto Pups storefront/office/warehouse. It never appears to be open to the public, so I guess the company does business only online.
What is a Pronto Pup? According to Wikipedia: The Pronto Pup Company is a company based in Portland, Oregon that manufactures the Pronto Pup mix. The Pronto Pup was invented by the husband and wife team of George and Versa Boyington in the late 1930s in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. The Boyingtons ran a small hot dog stand on the beach, selling the dogs to tourists and locals alike. When the rain came and ruined the buns, making them soggy and inedible, George Boyington came up with the idea of cooking a “bun” as needed. He created a pancake batter based mix and the duo came up with the formula used today. Pronto Pups are made with a pancake batter based mix and should not be confused with the corn dog, which is made with corn flour.
The Pronto Pup, “became a nation-wide hit, revolutionizing America’s fast-food industry and kicking off the franchise craze,” according to the company website. If this is true, I guess they get a lot of credit (or blame, depending on your point of view) for today’s ubiquitous fast-food culture. The Pronto Pup website (above link) has some great photos and illustrations from the 1940’s and 50’s.
The only place I know where you can buy an actual Pronto Pup to eat is here in Otis, the tiny crossroads on the way to the beach. Pronto Pups are also available at fairs and amusement parks, according to an article in Oregon Coast Today .
The article goes on to say that in about 1940, the owners of the Pronto Pup company hired the artist Amado Gonzalez to create its promotional designs. Mr. Gonzalez was a portrait painter, muralist, and illustrator, in San Francisco until he passed in 2007. Some of the posters he created for the California wine industry can be viewed here. And, his designs can be seen on items in the window at the Burlingame storefront.
And finally, this remarkable object: