Cue the French accordion music and early morning sun.  Add the fragrance of sweetly cooking batter, a sculpted boat that serves as a vending stand, complete with a stand-beside awning, fresh flowers and a long line of customers, and you have Dory Dogs. Dory Dogs is the home of the Kennebunks only French hot dog stand and creperie.  Owners Trish Kinkade and Eric Young brought their love to French food to their home state, and make a weekly circuit of the Kennebunk Farmer’s Market and the Fort George Park in Portland.

The menu is simple: hot dogs or crepes, made with sweet and savory ingredients.  Crepes have a long history in Maine, with our connection to Quebec and the Franco-Americans who live throughout the state.  Crepes were originally a food of the Bretons. brought to America from France via Canada. Made originally from buckwheat, crepes are a thin, pancake-like quick bread – its close cousin is the much beloved ploye of the Saint John’s River Valley.

A marvel of precision and speed, Kinkade and Young have developed an assembly-line sophistication that allows customers to watch their food prepared fresh. Customers interact with the cooks, and select their fillings, standing up front and close to the food. The aromas are intoxicating and it can be hard to choose which items to order.

The French hot dog is equally as easy to love as the crepes. Made with Standard Baking’s baguettes, the Dory duo cut six inch sections of bread and ram the pieces down onto a custom-made, metal heating rod toaster unit.  “These are everywhere in France.” stated Kinkade with a smile.  The all meat natural dogs are served with a variety of  mustards. The crust of the bread and snap of the dog make a great pair.

For the crepes, a thin batter is poured on the round griddle that has been greased with a light coating of oil by Young  A t-shaped trowel spreader is then used to deftly maneuver the batter in a thin, round shape, the size of and large plate.  The crepe cooks quickly – a long thin spatula is used to turn it over.  As few seconds more and the crepe is finished and laid to be stuffed with savory or sweet fillings.

Dorry Dogs offers a homemade confit of seasonal fruits, (strawberry and rhubarb are my favorite), spread with a thin egg-based custard that is spiced with nutmeg.  Trish uses the spatula to mark the crepe into thirds, folding the filled crepe first in half and then into a pocket shape.  This makes for the perfect package and a crown of powdered sugar is added before it is placed into the stand’s signature paper hat-shaped cones. The tender cake gives way to the sweet and tart berries, and the custard and whipped cream finish the bite with a cloud of flavor.

Dory Dogs opens at the Kennebunk Farmer’s Market at 8am and is open through the midday at 1pm, May to October.

Kristin Fuhrmann Simmons