David Sandoval sells hot dogs, but it’s where he sells them that makes his job downright entertaining some days.
Every weekday, he sets up his hot dog cart outside the 11th Street entrance to the Stanislaus County Courthouse in downtown Modesto. He encounters people from all walks of life.
Some of them are heading to jury duty; others are on their way to family court. Many others are defendants, showing up for hearings in their criminal cases.
Sandoval has seen and heard a lot outside the courthouse – spouses arguing over a divorce, defendants complaining about the justice system, and even a scuffle here and there. It’s never dull.
He actually has another job, working at a Del Monte Foods processing plant. When he has free time, he helps his cousin Brenda Ortiz, who started the Top Dog hot dog cart business.
Sandoval and his cousin have been selling hot dogs outside the courthouse for about 10 years. They have another hot dog cart on weekdays at the downtown transit center.
They get a steady stream of customers at the courthouse, starting about 8:30 a.m., when most hearings are scheduled. The cart stays there until about 4 p.m.
The Bee asked Sandoval how business is at the foot of the courthouse steps, and what kind of craziness he encounters.