Hot Dog Roundup
Now that it’s summer I’ve long ago withdrew from hibernation and, though I’ve yet to shed any of the weight I put on for a winter that never came, I’m still hitting up all of my favorite hot dog stands in the Massachusetts area and I wanted to share my journeys. First, however, a bit of important news: the NECN “Baby, You’re the Best” competition is currently accepting nominations for your favorite HDJ in New England. Be sure to visit their website to make your nomination, the finalists which will be chosen on their Monday Morning show on June 25th and 8am. After then, you’ll have until Wednesday, June 27th at 8pm to choose the winner.
Last year our friends at Yank’s Franks, all the way up in Wells, Maine, were the runner-up–will they take the top prize this year?
Also, here’s a bit of exciting news for our friends in Connecticut: Matt Hecker, grandson of Arthur Roessler, is working to bring back the Roessler’s Yellow Tag Frankfurters brand. These dogs were iconic throughout the state, being the preferred dog of many longstanding HDJ’s like Rawley’s and Blackie’s. I’ll update you with more info when I get it but things seem to be in the very early stages, so it may be a bit before we get to try one of these amazing dogs.
Now, on to some of my more local favorites, the first of which is just a five minute drive from my house–Fred’s Franks!
I stopped by a few weeks ago and talked a bit with Carl, who is now entering his second year as the owner, and is doing a fantastic job of cranking out my favorite hot dog–the almighty shnurble. While I was waiting for the delicious mix of chorizo and all-beef Pearl hot dogs to crisp up on the big green egg, he let me take a couple of shots of his new shirt–how appropriate, because this will now be my quick-reference guide for everybody who asks me what the hell a shnurble is.
This summer also brought a big change in my life, a new job. I’m now a lot closer to home and no longer working in the MetroWest Boston area. Sad to say, that also means I’m a lot further away from another one of my favorites, Snappy Dogs of Hopkinton.
My, what a sight for sore eyes! The weather was pretty windy and cold that day but the amazing ladies of lunchtime, the sultans of slaw, Teresa and Lisa, were braving the bad weather to bring a smile to the face of this hungry hot dog blogger.
Tyson, my friend and coworker, had offered to treat me to a hot dog so I could only choose the best–and lucky for us, our visit coincided with Snappy Dogs’ Friday specialty dog, the Bacon Bravo!
What can I say? It was freaking amazing. I can’t believe how often the ladies at Snappy Dogs come up with amazing condiment combos; every Friday they deliver completely original hot dogs and a quirky theme name to boot. I bet other hot dog vendors would quake in fear at having to reinvent the hot dog every week but Lisa and Theresa not only do it well, they enjoy it every time.
This was Tyson’s first time at the Snappy Dogs trailer, so he took my advice and picked up a Bacon Bravo as well.
Not being a fan of red onions I almost asked them to keep it off but couldn’t imagine the dog without it after I had the first taste. The cilantro hummus and vegetable mixture blended perfectly, with the maple-cured, smoky bacon and all-beef hot dog working in concert to deliver the hearty meat flavors. Perfection!
Tyson demonstrates that, in order to eat one of these hot dogs, you end up looking like you’re playing a flute.
Admitting this may get him in trouble with his doctor, but after having the first one Tyson was raring to go for another dog. We only live once, right? He went with an assortment of toppings from the always-changing lineup of homemade condiments and I wanted to have a taste of some of the new ones as well; I went with (from top to bottom) Moroccan carrot relish, red onion relish, and the sweet zucchini relish along with a bit of wasabi mayo and Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. And yes, of course they were all as delicious as they sound.
So what can I say? It’s been a pretty amazing beginning to the hot dog season. If Larry Joe’s New England Firepit starts up soon, then my summer will be complete!