The Chili Dog I Ate…in a pizza place
The chances of you finding yourself in some uncertain location in a quiet corner of Middleboro, MA, are about as good as mine were a week or so ago, which is to say: Not good. Nor would you likely be there looking for a Real Good Dog. But as the old saying I just made up goes, Real Good Dogs are where you find ’em. So there I was, hurrying to an appointment with the tax guy with the wife and daughter in tow and we were all hungry. Time was tight. Checking my phone’s GPS it looked like the nearest place for food was Middleboro House of Pizza. Perfect! A quick slice and then we’d be off to find out how much the IRS would be extracting from our deep in our heinies this year.
As we walked in, though, a handwritten sign on a paper bag taped to the wall caught my eye and my appetite: Chili dogs, $1.49. Includes mustard and onion. Having taken the sacred THDIA blood-oath to never pass up a hot dog when possible, I knew I had to order them. In fact, I’d be in for two.
Now, let’s not kid ourselves. Getting a hot dog at a pizza place is a dicey bet at best. It’s like ordering an afterthought. On purpose. Let me tell you–this was about the best three bucks I’ve ever spent in a pizza place.
Yes, Virginia, there is a hot dog hiding under there. Snuggled into a nicely toasted roll, sitting on top of a generous splash of yellow mustard, all but crushed beneath the weight of a rich brown chili–with beans, as you no doubt immediately noticed–and graced with a generous load of onions.
Admittedly, I was put off by the beans at first. That bit of worry disappeared the moment I bit in. The chili is perfect. Surprisingly good, given the location–a pizza joint. It’s thick, it’s got a nice shot of heat in it, and it’s flavorful. The onions tasted pretty fresh and added a sharp bite. Matter of fact, it was so good that I got up at one point and grabbed a fork–I wasn’t about to let any of this get away! And let us not forget the mustard, bottom-loaded into the bun and bringing a little vinegary tang of its own and one more level of happiness. Before we left I asked the guy behind the counter if the chili was canned or homemade. (If it was canned, I was immediately ordering a case of the stuff.) He told me, proudly, that they make it on premises. “You like it?” he asked. That’s what you call a rhetorical question, friends. I simply said yes, refraining from telling him that I would happily eat an old shoe if it was covered in his chili.
As much as I hate to say it, the hot dog itself was almost a non-consideration. I mean, it was a decent dog, but the star here was the chili. Overall, it’s another variation of the Greek dog or Coney, with mustard, onions and meat sauce, but as far as chili dogs in my area go, it’s just one of the tastiest I’ve found.
I just checked their website, but I don’t see an address. Do what I did: start driving toward Middleboro, then ask your GPS to find somewhere to eat. Ignore everything that doesn’t say Middleboro House of Pizza. You may not know where you are, but you’ll know a damn fine chili dog.