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The Connecticut Hot Dog Tour

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(Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish: The Connecticut Hot Dog Tour

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Connecticut Hot Dog Tour

I won’t be eating another hot dog anytime soon.

On Saturday, I completed the Connecticut Hot Dog Tour. A group of men, including my husband, organized a tour of 10 famed hot dog joints in the state (a bonus eleventh one was thrown in spontaneously). These guys don’t mess around. They had an official tee-shirt and soundtrack, and we traveled in style on a party bus. And we had hot dogs. Lots of hot dogs.

Janice, a woman on the tour, agreed to split dogs with me. Most of the men ate all of the full dogs, with some “tapping out” when they needed to.

1. Rawley’s Drive-In, Fairfield

The Order: Works, with “mustard, relish, kraut, and bacon,” $3.00.

The Verdict: Delicious dog, with a good contrast between the tangy kraut and the crunchy bacon. This was a great start to the tour.
(Click on a picture to view it larger.)

2. Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield

The Order: Georgia Redhot, a “¼ lb. spicy Southern sausage with sauerkraut, mustard and our own sweet relish,” $4.25.

The Verdict: This big boy was delicious too. The sausage was split and grilled and served piping hot with excellent toppings. We were on a roll.

3. Danny’s Drive-In, Stratford (Spontaneously inserted)

People insisted we had to try Danny’s nearby, and it was inserted into our tour.
The Order: Bull Dog, with spicy chili and fried onions, $3.95.

The Verdict: I liked this all right at the time, but I soon started worrying about the spicy chili not sitting so well with a long day of half-dogs ahead. The group’s mood seemed to lag on the way to the next stop. The consensus seemed to be that we should not have  inserted this extra dog into the tour!

4. Glenwood Drive-In, Hamden

The Order: Hot dog, with mustard and hot relish put on at the counter, $3.95.

The Verdict: This was the winner of the day, an excellent char-broiled dog with a toasted bun and great hot relish. Many people on the tour voted this one the winner.

5. Top Dog, Portland

The Order: Orleans Dog, with “a hot and sweet relish,” $2.70.

The Verdict: My husband, a Portland native, tried to warn the tour against this stop. It was not a favorite. The owners were very sweet and friendly, and you can’t beat the décor, so that almost made it worth a visit.

6. Doogie’s, Newington

The Order: The Doogie Dog, “One of my Best Ever Creations. Caramelized Onions & Dijon Horsey Sauce,” $3.59.

The Verdict: A nicely-charred, delicious dog, and the toppings were a refreshing change after having a lot of spicy chilies and relishes. One member of the tour ordered—and put away—a two-foot dog.

Interlude in the Park

We were all greatly restored by a visit to the lovely Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain and a walk around the pond.

7. Capitol Lunch, New Britain

The Order: Hot dog, with mustard, onions, sauce, $1.75.

The Verdict: I liked it, and I remembered it fondly from my college days. The group, though, seemed unnerved by its strangely black sauce. And I didn’t remember it looking like that.

8. Blackie’s, Cheshire

The Order: Hot dog, with corn relish and mustard at the counter, $1.75. 

The Verdict: I had been here before and had liked its famous relish. It didn’t disappoint.

9. Frankie’s, Waterbury

The Order: Hot dog, “French with spicy cheddar cheese,” $3.49.

The Verdict: Nice dog, nice sauce. This was a tasty hot dog, and there were a lot more varieties that looked promising. This late in the day, though, people sort of slouched when they saw the size of it.

10. Al’s Hot Dogs, Naugatuck

The Order: Hippo Dog, “cheese, chili, kraut, bacon,” $4.49.

The Verdict: Pretty good, but enough, already. I think this bad boy would have been more appreciated earlier in the day.

11. Merritt Canteen, Bridgeport

The Order: Brutal Dog, “Georgia Red Hot with Chili,” $4.00.

The Verdict: This was so hot, so spicy, such a brutal end to the night. I suspect it was good, but my lips are still burning too much to tell.

End of the Night

This was a great tour with a great group of people. The men had a much tougher time than the women, who were splitting dogs. This end of the night quote by Chris P. summed it up well at the last stop: “Don’t touch me!” On the way home, he explained: “I feel like E.T. at the end of the movie when he was all gray and his heart was fading.”

As for me, I’ll be going vegetarian for a while.

A footrace? Really?

The Route

The Soundtrack, by Randy S.

#69. 101 things in 1001 days. Visit at least three “Road Food” places I have never been to.

(Almost all were on Road Food's site, with good info and photos: Rawley's, Super Duper WeenieGlenwood, Top Dog, Doogie's, Capitol Lunch, Blackie's, Al's, and Merritt Canteen.)

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At May 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM , Anonymous Chris B said...

Love it!

At May 16, 2011 at 11:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmm. Glenwood. 3000 miles away, ooh I miss it so.

At May 17, 2011 at 12:38 AM , Anonymous Bill B. said...

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!! Thanks for putting this up Marcy!

At May 17, 2011 at 7:59 AM , Blogger Jacob said...

I'm losing hair?! Dang!

I liked Rawley's more than Glenwood but I thought Glenwood was more complete than Rawley's. Maybe because it was first, and maybe it's my upbringing...but Glenwood was 2nd and Doogie's was 3rd for me. I think Rawley's would utterly destroy all competitors if it used a toasted bun like Glenwood.

At May 17, 2011 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Shannon @ My Place In The Race said...

Too funny! That is a lot of hot dogs!! :) LOL!

At May 20, 2011 at 10:19 AM , Blogger Kari at A Grace Full Life said...

Loved reading this! I am from Chicago and we love ourselves a good dog...:)

I came visiting from Bec's blog and glad I stopped by!


At May 22, 2011 at 12:19 AM , Blogger Bec@littlelucylu said...

This is hilarious!!!
Thanks for making me smile!
~Bec :-)

At May 24, 2011 at 4:11 PM , Anonymous Cathy Friedman said...

Mikey's Way Foundation thinks this is the coolest thing ever!!


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