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Jul 28, 2007 05:06 PM

Best Hot Dog in the state of Massachusetts

Where do you get your favorite dog? Central Mass has my favorite. Coney Island.

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    1. re: tamerlanenj

      What's so special? Coney's has an awesome sauce. Years ago, when living in Chicagoland I made and sold dogs. I do enjoy a chicago style no and again. Still, I'd want a Coney Dog whenever I came home.

      1. re: foodiesrus

        I've been to George's Coney Island in Worcester and agree they do excellent dogs worth seeking out (fine chili in particular, though you've got to be OK with steamed, not grilled rolls) -- but I'll strongly second tamerlanej's idea that Speed's does the best hot dog I've ever eaten.

        If you want to know what makes them special, Speed's uses large all-beef Pearl franks marinated in apple juice and brown sugar, grills them over charcoal until they get a great snap when you bite into them, puts them on a good quality grilled roll, then tops them with first-rate homemade toppings, including relish, all beef chili, mustard, and a special sauce which I'd compare favorably to anyone's. They are pricey and his hours can be erratic (he's based out of a mobile cart), but they're great.

        1. re: bachslunch

          Directions to Speed's are here:

          Speed's Hotdog Wagon
          54 Newmarket Square, Boston, MA 02118

    2. I don't know which "Coney Island" you're referring to: what town in Central MA is it in?

      I grew up eating dogs from Tex Barry's Coney Island (various locations in Southeastern MA), a classic steamed beef/pork dog on a steamed Wonder Bread kind of bun, with French's yellow mustard, raw diced Spanish onions, "Coney Island" sauce (a beanless, finely-minced chile with some subtle sweet spices), and an optional squirt of melted Cheez Whiz kind of cheese food product. Those were excellent, and I ate literally hundreds of them in my youth (there was a stand right at the end of my paper route). The hot dog guy loved to entertain us kids with bawdy jokes and riddles: he looked a bit like an Azorean, slightly taller, leering Burt Young (circa Rocky II).

      I spent some time in Chicago, and loved me some Chicago-style dogs, too. They're pretty impossible to find around here, I think.

      As much nostalgia as I have for those versions, they don't really hold a candle to Speed's Famous Hot Dog Wagon in Newmarket Square. Speed and his mentorees make the finest dog I've ever had in my life. Really a transporting experience.

      7 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Coney Island in Worcester. As a kid I remember going with my dad and seeing the vendor line about 1/2 a dozen up his arm (think they were all my dad's), loading them all. Last time I required that nostalgic taste I noticed no dogs up the vendor's arm (health dept, no doubt). Still something special, though. They don't do the optional cheez wiz (or maybe I've been missing something), but the rest of the story is the same. Wonder what brand of dog they use. Vienna's trade mark for Chicago. Wonderbread llike rolls a must! Now I'm hungry...

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Now that I think about it, the actor whom the Tex Barry's guy really resembled was John Colicos (Kor the Klingon in the original Star Trek, Balthar in the original Battlestar Galacta, Cromwell in Anne of the Thousand Days.) He made a mean Coney Island.

          What's odd is that this style of dog allegedly originated in Michigan. I don't know how it ended up migrating to the South Coast of MA. The original owners sold the chain (including their recipe for coney sauce, their big trade secret) sometime in the early 80s. I believe two outlets survive, one in downtown Taunton (in what looks like a vintage diner) and one in Attleboro.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Fwiw MC Slim JB,
            This should make it clear as mustard, errr...I mean mud.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              If you get to Newport RI, you should go to Ben's Chili Dogs on Broadway. He is as close to Tex Barry as you'll get, and has been there forever. Only thing on his menu is dogs - chili dog, cheese, onion...nothing else. Wood paneled walls, orange naugahyde stools at a small counter along the wall.

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              george's coney island in worcester is great just for the atmosphere alone. i haven't been there in some years, but i go every time i am in that town. their website has some pix:


              1. re: passing thru

                Thanks for the link. Love the sign! Seen local artists have done in up when at a street fair last September in Worcester. I'm not in Worcester often anymore. Seems like I've ended up 3 times on a Tuesday and missed out on what I was hankering for. Though Speed's definitely sounds like something not to be missed either. I'll have to check that out when nearby. Maybe make a special trip.

                1. re: passing thru

                  I have to agree, George's is great for the ambiance. The dogs are pretty good too, but I have to give the edge to Detroit area Coney Dogs.

              2. Georges CI is good, but Speed's rules.
                On 20 in Northboro there is an ice cream place advertising Chicago dogs. Anyone tried them?

                6 Replies
                1. re: trufflehound

                  Yes, it's Beezer's. Great, great place. Excellent ice cream, fried clams, and onion rings. The Chicago dogs are what you'd expect - gigantic and topped with everything you can imagine. It's hard to compare a Chicago dog to a Coney Island - two completely different experiences. I prefer George's Coney Island in Worcester, and order clams or burgers at Beezer's.

                  No one has mentioned Lawton's in Lawrence. Excellent deep-fried hot dogs. I love when they split open. :)

                  1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                    I can't say i'm familiar with Chicago dogs.
                    If you were to compare by respective proerties, which is better suited to that particular hot dog';s style.

                    1. re: trufflehound

                      Unfortunately, I've never had a Chicago dog in Chicago (or CI dogs on Coney Island for that matter!), so probably am not the best judge of whether they're true to style. :) They're two totally different experiences, though. The hot dogs at Beezers are like a whole meal. Big mildly spicy hot dogs on a poppy seed bun, with cucumbers, pickles, hot peppers, relish, and tomatoes, with celery salt on top. I can't really eat more than one, whereas I can eat 5 or 6 Coney Islands. (It's not wise to do so....but I'm up for the challenge.)

                      1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                        Hum. Isn't putting Celery salt on Dogs (and Lobster rolls for that matter) a very Massachusetts or New England thing?

                        That might be one thing off from a true Chicago dog, but I don't know either -- I haven't had one.

                        1. re: Keithel

                          Hey Keithel,
                          Not an area of my expertise either, but according to Wikipedia celery salt is Kosher, so to speak;



                          1. re: Harp00n

                            Ahh ok! so it seems us New Englanders aren't the only ones that lay ownership claim to to the use of Celery Salt.

                2. Speeds in Boston has the best hotdogs in New England - period. Be sure to get the hot dogs (which are huge) fully loaded as the mixture of toppings at Speeds is fabulous. The only problem with Speeds is that you never quite know if he will show up on any given day.
                  There are lots of postings on Speeds on the Boston Chowhound board.

                  1. Does anyone remember Nick's Nest in Holyoke? Steamed hotdogs, beans, and popcorn? That's where we often went when we were kids growing up in Easthampton.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Shooley

                      sure! i loved nick's nest when i lived in w. mass. great little spot, right where the peter pan bus used to's still there, isn't it?

                      1. re: passing thru

                        Yes, Nick's Nest is still there. I was there last month and although it was good and worth the visit, I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. Speed's is the best. George's Coney Island is very good. Casey's Diner in Natick also rates up there.