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Jun 30, 2008 09:34 PM

Speed's new dog

As a properly festive start to my birthday celebrations, Allstonian and I stopped at Speed's on our way out of town for lunch. While our dogs were grilling, I asked what action had been taken about the plans he'd spoken of when I'd gotten my last fix, of replacing Pearl as his vendor because he'd grown dissatisfied with the quality and consistency of the dogs he was getting from them. His answer, "Yeah, these are the new dogs here. They're from (sorry, I didn't get the name) in Connecticut, but they're OUR dogs. They make them special for us, and no one else has them."

So I had one of the new Speed dogs, and if anything, the new dog is even better than the old Pearl item. For one thing, believe it or not, it's actually slightly bigger. The casing, at the points where he slashes the dog on the grill, crisps up beautifully. It's juicy as anything, beefy-tasting with a nice subtle garlic kick, and perfectly textured, neither too coarse nor too pasty. You wouldn't think this hot dog could get better, but somehow it did.

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  1. Well... you just justified another trip into town. Thanks for the report.

    1. I actually was hoping you'd say they had a regular sized dog in addition to the jumbos.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joanie

        Totally agree. I know, I know, most folks would never complain about having too much to eat but those dogs are just monstrous. I'd be happy with one half the size. Good excuse to bring someone else with you and split it, I guess.

      2. When you mentioned they're from "somewhere in CT", I'm wondering if they could be from Bogner's in Manchester.....??

        1 Reply
        1. re: Science Chick

          A qualified maybe. It was kind of noisy (idling trucks nearby, that sort of thing) and I just didn't catch the name, but Bogner's does fit the rhythm of what he said. Someone else will have to ask, I guess.

        2. I have been going to Speed's for a while, not back in the 80s a while but several years. Pre-PG anway :)

          There is something different about Speed's since Larry the Grillman and Speed stopped working the truck. At first blush everything seems the same except that it's not. Greg is a nice guy, the process seems unchanged, the toppings similar… I can't put my finger on it.

          Maybe it's a somatic response to seeing new grill guy. I don't think that Speed has jumped the shark but something is different

          9 Replies
          1. re: ac106

            I sure wish there could be some consensus as to whether Speed's is as quality as before.

              1. re: applehome

                Yeah you either like it or you don't, who cares what the consensus is :)

                I'm still trying to get out there for my inaugural dog ... now that it looks like they have saturday hours it might just happen - although now I"m confused as to whether they're still in Newmarket Sq or over in Quincy.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    Anyone know if they'll be around this Saturday, what with the holiday weekend and all?

                    1. re: jgg13

                      He will not be around over the weekend. He said maybe next year he'll open on the 4th.

                1. re: applehome

                  Because I live in NH and it's a pain for me to get there.

                  1. re: observor

                    Some discussion of the value of consensus has been moved over to the Not About Food board. You can find it here:

              2. re: ac106

                I know at least one other hound agrees that Speed's has changed. Not necessarily for the bad, but different.

                Something about the cleaning of the old grills, IIRC.

                Ultimately, the speed dog is a little sweet for my taste, but it remains on of my favorite Boston houndly experiences.

              3. I stopped by for my first time ever yesterday, and got 4 cooked dogs to go. They were huge and delicious as heralded here. I also asked if I could buy some dogs uncooked, so I could make my own at home, and picked up a sealed package of 10 for $22. The label was torn off in various places just enough so that I can't make out the manufacturer info, and somehow I'm thinking that was not by accident.

                FYI, I went to Russo's today and asked the deli if they sell the Pearl dogs raw, and they do: $4.98/lb, and the guy said they average about 4 to a pound. I didn't get any today since I have the 10 from Speed's but will next time so I can compare them.

                4 Replies
                1. re: tbiscaia

                  I tried a Pearl hotdogs from my market the other after reading that these were the dogs used at the popular hotdog places/carts. While I liked it much better than your average supermarket frank, I have to say I think the Boars Head ones are still much better (the natural casing version - much better snap to it). Are the raw ones that different in taste? Is that maybe the route to go?

                  1. re: kobuta

                    When I said "raw" I meant ungrilled, just straight out of the package. Aren't all hot dogs already pre-cooked in some way? Wondering now...

                    1. re: tbiscaia

                      That's what I thought too, but since people keep raving about Pearl's, I thought I was missing something. I guess I'll stick to my Boar's Heads.

                    2. re: kobuta

                      I've been eating Pearls for years and just tried my first Boars Head about 2 weeks ago, because they didn't have Pearls at the store I was shopping at. I'm now a Boars Head convert. Delish!.