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Speeds dogs

Has anyone seen the wagon yet? I have been waiting for the spring, and craving a dog with chilli and mustard (a little onion too). When I had my last dog in the late fall they said they'd be back around St. Pats....anyone else craving a Speeds dog yet?

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  1. saw it on the highway last week heading to Boston. My guess is that they are open now.

    1. Funny you should mention. I have Friday off and was thinking about taking a drive to Newmarket to get a dog. Nice to hear I'm not the only one craving!

      1. I called to check. He's there. More info for the season here.

        http://www.bostonzest.com/2009/03/spe...

        Penny

        9 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          Hey Penny - your link doesn't work where you say "Here's my report on my first Speed's Hot dog.
          http://www.bostonzest.com/2008/10/spe... Getting a 404 message.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            Thanks Linda, I fixed it. It was good of you to let me know.

            Just made a date with my husband for the first Saturday open. He hasn't had a Speed Dog yet.

            1. re: BostonZest

              Nor have I. I've read about them for years here on CH. Methinks a vacation day on a REALLY nice Spring day is in order to make the trip! Although I wonder if Saturday would be less crowded without the usual business folk?

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Honestly, I think the most people I've ever seen at the truck on a weekday is maybe half a dozen. Although now that I think of it, I've never been there at noon, so there may be a lunch rush. But go midafternoon if you can and you'll be fine.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  Sounds good Barmy. I don't eat directly at noon anyway, so early mid-afternoon (1-1:30) works for me.

          2. re: BostonZest

            Do I take it from the photo that Speeds is bringing his own portable picnic tables?

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Yeah, those showed up last summer. I miss eating it over the hood of the car.

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                Barmy, I'm giving you a "Over The Hood Eaters" pass the the entire 2009 season.

                I had a Zipcar so I did use the tables.

                1. re: BostonZest

                  Actually, we're always in a Zipcar when we're at Speed's too. Hey, they just say you can't eat IN the car, they never said anything about ON the car!

          3. I brought my friend visiting from HK to Speeds on the 12th this month and she loved it. We got there at 3:30 p.m. and the guy was closing up after he sold us the dog.

            1. Wow...that's good to know. I usually show up around 1-2, and there's just a steady flow of people, but never more then a half dozen like Barmy said. It also takes about five minutes once you order to get your dog. Almost forgot the sauce...yum! What have you all had on your dogs?

              6 Replies
              1. re: steveA

                I'll go for the Speed's classic-- just the way he likes to make it is fine with me.

                1. re: steveA

                  "One with everything": relish, mustard, Speed's sauce (ketchup-like, but not quite ketchup), onions, no-bean beef chili.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    would that be a Buddha Dog?
                    (make me One with Everything?)

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      If it is possible to achieve satori through the medium of a hot dog, Speed's is the one.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Then there's always the sound one makes while eating a Speed's dog...om om om om

                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          don't forget the noms, mister dobalina

                2. They're selling t-shirts now, also - which may not be new, but I didn't remember them. They're golden yellow with the logo on the front pocket and a design on the back.

                  Spring has sprung; first Speed's dog.

                  1. So I've been on this board as long as most people -- having discovered it when Calvin Trillin first wrote about it in The New Yorker -- and am ebarrassed to say that I never had been to Speed's. But reading this thread on a NYC-to-Boston train today, I realized I was getting in to Back Bay Station around noon and did not need to be in Belmont until 1:30, so it was the perfect opportunity to grab my first Speed's. I managed to get my car and get to Speed's a little after 12:20, and there were only two people in front of me in line. That gave me enough time to get the lay of the land and consider my topping options. I love hot dogs, and love chili, but don't like chili on my hot dogs, so I ordered one with everything except the chili.

                    Less than 10 minutes later, I had my first Speed's dog in my hands, and I was nearly quivering with excitement as I crossed the street back to my car. What a great piece of work! A delicious dog! As far as the toppings go, I could not taste the mustard or relish at all. The "special sauce" struck me more as a bbq sauce than a ketchup, which is a good thing, since I hate ketchup on a hot dog. And although I liked the special sauce, I think next time I'll go just with mustard, relish and onions, which is what I typically prefer on my dogs.

                    As good as it was, I won't be going to Speed's with any regularity. In addition to the inconvenience, that's one big dog! Some of us need to be careful about what we eat! (And to add to my guilt, I took a day off from running today, too!) But as a once-in-a-while treat, I definitely will be back. It's clearly the type of place that epitomizes what Chowhound is all about.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Blumie

                      My plan is to take someone else who can't afford to eat the whole thing and share one. This is my husband's job on weekends but I'm up for weekday volunteers.

                      1. re: BostonZest

                        I am up for weekday sharing, Wednesday is the best for me.

                      2. re: Blumie

                        I agree, it's way too big for someone with a regular appetite (or someone who wants to *somewhat* eat with moderation.

                        I will say, however, that i believe the best way to enjoy a Speed's Dog is to get it "with the works.." " I'm also sort of a hot dog purist and only like mustard and relish on mine, but took the plunge the first time I went and got it the way it was "meant to be.." I thought it was amazing and wouldn't get it any other way now.

                        1. re: twentyoystahs

                          I agree that a Speed dog really needs to be eaten with "the works", even though I usually have far fewer topping on my hot dogs.

                      3. Made my annual pilgramage today, and it was just..........amazing. God that is a good hot dog (and it is huge). Got there at 12:45 today and my co-worker and I were the only customers. Business did pick up a little in the time it took us to eat. I asked for a little extra char on mine, was glad I did, it was perfect. I skipped the chili - everything but is enough for me. If you haven't tried one yet, it's a fun & delicious trip.

                        1. This is supposed to be the first Saturday for Speeds. I called today and confirmed tha weather permitting the wagon will be there. Then I emailed to some friends who want to try Speeds. We've already had a couple of folks reserve a space in our Zipcar.
                          Can't wait for my dear dining companion to enjoy his first Speeds on Saturday.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: BostonZest

                            What fun to introduce friends to Speed's. Today I witnessed the birth of four new Speed's Hounds.

                            Everyone love their first Speed Dog and everyone finished them -- much to the surprise of a couple of us. I knew what I was facing so I skipped breakfast to save room!

                            We debated getting one steak sandwich to share but decided that would have to wait until next time.

                            The friends who went with us were Spike's Hot Dog fans and while they may still go there because it's close to home, they are now plotting ways get to Speeds. We brought one back to a staff person in our building and he declared it "Awesome!"

                            1. re: BostonZest

                              Hah...I was sitting at the (only other) table next to you guys.

                              1. re: rknrll

                                You should have howled!

                                And, did you enjoy your Speed Dog???

                                1. re: BostonZest

                                  Well...the part about bringing one back to a staff member connected the dots.
                                  You guys were seated...we (three total) ordered and then sat down. I heard the bit about getting one more to-go...so then it clicked when I read your post on here.

                                  The dog was tremendous...ordered it loaded. It was my first time as well...and I was not disappointed.

                                  The original plan was to get a Speed's dog and then go to the Hen House for some chicken and waffles...but yeah, there was no room for that after the dog.

                                  Also...I hate Spike's. The dog is okay but FAR TOO MUCH BUN. Somerville to Newmarket is a quick jaunt and easily worth the time and $$ (even when Davis is within a mile of my house).

                                  1. re: rknrll

                                    It seems like Speeds, more than any other place, starts these "Hey, I was there when you were!" kind of posts. :)

                                    1. re: rknrll

                                      I have been known to get those $1 hot dogs at the Hess station across the street from the Spikes in Allston. They're gross, but they're still better than a Spike's dog, because you can taste something other than the giant flavorless wad of dough they call a hot dog bun.

                                      I have seriously considered going into Spike's with a bag of Freihofer rolls and saying "Gimme two chili dogs, but put them in these." I wonder if they'd get the point.

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                        I heard that you can order a hot dog with some keyword like "pup" or something similar...and they will cut off half the sides of the bun.

                                        1. re: rknrll

                                          50% less crap is still crap, unfortunately.

                                      2. re: BostonZest

                                        Hi Penny:
                                        Just talk to Greg today;
                                        Memorial day eekend Sat/Sun and Mon he will be at number one car dealer what a combo number hot dog and numer one car dealer Quirk Chevy in Braintree Ma Call Greg for any other info
                                        617-839-01023

                                2. I can't wait for my first one of the season - I have a feeling the putrid garbage strewn on the side of Southampton Street, and the foul runoff from the meat wholesalers will be a muted foil to the deliciousness of the dog. In July, the intensity of the background aromas makes the experience a little less enjoyable.

                                  1. With all the talk of Zipcars - just a reminder for the "carless": It's an easy ride on the #10 bus from Copley! Directions in the link.

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

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: fredid

                                      Also the #1 goes right down mass ave. Just get off at BUMC and walk from there.

                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                          And Andrew Square, if I'm not mistaken, has several Polish markets with delicious meats...

                                          1. re: fredid

                                            Yesirree - you can grab a delish kielbasa sandwich at DJ's Market and then a Speed's dog. One can walk off a small portion of the calories by walking between the two.

                                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                              "you can grab a delish kielbasa sandwich at DJ's Market and then a Speed's dog."

                                              OMG - then wait to explode!!

                                              It would take a LOT of walking to get rid of those (albeit delicious beyond words) calories...

                                      1. Had my first of the season today. Maybe I was just extra hungry but it didn't seem as "heavy", although I didn't sense anything as being different. I'd forgotten how big those things look.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: jgg13

                                          me four! We enjoyed the wide range of folks there and talked sea breeze.

                                        2. Just had my first today as well: mighty fine. As sure a sign of spring to me as the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano!

                                          Hours posted:

                                          M-W 9:30a to 5p
                                          Th-F 9:30a to 7p
                                          Sa (Apr 18): 10:30a to 5p

                                          Also new: steak sandwich, $8, and T-shirts (up to size 6XL for you daily Speed's diners) for $18-20.

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                            I didn't even notice the steak sandwich on the menu. I wonder what's going on there, if there's anything special about it.

                                            I heard Greg having a conversation about the tshirts with someone, but the wind was drowning out most of the sound (we were at one of the tables) so couldn't really hear what they were saying.

                                            There was some guy selling some stuff off the back of a truck, we spent most of the lunch debating whether his goods were "hot" or not. :)

                                            1. re: jgg13

                                              I saw the truck guy, too. Those goods had fallen off the back of another truck, for sure.

                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                He was making a steak sandwich for another patron when I was there earlier this week for a dog. The uncooked meat looked high quality and I'm sure it is nice on one of those fresh Quinzani sub rolls.

                                                1. re: PaulB

                                                  Interesting. Only thing is that it's enough of a PITA for me to make it out there usually that I can't imagine ever *not* getting a dog :)

                                                  1. re: jgg13

                                                    I have the same issue with the Speed's steak sandwich. This is a bit like my dilemma at Pho Viet. Their other stuff is very, very good, but they make my favorite banh mi in town. How can I not get that?

                                                    (My editor at The Phoenix said, "You can't write a review about just one menu item", so I ended up trying a lot of other things. But not anymore!

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                      I wonder what the editor would say about chacarero? :)

                                                      I do find that one speeds dog sates me for at least a few weeks before I start trying to concoct ways of getting over there. I figure if by some chance I find my way over there in that down period I could try the sandwich.

                                                      Unlikely though :)

                                              2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                Me three! I traveled with mine and couldn't eat it for ~an hour. It does suffer with time and not quite the transcendent experience of hot off the grill.

                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                  I take it those hours are if the sun is shining?
                                                  Tried to go today at noon and he was nowhere to be found...shame because it's not even raining, just damp out.

                                                2. Hi all! Well I finally made it over on Saturday. The wife had her first dog and was quite pleased. Turns out she really loved the mustard (and she's not a big mustard person). As we were discussing the dog, what kept coming up was the balance between the seasoning of the dog, the grilling, and the condiments. Overall, it's really well balanced between salty and sweet, with a bite of onion adding a touch of bitterness.

                                                  We were there around 12:30 on Saturday and there were about three orders in front of mine, and while we were eating about 3 more groups showed up. Overall, steady but service was quick. Satisfied the Speed's craving(for now)...but it will crop up again in a few weeks!

                                                  1. Made it by yesterday and managed to get the last 3 dogs at 3PM, one for the wife, two for me :)

                                                    I felt rather guilty seeing the people show up getting turned away while I was double-fisting speed dogs. Mmm...gluttony

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: bbqisgood

                                                      Okay...so maybe the truck wasn't there today because they were out of dogs?
                                                      Or does anybody have any idea about if they don't show up because it's raining...?

                                                      I want to go get one tomorrow!

                                                      1. re: rknrll

                                                        Call first - 617 - 839 - 0102

                                                        It will save you the heartache of pulling around the corner and realizing the wagon isn't there.

                                                        1. re: bbqisgood

                                                          Oh you're the best.
                                                          I sort of assumed they didn't have a phone.

                                                        2. re: rknrll

                                                          My very first Speeds dog was eaten in the middle of a rainstorm -- it's not a cut and dried thing like that. But yes, since Greg has taken over and made his cellphone number public, there's much less of the Brigadoon-like aspect that used to be part of the Speed's mythos.

                                                      2. Finally, had the opportunity to try my very first Speeds dog. I'm not much of a hot dog lover, but with all the hype I just had to do it. My impression, I would definitely do it again. The roll held up nicely to all the sauce, and I have to admit I resorted to a knife and fork to eat. The sauce was sweeter than I was anticipating, but I definitely enjoyed it.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Pegmeister

                                                          Peg, I didn't know you were a virgin! Ha. Glad you liked it. It sort of ruins it for all other hot dogs. Except for the ones I grill at home.
                                                          CocoDan

                                                          1. re: CocoDan

                                                            Funny, that's why I had it with the works.

                                                        2. Has anyone actually tried the steak sandwich? I am heading there today for the first time this season, and might get one to supplement the dog (like "steak for two for one").

                                                          21 Replies
                                                          1. re: nsenada

                                                            you won't need to suppliment the dog....trust me here.

                                                            1. re: steveA

                                                              Oh well - I couldn't resist the dog, and didn't feel like a steak sandwich side.

                                                              Incidentally, there was a guy with a camera crew there today, interviewing Greg about various things. One thing he asked was the largest number of dogs he's ever seen anyone eat at one sitting (or standing). Greg said "three" - I feel like I could probably demolish four.

                                                              1. re: nsenada

                                                                I'd be awed by anyone who could do two Speed's dogs. I generally fall a bite short of completing one with everything. It took me a long time to learn, but I now stop eating when I'm full, even when something is so delicious I'm tempted to keep chowing.

                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                  I'm part beagle, in that I will eat myself to death before the message gets from my exploded stomach to my brain to cease and desist. However, I'm not great in the endurance category - on Good Friday, our annual gluttony/blasphemy festival, we go to the Midwest Grill, and I’m way out ahead for the first 30 minutes. By two hours in, I’m usually on the sidelines with meat-induced hallucinations.

                                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                    I am, as my Aunt Loretta once dubbed me, A Big Hungry Boy. And there is simply no way I could eat three Speed's dogs in one sitting. I'm not positive I could have done that when I was a teenager and would routinely do things like eat six Big Macs or a dozen tacos at once.

                                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                      I forget where it was posted (I'm too lazy to look it up), but I heard that Speed's switched brands from Pearl to something else. Is this true? And if he did, what did he switch to?

                                                                      1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                        True enough, as documented with initial horror (and then relief) in my review of Speed's in The Phoenix last year. He won't say who the new purveyor is, but I think it's a fine alternative to the Pearl original, maybe even a little better.

                                                                        I also memorialized the switch with a 2008 Dining Award in Stuff Magazine: "Scariest Moment for Street-Foodies"

                                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                          1. re: rknrll

                                                                            Are they all beef or a beef/pork blend? How do you know they use Grote & Weigel?

                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                              It's a beef dog with a hog casing.

                                                                                1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                                                  Yeah...and "It Was A Good Day" has been stuck in my head ever since I wrote that.

                                                                                  1. re: rknrll

                                                                                    No barkin' from the Speeds dog!

                                                                                2. re: rknrll

                                                                                  Thank's for the info. The bigger dogs use a hog casing. Smaller dogs use a thinner lamb or sheep casing. Though I live in N.J. there is one place near me that uses an 8 to a lb natural casing Grote & Weigel beef frank. It is very good. As is the Pearl brand dog. One place which since closed used a 1/4 lb Pearl for awhile. I can get them at my local Stop & Shop. They are just advertised as Stop & Shop's beef dog, but I found out that is in fact Pearl. They come loose or in boxes and are 6 to a lb with natural casing. Though Jersey is a great state for hot dogs, it is very rare to see them sold loose behind the deli counter.

                                                                                  The Pearl franks are only sold from June through Sept. I look forward to them. They are my wife's favorite dog. Grote & Weigel's beef dog is in the same league, but I wonder why Speed's switched. Only thing I can think of is that the larger dogs (1/4 lb and over) were inconsistent as far as size and consistency. That's what I was told by the guy in N.J. who used them in his store after he switched. I may have heard the same somewhere about why Speed's switched. The 6 to a lb are excellent.

                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                    Restaurant Depot has the large package of them (15 in a pack, I think?) year round - I usually get them and freeze them.

                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                      Around here the 1/4 lb Pearl "Kountry Klub" dogs are sold from the deli case at Star/Shaw's year round. An excellent dog with a really good snap to the casing.

                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                        Lacking flavor and very inconsistance in size, wish they where better prepared. I always liked them until speed switched to the new company much better flavor

                                                                                        1. re: hotsun2

                                                                                          Meant to say pearl lacking flavor

                                                                          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                                            OK - now that the Speed Dog and the doughnut (and chile chocoIate bar) I grabbed at the Baltic have finally settled in, I guess I might have trouble with four. I do think I could do three though.

                                                                        1. re: nsenada

                                                                          My favorite moment was last summer...around 1:30. These two gentelman are in front of me, and Greg recognizes on of them and asks where's he's been. The man said he was just picked up from Beth Israel after bypass surgery (and he was there for awhile for rehab). I wouldn't have believed it but he showed his wrist tag....then proceeded to order two with the works....

                                                                          1. re: steveA

                                                                            OMG-there goes that surgeon's hard work!

                                                                    2. I had my first Speed Dog of the season on Saturday afternoon and it was perfect. It is wonderful that some great things do not change.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Delhiwala

                                                                        ... or, in the case of Speed's, that it has changed but that it's still great!!!

                                                                        1. re: Delhiwala

                                                                          Had my first of the season on Saturday afternoon also, I also brought a friend along for his first ever and as you can imagine he was VERY impressed. Still as good as ever.

                                                                          1. re: Matt H

                                                                            Talked to Speed Junior today(Greg), they are going to be at Quirck Chevy for Memorial Day Weekend in Braintree. Ma. What a treat do not need to drive into Boston

                                                                            1. re: hotsun2

                                                                              I was planning on going Friday afternoon - will have to call first and make sure.
                                                                              Also...not a treat because I was gonna take the T there to avoid holiday weekend stuff. Not good if he's in Braintree.

                                                                              1. re: rknrll

                                                                                I was kinda cheesed: drove by at 1:30pm-ish on Thursday, no Speed's. Rats.

                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                  Yeah I just called Greg...not in Newmarket until Tuesday, and confirmed whatever car dealership place Sat/Sun/Mon.