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Aug 28, 2009 03:54 PM


Had a dog at lunchtime and could barely bite through the cassing. Anyone else notice the change. I used to luv this place, but no more, just not worth it

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  1. The new guy switched the brand of frank last year from Pearl to Grote & Weigel. It's very similar: a 1/2-lb, natural-casing, all-beef frank. I like it just as well as the old one, and as he hasn't cut any corners on the original Speed's formula, I'm enjoying them overall as much as ever. I get mine with everything, but find I'm preferring it with a little less of the house-made relish, which is very sweet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Is it OK to order a Speed's dog, medium rare? I like it charred on the outside, and juicy in the inside like a medium rare Ribeye.

      1. re: Torolover

        Ha, ha, a medium-rare dog! I suppose you could ask for the external char, but the canonical Speed's technique isn't conducive to that outcome. As Ezra did in Days of Yore, Greg still simmers the dog in cider and brown sugar, smokes it a bit on a closed charcoal grill, slashes the casing lightly, bastes the dog with Speed's Special Sauce, and cooks it some more on an open charcoal grill. It isn't really charred all over. Maybe you could request "well done" or "blackened". Maybe bring your own crème brûlée torch?

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          You can ask him to char it.

          What it really needs is sriracha.

    2. Go to Freds Franks in Wakefield and get a PEARL!!!! The BEST!

      1. Funny you should post this, last week I stopped here and immediately recognized something wrong. The dog seemed chewy and the relish even sweeter than before.
        Its really not a treat anymore.

        6 Replies
          1. re: threedogs


            I am of the camp that says the new dog is far superior to the Pearl dog that Speed's used to use. Greg did not make this change lightly: he auditioned a number of different butchers before making the switch.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

              I figured he did from the sound of the article and what I heard before, too. As much as I always loved my pilgrimage to Speed's, the amount of salt always was too much for me (I don't use a whole lot of salt in my diet). So that would be a real plus for me. And I love, love, LOVE the snap of real casings...

              Looking at the Grote and Weigel website - ""Low Salt", no sugar nor sweeteners, no fillers, no flavor enhancers nor artificial coloring. As close to all natural as can be."

              OK, now I'm getting really hungry. Put together a 24 hr sauerkraut recipe, going to cook a corned beef I've been brining all week, making pizza tonight... and now I'm craving a Speed's dog..

              1. re: threedogs

                Yeah, you can definitely tell you adhere to a strict low sodium diet with foods such as corned beef and sauerkraut ; )

                1. re: tysonmcneely

                  Hahahaha - but I corned my own beef (less salt than usual) AND I found a great, no-salt, 24 hr sauerkraut recipe (hint: a capsule of acidolphilus added does the trick).


            2. re: threedogs

              I've always preferred natural casings, but speed's new dogs are much tougher to bite through than before.
              I always thought they used to have just the right amount of "snap".

          2. Recent Article for anyone who missed it in the patriot ledger food section, which sucks btw.

            4 Replies
            1. re: T.Clark

              Thanks for posting the link, T. So Speed is totally out of the picture, now. Well, guess he deserves a rest from it all - he must be what, in his 90's now?

              I haven't been there since Greg took over, but I'd love to get over there. Looks like he's really dedicated to great dogs - need to find out for myself!

              1. re: threedogs

                Speed has been retired for ages. I believe this is Greg's third year running the stand solo.

                1. re: T.Clark

                  If you click on the 'related photos' link, those two girls are my 'chowpups'. I was proud to have them included in the article about such an important Boston institution!

                2. I totally disagree with your conclusuion that Speeds is not worth it any more.. The Speeds hot dogs remain fabulous, especially if you get them "loaded" with all the sauses.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Delhiwala

                    you got lucky. ate speed dog's for 15 years, and the new one's just don't do it.

                    1. re: hlerm2

                      Perhaps they're not to your tastes, but yours definitely is the minority opinion on this. I actually feel that on a dog-to-dog basis, the G&W beats the Pearl handily.

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        I've never been to Speed's, but have tasted both the Pearl dog and the Grote & Weigel beef. Here in N.J. many of the Texas Weiner places use a G&W beef/pork frank. There is only one place near me that uses the natural casing beef frank. It is smaller than what Speed's uses being eight to a pound.

                        I really don't like relish on a beef dog or a sweet marinande. I usually have a natural casing beef dog with just mustard. Taste is subjective and I would say both are quality dogs. In N.J. it's rare to see dogs sold loose behind the deli counter. At a Stop & Shop near me I can get Pearl dogs loose in the summer, so I get them often. But I do prefer the beef dog from Grote & Weigel to the Pearl. Both are very good, but G&W is a little less salty. It has a tighter casing (which isn't important to me), is less greasy and has a wider depth of flavors.