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Chef's Dog House, Newington, CT-----good stuff

masha bousha Jan 31, 2011 03:49 AM

I was shocked to discover that the Hartford Courant had to alert me to Chef's Dog House in Newington, CT. I would've thought the good folks here at Chowhound would've beaten the local paper to it. But, anyway---good news no matter how you get it, is still good.
I adore good hotdogs and am still missing the loss of one of my favorite local joints, Rosco's Big Dog. Have I gotten over it now that I've visited Chef's? Yes, yes I have (for now). First off this is a tiny and clean little joint on Willard Ave in the 7-11 plaza. Upon walking into the place there were several other customers beaming by the register and almost waiting for us to enter so they could tell us how good everything is. (I love that about a place: passionate patrons who don't mind sharing their little secret haunts with you). The owner is the younger guy who enthusiastically guides you through ordering (if you need it). I was told by one of the other patrons that the sides (fries, rings, etc.) are big enough to share (but me and my SO still ordered rings and fries...and the patron was right, big orders that we did not finish).
I had the dog with pulled pork and cole slaw on top. The NE style bun was grilled to perfection, the pulled pork was really good and the slaw flavorful. (and I don't like slaw by itself but when it's part of something on a menu I can roll with it). I really liked this dog. Next time I want to try it a bit more on the plain side with just some saurkraut and mustard.
Onto the condiment bar...which is large and in-charge! Everything is homemade (so they say) and they have tons of peppers, mayos and relishes. I'm personally not a fan of relish (any kind) but if you are (as my SO is) you'll love what they have to offer.

Fries: wedge variety (they come in several flavors too but we got them plain). I liked them. They were quite brown (yay!) and tasty. I have to say my dog was so big that I didn't even try the rings. They were LARGE and I was full.

The burgers, sammies and other dogs look fantastic.

Check this place out! Keep 'em going!
Oh and the owner told me that Rosco/Ron of Rosco's has already been into Chef's several times and gives his seal of approval.

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  1. m
    Meesch70 RE: masha bousha Feb 3, 2011 09:07 AM

    We ate there a few weeks ago; tried the dogs, burgers and onion rings, and enjoyed all of it. I loved the onion rings, some of best I've had in recent memory! Glad to have Chef's in the area to satisfy the hot dog fix!

    1. h
      hotdoglover RE: masha bousha Feb 3, 2011 09:32 AM

      Do you know the brand of dog they serve? To me it's more important than the toppings. I too loved Rosco's and considered it one of the best places to get a hot dog. I seem to remember hearing about Chef's, but can't recall anything.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hotdoglover
        masha bousha RE: hotdoglover Feb 4, 2011 03:25 AM

        I made it a point to ask the owner what kind of hot dog it was and then promptly forgot. I knew someone here would ask...and I'm sorry I let you down!

        1. re: masha bousha
          h
          hotdoglover RE: masha bousha Feb 4, 2011 05:27 AM

          Maybe you'll remember if I mention the possibilities? Hummel's, Grote&Weigel, Mucke's, Martin Rosol, Sabrett.

          1. re: hotdoglover
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            hotwing RE: hotdoglover Feb 4, 2011 08:48 AM

            Rosco's used to use Thumanns hot dogs. Could this be it?

            1. re: hotdoglover
              masha bousha RE: hotdoglover Feb 4, 2011 09:03 AM

              I know for sure it wasn't Martin Rosol. It could be Thumann and I know the guy said the dogs were made just for his place.

        2. f
          foodwallguy RE: masha bousha Feb 3, 2011 09:43 AM

          After reading the wonderful review, I immediately called my hot dog guy. He informed me to stay away because of a crime against humanity...beans in a hot dog chili. I cannot support the senseless "beaning" of a perfectly good hot dog. Rosco, who has a tattoo of a chili dog on his leg, had a great thing going until he moved downtown. The chili dog wasn't the same and the place looked like a cheap KFC knockoff. I was crushed.

          1. BiscuitBoy RE: masha bousha Feb 4, 2011 08:44 AM

            masha, can't place it...other landmarks?

            1 Reply
            1. re: BiscuitBoy
              masha bousha RE: BiscuitBoy Feb 4, 2011 09:02 AM

              It's near a VFW and a 7-11. I can't think of any other landmarks.

            2. masha bousha RE: masha bousha Feb 4, 2011 09:01 AM

              Chef's Dog House, 337 Willard Ave, Newington; 860-667-3700

              1 Reply
              1. re: masha bousha
                h
                hotdoglover RE: masha bousha Feb 4, 2011 01:03 PM

                The frank used is Kayem's skinless all beef.

              2. t
                TnTinCT RE: masha bousha Feb 5, 2011 05:33 AM

                I was excited to try this place until I read "skinless dogs". Really??? No snap, what's the point.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TnTinCT
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                  jonsull RE: TnTinCT Feb 10, 2011 12:03 PM

                  I live right near there and consider myself a hot dog lover and did not find their dogs to be remarkable at all. To me it should be all about the dog and the condiments are a chaser. I found the hot dogs here to be very average and the condiments a little above average but not enough to make it a winner. Just MHO..........

                  1. re: jonsull
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                    westie RE: jonsull Apr 30, 2011 12:10 PM

                    We had a groupon so we decided to dine here this afternoon. I ordered 2 regular hot dogs which came on a grilled roll. The dogs were very good as was the roll, but the highlight was the condiment bar. The chili on my wife's chili dog was very good and not greasy at all.
                    The restaurant is clean and the personnel were friendly. The owner stopped to chat at most tables. I am looking forward to visiting again.

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