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Speed's Hotdog (Now Boston Super Dog) at Charlestown Navy Yard this week

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Last year I finally decided to make a pilgrimage from Cambridge to Newmarket Square to visit Speed's hotdogs, only to find it closed on Mondays. Ugh. THIS time (Tuesday July 3rd), I checked their website first. Phew!, because they were at Charlestown Navy Yard that day, with plans to be there for the week. So, I got to try their awesome dog AND check out the park a bit and see some tall ships and aircraft carriers from afar.

I got there at prime time 12:30, and found no line, fast service. I got a dog loaded and enjoyed it on one of the many benches and shady grassy spots available. Totally worth the trip. This IS a yummy hotdog. The owner said business had been slow (all those tourists just aren't in the know!), so check their website to confirm location, but this is a great time to make a trip to Boston Super Dog.

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  1. Maybe if he hadn't changed his name to something stupid, people would be able to find him easier and his business wouldn't be as slow.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jgg13

      The bigger problem is probably the shifting venue. He's not where people have come to know him in Newmarket Sq. The last 3-4 times I've been there on a weekday, no Speeds. Gets to the point that I have stopped going. He also has a slot in the City of Boston Food Truck schedule (Liberty Square) and I have yet to see him actually show up.

    2. Let me see if I have this straight:

      The Original Speed Dog is in Newmarket Sq, manned by Ezra (?) aka Speed.

      Boston Super Dog is currently at the Brockton Fair and is manned by Greg. Boston Super Dog's CH handle is "thebostonspeeddog."

      Is that correct?

      17 Replies
      1. re: beetlebug

        No Greg and the super dog is separate from speed. Ezra is back in control of the speed wagon currently at the Brockton fair but will return to new market soon and all will be right with the speed dog world. And again I'm sorry for all the confusion

        1. re: thebostonspeeddog

          I wonder whether a few more stools / folding tables onsite where people can sit to eat might draw in more business...just a thought

          1. re: thebostonspeeddog

            Sorry, I'm still confused.

            Let's try this again.

            The Original Speed Dog is at the Brockton Fair and will be back at Newmarket Sq, manned by Ezra (?) aka Speed.

            Greg and Boston Super Dog are in a separate truck, elsewhere.

            And, the CH handle of the "bostonspeeddog" is someone affiliated with the original Boston Speed Dog and Ezra?

            1. re: beetlebug

              It is all so vague. Ezra took Greg under his wing and trained him to take over the business and then retired? Then with the new food truck Greg decided to keep the hot dog but change the brand? Are Ezra and Greg mortal enemies now? Seems Ezra helped that guy out a lot. It would be nice to know the truth behind the two trucks.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                Ezra and Greg have no feud. Greg was in charge of the truck until a good friend of speed could take it, which is who is running it now. Ezra is an equal partner and has given us the original recipe which hasn't been seen for years. The Original Speed Dog is back and here to stay. does that help?

                1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                  That is good news. I've missed the original recipe and will return to try it.

                  1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                    So Greg no longer has the rights to use the original recipe? Wasn't he trained with the original recipe?

                    1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                      This is still baffling. Let me try and understand.

                      1) In the beginning was the Speed, and the Speed was with Ezra, and the Speed was Ezra.

                      2) Speed/Ezra begat Greg, and Greg begat a new recipe, and he saw that it was good, and he still called it Speed for a while, then Boston Super.

                      3) Greg was a temp. Somebody begat "a good friend of speed" (but which speed -- Ezra Speed? Old recipe Speed? New recipe Speed?), who has taken over from Greg and will go back to the old recipe. Ezra is an equal partner. Does that mean Greg is no more and Boston Super will now sell Original Speed, or does that mean Greg lives on as new-recipe Boston Super, while "good friend of speed" in an equal partnership with Ezra enters with original recipe Speed -- giving us two (non-feuding, of course) hot dogs? And will original-recipe Speed be sold as Speed?

                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                        Speed is Ezra's nickname and yes speed will sell the original recipe

                        1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                          And will speed sell original-recipe speed as "Speed", or as "Super", or as something else?

                          If the first of these, will Greg continue to sell new-recipe speed as "Super" or is he out of the dog business?

                          1. re: FoodDabbler

                            who knew hot dog politics were so complex?

                            1. re: FoodDabbler

                              The Boston Speed Dog = Ezra, aka Speed, plus the as-yet-unnamed partner who is apparently the one posting here, who will soon be selling original Speed recipe dogs in Newmarket Square

                              Boston Super Dog = Greg, who is selling the tweaked recipe he's been selling for the last few years, in various places around the city

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                Thanks. I think I have this part sorted out now. The only remaining thing is whether Super-tweaked-Greg will coexist (or compete) with Speed-original-Ezra+partner, or if he (Greg) is out of the business.

                                1. re: FoodDabbler

                                  No, Greg is not out of the business. He is doing his thing with his recipe in his locations.

                                2. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                  I am not the partner but on all other accounts yes

                                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                    I'm still not buying that it was:

                                    a) amicable
                                    b) planned
                                    c) the triumphant return of the original recipe that no one has ever seen since Ezra left

                                    That said I'd not know the difference on point c - I was never able to get a speed dog until Greg took over and did weekend hours. Jenny I think it was you who once described Ezra as being like the brig o' doon - never had the capability to go all the way out there w/o knowing he'd be there.

                                    Not that I care one iota except for drama reasons, but I'm crying foul. Something went down and I'd prefer to know what it was :)

                              2. re: FoodDabbler

                                FoodDabbler, been off of Chowhound for awhile & am trying to catch up. Trying to understand what is happening in the SpeedDog world.

                                After your post, I am:

                                1.) more confused.

                                and

                                2.) ROTFL!!

                                Thank you (still laughing...)

                    2. This thread is awesome on so many levels. I especially like that no one cared that it wasn't the same dog as the original for years, just that it was a "speed" dog that warranted all the raves. :-o

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: LStaff

                        Because it was still a damn good dog. What Greg has been doing clearly has had modifications from the original product, but it's still been by a longshot the best hot dog in town -- what, people are going to go choke down those messes that Spike's churns out? -- and even with the option of going out to Newmarket Square for the original (which at best I manage to do maybe twice a year), there's still room in my life for both.

                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                          Yes - I have had the original years ago and Greg's, and they seem very close. I believe the #1 ranking in the Wall Street Journal (fwiw) and the Warren Buffett story all occurred while Greg was in charge (though I may be wrong about that).

                        2. re: LStaff

                          i have posted a couple of times that I thought they were different under Greg (and not really in a better way) but it was not so much as to make me stop going there. I don't think i was alone in that assessment. I am glad to hear that the original is coming back but to be honest I'll believe it when i see it.

                          1. re: ac106

                            Then you have what is to me the most important aspect; the frank itself. Speed served Pearl. Then the new owner switched to Grote & Weigel. Who is using what?

                            1. re: hotdoglover

                              Speed is back to pearl

                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                FYI, Grote and Weigel closed but their product was picked up by another company after several months of ceased operation and is being made again. It seemed like their distribution in the area dried up a while before they closed (personal observation) and a retailer that carried a large part of their line before is now stocking Dietz and Watson in its place. So while is possible, I wouldn't count on anyone in the area selling a Grote and Weigel dog this summer, particularly a specialty item like a 1/2 lb dog.

                                I had fairly limited experience with Greg running the Speed's truck and don't think I ever had his dog with the sauce, which others have said changed significantly. However, Greg's running of the truck seemed inconsistent -- Speed closed in the winter and did not go out depending on the weather, but overall he was consistent and "is speed out today" added a mystique to the experience. After initially trying to run it year round and answering his cell phone, the Greg Speeds truck then seemed to disappear for months on end, while mentioning new venues, and keeping few up to date. Making a good product is important and in that sense, consider this the "show me board," but I think clear communications and more consistency by the new owner will also make a difference because the food truck business has changed since Speed ran the truck.

                                1. re: itaunas

                                  The company that bought Grote & Weigel hired back all of the employees who were laid off and contacted all of their customers in an attempt to get them back. Some returned, some didn't.

                          2. Sooooo the truck at SOWA is which?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Beachowolfe

                              Greg. Boston Super Dog.

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                Thank, I saw for myself today. The "Previously Affiliated with Boston Speed Dog" sign does not convey an amicable separation.

                                1. re: Beachowolfe

                                  If it said something like "Previously affiliated with those assholes at Boston Speed Dog," I would agree, but that sounds entirely straightforward to me. Because...you know, he was previously affiliated with Boston Speed Dog, and now he's not. I dunno, I really think people are inferring more drama here than is likely to be the case.

                            2. Who's on 1st?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Gabatta

                                Like many, I am still confused. Did Speed really let Greg use his name, truck and location without providing him with the recipe for a few years? Now, the real Speed recipe has returned with a different operator? This is all amicable? Based upon Greg's history of posting on this board, isn't his silence meaningful?
                                I smell an ugly dispute that ended with a confidential agreement in which both sides agree not to disparage each other. The only way to tell whose dogs are for real is to compare the results when both the new "real" Speed's reopens.

                                1. re: laulauman

                                  I agree. I suspected that Greg had changed the name because he decided to branch out from the original Speed's brand and offer other items and join the new food truck scene.

                                  But now this news that although he was taken under Ezra's wing and given the keys to the kingdom, he was not given the formula? Just doesn't make sense that Speed's would give someone his name without the formula.

                              2. All I want to know if I show up to Newmarket Square on a Sat or Sun afternoon will there be hotdogs to be had?

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: viperlush

                                  Once the permitting is renewed then yes, and that should be soon, hopefully this week if not next week

                                  1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                                    And it will be the same hotdog that I have been getting the past few years, with the same toppings, and price?

                                    1. re: viperlush

                                      Sounds to me like non-compete clause has expired.

                                      1. re: typhoonfish

                                        Non-compete sounds about right. Or an option to terminate whatever agreement the parties entered into a few years back.

                                2. Drove over to Newmarket today....not there. So disappointed

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: typhoonfish

                                    That is a bummer. His (Boston Super Dog) twitter feed said that he was at Cleveland Circle 10-2:30 and will be at Hemenway & Forsyth from 4-9.

                                  2. So does Ezra, aka Speed, have a website, Facebook or Twitter handle? Thanks

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: mats77

                                      There is a Facebook and twitter but I'm not allowed to post a link on here

                                      1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                                        I found Greg's Superdog at Newmarket on Wed. afternoon. The hotdog with the works was delicious but not quite as good as I had from Speed's a couple of years ago. Still really good, though. The hotdog had a nice snap and bite to it and was very tasty. The only downside was the chili was not as good as before and there were no onions. It was still well worth the trip and I was so happy to see the truck there, I had no trouble eating the whole thing.

                                        1. re: alohagirl

                                          I went about a month ago. The biggest difference for me from prevoous dogs is the lack of charcoal grilling. Greg said city won't let him use charcoal but the taste was the same. Unfortunately, the difference to me was significant. Still a tasty dogs, bug my regular cravings won't be as strong.

                                          1. re: FoodTruth

                                            The limited fotos on the Speed Dog facebook site are worth a look. The larger grill is definitely gas and is in the position where Speed used to finish the dogs (on a kenmore type grill). It looks to have a similar clamshell grill as before, but I believe that is for simmering the dogs and does look to have a regulator off the side (vaguely looks like there might be a propane tank under the counter which probably won't fly in Boston). They maybe going back to 1-at-atime finishing of the dogs, but I wouldn't count on charcoal. (There is a separate grill outside the truck in Brockton, but again City of Boston wouldn't be too hot on that and doesn't make sense to finish the dog.) Incidentally the price at Brockton is $6, as opposed to the $7 that Greg charged last time I was there (and maybe the last season Speed cooked himself).

                                            That said, the photos like the text posted here are not particularly forthcoming. Given Speed's age you would think that within the context of whatever legal agreements are in place one would want to say something on facebook about the day-to-day running of the truck and frankly show photos of the new owner hugging Speed. But the one-sentence responses from a "fan of the original recipe" (presumably what the moderators will accept) have generated 52 responses so far, so at least for the chowhound audience that is publicity you can't buy. :-)

                                        2. re: thebostonspeeddog

                                          http://www.facebook.com/TheSpeedDog
                                          https://twitter.com/TheSpeedDog

                                          1. re: HubFlyer

                                            OK, I'm wondering - whether these links for the Ezra (original) Speed Dogs, or are they for the newer (Greg), sort of 'second generation' Speed Dogs? Or can we can assume (although we all know what happens when we assume) that Speed Dogs mean Ezra, and Super Dogs mean Greg? And why do I feel the same as when I'm trying to figure out a math problem?

                                            1. re: threedogs

                                              Your assumption is correct. The links are to Ezra's Speed Dog and Super Dog refers to Greg

                                              1. re: thebostonspeeddog

                                                And is Speed Dog back in Newmarket Sq? I had Super Dog, now I want to try Speed Dog.

                                                1. re: maillard

                                                  Speed's will open in new market as soon as we get our Boston permits all certified and renewed, updates will be posted

                                      2. went last night to Super Dog by Northeastern. Thanks for the tip chowhounders!! Amazing