Hot Dog Charlies

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waltpiii
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2004/07/09 12:31:55 (permalink)

Hot Dog Charlies

Growing up in Troy, NY. We ate at Hot Dog Charlie's. The dogs are grilled on a steamed bun. The works have mustard, onion, and a Meat Chili sauce. (The chili sauce has no beans and is very spicy without the dog.) Hembolts Meat Market made the dogs.

The dogs are the size of your index finger. As a child they were 5 cents each. Then 2 for 15 cents. Now they are around 60 cents. I always start with 6 and in spite of my good intentions go back for 2-4 more. The also serve a pretty good fish fry.

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    mot1941
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/07/11 22:04:39 (permalink)
    Hot Dog Charlies. Is t6his the same place where you could get the little rolls for cocktail franks. Haven't had them in about 30 years. Live in Texas now and nobody down here has a clue as to what a cocktail frank is.
    #2
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/07/12 15:11:03 (permalink)
    The dogs are slightly larger than a cocktail frank. But that is the place. Hot Dog Charlie's and the Famous Lunch were next to each other on Congress Street. My family always preferred Charlies.
    #3
    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/07/15 12:41:55 (permalink)
    I liked HOT DOG Charlies but I thought the Famous Lunch was even better. I think they use Fritz Helmbolds dogs. Man I miss that taste of that great greek style sauce with fresh onions soaking into those little steamed rolls.

    Another Troy area great was Ted's fish fry and Gallagers in Watervliet, very good fish fry.
    #4
    trax
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/04 12:29:27 (permalink)
    Axvawe I agree with you. I like Famous better than Charlie's But the best hot dog's in the capital region of NY are in Watervliet at Gus's Hot Dog's They both use Troy Pork store dogs, so it must be the meat sauce. Gus's also has excellent hand patted burgers. If they had the same fried onions that Jack's out in Wynanskill put's on there sliders I'd be in heaven. Gallagher's fish fry has been out of business for several years. The building is now the home of McIntyres Irish pub. It's a great place to stop for a half & half sandwhich and a pint of Guinness. For those of you who have never frequented our old time gin mills here in upstate NY a half and half is a ham & swiss(boy do I miss Predigers rye bread)
    Waltpiii If you have never been to Gus's what are you waiting for. Make sure you eat inside at the counter for the complete experience, the door is on the side of the building.
    #5
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/04 13:15:15 (permalink)
    Thanks for the TIPS. But on Friday after our annual day trip to the track in Saratoga. We will stop at Charlie's in Maplewood between Waterveliet and Cohoes. It is very convenient to I 787.

    #6
    skuves
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/04 13:16:07 (permalink)
    Axvawe: Gus's sauce is good. I'd love to see the original owners set up an new shop serving Zweigle's and Gus's Sauce. I'm biased, definitely, but the best hots are new in town.

    At PJ's BBQ in Saratoga (white-hots only).
    Capital Hill Deli behind the Pepsi.
    Hot Dog Charlie could do very well with some high end hots.

    People in this area seem to like cheap hotdogs, there is a huge market in that and I am part of it. Stewarts Shops sell hotdogs all day for next to nothing, I cover them with hot relish and usually finish two before I get to the register, because I only get them when I'm starving and in a hurry(that seems to be quite often). Not the best.
    #7
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/04 13:17:03 (permalink)
    The South End Tavern used to have a Great Half & Half. But I used to close for the month of August so that the staff could go to the races.
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    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/09 15:06:31 (permalink)
    Wow Trax I forgot about those half and half sandwhiches. The big deal on holidays back in the Troy area was to get half and half's on Predigers rye. That was great bread the crust was just as good as the sour bread with rye seeds. Do you remember the potato chips from Cohoes that came in a silver and green bag they were half regular and half crisscrossed chips?

    And Jack's what more can you say about sliders....the onions and those greasy delicious burgers washed down with a cold bottle of chocalate milk...mmmm.
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    rwschemquest
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/21 00:29:35 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by axvawe

    I liked HOT DOG Charlies but I thought the Famous Lunch was even better. I think they use Fritz Helmbolds dogs. Man I miss that taste of that great greek style sauce with fresh onions soaking into those little steamed rolls.

    Another Troy area great was Ted's fish fry and Gallagers in Watervliet, very good fish fry.


    I was born in Troy, but never actually lived there....my grandfather owned a hardware store just down the street from Charlie's and Famous. My mother always told me stories about the original "hairy arm", but by the time I got to go there, the health department had ended that but they still used these custom "arm trays" that simulated lining the hot dogs up the arm of the preparer. To be honest, I abhor mustard so I never was that much of a fan, but the place sure was popular. They did in fact get the dogs from Helmboldt's who then had a stor just around the corner up Fourth Street a bit. I do remember a small roast beef sandwich joint between Famous and Manory's that I used to LOVE when I worked at the hardware store part time as a teenager.
    #10
    rwschemquest
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/21 00:35:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by axvawe

    I liked HOT DOG Charlies but I thought the Famous Lunch was even better. I think they use Fritz Helmbolds dogs. Man I miss that taste of that great greek style sauce with fresh onions soaking into those little steamed rolls.

    Another Troy area great was Ted's fish fry and Gallagers in Watervliet, very good fish fry.


    The little hot dogs used by Charlies and Famous are similar to the "coneys" made famous in Cincinnati using the Cincinnati Chili as originated by another greek at Skyline Chili. This chili is different than the Troy variety as it contains cinnamon and unsweetened chocolate. Cincinnati chili is famous the world over and you can find their hundreds of stores from central Ohio...into Cincinnati area and even down in Florida with a lot of them in KY and SE Indiana as well. In Cinci, Skyline is virtually on every corner in every town. The Skyline Coney is most typically served with the small dog, steamed bun, a dab of mustard, the Skyline chili, some diced onions and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese (that ones called a "cheese Coney").
    #11
    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/23 11:20:10 (permalink)
    I remember the guy at Hot Dog Charlies who used to make the dogs up on his hairy arm. It was in the early 1950's. We alway's wondered if that was the secret to there great taste

    I think the Hardware store down the street was Trojan Hardware.

    I remember the roast beef place but forget the name, they had a good horseradish sauce that went with the roast beef.
    #12
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/23 11:48:54 (permalink)
    I agree with you on the Hardware Store. Was the roast beef place "NEBA"? It had warm sliced roast beef on a seeded bun. It was owned by MIKE's Giant Submarine Sandwich shops.

    My brother has told me about Gus's. I will try it on my next visit.



    Walt Powers
    #13
    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/08/24 11:27:59 (permalink)
    Yes I think it was Neba's.

    Another good place in Downtown Troy in the old day's was Nelligans bakery. Fantastic baked goods and on Friday's delicious baked haddock.
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    rwschemquest
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/10/27 15:07:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by santacruz

    I remember the guy at Hot Dog Charlies who used to make the dogs up on his hairy arm. It was in the early 1950's. We alway's wondered if that was the secret to there great taste

    I think the Hardware store down the street was Trojan Hardware.

    I remember the roast beef place but forget the name, they had a good horseradish sauce that went with the roast beef.


    You are right about the hardware store -- Trojan Hardware. I worked there throughout high school and college in summer, etc. The roast beef place was a "one of a kind" (NOT NEBA -- Neba was part of Mike's), but this place was unbelievable. I used to scarf down 3 of 'em for lunch. The roast beef place was between Manory's and Famous Lunch on the same side of the street. There was also a great German bar/restaurant on 4th street across from Helmbold's called The Eldorado. Was like an old speakeasy and was probobly a holdover from Prohibition days.
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    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/10/28 11:15:47 (permalink)
    The Eldorado was a beautiful old fashioned bar and restaurant that usually catered to an older bunch of men. Troy in the 1950's had a gin mill just about on every corner from Lansingburg to Albia down to South Troy.

    A great tavern in South Troy that had good food was Burke's South End, great comfort food at good prices.

    The first time I ever tasted Pizza was at a dive called Rickey's on 7th Ave. It was out of this world. It just had cheese and good Italian Sauce with a thin crust circa 1954.

    The great thing about Troy was the diversity of the people who lived there, and the culinary traditions they brought with them from all over.
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    rwschemquest
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/10/28 11:56:17 (permalink)
    When I was a kid my grandfather used to take me to lunch at the Eldorado (the "Eldo") and I'd sit in the back at a small table and usually had roast beef, mashed potatos and gravy with green beens, while my grandfather sat up front at the bar and had a "few" with his ham hock.

    Troy was pretty interesting when it was still sorta thriving. There was a little bar on Congress St right next to the hardware store and we eventually took over the space and turned it into a seasonal section, but you could never get the smell of the spilled beer out of the wood on the floor and to this day it smells like an old bar in there.

    There was a place up on Sixth Avenue near St. Patrick's church called "Willard's Steerhouse" that had the best hamburgers.
    quote:
    Originally posted by santacruz

    The Eldorado was a beautiful old fashioned bar and restaurant that usually catered to an older bunch of men. Troy in the 1950's had a gin mill just about on every corner from Lansingburg to Albia down to South Troy.

    A great tavern in South Troy that had good food was Burke's South End, great comfort food at good prices.

    The first time I ever tasted Pizza was at a dive called Rickey's on 7th Ave. It was out of this world. It just had cheese and good Italian Sauce with a thin crust circa 1954.

    The great thing about Troy was the diversity of the people who lived there, and the culinary traditions they brought with them from all over.
    #17
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/10/28 17:00:30 (permalink)
    Troy is the only place that I can remember where the taverns have Ladies Entrances.

    I cannot remember the names of the College bars on River Street. But I do remember that the Armory Tavern up near RPI having 15 cent beers in the 60's

    At Callahan's Resturant on 4th street the Bar was men only and the Happy hour food was great.
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    santacruz
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/03 14:55:36 (permalink)
    Those college bars were called Petars Morocco, Shakers, The Castle, they had decent bands there in the 60's. Also there was the Knotty Pine just off 15th and Hoosick? They had decent pizza.

    The Armory was across from P.S. 14 not far from Troy High.

    The cheapest bar back then was Jimmy Burkes near the Green Island Bridge next to the Burgomasters, the drafts were only ten cents. I don't think it was Microbrewed probably it was Kncikerbockers!

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    rwschemquest
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/03 15:32:49 (permalink)
    Although I worked in Troy during high school and college (in the summers and on breaks), I did all my drinking over in Colonie where I lived. The drinking age was 18 then, but other than a couple bars near where I worked at Congress & 4th Street in Troy, I didn't spend that much time over there. Usually escaped at the end of the day. Troy was already getting pretty depressing in those days.
    #20
    food enthusiast
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/09 20:47:10 (permalink)


    On a recent trip across country I stopped at a quaint little family owned establishment, nothing to compare to big city franchises. The hotdogs are so similar to "Hot Dog Charlie's" I would beg anyone to tell the difference.
    I have tasted "Hot Dog Charlie's" sauce many times as my parents grew up with these favorites; over the years I believe the sauce has changed some and in my opinion is not quite as original as the sauce in this small family establishment.
    If you ever pass through Grants NM, stop at "Fun City", located on Historic Rt. 66 to sample this historic taste.
    #21
    LtlSunshine716
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/25 00:21:14 (permalink)
    The guys name that used to dress the hot dogs up his arm was John Fentekes. Unfortunately, John is no longer with us but his son and daughter still run all the stores.
    quote:
    Originally posted by santacruz

    I remember the guy at Hot Dog Charlies who used to make the dogs up on his hairy arm. It was in the early 1950's. We alway's wondered if that was the secret to there great taste

    I think the Hardware store down the street was Trojan Hardware.

    I remember the roast beef place but forget the name, they had a good horseradish sauce that went with the roast beef.
    #22
    LtlSunshine716
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/25 00:24:32 (permalink)
    South End Tavern a.k.a. Marty Burkes still to this day uses the Ladies Entrance.
    quote:
    Originally posted by waltpiii

    Troy is the only place that I can remember where the taverns have Ladies Entrances.

    I cannot remember the names of the College bars on River Street. But I do remember that the Armory Tavern up near RPI having 15 cent beers in the 60's

    At Callahan's Resturant on 4th street the Bar was men only and the Happy hour food was great.

    #23
    waltpiii
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    RE: Hot Dog Charlies 2004/11/29 14:26:34 (permalink)
    John's dad was the original Charlie. He was still alive in the late 50's or early '60's when the only Hot Dog Charlies was on Congress Street. Maybe 2 doors east of the Famous Lunch.

    Walt
    #24
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