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 Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs!

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Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 10:22 AM (permalink)
We were making a road trip to Hawthorne, NY in early December to the semi-annual Henckel’s warehouse sale, and decided to combine this road trip with a tour of some of the Roadfood-recommended hot dog joints in Southwest Connecticut.
On the way to the sale we stopped in Danbury, CT, at JKs – home of the “Texas Hot Weiner”. What a great family place! It was a good size, and you could tell it was a real neighborhood spot as most of the waitstaff were greeting customers by name, and sitting down in the booth with them to take their order.  Check out the great road sign –

 We ordered 3 dogs, and the bacon cheese fries.  The dogs were split and grilled, and were on some kind of a home made or bakery roll, as these weren’t the standard white bread hot dog buns.
A plain (I tend to like just mustard on my dog)

And Tim ordered both a slaw and bacon -

and a chili-cheese dog -

I stole some of the chili, and it was great off the dog, Tim loved it on the dog.  The bacon cheese fries were really great – I’m sure it was a frozen fry, but they dressed it up with real cheese (vs. gooey processed stuff), and real bacon.

It had already started snowing, so we made our way to the knife sale, which was pretty amazing. If anyone is in need of really good knives, they had an amazing selection, along with blocks, gadgets, and some enamel/cast iron cookware at excellent prices – we figured out we saved 43% over the cheapest online price we could find for what we bought.  They run the sale 2-3 times a year at their warehouse in Hawthorne NY.
After stowing our goodies, we headed back into Connecticut by way of 95, and our next stop was at Swanky Franks in Norwalk.  A great little roadside dive of a place. They offer dogs two ways – split and grilled, or deep-fried. We decided to try one of each, plain, with a side of rings.  Both dogs were great, but I think I preferred the split dog slightly over the fried dog – the grilling added an extra snap and flavor. We’d pass on the rings next time (unfortunately I guess we should have tried the fries based on the posted review – next time!)

We split the dogs to try both

Our last stop was at Rawley’s in Fairfield. By this time the snow was coming down pretty hard and it was dark, so we didn’t get any pics of the building. Suffice it to say it’s another “joint” with lots of character. We were also pretty full by this time so stuck to two plain dogs again, with no sides – a decent dog, I’m sure we probably would be happier with some of the toppings, but it was the end of a long day!  It was pretty dark inside, too, so the quality of the picture is not great, but you get the idea.  I’d definitely go again and try some of the other dog options.

We got home sated, and satisfied, and happy we finally had a chance to try some of  Connecticut’s best dogs!

    John Fox

    • Total Posts: 2313
    • Joined: 12/3/2000
    • Location: Union, NJ
    Re:Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 10:38 AM (permalink)
    Nice pictures! Did you have a preference? Also, what brand of dog was served at JK's?

      • Total Posts: 1205
      • Joined: 8/30/2009
      • Location: Santa Fe, NM
      Re:Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 10:46 AM (permalink)
      Very nice. So was JK's your favorite? Looks like you were a bit more adventurous there. Both the bacon slaw dog and the chili dog look great. Which place had the best dog and which had the best side?
        sk bob

        • Total Posts: 1801
        • Joined: 12/29/2005
        • Location: South Daytona, FL
        Re:Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 11:51 AM (permalink)
        nice report. I miss those Connecticut dogs.
        IMHO beans don't belong in hot dog chili.

          Re:Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 11:54 AM (permalink)
          John Fox

          Nice pictures! Did you have a preference? Also, what brand of dog was served at JK's?

          My personal favorite was the grilled, split dog from Swanky Franks - had great snap, the bun was toasted, and although plain with mustard, was a great dog. Tim really liked the chili cheese dog at JKs, and actually threw some of the coleslaw on a few bites and liked the combination.  Not sure what the brand was at JKs - it was a skinless dog, the only crunch came from the nice crust from the split on the grill.

          Eating the Road - being a hot dog "purist" - I really like just mustard, dog, and bun, my fave was the Swanky grilled dog, but Tim really liked the toppings at JKs. We were just too full to try the toppings at the two other places we hit. Of the two sides we tried, the fries at JKs won hands-down, but I think we missed out on some great fries at Swanky Franks, so we'll have to try those next time.
            Buffalo Tarheel

            • Total Posts: 492
            • Joined: 3/1/2008
            • Location: Royalton, NY
            Re:Of Knives, and Southwestern Connecticut hot dogs! Sun, 12/20/09 5:59 PM (permalink)
            Terri and Tim,
            Very nice report.  I really enjoyed looking at those pictures and reading about your visits.  When Chris and I made our epic tour of the CT Gold Coast last spring, we managed to hit Rawleys and Swanky Franks, both of which I enjoyed.  They don't appear to have goen down in quality in the meantime.  With the information on JK's, you have given me another great potential stop on future trips.   Thanks for sharing this with us.
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