Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA

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cy_dugas
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2008/07/27 16:39:22 (permalink)

Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA

St. Martinville, LA (or all of LA, in fact) is not know for it's hot dogs. But in my small hometown we have one of the best around.

Richie's Drive In was originally a Tastee-Freeze (sp?) and had the best soft-serve ice-cream around. In the late 70's it was bought by a family friend, Mr. Richard. He came up with the best hot dog chili I've ever eaten, and I still stop by now and again for a chili-dog (even though he no longer owns the place.)

The dog itself is simple - a boiled weiner on a french bread "mini-loaf" topped with chili. You can get other condiments, but the chili makes the dog! I have tried, in vain, to copy the recipe. My best guess is that the ground meat is boiled (very fine texture) and seasoned. No tomato or "gravy". It is very heavily spiced and thick. When I was a kid I often had mom order me what I called a chili dog - a bun with just chili (Mr. Richard would put extra for me!) Along with fresh onion rings and a BOTTLE of Coke, this was a weekend treat par none.

The dogs are still very good ( I guess he passed along the recipe?), as are the onion rings, po-boys, ice cream, and burgers.

The drive in is walk-up with only one window and one picnic table for those who desire eating there. We always ate at home (or snuck some rings in the car!) While it looks like a dive, it is my favorite!

Hope someone gets a chance to partake.

cy
#1

5 Replies Related Threads

    ScreenBear
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    RE: Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA 2008/07/27 16:59:27 (permalink)
    Cy,

    Sounds good. Do you by any chance know what brand of hot dog they serve?

    The Bear
    #2
    cy_dugas
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    RE: Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA 2008/07/27 17:27:15 (permalink)
    I wouldn't doubt a very cheap brand.

    In south LA we don't usually relish hot dogs as other places in the country do. I grew up on cheap "red" dogs made of various animal parts. I've graduated to all beef, but this isn't common here.

    In Louisiana I've found that the condiments make the dog. Chili, jalapeno peppers, cheese, mustard, relish, cabbage, etc. seem to be more important than the dog itself. It's ironic that an area with some of the greatest sausages around (andouille, boudin, chourise, chaudin, etc.) doesn't seem to really care about the type of weiner that goes on the bun.

    One of my favorite "meat on a bun" treats are hot-links. My dad used to bring me to work in the summer when school was out and a lunchtime treat was a hot--link sandwich with mustard on, again, a french bread loaf.

    By the way, we make some great smoked deer sausage (with about 1/2 pork) which we often eat in a poboy - good stuff.

    cy
    #3
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA 2008/07/27 21:15:25 (permalink)
    Cy,

    While the "cheap red hot dog" is usually seen in areas where the condiments take precedence and/or there is no really strong hot dog culture, the thought occurred to me that there must be some differences among this ubiquitous, bottom rung of hot dog…generally made of pork, some beef, and even a smidgen of poultry. I venture to guess that there still must be favorites within that phylum of frank. Given the right moment, I sure like ‘em.

    I know that's what was served at the Woolworth’s in Downtown Newark, N.J., when I was a kid, cooked on a roller grill. With yellow mustard, they were a guilty treat, because you knew they weren't as good quality as the all beef dogs you were served at home or in fine hot dog joints.

    I'm wondering if any aficionados of this cheaper frank could elucidate on some of the more popular brands.

    The Bear
    #4
    David_NYC
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    RE: Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA 2008/07/27 23:39:59 (permalink)
    What I have never understood is why those highly skilled sausage makers in Southwest Louisians don't make any frankfurters or bratwurst.

    However, in the northeast there is no problem finding the condiments made by Peppers Unlimited in St. Martinsville!
    #5
    cy_dugas
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    RE: Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA 2008/07/28 16:22:48 (permalink)
    YOu're right. I always have wondered why we don't have a hot dog culture down here, especially with all of the fine sausages south louisiana produces (boudin, great hot links, andouille, etc.) I've eaten my fair share of sausage poboys (both fresh and smoked sausage) on french bread and they are great. But good luck finding many decent hot dogs down here.

    cy
    #6
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