RE: dallas hot wieners(hudson valley new york)
brookquarry, Glad you tried the Dallas Hots Wieners. They are the place against which I measure all other hot (chili) dogs. It's one kind of wiener I grew up with - the other being the German butcher shop type wiener served with mustard and saurkraut.
I also liked the chili dog at Hot Grill in Clifton- it measured right up to the Dallas hot wiener in my book . You are right- the Dallas wiener is a pretty mild type. I think it is a case of the sandwich being more about the chili sauce and onions than the wiener, and that's typical around the Hudson Valley. I have a theory that the Texas Hot Weiner as sold in this area was developed by Greek immigrants sometime around 1920 as a way to sell an inferior hot dog by disguising it in a really tasty sauce.
In Poughkeepsie there is the Teaxas hot Wiener (Texas Lunch) joint on Main Street- but you dont want to go there - the place has fallen on evil times and the neighborhood is dangerous day and night. Driving east out of Poughkeepsie there is a new Texas Lunch about five miles from the old one- it is on Rt 55 - it ihas a very good chili dog.
New Paltz just acquired a new chili dog joint ( Macho's) on the corner of Main and South Chestnut - they offer two sauces - one is quite hot and the other is mildly hot - I like the milder one; it is very good.
In Middletown is the Coney Island Hot Dog. I've never been there , but Coney Island Lou swears by it - and I think he knows his chili dogs.
Kingston has four chili dog places. Two Dallas Hot Weiners, an Uncle George's, and a place that recently changed its name from Texas Lunch to the Valley (something ) Diner. I like all but Uncle George's - his sauce is weird. Newburgh has Annas which serves a very nice chili dog. I'm sure there are more round the Valley, but that's what comes to mind.
BTW: Talking to a guy who grew up in Brooklyn about a half mile from Coney Island I learned that, at least until the '50s , nothing resembling a chili dog was ever served in the joints around the amusement park and beach. The Coney Island hot dog was served with mustard and some places also had sauerkraut. Somehow or other the name Coney Island Hot Dog became associated strictly with what we around here call a Chili Dog or Texas Hot Wiener. This gives credence to Michael Hoffman's contention that the name comes from the Cincinatti amusement park named Coney Island where they have served a kind of chili dog since before it came to the Hudson Valley.
Also, the original hot dog place on Coney Island, NY was a German restaurant and they served a typically mild German style hot dog. After Nathan left that place and started selling his own hot dogs they became all beef and garlic flavored - the typical Kosher hot dog of today, which I dont think works very well with chili sauce.