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Blackie's

2200 Waterbury Rd., Cheshire, CT - (203) 699-1819
Posted By Michael Baily on 5/12/2009 1:05:00 AM
Today I discovered Blackie's, and tried a couple of their famous hot dogs. Bottom line: the dogs were okay. Ordinary at best.

Blackie's hot dogs are Hummel's brand, which is the beginning of the problem for me. I do not like Hummel's dogs. To me, Hummel's dogs are everything a hot dog should NOT be. They are soft, squishy, full of air, and textureless. There are no doubt legions of Hummel faithful who can eat tons of these things, but I don't get it.

One problem with Blackie's Hummel dogs, and far too many of the other joints in Connecticut that serve them, is the lack of a snappy casing. The hallmarks of a good hot dog are the snap you feel and hear when you bite into one, and the texture of the meat inside the casing. The best dogs in New York (considered the flag-bearing city of the All-American hot dog), such as those found at Nathan's, Papaya King, and Katz's, all have a nice snap and texture. Hummel's dogs have very little texture once you break through the weak skin. There's virtually no chew, no mouth experience, and a far too mild-mannered taste. It's a lightweight hot dog with the character of pressed bologna.

Blackie's relish: the relish I saw had a very unappetizing look. It was a brownish muck that needed way more pickle and/or pepper. It looked like it had been trawled through for most of the solids, leaving behind a soupy brown concoction that didn't look anything like the images on the Roadfood.com website. In fairness, it didn't taste bad, but it looked so darn creepy. I didn't like looking at it on my dog.

The hot dog preparation: Blackie's serves a dog that splits open from the hot oil it sits in. Honestly, I think it is (or was when Blackie's first opened) a gimmick. I would prefer it un-split. Hot oil does nothing to enhance the taste. All it does is coat the hot dog with oil. The first two we ordered came out hot, but with hardly any color on them. They may as well have been boiled. We ordered the next two well-done, which improved the texture, look, and taste. But still, it's a Hummel, which I find ordinary in every way.

Ambiance: classic blue-collar, roadside interior. Nothing unpleasant. Enough decently spaced tables to find a spot to sit, which counts for something when you want to rest along with some personal space.

Service: excellent and fast. Hey, it should be. They only serve hot dogs and hamburgers.

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hot dog with relish
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Culinary equanimity: toasty bun, snappy dog, spicy mustard, hot relish.
"Culinary equanimity: toasty bun, snappy dog, spicy mustard, hot relish."
Michael Stern





This is a cup of 'Blackie's Turtle' flavor ice cream, a concoction of vanilla, chocolate chunks, caramel streaks, and nuts.
"This is a cup of 'Blackie's Turtle' flavor ice cream, a concoction of vanilla, chocolate chunks, caramel streaks, and nuts."
Michael Stern


We ordered six hot dogs for two people and they came on double-layered, heavy-duty plates. This photo is, of course, pre-mustard-and-relish.
"We ordered six hot dogs for two people and they came on double-layered, heavy-duty plates. This photo is, of course, pre-mustard-and-relish."
Michael Stern


Like the 'rippers' of New Jersey's premier hot dog sources, Blackie's well-done franks quite literally erupt from their hot oil bath. Extra time gives them extra snap that, in my opinion, makes the regular dogs seem a bit flabby.
"Like the 'rippers' of New Jersey's premier hot dog sources, Blackie's well-done franks quite literally erupt from their hot oil bath. Extra time gives them extra snap that, in my opinion, makes the regular dogs seem a bit flabby."
Michael Stern


The peppery relish Blackie's offers for its hot dogs is legendary. We find that a good line of mustard underneath helps more relish cling.
"The peppery relish Blackie's offers for its hot dogs is legendary. We find that a good line of mustard underneath helps more relish cling."
Michael Stern


There is a dining room at either end of Blackie's. In the center is a short counter with stools. The whole front wall swings up and out of the way so dining at the counter is practically an al fresco experience.
"There is a dining room at either end of Blackie's. In the center is a short counter with stools. The whole front wall swings up and out of the way so dining at the counter is practically an al fresco experience."
Michael Stern


Blackie’s fried dog with their famous pepper relish and a fountain white birch beer: extraordinarily good.
"Blackie’s fried dog with their famous pepper relish and a fountain white birch beer: extraordinarily good."
Chris & Amy Ayers


A fellow patron kindly snapped this photo of the group, now including Michael Stern (on far right).
"A fellow patron kindly snapped this photo of the group, now including Michael Stern (on far right)."
Chris & Amy Ayers


This close-up shows the onion and pepper chunks of this spicy relish. The jar’s ingredients are vinegar, peppers, onions, salt, and spices—that’s it.
"This close-up shows the onion and pepper chunks of this spicy relish. The jar’s ingredients are vinegar, peppers, onions, salt, and spices—that’s it."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Foreground: a well-done dog with mustard and relish. Background: a medium-size cup of Big Dipper ice cream.
"Foreground: a well-done dog with mustard and relish. Background: a medium-size cup of Big Dipper ice cream."
Michael Stern



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