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Chef’s Dog House

337 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT - (860) 667-3700
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on 6/7/2011 11:18:00 AM
Mark Jannetty has taken a concept attempted by many—the condiment bar—and expanded it exponentially. You’ll find him and his wife Angela at Chef’s Dog House early in the morning, preparing thirty different condiments by hand. Those hot dog connoisseurs who love relishes will howl at the moon here: Mark makes six different kinds (red onion-mustard, pepper, green chile, burger, sweet, and hot dog relish), which are all top-class. Like peppers? There are hot pepper rings, roasted long peppers, roasted sweet peppers, jalapeños, and more. More of a mustard guy? Six homemade mustards, including one lip-smacking concoction made with chopped sweet onions, are ready for sampling. Feeling more Spartan? There's always the ketchup and mayo options as well.

The specialty dogs are hard to pass up. The Junkyard Dog is wrapped in bacon and topped with chili, nacho cheese, and grilled onions. Mark’s savory chili only adds to the overall enjoyment. The Southern Dog is quite popular, topped with pulled pork and cole slaw. But the best way to experience the condiment bar is to order a plain dog (a custom all-beef frank made by Kayem of Massachusetts) and try as many toppings as possible. Among our favorites are Chef’s burger relish, Fire House Sauce, and Cajun mustard. All dogs are nestled in New England-style buns, their sides grilled to crispy perfection.

As superb as the hot dogs are, the burgers must not be ignored. Fresh, never frozen, ground beef is formed into 1/3-lb. patties and grilled, and Mark uses superior bakery-style buns that provide enough bready substance to keep the burger and toppings together without disintegration from moisture. A daily special on our visit was the Onion Mayhem: sweet onion-infused burger, A-1 mayo, and Tabasco onion frizzles (thinly fried onion strings, Mark’s signature topping). That you could actually taste every element was remarkable, but what was even more amazing was the fact that the bun held the proceedings together to the final morsel! The fresh-cut potato wedges are perfect for scooping up Mark’s jalapeño ketchup or—even better—chipotle mayo.

Mark also has homemade soups and to-go salads, but most come for the dogs and burgers. We hear his breakfast sandwiches are must-eats as well: we’re partial to the ol’ standby sausage, egg & cheese, but the Brunch Burger (bacon cheeseburger topped with potato frizzles and an over-easy egg) sounds extremely enticing. Located behind the 7-Eleven on Willard Avenue, Chef’s Dog House is open Monday-Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm, closed Sunday.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Junkyard Dog
All Beef Hot Dog
Onion Mayhem Burger
Potato Wedges
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The best way to maximize samples at the condiment bar is to start with a plain, all-beef hot dog. These toppings include (l. to r.) Chef’s hot dog relish, chopped hot peppers, Chef’s pepper relish, and sweet onion mustard.
"The best way to maximize samples at the condiment bar is to start with a plain, all-beef hot dog. These toppings include (l. to r.) Chef’s hot dog relish, chopped hot peppers, Chef’s pepper relish, and sweet onion mustard."
Chris & Amy Ayers





Chef’s boasts Connecticut’s largest condiment bar, with the motto, “Why should we decide what goes on your food?”
"Chef’s boasts Connecticut’s largest condiment bar, with the motto, “Why should we decide what goes on your food?”"
Chris & Amy Ayers


The prairie dog, which is a bacon wrapped dog, covered with onion dip and frizzled potatoes was a big hit with our table.
"The prairie dog, which is a bacon wrapped dog, covered with onion dip and frizzled potatoes was a big hit with our table."
Cliff Strutz


The ever-juicy, Onion Mayhem Burger is infused with sweet onions then topped with Tabasco frizzled onions and A-1 mayo.
"The ever-juicy, Onion Mayhem Burger is infused with sweet onions then topped with Tabasco frizzled onions and A-1 mayo."
Chris & Amy Ayers


The Junkyard Dog is bacon-wrapped and deep-fried, with chili, nacho cheese, and grilled onions.
"The Junkyard Dog is bacon-wrapped and deep-fried, with chili, nacho cheese, and grilled onions."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Chef’s potato wedges are fried until dark brown, just the way we love them.
"Chef’s potato wedges are fried until dark brown, just the way we love them."
Chris & Amy Ayers


You can’t miss Chef’s Dog House: it’s behind the 7-Eleven on Willard Avenue.
"You can’t miss Chef’s Dog House: it’s behind the 7-Eleven on Willard Avenue."
Chris & Amy Ayers



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