As a properly festive start to my birthday celebrations, Allstonian and I stopped at Speed's on our way out of town for lunch. While our dogs were grilling, I asked what action had been taken about the plans he'd spoken of when I'd gotten my last fix, of replacing Pearl as his vendor because he'd grown dissatisfied with the quality and consistency of the dogs he was getting from them. His answer, "Yeah, these are the new dogs here. They're from (sorry, I didn't get the name) in Connecticut, but they're OUR dogs. They make them special for us, and no one else has them."
So I had one of the new Speed dogs, and if anything, the new dog is even better than the old Pearl item. For one thing, believe it or not, it's actually slightly bigger. The casing, at the points where he slashes the dog on the grill, crisps up beautifully. It's juicy as anything, beefy-tasting with a nice subtle garlic kick, and perfectly textured, neither too coarse nor too pasty. You wouldn't think this hot dog could get better, but somehow it did.