Speed's is a glorious kind of slow food, cooked delibrately and carefully.
In a little trailer dominated by two grills, is Speed himself, an eye of calm in a storm of billowing smoke and aroma. He's a rock of dedication, making sure that everything is done just right. He checks the buns for precise light grill marks after a covered minute on the grill. With the sausages he's just devoted, brushing on a sauce with tender, adoring strokes, then examining each sausage individually for the right amount of grilling. After placing the wonderful sausage in the bun, he applies a single knife stroke along the length of the sausage. It's a simple masterly stroke that allows the brilliant sauces he adds to penetrate the meat.
There's a set of 5 or so sauces that he dabs onto the sausage, and he blends them with an astounding deftness, applying just the right proportion of each. And magically, the sauces mingle and harmonize to a truly remarkable complexity. There's a delightful sensation that blends the pungency of mustard with the richness of a barbecue-like sauce and the sweetness of a relish. Then another layer of harmony emerges as the thick rich sauces are cut, first by the tang of the relish, then by the sharp crispness of chopped onions and cucumber. Together, they add smokiness, pungency, sweetness and sourness to the plump and succuluent sausage. With so many things going on in the flavor combinations, there are just too many nuances for me to finesse.
The hotdog is generous; in fact it's huge. Eric Eto described it as Shaquille O'Neal-sized while we were working through our hotdogs, dripping sauce and all. I was glad and thankful that Eric had a Speed's craving and offered to take me along. It was an irresistable opportunity, especially with all the raves from so many chowhounds on this board.
The hotdogs might sound pricey at $5 each, but they satisfy more than hunger. For a brief moment, they extinguish all care and offer an intangible satisfaction of the most savory kind.
Here are some links to previous discussions on Speed's that Eric helpfully provided:
Eric's post about Speed's:
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Another, more recent thread:
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