I was shocked to discover that the Hartford Courant had to alert me to Chef's Dog House in Newington, CT. I would've thought the good folks here at Chowhound would've beaten the local paper to it. But, anyway---good news no matter how you get it, is still good.
I adore good hotdogs and am still missing the loss of one of my favorite local joints, Rosco's Big Dog. Have I gotten over it now that I've visited Chef's? Yes, yes I have (for now). First off this is a tiny and clean little joint on Willard Ave in the 7-11 plaza. Upon walking into the place there were several other customers beaming by the register and almost waiting for us to enter so they could tell us how good everything is. (I love that about a place: passionate patrons who don't mind sharing their little secret haunts with you). The owner is the younger guy who enthusiastically guides you through ordering (if you need it). I was told by one of the other patrons that the sides (fries, rings, etc.) are big enough to share (but me and my SO still ordered rings and fries...and the patron was right, big orders that we did not finish).
I had the dog with pulled pork and cole slaw on top. The NE style bun was grilled to perfection, the pulled pork was really good and the slaw flavorful. (and I don't like slaw by itself but when it's part of something on a menu I can roll with it). I really liked this dog. Next time I want to try it a bit more on the plain side with just some saurkraut and mustard.
Onto the condiment bar...which is large and in-charge! Everything is homemade (so they say) and they have tons of peppers, mayos and relishes. I'm personally not a fan of relish (any kind) but if you are (as my SO is) you'll love what they have to offer.
Fries: wedge variety (they come in several flavors too but we got them plain). I liked them. They were quite brown (yay!) and tasty. I have to say my dog was so big that I didn't even try the rings. They were LARGE and I was full.
The burgers, sammies and other dogs look fantastic.
Check this place out! Keep 'em going!
Oh and the owner told me that Rosco/Ron of Rosco's has already been into Chef's several times and gives his seal of approval.