Well, I finally made it to Conn. After hearing and reading about the many fine hot dog places there. After checking mapquest and seeing how close some of these places are to I-95, I set out to sample the dogs from Swanky Franks, Rawley's, and Super Duper Weenie.
First was Swanky's. An excellent natural casing all beef dog from Hummel's. This dog was deep fried and served on a soft heated roll. I like Sabrett from Jersey and the Grote & Weigel all beef dog that is available at a luncheonette in Jersey a little better, but these dogs are served grilled. I like a deep fried dog occassionally, and this dog was great.
Next was Rawley's. I was really looking forward to trying this one. I've heard people, including my nephew rave about this place. It is a pork/beef dog that is also deep fried. And then finished off on a griddle. Similar in style to Rutt's Hut; both of which are favored by Martha Stewart. I found this dog to be ok; nothing special. Taut, with a good casing like the Swanky dog and with a slight tanginess. In no way does this dog compare to Rutt's Hut. All the dogs I sampled with mustard only in order to get a better idea of how the dog tasted. I'm sure I would've enjoyed it with the bacon bits. I also found out that this dog is a Roessler brand. The place that made them went out of business and they are now being made in Maine. I don't know if they are different than they used to be.
Last stop was Super Duper Weenie. They use a beef and pork dog from Miller Provisions. It is split nearly in half and grilled. This style of dog has a more subtle spicing than a spicy all beef. The better to taste the many condiments. This place is about condiments which are all homemade. I had some relish in a container (not on the dog) and it was very good. Although the relish at Rutt's remains the standard. The dog was better than average, althogh for a pork and beef dog I prefer Thumann's or Grote and Weigel which are also subtly spiced, but more flavorfull than the dog at SDW.
All in all, I liked all 3 dogs. Swanky's was my favorite, followed by Super Duper Weenie, and then Rawley's. Conn has good dogs. Second only to N.J. in my opinion. Next week I am going to Mamaronek in N.Y. to try a dog from Walter's. The Stern's from Roadfood consider this the best dog in the world. I am reserving judgement until I try one; but in the picture, it is very pale in color, and I've heard it is bland. I know it is 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, and 1/3 veal. Looking forward to trying this one. Will report back.