My interest is always piqued when I see a report about Speed's dogs on this board, so I gave an assignment to a couple of business associates who are Boston area locals.
The guy who wrote the report below, Dick, has been a long time buddy who I have enjoyed quaffing the suds with, so I figured he would appreciate a purveyor of "le sausage extrordinaire". Bill, who accompanied Dick on this field reconnaisance has benefited from my chow tips in the past, so he knew enough to go along.
Here is the report, from two "civilians":
Bill and I left our offices in Newton Mass. at noon and arrived at New Market Square about 12:20 on a bright,sunny New England May day. Speed's Hot Dogs operates out of a trailer, towed behind a dark blue SUV. The trailer contained a couple marinade containers, an open-fire grille, five half-gallon toppings containers, coolers packed with ice and soda, and two gentlemen. We were told by Speed (proprietor of Speed's Hot Dogs for the last 30 years) this was a brand new trailer. Speed operates in the middle of a truck depot, actually a meat packaging distribution center, so the surroundings were less than spectacular - an asphalt covered lot the size of 2-3 football fields surrounded by loading docks with a parking lot in the middle. Speed's location on this day was towards the back end of the lot. We spotted the trailer and pulled up alongside the SUV. There were 6-7 people in line and it was apparent by the slow movement of the line that everyone was getting individualized service.
It took about 20 minutes to get to the front of the line. We were greeted by a courteous and upbeat middle-aged gentleman. We learned later this was not Speed. Speed was manning the coolers of sodas to the rear of the trailer. We told the cook this was our initial visit and asked for his recommendation. He suggested the "Speed" Dog. He first toasted our buns (the hot dog buns) on the grille. The grille was extremely hot so this took all of approx. 30 seconds. He then took the pound and a half foot long hot dog (inch and a half in diameter) from one of the marinade containers, placed it on the grille, brushed on some special sauce, and grilled them for approximately a minute. The five sauces - mustard, relish, chili, hot sauce, and ? - were then spread over the man-sized hot dog.
Keep in mind we're out in the middle of an asphalt lot so there are no benches, tables, or even a curbstone to sit on. The option was to tackle this messy but tasty morsel in the car or use the hood of the car as a table. We opted for the hood and it was a good thing. We ended up getting sauce all over Bill's hood - sorry Bill, better there than on our laps.
If you're looking for variety, quiet surroundings, and a place to sit down and enjoy your table-fare, a lunch at Speed's is not the place for you. If you're interested in a delicious all-beef pound and a half dog with all the trimmings in a blue-collar setting, Speed's your man.