Withdrawal Symptoms: Zippity Do Dog's Coney Island Hot Dog

Today is August third, three short days after the completion of my National Hot Dog Month celebration where I ate a hot dog a day at a different venue. I ran into Zippity Do Dog owner Mike Gerrol while we were both grabbing an iced coffee at Cumby's last night. He remarked on my visits to George's Coney Island in Worcester and Nick's Original Coney Island Weiners in Fall River and told me I had to try his Coney Island dog. So, today I stopped by around noon.

Metrowest doesn't have a true Coney Island hot dog joint. The closet you get is Archie's on a Roll in Marlborough, but he serves Michigan Sauce on his dogs. I won't go into the differences between the two sauce styles, but suffice to say there isn't a Coney Island hot dog stand between Boston and Worcester.

Coney Island sauce is essentially a meat only kind of chili. The main ingredients are ground beef and chili powder, but each hot dog joint has their own spin on their sauce. Some are spicier up front, some are sweet, and some are very savory. Every good Coney Island hot dog joint guards their sauce recipe like a state secret. Whatever way any given Coney Island sauce is seasoned, if the sauce is fresh made, it's sure to be a good experience.

I stepped up to the counter and asked Mike for a Coney. It really should be called a Coney Island style dog, since it's served on Zippity Do Dog's signature grilled, split top New England bun (a bun methodology wholeheartedly endorsed by yours truly). An "authentic" Coney Island hot dog would be served on a steamed hot dog roll. I am not going to get nit picky about authenticity- I like grilled buns. I also gave Mike a pointer on the presentation; he served it up with the onions and mustard on top of the sauce. Fred Beaudry, the owner of Nick's, said the proper way to serve a Coney dog is to put the mustard directly on the hot dog, cover that with the sauce, then put freshly diced onions on top. Mike assured me he would correct the presentation (his niece Jenny had been telling him to serve them that way for quite some time and she felt vindicated by my "correction").

The most important ingredient of a Coney Island hot dog, after a piping hot (Kayem in Zippity's case) hot dog, is the sauce. Mike's Coney sauce did not disappoint. It was not overly spicy and it had a hearty flavor that said "hey, this here's a mighty fine meat sauce." Mike said he'd stack his Coney sauce up against any others out there. It was good, but I really don't like getting into the whole "who has the best sauce" argument. Like I said, each place is different. On this day, Zippity Do Dog had the best Coney Island hot dog in the parking lot!

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Anonymous said...

I've researched 'authentic' Coney Island dogs a few times and I haven't found any that suggest you should put the mustard on the hot dog before the sauce. Could Fred of Nick's point me to a resource about that???

-Zippity Zadie

hotdogman said...

He said that's the way they have always done it at Nick's. That's the way George's serves them too. Both places have been making Coneys since 1920 or sooner- I'll consider that authority enough!

Anonymous said...

How can I argue with that! Thanks!!

-Zippity Zadie

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