The other day, I headed into Boston to Newmarket Square. Newmarket Square is an industrial area set away from downtown Boston that's home to many shipping concerns and the area houses a lot of wholesale food businesses.
It's also the home of a Boston Hot Dog icon: Boston Speed's Famous Hot Dog Wagon.
The "Original" Speed is now 92 and enjoying retirement after serving up Boston's most celebrated hot dogs for over thirty years.
The business is now run by Gregg Gale, a classically trained chef who has known Speed since he was eight years old. When Gregg was looking to get into something a little simpler than being a head chef at area restaurants and country clubs, he decided to take over Speed's Hot Dog Wagon. Gregg must have gone to the finest culinary school in the land: there is no ketchup on the trailer!
The dining room is probably a tad less fancy than some of the fancy joints Chef Gregg has cooked in! Apparently the spartan surroundings don't scare people off. Warren Buffet visited the wagon back in July and asked Gregg if he was interested in selling the business. Gregg, who was unaware of who he was speaking to at the time, said "You don’t have enough money." Methinks Mr. Buffet could buy out every business in Newmarket Square and not even dent his wallet. When asked by a Boston Globe reporter about the incident, Gregg said he "likes his music." It's a funny story.
Chef Gregg kept Speed's concept of "southern style" barbecued hot dogs, but he decided to use a hot dog that he himself "produces."
He has the Boston Brisket Company make his hot dogs according to his exact culinary specifications. Chef Gregg cares about quality and he believes his dogs are the best. He's not the only one, The Wall Street Journal called Boston Speed Dogs "the best hot dogs in America" a few years back! Besides being of very high quality, the Boston Brisket hot dogs are convenient- the trailer is parked in their parking lot.
Chef Gregg grills his dogs on an "oil drum" style, charcoal grill over hardwood, lump charcoal. As the dogs cook, he constantly bastes them with his marinade and barbecue sauce. When they split, they're done.
I was offered a sample of the newest addition to the menu: wood grilled pastrami. You can now get a pastrami dog at Speed's; that's some wood grilled pastrami and a hot dog. The pastrami was delish.
Chef makes all his own sauces and toppings. He has his home made barbecue sauce and cranberry relish on sale at the wagon. he also has tee-shirts and sweatshirts and promises to have hats next year. You can buy these goodies at the trailer and they will soon be available on the Boston Speed Website. You can even give a Speed's Gift Certificate (hey Christmas is coming).
First timers are REQUIRED by Chef Gregg to order a dog with EVERYTHING. That has his custom made mustard, barbecue sauce, cranberry relish, chopped onions, and a beanless chili sauce. I had one at the SoWa market a few weeks ago- it's guaranteed to ruin your dinner and it's out of this world good.
I got one "lightly loaded" with mustard, cranberry relish and onions and
This is one fine hot dog- it is definitely one of a kind. Boston Speed's Famous hot Dog Wagon gets
TWO THUMBS WAY UP!
If you are in the area, it is a must eat hot dog establishment and ought to be on any hot dog aficionado's "bucket list." Speed's also can be found at the SoWa Open Market on Sundays through October. He occaisionally travels and you can keep tabs on the wagon's hours and whereabouts on Gregg's Facebook Page. When you stop by, grab some extra wet naps and tell Chef Gregg "the Hotdogman sent me."