Roadfooding around the South and Southwest this summer, we enjoyed some unique hot dogs along the way. For the past year or so, we’ve been salivating over the photos of the chili dogs at Nu-Way (Roadfood.com review) in Macon, GA but, as with (too) many Roadfood locations, we wondered when we’d ever get out to that particular corner of the country. As fate would have it, we found ourselves in Georgia last month. We could never claim to understand how airline prices are decided, but somehow it was cheaper for us to fly into Atlanta, rent a car, and drive to Florida than simply to fly to the Sunshine State. So, after dinner in Atlanta we drove to Macon for the night, with hopes of hitting Nu-Way for breakfast. Our friend Aimee was kind (or crazy) enough to join us at 8 a.m. with all four of her children at the original location downtown! This slaw dog (above) was a true benchmark by which all Southern hot dogs should be reckoned: snappy red weiner, meaty chili, cool cole slaw, soft bun, simple perfection.
Reveling in that fact that they could drink soda for breakfast, the kids chowed down on biscuits but what really turned our heads was the egg biscuit with spicy dog. These short links are only offered on the biscuits and contain a surprising spice kick — absolutely delicious!
As we daydream about Nu-Way opening a store in Boston, we’ll be figuring out ways to return to Macon for their first-rate dogs:
We couldn’t understand why Orlando, a city of over two million people, has no Roadfood presence on the website…until we got there. Strip mall after strip mall of chain restaurants dominate the landscape, so much that the intrepid Roadfooder has to do some major digging to find worthwhile local eateries. And we did find a few, with the help of The Travelin Man and Tony Bad, that we’ll cover formally in reviews, but we were most curious about the Kona Dog truck rolling around O-Town. We found it parked at the Dr. Phillips Community Park, west of I-4 and SeaWorld:
Not unlike NYC’s superior Dogmatic, Kona Dog’s concept is similar: hollow out a roll on one end, insert a cooked hot dog along with condiments for a true handheld meal. We ordered the quarter-pound beef dog stuffed into a Hawaiian sweet bread roll, with their original garlic-lemon “hula sauce,” mango fruit sauce, and pineapple mustard. It didn’t work for us, as the bread was too soft, the sauces too fruity, and the wiener average:
Returning to Atlanta, we had to stop at the world famous Varsity (Roadfood.com review) for a slaw dog:
And an order of their thickly battered onion rings:
And a frosted orange drink in honor of Andy Griffith and his famous routine on football (surely he’d’ve loved this orange drink):
Over in New Mexico, we revisited the Dog House on old Route 66 in Albuquerque with its iconic neon sign:
Their chili dog with cheese didn’t contain meat chili but chile (with an “e”) in the form of a thin red chile sauce. Combined with the gooey cheese, it was quite good — and quite spicy!
We were skeptical from the get-go about Sösess Gourmet Hot Dogs in Albuquerque, since they use small baguettes in lieu of buns for their hot dogs. But how could we resist the ABQ Dog: quarter-pound Hebrew National frank topped with diced Hatch green chiles, cheddar cheese, turkey bacon, and fresh cilantro?
Let's just say that it looked much better than it tasted. Sösess has only been open for four months, so maybe we need to return later for another dog…