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Blackie's

2200 Waterbury Rd., Cheshire, CT - (203) 699-1819
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/13/2011 7:26:00 AM
We are embarrassed to admit that we lived in Connecticut half our lives, but never went to Blackie’s until only about ten years ago. It has been a thriving drive-in since 1928, and for hot dog lovers in greater Waterbury and beyond, it is a culinary landmark. Its unique twin-barn shape (a wood-paneled dining room on either side of the open-air counter) heralds picnic-style meals that taste especially right on a happy summer day.

Hot dogs are indeed the specialty of the house; in fact they are nearly the entire menu. There are hamburgers, too, and they’re fine; you can get a bag of potato chips, a milk shake or a soft drink; and recently Big Dipper ice cream has been added to the menu. No French fries or any other side dishes are available.

Hot dogs are all that really matter. They are big, pink Hummel-brand plumpies that are boiled to the point that they literally blossom with flavor as their outside surface bursts apart from heat. They are served plain in ordinary buns, and it is up to each customer to spoon out mustard and relish from condiment trays that are set out all along the counter. That’s the really good part about dining at Blackie’s: dressing the dogs. The mustard is excellent, and we recommend a modest bed of it applied to the top of each wiener, all the better for the relish to cling to. This relish is transcendent. Made from the same recipe that put Blackie’s on the map three-quarters of a century ago, it is thick, luxurious, and pepper-hot enough that your lips will glow after lunch. Blackie’s – and its customers – are so devoted to this formula for frankfurter perfection that the kitchen doesn’t even bother to offer sauerkraut or chili.

Place an order at the counter and within a minute or two your hot dogs will be presented on a thick disposable plate. It is the customers’ job to carry plates and beverages, plus stacks of napkins, into one of the dining rooms. When finished with the meal, the management appreciates it when people toss their plates, napkins, and cups into the garbage cans provided.

Note that Blackie's is open every day of the week except Friday.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
hot dog with relish
Big Dipper Ice Cream
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Culinary equanimity: toasty bun, snappy dog, spicy mustard, hot relish.
"Culinary equanimity: toasty bun, snappy dog, spicy mustard, hot relish."
Michael Stern





This is a cup of 'Blackie's Turtle' flavor ice cream, a concoction of vanilla, chocolate chunks, caramel streaks, and nuts.
"This is a cup of 'Blackie's Turtle' flavor ice cream, a concoction of vanilla, chocolate chunks, caramel streaks, and nuts."
Michael Stern


We ordered six hot dogs for two people and they came on double-layered, heavy-duty plates. This photo is, of course, pre-mustard-and-relish.
"We ordered six hot dogs for two people and they came on double-layered, heavy-duty plates. This photo is, of course, pre-mustard-and-relish."
Michael Stern


Like the 'rippers' of New Jersey's premier hot dog sources, Blackie's well-done franks quite literally erupt from their hot oil bath. Extra time gives them extra snap that, in my opinion, makes the regular dogs seem a bit flabby.
"Like the 'rippers' of New Jersey's premier hot dog sources, Blackie's well-done franks quite literally erupt from their hot oil bath. Extra time gives them extra snap that, in my opinion, makes the regular dogs seem a bit flabby."
Michael Stern


The peppery relish Blackie's offers for its hot dogs is legendary. We find that a good line of mustard underneath helps more relish cling.
"The peppery relish Blackie's offers for its hot dogs is legendary. We find that a good line of mustard underneath helps more relish cling."
Michael Stern


There is a dining room at either end of Blackie's. In the center is a short counter with stools. The whole front wall swings up and out of the way so dining at the counter is practically an al fresco experience.
"There is a dining room at either end of Blackie's. In the center is a short counter with stools. The whole front wall swings up and out of the way so dining at the counter is practically an al fresco experience."
Michael Stern


Blackie’s fried dog with their famous pepper relish and a fountain white birch beer: extraordinarily good.
"Blackie’s fried dog with their famous pepper relish and a fountain white birch beer: extraordinarily good."
Chris & Amy Ayers


A fellow patron kindly snapped this photo of the group, now including Michael Stern (on far right).
"A fellow patron kindly snapped this photo of the group, now including Michael Stern (on far right)."
Chris & Amy Ayers


This close-up shows the onion and pepper chunks of this spicy relish. The jar’s ingredients are vinegar, peppers, onions, salt, and spices—that’s it.
"This close-up shows the onion and pepper chunks of this spicy relish. The jar’s ingredients are vinegar, peppers, onions, salt, and spices—that’s it."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Foreground: a well-done dog with mustard and relish. Background: a medium-size cup of Big Dipper ice cream.
"Foreground: a well-done dog with mustard and relish. Background: a medium-size cup of Big Dipper ice cream."
Michael Stern



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