Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Blackie’s | Best Pepper-Hot Relish for Hot Dogs in Connecticut
Review by: Michael Stern
Legendary Hot Dog Joint
Since it opened in 1928, Blackie’s has become a culinary landmark. Boiled-in-oil hot dogs with pepper-hot relish put it on any must-eat Roadfood map of the Northeast.
The menu offers little beyond hot dogs. Sure, you can eat hamburgers, and they’re fine. You can buy a bag of potato chips, a milk shake or a soft drink. And for dessert, Blackie’s gets ice cream from the estimable Big Dipper nearby. Forget French fries or any other side dish.
How They’re Cooked
What makes these hot dogs so special? Fry-kettle maestros boil big, pink plumpies in oil to the point that they literally blossom with flavor. Their outside surface bursts apart from heat. (Think of the rippers down in New Jersey at Rutt’s Hut.) Servers present the hot dogs plain in ordinary buns
How They’re Dressed
Now comes the magical part of dining at Blackie’s: dressing the dogs. Each customer is tasked with spooning out mustard and relish from ramekins set out along the counter. You want a modest bed of mustard first, applied to the top of each wiener. It provides something for the relish to cling to. This pepper-hot relish sets the dog aglow. It put Blackie’s on the map three-quarters of a century ago, and it remains preeminent. Thick and luxurious, it packs enough heat that lips will glow after lunch. Blackie’s – and its customers – like this formula so much that the kitchen doesn’t even bother to offer sauerkraut or chili.
How To Eat Them
Place an order at the counter. Within a minute or two your hot dogs arrive on a thick disposable plate. If not seated at the counter, customers carry plates and beverages, plus stacks of napkins, into one of the dining rooms. The management appreciates it when people who are done eating toss their debris into the garbage cans provided.
Some of Blackie’s charm owes to its unique twin-barn shape. Two wood-paneled dining rooms flank an open-air counter. It feels like a picnic. But don’t get too excited. A sign on the wall (dating back to who-knows-when) says that dancing is not allowed.
Note that Blackie’s opens every day of the week except Friday.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|