Cuisine, ambiance, service: all are Roadfood-right at Five-0, a convenience store and deli with a short menu of subs and sandwiches as well as eggs for breakfast. Foremost among Five-O’s assets is its foot-long chili dog. The dog itself is gnarled and garlicky; its split-top bun is buttered and grilled to short-order luxuriance; and the chili – ahh, the chili! – is Kuhn’s. A southern Connecticut legend, Kuhn’s brew is not the sort of chili you eat from a bowl. It is more a relish, thin and red-hot, eminently suitable as an exclamatory topping for hot dogs, also quite right as an iconoclastic garnish for a cheese steak sandwich, of which Five-0 makes a beaut.
It’s a neighborly place. The lone gent who was reading newspapers at the dining room’s one and only table graciously extended a hand in welcome when I and my friend Adele (who clued me in to this little gem) came away from the counter toting dog, sandwich, chips, and drinks, looking for a place to eat. Nearly all business is take-out, and many of the people standing around waiting for their hot sandwiches to grill and footlongs to be dressed carry on the sort of happy conversation you hear among people who all respect each other because they recognize that they are in the company of fellow connoisseurs.