Memorable | One of the Best
JK’s | Texas Hot Weiners | A Danbury Connecticut Best
Review by: Michael Stern
House of Weiner History
JK’s looks like any modern fast-food restaurant, but photographs on the wall tell another story: decades of weiner history. (Yes, hereabouts it is spelled weiner, not wiener.) The nostalgic black-and white pictures show JK’s with its hot-dog sign hanging over Main Street many years ago. Pictures of the interior show a spic-and-span diner that has served Texas hot weiners to the Hat City’s working-class clientele since the 1930s. The place has changed. Danbury has changed. But old-timers assure us that the Texas hot weiners on which JK’s built its reputation remain the same charming little frankfurters they’ve always been.
Creating a Texas Hot Weiner
The grill man splits plump sausages in half, lengthwise. He then cooks them until their surface gets slightly crusty. He loads the cooked wiener into a big spongy roll. Now come essential condiments: mustard, onions, and hot sauce with chili-pepper kick. As holds true for so many chili dogs, no single element of this arrangement has flavor to write home about, but the combination is beguiling.
You might order two, with a thick chocolate milk shake on the side. But midway through the second dog, you likely will be flagging down the waitress for a third, possibly a fourth. The speedy gals who tend the short counter and the booths throughout the dining room move with speed and dexterity. They can tote up to six or eight hot dog plates to different tables in a single trip from the semi-open kitchen in back. (Note: as of autumn, 2021, pandemic precaution has suspended waitress service. Customers now fetch their own hot dogs at the counter.)
Variations on the Theme
JK’s repertoire extends far beyond hot dogs. You can eat silver dollar pancakes at breakfast and New England’s favorite Grape-Nuts pudding for dessert. But it’s the devilish Texas dogs that put this restaurant on the Roadfood map. Some connoisseurs order them with cheese, chili, and/or bacon in addition to the usual condiments. Some add a heap of excellent house-made slaw on top. Others ask for a toasted bun. These all are worthy strategies. But I suggest first-timers stick with the original configuration, at least for the first round. It ranks high on the list of excellent tri-state Texas hots.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|