Memorable | One of the Best
Kamp Dog | The Crazy-Good Wiener of Connecticut
Review by: Michael Stern
Hot Dog Lovers, Take Note
Indulge in all manner of reprobate gastronomy at Kamp Dog. Hot dogs, for instance. Actually, in the world of wieners , these Hummel-brand franks rate high. Kamp Dog grills them on the flat top until their surface turns crisp. Chef Ken Hochstetler then beds them in a buttered and grilled split-top Yankee buns. Starting with that basic platform he offers crazy-good wiener variations, including a signature Kamp Dog.
Chef tucks the Kamp Dog into one of those unique New England-style buttered and grilled buns. He then tops it with meaty, spicy/sweet “dynamite sauce,” nacho cheese, and chopped onions. The snap of the weiner’s crispy skin, the crunch of the grilled bun, and the marriage of dynamite, cheese, and onion result in a wickedly tasty experience. This ranks right up there with Connecticut’s greatest dogs.
If you don’t like Hummels, you may choose from among all-beef dogs, Georgia red hots, kielbasa, and knockwurst. Top your choice with sauerkraut, chili, onions & peppers, and/or jalapenos.
Dandy Burgers, Too
Hamburger variations provide an equally profuse challenge. A Reuben burger includes kraut, Swiss, and 1000 Islands dressing. House made slaw crowns the slawburger. You may choose bacon and eggs as your burger enhancer. I like the dynamite sauce, cheese, and onion burger. It’s like a Kamp Dog but without the dog. A while back, the menu promised that if you created a custom burger and ate ten of them, you got to name it (“unless it’s a really stupid name”). By the way, the chef hand cuts French fries and cooks them crisp and crunchy.
Frito Pie, Yankee-Style
Among side dishes you will find the curiously named “chili Fritos.” Chef Ken explained that it actually is a Frito pie. But because no one in Connecticut has heard of the southwestern classic, he had to give it a name that Yankees would understand. The chili is hot stuff. “Of course it is,” he told us. “If it wasn’t, it would be Bolognese sauce.”
Crazy Breakfast, Too
Kamp Dog serves breakfast all day. Oversized omelettes and breakfast burritos lead the roster, but breakfast sandwiches are no slouch. The sprawling Porker sports ham, bacon, sausage, two eggs, and cheese on the same glorious bun. One called the Dipper takes the prize as Most Outlandish Sandwich. For that, chef slices sausage patties into strips, wraps them in ham and then bacon, then deep-fries the little packages. Then he batters and deep fries them a second time! Served with maple syrup, these porky fritters fire on all cylinders as the ultimate breakfast treat. The Dipper no longer appears on the menu, but it’s worth trying to twist the chef’s arm to make one.
A fun, funky place. When you order a crazy-good wiener at the counter, the order is written on the back of a heavy-duty paper plate. The plate is passed along to Ken in the short-order kitchen. He makes the food, flips the plate, and uses it as your dinner dish.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|