Rawley’s is a Gold Coast snack shack with blue ribbon red hots. At noon, the short counter and handful of booths off to the side are thronged with mobs of hungry Fairfield County citizens — blue collar, white collar, and no collar. (We were tipped off to this place many years ago by none other than Martha Stewart.) They come to eat hot dogs cooked the Connecticut way — a way that many believe was created right here just after World War II.
Natural casing dogs are cooked in a deep fryer until ready to burst, then finished on a griddle so their skins turn crusty. The plump wieners are bedded in buns that have been toasted on the same luscious griddle, then dressed with your choice of condiments. A traditional Rawley’s “works” dog is smothered with mustard, relish, sauerkraut and a handful of crunchy cooked bacon shreds. Good thick-cut French fries are available on the side. To drink: milk shakes and malts.
Atmosphere at Rawley’s is nearly as delectable as the hot dogs. At the counter, you can count on repartee among customers, waitstaff, and chef. Adjacent to the counter is a small, wood-paneled room that is carved floor to ceiling with customers’ initials and sentimental odes to this, the granddaddy of Fairfield County hot dog joints.