Ronnie’s has been part of the Northern New York Michigan hot dog landscape since 1959. It is not a drive-in of the usual variety, but does offer car hop service. I figured I better eat inside. Michigans are notoriously messy and I knew my rental car would likely suffer if I attempted to indulge from the driver’s seat.
Ronnie’s staff is a mix of high school students and long-time employees, all of whom are very friendly. It is a small place with some outdoor seating and a few tables inside, but a seat at the counter guarantees that you will see the action going on at the griddle. Two Michigans are available. One is a Nathan’s all-beef hot dog; the other is a locally-made Glazier brand beef and pork hot dog known for its distinctive bright red casing, The Glazier is a favorite among North Country folks. The Nathan’s are cooked in an electric counter-top skillet and the Glaziers are prepped on the griddle with a squirt of water and covered with a metal lid. I sure do love a griddle-steamed dog.
When I told the staff of my ongoing Michigan “mission” they immediately gave me names of other places to check out in the area. Now that’s real generosity of spirit. This was my second Glazier dog of the mission and almost too pretty to eat. Almost… A soft bun, plenty of onions and mustard, all so artfully composed. The dog has a great snap. Its sauce is tomatoey, slightly sweet, and more chunky with beef than most: tasty from the get-go, and more addictive with each bite.
Ronnie’s opens for the season in mid-April and closes in October. I hope to make it back again this summer and dig into a few more items on the menu beyond the excellent Michigans. There are at least a half dozen other quality Michigan spots just a short drive away and Ronnie’s is a “must-stop” for any serious Michigan crawl.