Memorable | One of the Best
Tom’s Long Hot Dogs
Review by: Michael Stern
Tom’s Long Hot Dogs in Whately, MA
A Tom’s long dog audibly snaps when you sink your teeth into it. Foot long (far beyond the bun) and packed into natural casing, it is pale pink and quite literally bursting with flavor. It comes in a soft split bun. It is just right with nothing more than a line of mustard and spoonful of relish and raw onion spread across the top, but Tom’s offers a full array of toppings, including chili, bacon, kraut, and cheese, as well as the quasi-ethnic Mexican dog with spicy jalapeno cheese and a Tom’s Special with tomato sauce and cheese.
What to eat at Tom’s Long Hot Dogs
On the side of the outstanding dog, you definitely want French fries. These are gorgeous spuds, fried until they are the color of Honeydew honey, served in a cardboard boat. At the order counter, to flavor the potatoes, there is ketchup and there are also squeeze bottles of cider vinegar and white vinegar. Vinegar is the condiment of choice among many French fry hounds in parts of the Northeast where fish and chips is part of the culinary heritage.
Special thanks to Greg Pasco of West Springfield for tipping us off to this landmark Roadfood drive-in.
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What To Eat
Tom’s Long Hot Dogs Recipes
What do you think of Tom’s Long Hot Dogs?
3 Responses to “Tom’s Long Hot Dogs”
November 29th, 2011
I was driving home to New Hampshire from a Thanksgiving holiday break in Connecticut, and I wanted something to eat that would be quick and good. I remembered stopping at Tom’s on a motorcycle trip in the fall of 2010, so I sought it out again. I arrived to find that they had expanded and upgraded the entire facility.
I ordered the “Chicago Style Dog” specialty and a side of the homemade baked beans with a Dr. Pepper. Maisie, my dog, had a plain hot dog with nothing on top. Everything was excellent including the friendly service and the prices, which are very reasonable. I spent $10 and change on two hot dogs, a side of baked beans, and a small drink.
The newly expanded restaurant area is great and I’m sure it will help to increase Tom’s four-season business draw. Also, there is plenty of space for parking and eating your food drive-in/tailgate style, which is especially convenient if you travel with your dog or other pets.
November 9th, 2007
On a trip from the mountains of New Hampshire back to New York City, we carefully scanned the Roadfood book for a dinner destination. Tom’s jumped off the page, because we LOVE the CT hot dog stands: Super Duper, Rawley’s, Swanky Franks, not to mention our New York standbys…
But, I’m sorry to say we were quite disappointed. The first thing we noticed (after hours of driving) was that there were no restroom facilities. The locals directed us to a truck stop and diner about 5 minutes north, and we headed off (and back again).
With that out of the way, we eagerly ordered a pair of footlongs, one with beans, one “slaw dog” with mustard, and two orders of fries. What came out was underwhelming. Sure, the footlongs have natural casing, but they are indifferently cooked (boiled? steamed?), yielding much less “snap” than you might expect. And the bun: squishy Wonder Bread. The dog with beans was good, but my slaw dog (which came out as a plain dog with mustard, didn’t feel like arguing over it) was completely lifeless, as boring as something I might slap together at home. Fries were OK, your typical crispy rectangles.
Hanging out at the picnic tables was relaxing. It is amusing to eat in what is essentially a parking lot adjacent to Route 91. While we were there a group of hot air balloons actually appeared over the horizon, and their “chase teams” pulled into the lot and away again, off to some other landing location. That was a nice coincidence!
Overall, though, this is the first recommendation in the Roadfood book that was simply not worth it.
November 1st, 2007
I’ve been to Tom’s many times, as I live about a half-hour away and it’s on a route I drive frequently. As a native New Yorker and lifelong hot dog connoisseur, I don’t give praise to hot dog joints lightly.
Tom’s would get a big thumbs-up from me but for one crucial and inexcusable problem: they use French’s yellow mustard! Their dogs are good, both in quality of the frank itself and in the preparation. They are spicy, not bland, with a crispy, snappy skin and a juicy center. Their buns are not my favorite, but I can excuse the split-top bun because it’s a regional thing (although everyone who loves franks knows that true quality dogs should always be served in a side-split bun; the split-top ones are for country clubs and backyard barbecues, places that don’t know any better).
But, a good dog needs mustard, and only spicy brown mustard will do. Anyone pushing a Sabrett cart in NY knows this! Yellow mustard is for bologna sandwiches on Wonder bread. The high quality of these dogs gets no complement due to the inadequacies of the condiments. If you go, bring your own Gulden’s packets!