We have a house-guest today, here at the House of Zing, who has spoken highly of her local hometown Hot Doggery, the Botsford Drive-In. I take hometown food devotion very seriously so when Karen told me of her brother’s devotion to this joint as well as her father’s and her own, I had to look them up. Now I have another reason to visit Connecticut!
“As professional travelers, we sometimes ask ourselves why we settled down in Connecticut. One answer is pizza: the best is here. Another good answer is hot dogs. We’d venture to say that there are more good hot dog joints per capita in Connecticut than in any other location, except perhaps New Jersey and the city of Chicago.
The Botsford Drive-In is one of the good ones. It’s inconspicuous, that’s for sure. A tiny rectangular building by the side of Route 25, it has no indoor seating whatsoever; and even the picnic-table accommodations are fairly sparse. There is a walk-up window and there is a drive-up window. Years ago, we used to avail ourselves of the drive-up window on horseback (Newtown’s bridal trails are just behind Route 25 at this point). Many customers dine in their cars in the parking lot.
It seems that one of the most desirable aspects of the Botsford hot dog is its slight shrinkage of the skin (casing) which results in a crunchy, chewy outer covering of the tube steak once it’s cooked. I’m in!
“As we said, hot dogs are the specialty of the house. They are grilled — long, slim, chewy ones that extend far beyond the split New England-style buns in which they’re nestled. Available configurations include a “Works” dog with mustard, relish, and sauerkraut, a “Texas” dog with hot chili, a “Messy” with the Works plus onions and chili, and a “King,” which is Works, onion, bacon, cheese, and chili.”