Hot Dog of the Week

A unique hot dog feature each week from hot dog connoisseur and cartoonist Hawk Krall!

DVD Giveaway: A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour

Note: For the month of September, Hot Dog of the Week will feature dogs from A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour, a fantastic new documentary directed by Mark Kotlinski with cover art by yours truly. H.K.

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[Photographs: Mark Kotlinski]

For the final week of the Hot Dog of the Week's Connecticut Hot Dog Tour, we're giving away five copies of the DVD and one deluxe set, which includes both the DVD and an 11x14 original art print from the Connecticut Hot Dog Tour series.

To enter to win one of the five prizes, just tell us your favorite hot dog toppings in the comments section.

About the film: It's an in-depth look at the history and food of ten of Connecticut's best hot dog joints. Lots of natural casing franks and footlongs, grilled or deep fried; plenty of homemade secret recipe meat sauce and hot relish; buns both top loading and standard, usually toasted or steamed. Connecticut has an incredible variety of hot dog styles, and plenty of terrific places full of wildly passionate owners and customers who are proud of their state's status as one of the world's great hot dog destinations.

Contest will end and comments will close at noon EST, Monday, September 27, 2010. One entry per community member. Winners are limited to residents of the continental U.S. The standard Serious Eats contest rules apply.

Rawley's Drive-In

Rawley's Drive-In is an old house in Fairfield that was converted into a hot dog stand in 1946. It's probably one of the state's most beloved and well-known stands, and a favorite of Martha Stewart who grew up eating Rawley's dogs and milkshakes.

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Rawley's dogs are natural casing Hummel Bros. franks, deep-fried and finished off on the grill. Served on toasted buns, the most popular order is a dog "all the way" which means relish, mustard, sauerkraut, and a heaping pile of crispy deep-fried bacon.

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This classic Connecticut Dog was also the inspiration for the New Englander: nearby Super Duper Weenie's homage to Rawley's signature dog that involves whole bacon slices, kraut, and griddled (rather than deep-fried) dogs.

Rawley's is also known for their hand-cut fries and milkshakes, and prides itself on making everything fresh, even on Saturdays when the lines go out the door.

Owner Nick Frattaroli, who also owns the Dairy Queen nextdoor, bought Rawley's in 2002, snapped it up and vowed to keep it the same, maintaining the high-level of quality that has made Rawley's such an institution since the forties.

Top Dog Hot Dog

Probably the state's most unique-looking hot dog place, Top Dog is a crazy hot dog shaped Airstream trailer that parks along Route 66 in Portland, Connecticut.

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The stand started out as Andrea's, a non-hot dog shaped truck selling dogs, burgers, and sandwiches. In 1980 the owners picked up the Airstream and built the hot dog sculpture themselves with sheet metal and fiberglass. There's also three-dimensional mustard, relish and onions on top.

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The menu these days is only hot dogs. Top Dog uses Thumann's natural casing dogs from New jersey, served on steamed buns. The signature dog is the "Cajun" which is served with pepper jack cheese, homemade "New Orleans relish" and chili (either hot or mild).

Rawley's

1886 Post Rd, Fairfield CT‎
203-259-9023‎

Top Dog Hot Dog

Route 66 & Marlborough Street, Portland CT
Open March through November, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

More Connecticut Hot Dogs

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Buy -or win!- A Connecticut Hot Dog Tour on DVD

20100929_HDOW_art03.jpgA Connecticut Hot Dog Tour is a fantastic new documentary by filmmaker Mark Kotlinski featuring 10 of Connecticut's best hot dog stands. The DVD is available for only $7.99, also available are 11x14 giclee prints of the Connecticut Hot Dog Tour artwork along with the DVD for only $29. Or comment below for your chance to win a free copy!

Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.

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