PHOTO BY HEATHER VANDENENGEL @HEATHERVANDY
Sometimes dogs taste just like they should
With pickles, tomato, and a one-two combo of mild peppers and not-exactly-mild mustard conspiring to top your easily punked taste buds, it’s no exaggeration to say that this dog is literally (as in “violently, in the eye”) bursting with flavor. It’s a “classic rock” dog, for sure, and one befitting the laid-back, blue-collar Spike’s. But we’re talking less REO Speedwagon, more J. Geils Band.
[1076 Boylston St., Boston. 617.266.0909. @SpikesHotDogs. spikesjunkyarddogs.com]
The first time you snag one of the ‘furters from the former Speed’s Food Truck meat-scientists, you might think you’ve shrunk by some barely perceptible factor. You’ll at least mutter something along the lines of “that’s a large food-shaped object.” ‘Course, once the shock is over, you’ll also mutter something along the lines of “can’t this hold a proportionally greater amount of chili, too?” Way to step up your hot doggin’, champ.
[Locations vary. 617.839.0102. @Americashotdog. bostonsuperdog.com]
This JapaDog-style establishment features an Eastern take on the Western dog, like the teriyaki-seaweed covered Crazy Dog, the soy-sauce and scallion Snow Dog, and the spicy sesame Angry Dog. But our star is the Soba Dog, a Godzilla-esque daikaiju number topped with stir-fry noodles and, as the Fei Fan menu puts it, “red ginger (!!!)”And, if you’re thinking noodles aren’t a finger-food, you’re right. A fork—or a lack of self-respect—is necessary.
[42 Beach St., Boston.]
The gold standard for baseball stadium concession eats, it’s hard to talk about this classic without also talking about the Sox, sunsets, and my bygone, rose-tinted youth. But here’s a stab: ground meat in a casing, boiled and placed inside a sliced hunk of bread (or “bun”), and garnished with ketchup, mustard, or relish. You … just kind of have to be there. So … go be there. Nowish, if you please.
[4 Yawkey Way, Boston. 877.733.7699. @RedSox. boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark]
No matter what’s in ‘em, the Buk’s buns come buttered and grilled, Mom’s kitchen-style. Only Mom’s kitchen has booze. And Mom will call you a tool-bag if you don’t double up that order of firm, plump vegetarian dogs that Mom’s been cooking with a side of fries. And no, Mom won’t put condiments on for you! Who do you think Mom is? “Don’t be a tool-bag,” says Mom, punching you in your tool-bag arm, then asking if you want another PBR. Your mom makes a mean veg dog, is the point.
[50 Dalton St., Boston. 617.437.9999. @bukowskiboston. bukowskitavern.com]
Is it wrong to say that this frank, with its sweet whole-grain mustard and barely-on-the-bun sausage, tastes like a fairground dog? Or that I’m struggling to focus on just the hot dog, and not the bread and butter appetizer or the rosemary potato chips served (fairground-style!) in a paper cone? No on both counts? Fab. The à la Maison is an upscale dish, but one that stays true to the hot dog’s roots. Plus, no fucking clowns. Smart call there, team.
[552 Tremont St., Boston. 617.423.4800. thebutchershopboston.com]
Pretty much one of those “What did you expect?” kind of things. Only the “you” is “I.” From where I’m sitting (on the toilet), that’s a key distinction.