Let me preface this review by apologizing in advance. I don't have an iPhone like the other cool kids. You'll have to bear with me and my cheap-o camera phone. On with the show.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
As a general rule, I avoid convenience store style hot dogs. They tend to lack several key elements that make a hot dog enjoyable, namely style, slaw, and decent taste. At least that's the way it goes around this area. But a recent trip through Bridgeport had me making a stop for a couple some highly touted deli items at the Food Fresh supermarket. Imagine my surprise when a sign behind the counter touted hot dogs available daily from lunch time to 4:00 p.m. daily. I told myself this could possibly be a great find if some of the key ingredients were made on site, or a complete bomb. Only one way to find out.
First off, Food Fresh has one of the best prices on a hot dog around at only .89 cents (with added slaw). I had to tell the clerk twice not to add ketchup, but this isn't the first time. Once I got out and into the Big Daddymobile, I popped open the styro-coffin. The bun had a terrific, freshly steamed smell that invited further exploration. I have to say they seemed to have found a pretty good method to steam the buns (I believe it was of a Sunbeam brand), sans any form of a commercial steamer. The weenie was extremely scrawny, though, and just passable in temperature department. Must have been a rather cheaper brands sold here. Onions and mustard were acceptable.
I found the chili to be tremendous. I recall during a trip here many months ago that this chili was marketed in take home containers as "Ritzy Lunch Hot Dog Chili". I can only assume there had been a falling out between the entities somewhere along the line, as it now carred the standard "Hot Dog Chili"
label. That being said, this chili is really good. More on the thicker side, but just saucy enough to soak a little bit into the bun. The combination of beefy flavor of the meat and the well balanced spices got my attention from the get go and held on throughout the experience. Very nice.
The slaw itself was a detriment. It was clearly of the prepackaged variety, as the visible containers in the prep area revealed. This was really big on the vinegar taste and low on the fresh, crispy, crunchy cabbage. On the other hand, Food Fresh does offer a version called "shredded slaw" that includes long strands of red and green cabbages, plus carrots. The taste is more in keeping with what a good WVHD should contain. Should you happen to venture in and try one for yourself, do make it a point to ask for the shredded slaw. Sure, it defies the rules of the slaw (i.e., finely chopped), but it does have a much fresher, creamier taste.
I can't really give the whole establishment a rating, but I can safely say the hot dogs themselves are okay in and of themselves. I'll rate Food Fresh at three weenies.