Man Bites Dogs
If there’s anything Eddie Andelman is more passionate about than sports, it’s hot dogs. It’s been estimated the 70-year-old talk radio legend and founder of the annual Hot Dog Safari, a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, has downed 25,000 franks—“probably more,” he says. At first we were skeptical, but then he took us to his secret spots.
If there’s anything Eddie Andelman is more passionate about than sports, it’s hot dogs. It’s been estimated the 70-year-old talk radio legend and founder of the annual Hot Dog Safari, a fundraiser for cystic fibrosis, has downed 25,000 franks—“probably more,” he says. At first we were skeptical, but then he took us to his secret spots, where we learned: 1) Andelman has an unnatural ability to store food, and 2) like Chicago, Boston is a great hot dog town.
A legendary operation founded in 1910, and a favorite of cops and municipal workers. Standing room only.
The Dog: A nicely buttered roll cradles this slender, grilled all-beef frankfurter. The bar staff piles on any requested condiments.
Eddie says: “This is my idea of a great place to eat. Who the hell eats at the Ritz? Only the Mayflower people.”
Eddie could eat: Two doubles (double dog, single roll), with relish.
$2.55, 1509 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan, 617-296-3800.
2. Eire Pub
A classic Irish pub established in 1962, with a horseshoe bar and plenty of Sox memorabilia. Ronald Reagan came here during a presidential campaign swing.
The dog: A steamed Kayem on a steamed bun, with toppings added by the bartender.
Eddie says: “Though it’s steamed, it doesn’t lose its flavor, which is rare.”
Eddie could eat: Six, plain. “But I gotta watch the Sox while I’m doing it.”
$1.79, 5 Adams St., Dorchester, 617-436-0088.
Like Chuck E. Cheese’s, without the oversize rat—and known for burgers instead of pizza.
The dog: A grilled quarter-pound Pearl split down the middle and served on a roll made in-house every day. There’s also a serious, do-it-yourself fixin’s bar: onions, relish, jalapeños—the works.
Eddie says: “Perfectly grilled. Perfect roll. Top quality.”
Eddie could eat: Two, with mustard and relish—“if Judi [his wife] isn’t around.”
$3.99, Rte. 1 N., Saugus, 781-233-6399.
4. New England Hot Dog Company
A local joint that looks like a chain, thanks to its drab, generic tables.
The dog: Customers choose kosher, skinless, footlong, or all-beef and add any of 45 toppings, like Ipswich Ale mustard.
Eddie says: “They use real butter on their roll. But they microwave it. The only thing that should go in the microwave is popcorn. And maybe bacon.”
Eddie could eat: Three Provincetowns (a dog with mozzarella).
$1.95–$3.95, 1940 Revere Beach Pkwy., Everett, 617-394-9663.
5. Kelley’s Square Pub
Kelley’s is filled with fantastic pictures of owner and former local boxer John Mastrangelo’s glory days—and quite a few of Eddie himself.
The dog: A stubby frank cooked in pizza dough, a sort of pig-in-a-blanket on steroids. No condiments required.
Eddie says: “The dough gives the dog a great taste. It’s really unique.”
Eddie could eat: Eight. “But I gotta watch the Celtics while I’m doing it.”
$4.95 for two, 84 Bennington St., East Boston, 617-567-4627.
6. Halfway Café
A dimly lit hangout with Sox gear and a quality beer selection.
The dog: A full-pound all-beef monstrosity that’s bigger than your forearm. They have to custom order the roll to accommodate this beast, which comes with fries and toppings.
Eddie says: “See these slits? It allows the dog to cook in its own juices. It’s big enough—like a steak—that it can do that.”
Eddie could eat: A whole dog, with relish—maybe.
$8.99, 394 Main St., Watertown, 617-926-3595