Connecticut Hot Dog Culture

Sep 23, 2011

You're about to meet several people who are mildly unhinged on the subject of hotdogs. One of them is David Pudlin. He used to be the majority leader of the Connecticut House of Representatives. Now he spends a great deal of time thinking about chili dogs, which he knows way too much about.

"I'm from New Britain. What else am I going to know about?" is his answer. "If I had grown up in Rome, I'd probably know a lot about statues and fountains.

New Britain, according to Pudlin, is to the chili dog what Tenochtitlan was to Aztec human sacrifice - the place where it all came together in a gory, ritualistic way that might be appalling to someone not indoctrinated.

There is some truth to Pudlin's theory that hot dogs and local identity are closely linked. You can't get all the way through mentioning the topic without somebody yelling "Blackie's!" or "Bobby's" or "Rawley's"  Let's hear what your local dog means to you on today's show.

To see a full slideshow of our hot dog adventures, click here.

To see a video of Chion's visit to Big Steve's Grill in Plainville, click here.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

Hot dog restaurants we visited (in order of appearance):

  • Woody's - 915 Main St., Hartford
  • The Spot - 949 New Britain Ave., West Hartford
  • Chef’s Dog House - 337 Willard Ave, Newington
  • Capitol Lunch - 510 Main Street, New Britain