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My Holiday Scheme

November 22, 2010

Are you panicked yet? The madness of the holiday season just hit me. Effectively this is a short week.  We are headed down to Connecticut on Wednesday, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I already have most of my wine, perhaps all of it, but I’d love to make it to just one more wine store.

Then there is Black Friday and the frenzy of that first shopping weekend after Thanksgiving that I have typically avoided like the plague.  Have I mentioned that I hate crowds?  My hatred of crowds definitely trumps my love of a bargain.

Do you know what happens on the Wednesday night after that?  It’s the first night of Chanukah.  That’s only 10 days from now, people!

Damn lunar calendars.  They sneak up on you every time.  Thankfully because of Gramma Jeanie we have a bit of a buffer on presents for the kids.  This is one of those horrible years that my birthday will get swept up in the Chanukah festivities too.  It’s no longer such a big deal, now that I’m old, but the scars of childhood never really go away.  They only fade.

Of course, most people will be prepping for that other big holiday at the end of December, and hopefully not just by buying presents and eating a festive meal.  But I have big plans that I would like to try and sneak into another December weekend that I think you might be interested in hearing about.

Three words. Tour. De. Hot Dog.

December is a goal.  There is a lot going on, and I suppose there is a chance it could slip into January.  People travel.  Blizzards happen.  But as soon as I can nail down a specific date I will let you know.  I’m hoping for December 11 or December 18.

The Tour de Donut was a lot of fun, and I wanted keep some momentum by scheduling similar events every three months or so.  It’s hard to believe that the last tour was all the way back in September, but time marches on.

What is clear however about the Tour de Hot Dog is that I expect it to have a tighter geographic footprint, although I could be overlooking some critical hotdog establishments.  This is where you come in.

Famous Lunch, Gus’s and Hot Dog Charlie’s are all musts.

Yes, I know that there are a lot of seasonal ice cream shacks serving these regional specialties that are closed in the frigid winter months.  Tough break.  Those establishments will get their due in the Tour de Ice Cream later next year.

Here is your chance to nominate other local mini hotdogs with meat sauce that are open all year round.  And also to weigh in if you think there is a best Hot Dog Charlie’s location now that the Troy one is closed from last year’s fire.

My hope is that in the midst of holiday shopping, you can steal away for a couple of hours and grab a few bites to eat at some of the most storied venues in the region.  Then I’ll send you packing with a full belly ready to take on another bout of full-bore consumerism.

And somewhere along the way, you will have helped me determine once and for all who makes the best version of the Capital Region’s unique take on the hot dog.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 22, 2010 11:02 am

    The Hot Dog Charlie’s serves awful dogs. Incredibly bland, with a flavorless meat sauce.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    November 22, 2010 11:02 am

    I omitted the word “Saratoga” before “Hot.”

  3. Phairhead permalink
    November 22, 2010 11:28 am

    How come yr not including Mike’s 1st Prize?

  4. Bob W. permalink
    November 22, 2010 12:44 pm

    Anton’s on New Scotland Avenue across from St. Peter’s Hospital is a must. Although I am a long-time Gus’ fan, Anton’s is my current go-to spot when I’ve got a mini-dog craving.

  5. November 22, 2010 12:55 pm

    Newest Lunch on Albany Street in Schenectady. You must not miss them.

  6. November 23, 2010 12:09 am

    I was under the impression that Mike’s 1st Prize and Newest Lunch only sell full sized hot dogs with meat sauce. Hot dogs with meat sauce (and onions with mustard) is not specific to the capital region. I consider those Michigans or Coneys depending on where I’m standing.

    This tour is specifically for our regional variant, which requires the dogs to be minuscule.

  7. November 23, 2010 7:30 pm

    Holy crap, Hanukkah already??? Guess my Jewish friends aren’t gonna get their holiday cards in time this year — I haven’t even made my card list yet, let alone bought cards to mail.

  8. November 29, 2010 3:03 pm

    Hot Dog Heaven on Lark Street serves mini-dogs with meat sauce. They’re not as famous for it — maybe because they also do full-sized dogs and an entire grill menu — although I found them quite tasty. I’d be interested to see how they stack up head-to-head.

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