Hunting For The Best Albany Area Hot Dogs
I’ve been dreaming of BBQ on Memorial Day weekend for weeks. So as we headed into the holiday weekend the weather report wasn’t looking good. Now I’m that guy who will fire up the grill in February in the middle of a blizzard. But on Saturday I wasn’t feeling it. I was hungry but didn’t want to do a full BBQ in the rain. I started thinking, who has the best hot dogs? So I jumped in the car and headed towards the Hudson and the best hot dog stands in the area.
First stop was Cohoes and Hot Dog Charlie’s. Hot Dog Charlie’s first opened in Troy N.Y. in 1922. Due to fire, the original Hot Dog Charlie’s was forced to close, but according to their website the original shop will reopen. As you walk in you’ll see a line of their Hot Dog Charlie’s Chilli sauce and glorious dog after glorious dog cooking on their griddle. As I finished my three hot dogs (no mustard) I was thinking to go anywhere else would just be a waste of time. How can anyone else beat these dogs?
Next stop was Watervliet and Gus’s Hot Dogs. Gus’s Hot Dog is a large part of the Albany area Hot Dog culture and history. As you walk up to the building you can see very little has changed since they first open their doors. Why would you? If you got something that works don’t change it. After three more dogs, Gus’s quickly reminded me why I was doing this hot dog tour.
Then it was time to cross the Hudson river into Troy. Sadly I found myself heart broken. Famous lunch apparently is closed for the Memorial Day weekend. Out of all three places I have eaten at Famous the most. I started off this hot dog tour believing famous was going to stay as my top dog. But after hitting the other two shops I’m afraid that famous might not hold on to that “honor”. Looks like I’m just going to have to do this tour again.
Looking back at my photos I realized that Gus’s proudly advertized Helmbold’s. Why not go to the source? Many of the hot dog shops in the area use Helmbold and for good reason. I rounded off my tour at helmbolds where I picked up a few pounds of dogs and some rolls. When monday rolled around and I finally fired up my grill, I had a little taste of Troy in my own home. Made my weekend.