Fast Franks #4

Matt’s Famous Chili Dogs, 6615 E. Marginal Way South, in that large city to our north


Matt’s, although without one location serving my fair city, is noticed as the leader in hot-doggeries in our regional area. A trip north ( restaurant supply store) was warranted, and being accompanied by hot dog expert, BAHD blog submitter, and all around general good guy, The jLO, a stop by Matt’s was imminent.

Exhibit A
This is the Slaw Dog (left) and the Chili Dog (right, natch). At first glance, the chili seemed a bit…different. In fact, it seemed different on my second and third glances as well. The jLO had the same meal as I, and he seemed to be having the same, uh, glances as me. Never the less, we dove in headstrong, attacking our Slaw Dogs first.

Exhibit B
First bite test, and the test was fine. The meal in hand held up fine, which suprised me due to the long shred slaw. Speaking of slaw, it was not my favorite. Long shred, and heavy on the mayo. I had hoped for more in the way of spice, or some other bite to it. The chili that lay under the slaw also had me thinking. All meat (yay to no beans!), but VERY creamy. Yes, I said creamy. Maybe a cheese? While not mind blowing, it did serve as a unique flavor. The texture was a bit to get over, but maybe that’s just my preference for a more chunky chili sauce. The hot dog itself, though, stood out front. Vienna Beef franks is the house meat, and it is supremely the best dog going. All beef, no filler, and oh so deeeelish. Bun was of the poppy seed variety, and steamed just right. While not my favorite, this is definitely one of the better dogs going.

Here’s what the jLO had to say:

The Slaw dog is basically Matt’s Famous Chili dog served with coleslaw atop.
The beef is delicious, the sauce is “different” and their slaw is, well, not my favorite. It is very thick and heavy on the mayonnaise, where I prefer a thinner, vinegary slaw dressing. Think more Carolina than Wisconsin. Overall, both dogs held up without knife and fork (impressive), though I think I may have been happier opting to sub the poppyseed bun for plain and demanding more onions.

Exhibit C
The Chili Dog was next. First bite test again is up to par. I notice that my Chili Dog is the Slaw Dog sans slaw, but no foul there. The lack of slaw definitely makes the chili sauce stand out front. While I still thought the creamy texture was a bit strange, it’s flavor was better the second time around. Good chili dog here. Again with the poppy seed bun, and again with Vienna Beef making the dog a stand out.

Much like RIchard Dawson screamed out “SURVEY SAYS!”, I too scream out, but I scream “the jLO SAYS!”:

Matt’s uses fine Vienna Beef Franks for their dogs and mine came cradled in a poppyseed bun that ran just shy of the franks length with chili sauce slathered on top. The scant amount of onion visible worries me, but I dive in hungry. The first bite provides the nice “snap” that only a natural casing frank can provide, but my initial fear is confirmed: very little onions are hiding under the chili sauce. No matter, I’m in for the beef! The Vienna Beef frank is well cooked, not too greasy and consistently delicious! The chili sauce is very mild, lacking the characteristic sweet or spicy hints that you’d usually expect to find depending upon what region of the country you were in, and is also oddly smooth and creamy with no discernable chunks of beef. While I’d take this sauce over most bean based chilis, I can say that its creaminess was a bit off putting.

Exhibit D
2 Slaw Dogs ($2.99 apiece), 2 Chili Dogs ($2.99 apiece), 2 medium drinks ($1.39 apiece), and with that greedy little tax man bit off $1.37, totals out at $16.11. Not bad.

Being out of the 253, Matt’s is not eligible for Fast Franks Standings. Maybe one day we will make it a wider area standings list, but for now, it’s TACWA only. If Matt’s were in town, they would be at the top o’ the list. If not for their proper dogs, it would be on their use of meat-only chili sauce. Next time I’m north of my beloved city, you will find me at Matt’s.


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