I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry, no one is giving up our wing reputation any time soon.
Now that we have agreed to momentarily set our wings down, we have a new headline for you-“Forget wings – Buffalo is a hot dog town” –USA Today. Yep, hot dogs. A Buffalo summer cookout item as well as a year-round indulgence…we actually take hot dogs pretty seriously around here.
Buffalo may not have a crazy recipe or hot dog masterpiece, but we know that our hot dogs are something special. According to the article in USA Today, Buffalo’s dogs are unique thanks to their beef/pork combination, which is mostly credited to WNY’s beloved brand – Sahlens. Sahlen’s supplies a large number of our best hot dog spots and is a household name here in WNY, and their family operated business is on its fifth generation!
What else makes Buffalo a hot dog town? That famous spot considered by many to be the original hot dog joint ’round these parts: Ted’s Hot Dogs. The founder Theodore “Ted” Liaros started his hot dog shack in 1927. This little shack was initially used as a tool shed in the construction of the Peace Bridge. Who knew a $100 purchase would start a legacy of delicious charbroiled goodness? From their special Ted’s Hot Sauce to their iconic Loganberry milkshake – Ted’s is as Buffalo a staple as they come.
“Ted’s Hot Sauce” which, according to current president (and Ted’s granddaughter) Thecly Ortolani, is “a sweet-spicy ketchup-based red relish that also has a bunch of secret spices.”
Of course, you can’t talk about Buffalo hot dogs without a shout out to Louie’s. Louie’s Hot Dogs, founded by Louie Turco, opened its doors in 1951. They’re famous for their own take on delicious charcoal-grilled hot dogs, which of course are Sahlens, and especially for their footlongs.
“For the first 25 years that we offered the foot-long hot dog it was served on the original roll, with meat sticking out at either end,” Angelo says. “Even though we now have a foot-long roll, we still have old-timers that come in and request their foot-long hot dog on a short roll.”
Hot dogs may not always get the fame they deserve here in WNY, which is why we’re so excited a national publication like USA Today is taking notice. Our hot dog specialties certainly deserve all of the attention, and we love an excuse to go grab one of these babies for old times’ sake.