Spalla’s in Natick, Ma was my most recent stop for Hot Dog Stories, but let me back up for a minute. Hot Dog Stories has been a fun hobby and avocation of mine for nearly five years. Ever since I sold my hot dog truck, I have made journeys to different hot dog joints all over the place and told the story of each place I visit. There are some places I have been to numerous times, some only once. Before going to Spalla’s, I had been to 99 different hot dog joints in 8 different states and Canada. Spalla’s was to be my 100th different hot dog joint, a true milestone!
Spalla’s is located inside Culinary Delights, a sumptuous European deli located just off route 27 in Natick, just north of the intersection of routes 9 and 27.
Spalla’s and Culinary Delights have formed a partnership. Spalla’s serves up their own home made Italian Beef and….
… authentic Chicago Dogs!
Spalla’s hosts Roadfood.com
The stars were alligned on this crisp autumn evening. The Massachusetts Roadfood.com meetup group had picked Spalla’s as their monthly meeting place. Sharing a hot dog and other goodies with fellow foodies sounded like fun, so I joined in for hot dog joint number 100!
The standard hot dog umbrellas were in place, giving Spalla’s an uthentic feel before even stepping inside.
There are many gourmet items for sale in the store, so you can make your own Culinary Delights at home.
The deli case is packed with fresh meats, the pastrami is said to be excellent.
Culinary Delights owner Alex Palterman emigrated to the USA from Russia. Alex never liked hot dogs until Cara introduced him to Chicago Dogs. He has a degree in Engineering, but it was always his dream to be a chef; he’s living the dream!
Several years ago, Cara Spalla, a regular customer, approached Alex about bringing a taste of Chicago into Culinary Delights. She’s a Windy City native who makes her own Italian Beef and LOVES her hot dogs – Chicago style of course. The two reached an arrangement and Spalla’s was born.
Spalla’s Chicago Hot Dogs
Spalla’s serves up Chicago Dogs and just about any kind of combo you could want on a hot dog. They have a few specialty dogs like the Boston Dog with Baked Beans, onions, fresh cheddar cheese, and BACON. There’s also the BBQ Zang Dog with barbecue sauce, BACON, onions, and peppers. They’ll top a hot dog with the standards too: Coney Island style chili, mustard, relish, onions, kraut, and fresh grated cheddar cheese. Just don’t ask for ketchup, this is a Chicago joint after all!
Spalla’s offers daily “specialty dogs” too. Today They had a Crazy Russian Dog and a Chihuahua Dog.
Cara greeted the Roadfood.com crew and explained the various offerings.
While Cara got cooking, Alex brought out some of his food, like these cabbage stuffed turnovers. They went fast!
He also brought out some items from the deli case like brisket and salami.
The Parmesan cheese encased salami was out of this world!
Cara let us sample her home made Italian Beef which slow cooks for over 6 hours. It’s topped with her home made gravy that many people drink – it’s that good. The Italian Beef was as good as any I have ever had: hot, tender and loaded with flavor. I tried the gravy too, both on the beef and as a drink.
We also sampled some of the BBQ Zang dogs; top notch in my book!
Of course the Chicago Dogs were the stars of the evening were the Chicago Dogs. Spalla’s uses Vienna Beef Franks and Vienna Beef poppy seed buns. The rest of the toppings are home made or other brands of authentic, Chicago Dog toppings. Hot Dog #100 was sitting on that plate!
When dinner was over, we were treated to some of Spalla’s home made Italian Ices. I have had Italian Ice before, but this stuff was off the charts. The grain of the ice was so fine and the flavors burst on the tongue. The Black Cherry Ice was my favorite.
After the meal was done, the Roadfood.com group, Alex, Cara, the rest of the staff, and I posed for a group picture.
If you are in or near Natick, Culinary Delights and Spalla’s are a fine choice for lunch or dinner. There’s a Sunday brunch too. They also do catering. Check them out and tell them “the Hotdogman sent me.”
For the rest of the story, check out the video.