C & R Hot Dogs

On a hot August afternoon, I was cruising with little Miss in the convertible in search of some nourishment. We were driving down Washington Street (that’s route 16) when we came upon one of the area’s newest establishments C & R Hot Dogs in Holliston, MA. We usually stop at a hot dog truck, hot dog cart or hot dog trailer for features on Hot Dog Stories, but the story here qualifies (read on to find out how).
C&R Hot Dogs is located at 459 Washington Street in Holliston, MA and has been open for business for only two months. They claim to have the largest collection of local business tee shirts in the area. The tee shirts aren’t for sale “unless the people who own the businesses stop eating here!” They also have an ongoing hot dog eating contest: see how many hot dogs-with buns-you can eat in eight minutes. Break the record and the dogs are on the house. You get immortalized on their wall of fame, plus you win a roll of Tums!
C & R is all hot dogs with lots of different toppings and a bunch of specialty dogs. They even have their own “secret sauce.”


Here’s the C&R Crew. From left to right we have V.P. in charge of operations Stephanie Lamkin, “The Real Boss” Theresa Lamkin, and owners Carl Damigella and Rich Maccagnano.


Carl and Rich didn’t start C & R Hot Dogs the way most folks get into the hot dog business. Theresa was actually the catalyst. She was on the board of the Holliston Historical Society and she was organizing a fundraiser called “A Taste of Holliston.” When calling on local restaurants to get involved, the first question everyone asked was, “who else is doing it?” NOBODY WANTED TO BE THE FIRST! Theresa was on the horns of a dilemma. Rich had an old hot dog cart, so he shined it up, and he and his old pal Carl dubbed it “C&R Hot Dogs.” They signed up first for a taste of Holliston and other local restaurateurs followed. The fundraiser and the hot dog cart were a huge success! After the fundraising event, Carl and Rich manned their hot dog cart at Holliston’s Summer Concerts. They also worked the local Lion’s Club Carnival. They were initially working the cart to help raise funds for the summer concert series and the Lion’s Club: it was a strictly charitable endeavor.
One night, at one of the concerts, a lady approached them and asked to hire them and their cart for a baseball themed birthday party. This was to be their first paying gig! Shortly thereafter, a storefront became available at 459 Washington Street which is owned by Rich. Rich is a local contractor, so he did a lot of the build out while Theresa supervised and handled the aesthetic details. Theresa did all the custom tile in the place and basically told Rich how to do it up right! Rich coaxed Carl out of retirement to join him in the newly formed venture, thus C&R Hot Dogs was born! Even though they had some advantages in opening their shop, Carl and Rich’s initial success resulted from working out of a second hand hot dog cart for the love of their community and of that fine American Delicacy: the Hot Dog. As in any business, including the hot dog business, the old saying applies: “do what you love and the money will come.”
Carl still considers being in the hot dog business as being retired and Rich still does contracting. Theresa is still the real boss! They are all having fun with their new venture and Carl says, “if we could still stand being around each other after running the hot dog cart, we figured we’d give it a try.”
Inspiring stuff!

Little Miss got her standard plain hot dog. They use Kayem Old Time Franks at C & R and serve them on fresh baked buns! The Hotdogman LIKES fresh baked bread of any kind….


I opted for a Reuben Dog (sauerkraut, cheese, russian dressing and a pickle slice) and a Saturday Night Dog (baked beans, bacon and ketchup). I broke my own rule about ketchup on a hot dog because it was one of their signature dogs-I did ask for mustard too! I had a Cranberry Soda and a bag of chips to go with my dogs-they have a special: two dogs any style, soda and chips for $5.00.


Next it was time to CHOW DOWN!

These were good dogs! Steamed to perfection on fresh buns with great toppings = GOOD HOT DOGS! I’d have both again, but I’d skip the ketchup on the Saturday Night Dog. When I was finished, Carl gave me a Secret Dog. This is a hot dog with their secret sauce and mayonnaise. Carl wouldn’t tell me what was in the secret sauce (“If I did, I’d have to kill you”) but it was the best dog of the three I had. I woofed it down before I thought of taking a picture! It was kind of a combo of marinara sauce and chili-DELICIOUS.


Little Miss gave C & R Hot Dogs TWO THUMBS UP!
Make sure you stop in for a dog at C&R Hot Dogs in Holliston the next time you’re in the area. The price is right and the dogs are top notch. Tell them “the Hotdogman” sent you.

C & R Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

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