Hot Digity Dog

While cruising the Maine coast last weekend, The Hotdogman and Mrs. Hotdogman found ourselves in the beautiful town of Kennebunk.

 

We were rolling down Route One when we saw this jewel at the side of the road. Since it was lunch time, we decided to stop for a hot dog.
Hot Digity Dog is owned by Vaughn and Linda Mason. Hot Digity Dog isn’t their oldest partnership-they’ve been married for 40 years. Like most husband and wife business partnerships, Linda is the boss! In the “geez it sure is a small world” category: Vaughn grew up in Natick, Massachusetts- the Hotdogman‘s hometown!

 

Vaughn started working at Hot Digity Dogs 3 years ago and bought the Hot Dog Truck 2 years ago. He’s manning his spot at 6 York Street in Kennebunk, Maine every weekday (with Linda’s supervision). On weekends, they do 15-20 gigs a year on the horse show and drag racing circuits in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. Any hot dog man will tell you- the big money is in those types of gigs and events! Combine good gigs and events with a good every day location, and you have the makings of a very good hot dog business.
Vaughn is no stranger to the food business. He managed the Dairy Joy in Weston, Massachusetts (his brother-in-law owns the place) for 13 years. He also ran The Mill Stream in Bristol, New Hampshire for 5 years and the Riverside Dairy Joy in Ashland, New Hampshire for another two years. After 20 years in the food biz, Vaughn spent a sizeable chunk of time as a supermarket manager, but that wasn’t his passion. Vaughn wanted back into the food biz, so he did some “cookin’ around” for a few years in the Kennebunk area until he started at Hot Digity Dog in 2007. Just like Victor Kiam, he loved the business so much, he bought the company! It was a good truck in a good location and not too far from home. Like any good hot dog man will tell you, the best location isn’t worth a dime if you don’t take care of your customers. As Vaughn so sagely put it: “I make sure I take good care of my regulars and I treat every customer like a regular.”
Hot Digity Dog is a fully equipped mobile kitchen, complete with a flat top griddle, fryers, steamers, commercial grade ventilation, and refrigeration. Vaughn runs everything with a generator and propane.
The actual Hot Dog Truck is a 1988 GMC with a Grumman Body. It’s a sharp looking rig designed to do serious volume.

 

All the food products are supplied by Shields, which is less than two miles from Vaughn’s spot. Shields makes their own hot dogs, which are a regional favorite served at many other area hot dog establishments, including Karen’s on a Roll.

 

WHICH BRINGS US TO THE FOOD!
The menu at Hot Digity Dog is fairly extensive as Hot Dog Trucks go. Besides dogs, you can get burgers, fried clams, clam cakes, chicken, fries, bowls of Vaughn’s home made chili, even grilled cheese sandwiches!

 

We were looking to eat some hot dogs, so Mrs. Hotdogman ordered up a chili dog with fries…

 

while I ordered up a solo chili dog.

 

I put some brown mustard on this bad boy…

 

Then it was time to CHOW DOWN!

 

Hot Digity Dog serves up a steamed Shields Natural Casing frank on a grilled bun. I have had Shields’ hot dogs before, and I have to tell you, it’s a very tasty hot dog. The Shields dogs are a bit spicier than the ubiquitous Kayhem hot dogs, but they have that natural casing snap. Vaughn’s home made chili is a meat and bean chili with peppers and onions. It’s a mild chili, made fresh daily and it hit the spot- it almost (dare I say it) tasted healthy. If we hadn’t been planning on eating a twin lobster dinner at Nunan’s later, we would have ordered a few more!
The handy “hot dog cozy” captured my spilled chili which I¬†unceremoniously licked up.

 

Mrs. Hotdogman gives Hot Digity Dog TWO THUMBS UP!
Hot Digity Dog is doing the hot dog business up right. The dogs are top notch (extra points for the grilled buns), the truck is clean and inviting and Vaughn is about as nice a guy as you could meet.
When in Kennebunk, stop by Hot Digity Dog for lunch and tell Vaughn “the Hotdogman sent me.”

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