On a cold and murky early October afternoon, I was tooling through Medfield, Massachusetts with the convertible top UP when I came upon Wills Hardware.
They’re located at 75 West Street. I wasn’t here for paint, however…
I was here for The Dog House of Medfield! This is Medfield’s newest culinary delight-it’s only been open for three months or so.
I got out to take a closer look and found this nifty little trailer made of stainless steel. Even on a cloudy day, it was gleaming.
I found proud owner Ross Scanlon serving up tasty treats inside his shiny hot dog trailer.
Ross started up The Dog House this summer. He spent a number of years in the construction business and he wasn’t happy with his work. He also confessed to his (relatively) young body beginning to feel the aches and pains associated with physical labor; he felt the need to move on to something new.
That “something” became The Dog House of Medfield. When Ross was looking into going in business for himself, he knew one thing for sure: he LOVES to cook. When he began his research he decided on a hot dog business because it didn’t involve a huge investment (a familiar refrain for hotdogmen everywhere).
He’s from Medfield and he knows the owner of Wills Hardware, so securing his location was a snap. Securing his permits was fairly painless too- he says the folks from the Town of Medfield were as helpful and easy to deal with as possible. A hardware store parking lot is a good location for a hot dog trailer: there’s fairly steady traffic in and out, good visibility from the street and plenty of parking.
Ross picked up the enclosed trailer second hand on Craigslist. It’s a Custom Mobile Food Equipment trailer: an older version of their “Model 650.” Inside there are half a dozen steam wells, a flat top griddle, coffee urn, refrigerator, and plenty of storage shelves. Of course it has the standard 4 sink set up too. It’s a perfect one man mobile restaurant. These babies run north of $25,000 when new-Ross was lucky to get a bargain on a quality used trailer. $25,000 is a LOT of hot dogs!
Both sides flip up for those hot summer days.
Ross takes his restaurant home every night- just a quick hook up to his GMC Sierra and he’s rolling! It’s a good thing it’s easily towed too, because Ross takes the The Dog House on the road quite a bit. He serves food at all the local playing fields, he attends community events like “Medfield Days,” and he does quite a bit of catering too. He recently catered a local “Battle of the Bands” and made a week’s pay in a few short hours. It goes to show all you would-be-hotdogmen out there that there’s EXCELLENT cash to be made with extra gigs and events.
The Dog House serves up more than dogs. Ross is open for breakfast too. He serves breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos-even a “breakfast dog” which is scrambled eggs and bacon on a hot dog roll. You can also order sausages, burgers, grilled cheese or a BLT.
It was well after breakfast time this day, so I checked out the Hot Dog section of the menu. The Dog House serves up Old Neighborhood Franks done up “dirty water style” on a split-top, steamed, New England style hot dog roll. The standard condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish and onions) are put on by Ross.
He also has what he calls “Loaded Dogs.” These are his hot dogs with special toppings that get loaded on to the dog. Loaded dogs are served on a sub roll to contain the generous portions of toppings. Loaded dogs come with chili, baked beans, cole slaw, kraut or “Hawaiian.”
I went for the Hawaiian Dog: a Loaded dog with bacon and pineapple.
This was a solid dog. I’ve noticed a lot of hot dog places have a Hawaiian Dog or some variation of it. The combo of pineapple and bacon works well on a hot dog for some reason. I liked the over sized roll to keep the toppings inside, though I did still manage to spill some pineapple sauce!
TWO THUMBS UP!
Whether you stop by The Dog House in front of the hardware store, see it around town, or book it for catering your own special event, make sure you tell Ross “the Hotdogman sent me.”