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Move Over Frisbee: Behold The Mac Dog
by Allan Appel | Sep 5, 2012 12:02 pm
Posted to: Business/ Economic Development, Food, Upper State Street, Chef Of The Week
Corey Spruill quickly seared both sides of an all-beef dog, then waited five minutes for sweat to begin beading the flanks. The final act of creation: ladling on creamy macaroni and cheese.
Spruill was following in the footsteps of Louis’ Lunch (the hamburger), Pepe’s (the pizza), and the purported originators of the frisbee and clock: coming up with a classic New Haven-born invention. Even if this one’s not round and flat.
Meet the Mac Dog Supreme.
Spruill, a 33-year-old who grew up in New Haven, was cooking one up behind the grill this week at his new eatery on Upper State Street near Bishop, Jordan’s Hot Dogs & Mac. (Click on the play arrow in the video to watch him at work.) The eatery is focused entirely on those two kid and comfort food favorites, hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Sometimes in combination.
Jordan’s Hot Dogs & Macs held its grand opening on Tuesday afternoon. Customers came in steadily to try the 13 dog offerings (two with mac and cheese) or to build their own dogs.
Spruill starts out with a ten-inch Hummel Bros. hot dog, he grills it to an attractive brown and then he adds “fixins,” with the unique one being macaroni and cheese.
“I talked to dozens of people, I Googled it,” Spruill said. He determined the combo has never been done before.
While Neal Anderson ate a chili dog (no mac on that one), Spruill’s partner in business and life, Lauren Hardy, was at work across the small kitchen stirring a large pot of mac and cheese.
She added copious amounts of cheddar to make it creamy. She said when it comes to selling comfort foods, love is an important ingredient.
She and Spruill have a son, Jordan, who inspired the restaurant with his love of hot dogs and mac and cheese. Jordan has been eating both foods, chopped up into small pieces, for one third of his three years of life, said Hardy.
“People are shocked that it [hot dogs] and mac and cheese go so well together,” she added.
Another customer came in the small tidy restaurant and ordered a simple dog, no mac and cheese, although the combo, especially the Mac Dog Supreme (mac and cheese, bacon, jalapenos on a potato bread bun), have been popular, Spruill said.
He placed another dog and bun on the grill. He buttered the bun. “It gives it a moist taste,” Spruill said.
Spruill knows his dough as he knows his dogs. For 17 years he has baked pizza at Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria on Wooster Street; he began there as a teenager after eating there often with his mom. He’s at Pepe’s from 5:30 p.m.on into the evening. Now, from the mornings until 3:30 p.m. he’s at his new place.
He said he looks at the hot dog business as similar to making a pizza, with the toppings as key.
Coming Soon: The “Loaded Bacon Hot Dog”
Spruill and Hardy said they will keep the menu simple for starters, with new variations or specials as time goes. First up, for example, may be the “Loaded Bacon Hot Dog.” This would be a dog with hot bacon, sauteed onions, green peppers, and a bun slathered in mayonnaise. Perfect for the coming fall and winter days
Of course, if you want mac and cheese added, no problem.
“One of my goals,” said Spruill, “is to have customers be full with their meal. ‘So good you don’t need fries’” is going to be my motto.”
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After watch “Modern Marvel: The Hot Dog” I promised myself I would never eat another hot dog. Then I tried a Hummel Brother’s—I promise no more.
This looks really good. I am looking forward to visiting. Thanks NHI.
Thank god for vegans.
Friends and I were in Manhattan over the weekend in search if the best hot dog in NYC and our search led us to a little spot in Greenwich village called Ditch Plains. They serve a hot dog there called the Ditch Dog which is a grilled beef hot dog smothered with mac-n-cheese (surprisingly good)