Ted’s Hot Dogs is a relatively minor hot dog chain with locations around the greater Buffalo, NY area…. and one location waaaay over here in Tempe, AZ. The chain itself goes back to the 1920s, and apparently the son of the original Ted family relocated to Arizona in the early 1980s and opened a location here.
I’d say that most Valley denizens are thankful, since Ted’s has been consistently topping the “Best Hot Dog” lists of all the local publications since they opened (they’ve got an entire wall plastered with New Times awards, for example). And I have to say the awards are well-deserved, I’ve been coming here since they opened (well, the visits are pretty sparse now that I’m no longer an area resident…), and I really like the hot dogs here.
They start with a good quality western NY style frank (they’ve used a few difference meatpackers since they opened, I remember when the current Sahlen’s signs were “Malecki Meats” signs instead), charbroiled to order on their giant charcoal grill, as the grill guy turns and pokes them with his giant forks to make sure they are cooked through and well toasted. They’ve also got a fairly impressive array of condiments (onions, relish, mustard, hot sauce, kraut, chili, cheese, etc), so you can customize your dog to your heart’s content.
They also have a variety of specialty dogs, including footlongs, jumbos, and white hots (pork/veal dogs, similar to a weisswurst, that I usually only see in the Buffalo and Rochester areas…). In fact, my favorite order is a jumbo and a white hot, both with brown mustard, onions, pickle, and kraut (shown at right).
They also do quite a good job with the sides here: both the fries and the onion rings are cooked to order (you can watch them dredge the rings in flour while you are in line), and the rings here are some of the finest I’ve ever had. They also have a number of other nods to western NY, including Loganberry punch as one of the beverages (they used to have sarsaparilla on tap as well, I don’t know when that ended, probably 20 years ago….)
In any case, Ted’s is one of my favorite hot dog joints when I come to Arizona. Or when I’m in the Buffalo area, for that matter.
Ted’s Hot Dogs
1755 E. Broadway (and a gazillion Buffalo area locations)