A hot dog is a hot dog is a hot dog, right? Not if you are my father-in-law, or Jim Boeheim, for that matter, both of whom speak very fondly of Heid’s in Liverpool, the classic drive-thru that has been around since 1917 and is known for its Hofmann-brand hot dogs and coneys.
Wife L and I visited the CNY landmark on Saturday for the very first time after we had a brisk walk through the village and along the wonderful walkways of Onondaga Lake Park.
I came away a fan; Wife L was not similarly impressed.
I thoroughly enjoyed my crispy-grilled coney, tucked in a fresh, warm New England-style bun. The special spicy brown mustard that Heid’s sells was the real treat for me; it provided a wonderful kick. The baked beans were the perfect accompaniment, reminding me of many a summer picnic.
Wife L enjoyed her hot dog, but wasn’t buying into the Heid’s hype. She opined that she would have been just as happy grilling some Hofmann’s hot dogs on our backyard grill. But then again, she ordered cheesy fries, so you have to be wary of her opinion. Cheese was not intended for french fries, just as ketchup was not intended for hot dogs or eggs.
You order your food at Heid’s cafeteria style, and walk with your tray past folks waiting to order and into the clean dining room. There also are picnic tables outside waiting for the warm weather.
Several folks had Syracuse University orange on, and I could see quite a few had ordered the special: a frank and a coney, regular fries, and soft drink, for $7.25. You can get Gianelli sausage sandwiches, as well, and what they call a Sea Dog, which is beer-battered cod.
We were very lucky, we beat a big crowd that clogged the eatery’s doorway and snaked outside just as we were getting ready to leave.
We had a nice walk through Liverpool. It was great to see so many parking spaces filled on the village streets, and so many people shopping at Nichols, the independently owned supermarket. We passed some interesting-looking restaurants, including the Limp Lizard Bar and Grill and The Retreat, and out on Old Liverpool Road we passed a couple of diners and several other restaurants that seemed worth a look.
It was great to see a lot of activity on a day that had promised sunshine but delivered mostly overcast skies and a chilly wind and, luckily for me at least, a rewarding visit to a CNY institution.