Dale enjoying a foot long

Western New York is unique in so many different ways.  One of them is its food.  Buffalo chicken wings are world famous - invented at the Anchor Bar on Main Street.  Beef on weck seems to be uniquely Buffalo - a roast beef sandwich on a kimmelweck roll.  And of course the many places that serve charcoal-broiled hot dogs.  Is there any other city in the nation where there are so many hot dog stands that cook their hot dogs using charcoal?

Talk to anybody in this area and they'll tell you about their favorite place for a good charcoal-broiled hot dog.  Some of them I haven't been to yet, but I'm trying.  Here's a list of some of my favorite places in the northtowns.

TED’S - probably the most famous of Buffalo’s hot dog stands.  In operation since 1927, Ted’s has seven
locations in the Buffalo area and one in Tempe, Arizona.  Greek immigrant Theodore Liaros opened the
first Ted’s in Front Park near the Peace Bridge after selling hot dogs out of a horse drawn cart for many years on Buffalo’s west side. It’s been a family-run business ever since.

THEODORE’S - there seemed to be some kind of friction in the family-run Ted’s operation last year and the grandson of Theodore Liaros, who shares the same name found himself on the outside looking in.  He’d been working in the business all of his life and knew of nothing else, so he decided to open his own hot dog restaurant earlier this year on Grand Island.  Much of what they offer at Theodore’s is the same as what’s offered at Ted’s with a few changes.  Even the look of the restaurant is the same.  They have plans to open a second Theodore’s on Bailey Avenue in Amherst later this year.

LOUIE’S CHARCOAL HOTS – on Grand Island Blvd. in Tonawanda next to Sheridan Park golf course.  Open since the early 50’s, it’s always been close to the top on my list.  Nothing fancy, just consistently good food featuring what I think are the area’s very best curly-cue fresh cut French fries.  I think they have some other good items on the menu but I wouldn’t know because I always order a foot-long, fries and a drink.

OLD MAN RIVER – along the Niagara River in the City of Tonawanda, open only during warm weather months.  A full menu of items in addition to hot dogs, plus their seafood shack serves clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and crab cakes.

MISSISSIPPI MUDD’S – just a block away from Old Man River.  They boast Western New York’s best chicken sandwiches.  People line up most days for Mississippi Mudd’s great selection of ice cream treats.

PAGE’S WHISTLE PIG – a variation on what this area considers a good hot dog.  The Whistle Pig in the Town of Niagara has been open since 1939, most famous for a bacon-wrapped hot dog smothered in cheese.  They also offer an interesting Reuben Dog with sauerkraut, swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

SULLIVAN’S HOT DOGS – fairly new to the game.  Open for about 10 years on Cayuga Drive in Niagara Falls, similar to Ted’s, but feature fresh cut French fries and seem to be a little cheaper than Ted’s.

PAULTER’S DRIVE-IN – a seasonal restaurant on Transit Road in Clarence.  Hot dogs, burgers, fries, ice
cream.  They have a loyal following of people who live in Clarence and East Amherst.