That guy on our cover, Gary Zemola, is no stranger to notoriety. Since opening the restored Super Duper Weenie truck in 1992, Gary has firmly established a local reputation for quality, excellence, and passion that any restaurateur would die for, and he does it on a truck by the side of the road in Connecticut. Gary serves four special hot dogs, the New Englander, the New Yorker, the Californian, and my favorite, the Chicagoan (dog, slice of pickle, lettuce, tomato, celery salt with homemade hot reliish) on fresh-baked rolls and with homemade relishes (hot or sweet).
We have eaten dogs far and wide, and so we declare with some authority that Gary's hot dogs are simply, without question, the finest you will ever eat. Period. No debate. Don't even try. Forget about it. And if that weren't enough, he also serves superb French fries, fresh cut and seasoned to perfection. Anyone who claims otherwise simply hasn't stopped at the Super Duper.
We have written about Gary in the past (see Issue 11), and there we described him as a "lovable maniac" and a "great diner waiting to happen." Since that article, Gary purchased a diner of his own, but sadly, has yet to find a location for it. In the meantime, he has plugged away on his 1973 GMC Stepvan in Fairfield, Connecticut establishing his considerable reputation that–thanks to Rick Seback's terrific "A Hot Dog Program," aired on PBS in July–has begun to spread nationwide. And he deserves every accolade.
If you stop by his location just off Exit 24 off I-95 during the winter months, you will also have the opportunity to sample his soups, made completely from scratch. How good is Gary's soup? Someone once broke into his house just to steal a quart. Gary puts so much passion into the preparation of his food, it's infectious.
To learn more about Gary, where he sets up, and what's on his limited-but-high-quality menu (but no secret recipes revealed!), you can now visit his website at www.superduperweenie.com.