I finally managed to do it. I finally managed to go to Swenson's and order something OTHER than a Galley Boy.
I had started out my evening with a hunger for a good coney dog. Since I was already in Cuyahoga Falls, it was obvious that the place to quell that desire was at the B & K drive-in on Monroe Falls Avenue. As I rounded the corner and approached the little stand, I was saddened to see an empty lot and a darkened kitchen. It took me a second to remember that they were closed on Monday. Drat!
My mouth was still salivating for a coney dog, so I thought for a second until I remembered that there was a nearby Swenson's located in Stow. And Swenson's definitely serves coney dogs, although up until this point, I had never had them before. Actually, I've had no other sandwich but the Galley Boy at Swenson's since I wrote about them that first time, more than a year ago. I so equated the delicious Galley Boy with Swenson's that when I craved one, I immediately associated it with the other.
Tonight would be different. Tonight I had a purpose and I was going to fulfill it, even though the entire drive over I debated switching out the coney dog for a Galley Boy. As I arrived at 4466 Kent Road, Stow, OH 44224, I pulled into the parking lot with a firm resolve on executing my original plan. Tonight it would be coney dogs for sure.
As usual, within seconds of my arrival, the speedy and always pleasant to look at carhop was at my window ready to take my order. Following the routine protocol, he ran my order into the kitchen and began shouting out parts of the order to the short order cook. I turned my car off, turned the radio on and just sat back and waited for my food.
Within just a few minutes, my order arrived. After gingerly placing the tray on my driver's side window, he handed me my drink selection, a 16 ounce California:
I tried to do some research into the origins of this concoction, but all I could figure out was that this drink was something local to the Akron area and that various recipes existed for it. At its very core, a California is comprised of fizzy grape flavored soda with lemon added to it. Skyway also has a version as does The Hamburger Station which makes their version with grape and ginger ale. I'm assuming that it was called a California because of the states proclivity for growing grapes. Swenson's has an additional concoction on its drink menu called the Florida, which as you might imagine, is orange flavored. The appeal of this drink to me was the balance between sweet and sour.
After taking a sip of my soda, I turned my attention to the coney dog. Here was a shot of the wrapper the dog came in:
Nestled inside the protective cover was the actual coney dog itself:
When I first looked at the coney dog, I was a little disappointed. I had asked for both coney sauce as well as cheese. Clearly there was no cheese on top of the coney sauce where I was expecting it. But upon my first bite, I noticed a creaminess reticent of melted cheese. Sure enough, they had placed a slice of American cheese underneath the hot dog, semi-hiding it.
First, what I liked. I loved that the hot dog bun had been buttered and griddled. It added extra flavor and an extra little bit of crunch that made Swenson's version unique. I also loved that the hot dog had been grilled, too. It gave the dog casing a nice little "snap" that a plain boiled dog lacked.
Second, what I disliked. The coney sauce, although flavorful, was also a little bit sweet, which for me detracted from the overall effect. The coney sauce was also a bit dessicated looking and just didn't have the juiciness that I have grown accustomed to at B & K. The hot dog itself wasn't dried out, but it wasn't sporting the kind of moist interior that any of the hot dog offerings at B & K have. All that being said, this wasn't a bad coney dog, by any stretch of the imagination, but there were definitely differences.
Along with my dinner tonight, I also ordered some Potato Puffs:
What, I hear you say? Aren't those Tater Tots? Why yes, yes they are ... sort of. The problem was that the phrase "Tater Tots" is a trademarked product of Ore-Ida and thus cannot be sold as such unless they are actually serving the product from that specific company. Kind of similar to other brands like Kleenex and Jell-O. I'm not sure who the manufacturer of tonight's potato offering was, but I can tell you that for all intents and purposes, the puffs tasted pretty much like Tater Tots. I've had the puffs on several occasions and while I still think the homemade onion rings are the best, these are pretty good, too.
Having finished my meal, I turned my lights back on to alert the carhops that I was ready to pay and leave. Finishing our transaction, I pulled back out onto Kent Road and thought that a great way to cap off my dinner tonight would be to check out Stoddard's Frozen Custard stand. Located in Kent, Ohio, they always seem to have unique and homemade flavors and this would be my first visit since they re-opened for the summer 2010 season.
As I drove up to the stand, I quickly glanced at the streetside sign:
Key lime and raspberry chip cheesecake ... sounded good. After my first ordering fiasco when I tried to use the word "sundae" when I shouldn't have, I walked up to the ordering window and asked for a "small raspberry chip cheesecake in a cup." I paid my $2.10, walked into the evening sunshine and sat at one of the rather dusty tables.
Here was a shot of my frozen yogurt:
The raspberry flavor was quite predominant. The "chip" part of the name referred to bits of chocolate strewn throughout the mix. Unfortunately, these little nuggets were a bit too far apart from one another, and even when I hit one, they generally weren't big enough to add a nice chocolate contrast. As for the cheesecake part of the name, while I've made and eaten plenty of raspberry cheesecakes in my time and it is a flavor I am quite familiar with, I was on the fence about the "cheesecake" flavor in the frozen yogurt. Had I not known it was supposed to be cheesecake, I probably wouldn't have detected its presence. All that being said, this was a delicious lower-fat treat to cap off an evening with some American classics.
As for Swenson's and the coney dog, I sincerely hope that the next time I get a craving for a coney dog that it isn't on a Monday, because a return trip to the B & K drive-in will be a necessity. I'll leave trips to Swenson's to satisfy my craving for a Galley Boy.