Okay, I'll admit it. I love hot dogs. Plain, with chili and cheese, corn dogs...you name it. And, no...I do not want to know what they're made of, so don't try to tell me. Lalalalalalalalalalala.....I can't heeeeaaaaarrrr you.
Being a Jason Fernandez fan from way back, I was eager to try his new Ybor City sausage outpost. This super-casual spot serves up dogs prepared over 20 different ways along with bratwurst, Polish sausage and burgers. All the usual suspects are along for the ride...cole slaw, baked beans, tater tots and french fries. UD channeled "The Thinker" as he paused on the way over to ponder his future. What would it hold? The Cuban Willy with mustard, mayo, pickles and plantain chips? Or perhaps the Windy City Willy with mustard, relish and diced onions? Tots or fries? We didn't need a crystal ball, however, to know it wouldn't be the Veggie Willy. Really? Just eat a salad.
It was particularly fortuitous that he stumbled upon one of his favorite decision-making spots, incongruously located roadside. You never know what you'll run across in East Hillsborough county.
I think we've arrived!
We placed our order with the congenial gentleman manning the window and took a seat on the shaded patio. Cold beers were presented quite quickly...along with some charming company in the form of one of the famous wild Ybor chickens and her precious brood. A few tater tots later, we were all fast friends. So freaking sweet!
My Chili Cheese Willy was nestled on a soft poppy-seed bun and liberally blanketed in hearty, beanless chili and neon orange cheddar cheese, just as God intended. Baked beans were done right...brown-sugariffic and flavored with onion and pork. Cole slaw was cold and crunchy...easily meeting my minimum requirements of said side dish. I dumped most of it onto my dog, which ratcheted it one more notch heavenward. This was a really tasty hot dog.
UD's artery-clogger of choice was the Carolina Willy, which was topped with more of the fine chili and slaw. It was flanked by what must've been half a bag of crispy tater tots...thank goodness our little feathered friends were there to help us put them away.
Hot Willy's is a cute spot for cheap eats in Ybor. We walked away for under $20 for two generous baskets of food and a beer apiece. Good times!