Rawley's Drive-In, Fairfield, CT

Heeded by the siren-like and yet, deadly, calls of Alex Guarnaschelli, Dickinson and I took a journey to a land unknown, yet so close. A land where Pink Floyd's "Money" streams through the streets, where single is a four letter word, and affair is a recipe for success. That's Fairfield, CT, my friends, of Fairfield County, and we drove in search of amazing hot dogs.Rawley's Drive-In is extremely quaint. It's the kind of cabin like place with names carved into the wall that a person could easily live in, and with the food they serve, who wouldn't want to? Famous for their fried, then grilled hot dogs at priced fixed since Nixon, and cold milkshakes, it's a favorite franchise. Dickinson and I ordered a black and white milkshake that made the Dairy Queen next door almost seem redundant, served in two cold cups for us.The milkshake, for a smaller serving, was filling enough. It was cool and creamy and had a very strong vanilla flavoring. Since a black and white shake is just chocolate syrup in vanilla ice cream, we got a good flavor of each, but not so much that one really overwhelmed the other. I generally take my black and white shakes slightly unmixed so that in some sips, there's more chocolate than vanilla, but I ain't complaining. It was cold and perfectly textured, not too thick or too thin, but easy to get the texture of the ice cream in each gulp.The dog came in nothing flat, a chili cheese dog with bacon. I almost wish I'd ordered a plain dog to get the essence of the flavoring and cooking without all the toppings, but boy, were they good. The chili was meaty and had a nice sauce that seeped into the bun, but wasn't greasy or too loose. It was a fantastic topping to the burger. The pieces of bacon were absolutely succulent, like little nuggets of smoked angel poop or something. They were crunchy and crispy and hot from the fryer and had a slightly smoky taste to them, and the cheese held it all together well, though I didn't get much of a sharp flavoring from it.The dog itself was really amazing. It was skinnier than I'd expected, but still so full of flavoring. Alex was right, this was a real treat. And at a little under $4, less without the toppings, this was an inexpensive and gourmet snack without breaking the bank. Dickinson paid. That's why no banks were broken. The Foodette doubles as a mooch in the shadow of the night. It was a really crunchy dog with a nice skin and a good bite to it. Really good and fast food.With our dogs and burgers, respectively, as Dickinson is of the sandwich persuasion, we shared an order of fries, although I didn't snap a photo. They were thick and rampant with starchy flavors, nicely fried and very crispy on the ends. I like it when they leave the skin on. They weren't seasoned as well as I'd liked, but still had a good natural taste, and were perfectly cooked on the inside. Good fries. Not perfect or anything remarkable, but decent. It was a lovely lunch with Dickinson and a great time to catch up with one of my best friends over it.

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