Richie's Drive In - St. Martinville, LA
St. Martinville, LA (or all of LA, in fact) is not know for it's hot dogs. But in my small hometown we have one of the best around.
Richie's Drive In was originally a Tastee-Freeze (sp?) and had the best soft-serve ice-cream around. In the late 70's it was bought by a family friend, Mr. Richard. He came up with the best hot dog chili I've ever eaten, and I still stop by now and again for a chili-dog (even though he no longer owns the place.)
The dog itself is simple - a boiled weiner on a french bread "mini-loaf" topped with chili. You can get other condiments, but the chili makes the dog! I have tried, in vain, to copy the recipe. My best guess is that the ground meat is boiled (very fine texture) and seasoned. No tomato or "gravy". It is very heavily spiced and thick. When I was a kid I often had mom order me what I called a chili dog - a bun with just chili (Mr. Richard would put extra for me!) Along with fresh onion rings and a BOTTLE of Coke, this was a weekend treat par none.
The dogs are still very good ( I guess he passed along the recipe?), as are the onion rings, po-boys, ice cream, and burgers.
The drive in is walk-up with only one window and one picnic table for those who desire eating there. We always ate at home (or snuck some rings in the car!) While it looks like a dive, it is my favorite!
Hope someone gets a chance to partake.