By Bruno Muraca
A great part of New Britain’s history has always been that a lot of people know one another and can greet each other by name on the street. At the small hot dog shack, Sahadi’s Hotties, that feeling of belonging is combined with the smell and taste of barbecue that only makes you crave for more. Having started as a hot dog stand on the corner of West Main St., back in the late ’90s, customer loyalty allowed them to expand.
From behind the counter in the small complex on 563 West Main St., the grill cooks greet and are ready to take an order as customers walk in. The family trio who own and run the restaurant efficiently take orders and service customers without ever having to write an order on a ticket. Having visited for over a year on almost a weekly basis, not once has my order ever missed something or had the wrong topping.
Orders are ready after a few minutes, sometimes even less depending on the crowd. Food is kept fresh and made throughout the first half of the day. The team of Philip Sahadi with his son and daughter follow the truth on their website: “service and quality come first.” At Sahadi’s, you feel like you walked into a friend’s house and they’re making lunch for you.
The restaurant’s most commonly ordered meal is a classic two hot dogs just how you like them with whatever you want, along with an order of fries. It should be noted Sahadi makes his very own cheese sauce, they are met with a salty yet satisfied taste when paired with their extra crispy fries. The freshly made food cooked with pride always beats fast food chain restaurants.
Another great order is the Angus Black Burger. They grill two burger patties till juicy brown, so that when you take that first bite you are looking forward to the next. It’s topped with four slices of American cheese and bacon placed on the hamburger bun with any other of the works someone might like. Whether ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, or even sauerkraut if you want, nothing of this masterpiece will feel anything but perfect.
To avoid any fast food clichés of just having the normal burgers and fries, Sahadi’s Hotties also has nearly a foot long Italian Sausage grinder. It looks like a giant hot dog, but the taste is much spicier and with some of the cheese sauce added it beats any grinder Subway can cook up. They also have a vast collection of fresh-made breakfast sandwiches to choose from.
The open kitchen lets customers see “behind the scenes”, unlike corporate chains where they hide their “fresh food” out of sight. No secrets are being held in the back of this restaurant. Sahadi’s Hotties has cool employees who treat everyone who walks in like a friend, a clean environment with tables inside and outside, and customers who always seem to be walking out happy.
Small businesses have had financial struggles for years now, but to New Britain, this is a loyal little shack that keeps the taste buds buzzing for more. Their prices are low and hard to compete with, most of their competitors charge over six dollars for just one meal. Sahadis is quick, the quality of their work is so great, and you won’t forget them next time you’re thinking of stopping for lunch.
Further reviews for the establishment can been seen at Yelp.com. One user, Westie W., said, “You have only one opportunity to make a good first impression, and Sahadis did it!” It is one of many that can be found online and through the voices of New Britain residents. Regular customers go there for a reason; because as Mr. Sahadi himself said “quality and service come first.”