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The Yankee Express

Hot diggity dog! Schultzy’s Place wins 2021 Safari trophy

The much-coveted Worcester Hot Dog Safari trophy wound up in the hands of Schultzy’s Place this year, after the restaurant finished second in 2020. “Nothing happens until the wiener mobile arrives,” organizer Tom Mahoney says.

By Rod Lee
The timelessly popular hot dog is a more prominent item than ever on the menu at Schultzy’s Place in Sutton these days, and for good reason. Owner Steve Schroeder and his staff at the little storefront breakfast and lunch restaurant in the Heritage Plaza on Boston Road in the Wilkinsonville part of town are still riding high from their first-place finish in the 2021 Worcester Hot Dog Safari.
Schultzy’s prevailed in the tenth-anniversary edition of the event despite a forewarning from defending champion Berts that “we’re not giving up the trophy without a fight!”
“It was fun, it was cool,” Ashley Melanson said just before closing time at Schultzy’s Place the afternoon of November 4 (Mr. Schroe-der was away).
“Winners from the last ten years were invited back,” Ms. Melanson said. Also competing this year, then, were George’s Coney Island in Worcester, Hot Dog Annie’s in Worcester, Tatnuck Driving Range in Worcester, Cracked in Rutland, Still Four Corners in Rutland, Best in Show in North Grafton, Fired Up, Ralph’s in Worcester, Berts in Uxbridge and Grumpy’s in Bellingham.
Scoring was tabulated in five categories: dog; bun; topping; presentation; and value. Visits to all of the participating establishments were made to determine first-hand the quality of the entries.
Evidence that Schultzy’s Place was not intimidated by going up against some giants of the game surfaced on Facebook a couple of days before the Safari, with a post that read “Schultzy’s Place is making a big push for number one this year. They’ve got it all, the creative vision AND the mainstay meat auce. Though dog count was going up the end of this week, it was hard not to get everything on the menu!”
Three months after the win, Schultzy’s is still touting its hot dog combos to customers, starting with “the Schultzy,” topped by “our secret meat sauce recipe.”
The other choices are:
-“The Nacho,” featuring jalapeno cheddar cheese sauce with bacon bits;
-“The Homewrecker,” which includes pepperjack cheese and jalapeno spread topped with sriracha hot sauce;
-“The Hawaiian,” wrapped in ham and topped with crushed pineapple and Hawaiian BBQ sauce;
-And of course “the Chili,” boasting “our Sutton famous chili with onions and cheddar.”
Nor does Schultzy’s hot dog selection end there; try the Avocado Bacon hot dog on for size sometime, staff suggests.
Schultzy’s Place stands out in ways aside from its win in the Safari. Ever-innovative with its menu, entrées for breakfast or lunch often include such seasonal or in-demand favorites as pumpkin spice pancakes with white chocolate chips, patriotic pancakes with red, white and blue M&Ms, fruity French toast, homemade corned beef hash and the steak and cheese sandwich with onions, peppers and provolone in a pita pocket.
  For Organizer Tom Mahoney and other key principals involved with the 2021 Worcester Hot Dog Safari, which ran for an entire week (August 13-21), the best news of all was “we raised $6900 for the Worcester County Food Bank, our most money ever!”
  The Worcester Hot Dog Safari has become something of a cultural phenomenon—and a labor of love for Mr. Mahoney. “It’s my life’s work now, I plan to do it forever,” Mr. Mahoney told Mike Hsu on The Pike radio station. As for selecting the Worcester County Food Bank as a benefactor, he said “the only way to justify the gluttony is to support a good cause.
  Scorecards, Safari T-shirts, hats and other ingredients are all part of a festive mix, the week of the competition.
  An after-party was held at Ralph’s Diner, on Grove St.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.