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Bites Nearby: The Family Dog

A review of a 1950's "mom and pop" inspired hot dog shop in Mansfield. They serve more than 30 kinds of hot dogs.

In this column, Stoughton Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. This week's choice is The Family Dog, located at 210 North Main St. in Mansfield.

From downtown Stoughton, it's about 14 miles away and a little less than a 30 minute drive. The most direct route (for distance and time) is to take Route 138 to Route 123/106 and drive towards Mansfield Center.

The Family Dog

Thirty hot dogs all wearing different toppings grace the blackboard at The Family Dog, ranging from unassuming, "The Plain Jane," which is simply an all beef hot dog on a bun; to the more unorthodox, "The Marsha Marsha Marsha," an all beef hot dog with maple syrup, Applewood bacon, and cheddar cheese on a bun.

Learning that the namesake of that hot dog is owner Marsha Hayes, I felt compelled to try one and was not disappointed. The Marsha, Marsha, Marsha can best be described as breakfast on a bun; it isn't an entirely ridiculous concept.

Give credit for creativity; other categorically outrageous hot dogs on the menu include a Thai inspired hot dog, a Monte Christo inspired hot dog, and a hot dog wrapped in a waffle.

This isn't to say that everything on the menu is unorthodox. The Family Dog also has chili dogs and onions, relish, mustard, and ketchup as the standard fare.

All of the hot dogs come in two sizes: regular, or jumbo. The jumbo-sized hot dog is actually large enough to be a meal all by itself, which makes it a truly unique hot dog-eating experience. 

Of particular note were the French fries; hand cut, baked, not fried, tossed in a blend of secret seasonings that included paprika.  The fries were the perfect compliment to the hot dog and best of all, didn't feel unhealthy as a side dish. 

As far as beverages go, The Family Dog makes no bones about their devotion to Coca-Cola. The décor is a shrine to not only the 1950’s, but Coca-Cola itself, with vintage merchandise in every corner, the full line-up of Coca-Cola soda’s are on fountain at The Family Dog.

For those with a sweet tooth there are also frappes. Ice cream is available in chocolate, vanilla, coffee, coffee Heath, strawberry, black raspberry, Purple Cow, cotton candy, brownie batter, cow tracks, or raspberry sherbet.

Check out the Family Dog's full menu, posted on their Facebook Page, and learn about all of their other hot dog varieties.

The Family Dog, 210 North Main Street Mansfield, MA. 508-339-1580.

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