If you find yourself strolling along Ridgefield’s Main Street, no matter what the weather is like, there’s someone that’s always there. It actually reminds me of this: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night” or something.
All that pretty much sums up the Chez Lenard Sidewalk Café. Chez Lenard is fancy, and by fancy I mean they serve up the best of the best in gourmet…
Had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?
In all seriousness, the Chez Lenard name has a cool, passing the torch type story. Without giving you the whole story (you can read the entire version on their website), this high quality, fancier hot dog stand where the vendor rocks a chef hat was started in 1978 in New York City by Lenard Des Lescinskis. After putting in two and a half years on Main Street he sold the business to Michael Soetbeer who owned it for 16 years who later sold it to Chad Cohen.
Keeping the tradition alive is something we appreciate at Food Dudes and we also really like the names of Chez’s dogs. I mean, where else can you get a hot dog with a fancier name than Le hot dog Choucroute Alsacienne Supreme or the Le hot dog Excelsior Veneziano Logano Suisse? Come on! You seriously can’t pass that up. I’ll let you look up what’s on them 😉
I first noticed Chez Lenard on many trips to many editor meetings and always wanted to stop by and grab a dog because hot dog stands are one of the few things I just cannot pass up. Plus, I always saw someone slinging hot dogs no matter how cold or rainy it was out there and that is hardcore, son.
My wish was granted when I was at the office and Chez Lenard came up when discussing lunch plans and I really pushed for it. Everyone shouted out their order and off I went. Most got plain dogs with mustard but I had to go for the Le hot dog facon Mexicaine! Basically it’s a hot dog with homemade prime beef chili and chopped Bermuda onion.
Some of you might say, “Dude, for real? It’s just a hot dog.” Yeah, that may be true but not many hot dog carts are whipping up homemade toppings or that serve fresh ingredient on their wieners. It was a while ago but I remember the chili being well seasoned with not too much spice as to take away from the hot dog itself.
Chez Lenard can be a bit pricey with a plain dog going for $3.25 and most being in the $4-$5 range but it’s a quick fix and a helluva hot dog. It is absolutely worth it if you’re rolling along Main Street so keep your eyes peeled for the hot dog stand and the guy with the chef’s hat.
Chez Lenard Sidewalk Café de Ridgefield
Ridgefield, CT 06877