Getting Ready for Our Wine & Food Festival With Walter's Hot Dogs
We ride along (in spirit) with Katharine Woodward of Walter's Hot Dogs in preparation for our upcoming June feast for the senses.
Photography by Andrew Dominick
Ahead of our annual Wine & Food Festival, Westchester is eager to whet your appetite by offering a weekly spotlight on our participating chefs, purveyors, and other participants. First up is Katharine Woodward of the historic Walter’s Hot Dogs in Mamaroneck, a quick-stop roadside attraction that has been slinging dogs for almost 100 years (now with not one, but two new locations) and whose food truck will be farming out franks at Wine & Food's Burger & Beer Blast event on Thursday, June 7. Katharine, the great granddaughter of business namesake Walter, dishes on a lifetime between the buns, what’s in store for Walter’s future, and why people should relish the chance to taste their dogs at Wine & Food Fest.
What was it like growing up around the hot-dog biz?
Growing up in a family business is different from any other business, because everything you learn, see, and do is so close to home. We learned everything from our grandfather. I worked there since I was 14, and it’s something we’re lucky to be a part of. We have a lot of love and passion for what we do. I live it and breathe it.
How have you managed to keep Walter’s menu relatively simple over the years?
It’s all about nostalgia and consistency. Something everyone asks for are more toppings, namely sauerkraut or chili, but we want to keep it simple and not cover the taste of our hot dogs, so we stick to ketchup and/or mustard. It’s great how it is, and we sell as many plain as we do with ketchup or mustard. We tend to stick to tradition.
What's going to make Walter’s stand out the other Burger & Beer Bashers?
We’re not competing with burgers since we serve hot dogs, so if you’re downing burgers all night, at the end of the day you’ll want your Walter’s fix.