Great eats found on Route 66

Corn dog. Dog on a stick. Cozy dog.

A hotdog on a stick, dipped in a corn meal batter and deep fried has become a favorite at county fairs, state fairs, malls and school cafeterias. Corn dog connoisseurs argue about what to spread on a corn dog. Purists claim that only mustard should ever touch a corn dog. For those people who do not like mustard, ketchup or nothing is the answer.

Which condiment is the best on a corn dog?

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The Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Illinois has been featured on Man vs. Food and Food Paradise: Drive Thru.

Ed Waldmire opened his first drive-in in 1949, and the original location on historic Route 66 is still satisfying cozy-dog cravings. The location in Springfield, Illinois is located at 2935 S. Sixth Street.  Cozy dogs were originally called “crusty curs.”

A cozy dog is made fresh. And hot. It is necessary to let the cozy dog cool to avoid burning the lips and tongue. The corn meal coating is a smooth consistency, fried to a golden brown. The batter has a slightly sweet taste, like a good corn bread. The hotdog is hot all the way through. The flavor of the hotdog itself is a lightly sweet meat. While some smother their cozy dogs with mustard, no condiment is needed, and would just mask the flavor of the corn meal and hotdog.

The Cozy Dog Drive-In offers a special each day. On Tuesdays the special is two cozy dogs and medium fries for $4.95. The Tuesday special side dish is potato salad for $1.35. The fries, like the cozy dog are perfectly seasoned, golden and hot. The potato salad is cold, creamy and full of flavor.

We drove across nine states to get a Cozy Dog! We saw the drive-in on Hot Dog Paradise on Travel Channel. By coincidence it was 35 miles from an RV park we had just booked. Well worth the drive.”

— Warren Wertz

The interior of the Cozy Dog Drive-In is filled with photos, license plates, posters, maps and other memorabilia commemorative of historic Route 66. The dining room is an old style diner. The drive through business is brisk.

If your travels take you anywhere near Springfield, Illinois, check out the Cozy Dog Drive-In. Between the great food and casual dining room filled with historical Route 66 memorabilia, a meal at the Cozy Dog will fill the tummy and build memories.