Hot Dogs from J&M Curbside Cafe at Meisel Field

Credit Vincent Gragnani

By Vincent Gragnani |

Credit Vincent Gragnani

For $1.75 plus toppings, Springfield’s very own food truck offers a good, inexpensive taste of summer

In many urban areas, food trucks have become a culinary phenomenon, enjoyed, written about and embraced by high-brow food lovers. The township of Springfield has its own food truck, parked daily on front of Meisel Field. Though it won’t be featured on the Food Network any time soon, J&M Curbside Cafe serves some quality, inexpensive hot dogs, as well as chips and drinks.

We gave the food truck a brief shout out two weeks ago in our rundown of Seven Spots for Outdoor Lunches. With summer officially under way this week, we thought it a good opportunity to remind you of this lunch option.

Some years, the food truck is out year round. This past winter, with our roads covered in snow for much of January and February, J&M Curbside Cafe took a cold weather hiatus and returned in April.

While it once featured a few other options on its menu, such as Italian sausage or a chicken cutlet sandwich, J&M Curbside Cafe is back to the basics, and there’s nothing wrong with doing one thing, if it’s done well.

The food truck at Meisel serves Sabrett’s hot dogs, made with natural beef casings that give the famous “snap” when you bite into them. A plain hot dog is $1.75. A chili dog, with homemade chili, is $2.25. All other toppings – cheddar cheese, bacon bits, raw onions, cooked onions and sauerkraut – are 25 cents each. Chips are available for $1, as are cans of soda.

We’ve talked about the chili dog here before, as well as the hot dog with sauerkraut. Still, I had to give the chili dog another try. The chili – all ground beef and spices – is as good as it was last year.

I asked the woman inside the truck what the second most popular hot dog would be. If I like spicy, go for the cooked onions, she said. Sauteed in a light, but spicy tomato base, the onions, along with some brown mustard, made for another satisfying hot dog topping.

I passed on chips but did buy a Pepsi. All of the runners, walkers and football players out getting their exercise on the track and field made me feel wong about the 41 grams of sugar I was consuming in the Pepsi. (I feel no guilt about the hot dogs, however. They were satisfying and worth the fat and calories).

As long as the afternoon isn’t too hot and muggy, a lunchtime walk around the field is a good way to burn off some of those calories, and a refreshing way to spend the lunch hour.

Clearly, we’re longtime fans of this lunch option. What about you? Are you a fan of J&M Curbside Cafe? Or do you bring your own lunch to Meisel Field? Tell us in the comments.