Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sonic the Hedgehog Loves Chili Dogs!

Growing up I was more of a Mario guy but my love for Sonic grew as I got immersed in some of his other non-video game areas such as the various cartoon spin-offs he starred in and the long-running comic book series.  One particular peculiar quirk about Sonic also always struck a chord with me personally -- he loves chili dogs!

Are you familiar with chili dogs?  They're known locally as coneys and I've heard them sometimes referred to by the more generic catchall name chili cheese dogs.  By locally I mean the Midwest or more specifically here in the Cincinnati area where both chili spaghetti and chili dogs are absolute staples of our culinary scene.  I won't go into detail on the history of these dishes but will say I've encountered people from other parts of the country who look at me like I'm crazy when I say we Ohioans regularly put chili on our spaghetti or hot dogs.  I can assure you here it's as normal as hamburgers, pizza, or any other American edible staple.

I should also talk about Sonic and his own history with this delicious food item.  He's known most popularly for indulging in his favorite food in several of the animated series' he's in including Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog (know by fans as SatAM), and Sonic Underground.  Earliest canonical reference to Sonic's love of chili dogs appears to be in Sonic the Comic #5 from July of '93 and later in Sonic the Hedgehog #0 they added some backstory seeing Sonic and an uncle operating a chili dog stand.  Sonic's infatuation with chili dogs also bleeds into many of the video games including the ability to purchase various types of hot dogs in Sonic Unleashed as power-ups, in cutscenes in Sonic and the Black Knight, as a birthday present in Sonic Generations, and in smaller shout-outs in titles such as Sonic & Sega All-Star Racing, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, and in the Japanese manual for Sonic Advance 3.  Heck, there was even a children's audio book that ended up having Sonic's passion for chili dogs as a major plot point!

One night I was hungry late and knew my buddy Sonic was speeding into town to watch the odd double-header of The Garbage Pail Kids Movie and Red Hook Summer with me.  I ran to Gold Star Chili (usually I'm a Skyline guy and with the threat of being too insider here I know my fellow Ohioans and transplants know what I'm talking about!) and got some chili dogs.  The one on the right is "firehouse" style meaning it's got a spicy seasoning mix sprinkled on it and some signature hot sauce blend inside.

I presented Sonic with his chili dog!  I could literally see his mouth watering.

He proved nice enough to even share a bite with me.  What a swell hedgehog!

And the only proof I have of this visit is a rancid stain on my hard to replace collectible plush doll.

And here's a random assortment of images featuring Sonic getting his chili dog on:

The official recipe for Sonic's chili dogs originally appeared printed in the first issue of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog.  Had I, I don't know, possibly planned this out at all in advance I could have taken a crack at making them myself.  But alas I urge you all to make Sonic's patented recipe and share your results in the comments and/or RtW Facebook page.  Enjoy!

Chili Dog a la Sonic
  • Brown 1 lb ground beef
  • Add ½ cup each of chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms (brown lightly)
  • Add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • Add 8 oz barbecue sauce
  • Simmer ½ hour
  • Add 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin, oregano
  • Add 1 large can red kidney beans (drained)
  • Simmer 1 hour
  • Add hot dogs
  • Cook 15 minutes in sauce
  • Put on toasted roll
  • (melted cheese optional)


  1. I shouldn't read about chili dogs before lunch! I've heard of Cincinnati chili before but never seen it here in the NYC area. I don't think it sounds bad. Probably some chef at a fancy restaurant needs to make it his signature dish and then everyone will rave about it. Need to get a little OxiClean on that stain. :)

    1. Sorry for making your stomach growl, John! I bet at one of those beloved hot dog carts in NYC someone is shilling chili as a topping. If not then they're missing out! You're right, it just takes one chef to jazz up calf brains or equestrian testicles and they're a smash hit!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Chris! What do you work tomm. night? Dying to film.

  3. Chili spaghetti? I'm intrigued... I guess it's just spaghetti noodles and chili?

    1. No doubt! If served at home a lot of times it can be that simple. Now Cincinnati style chili is a bit different than most the types of stuff you'll find in cans or call to mind when you think of chili. It doesn't have tomatoes, vegetables, etc. like the cup of chili you'd find at a Wendy's or whatever. It's thinner, with the meat being broken down until it's part of the "sauce" itself, then you can add in kidney beans or black beans etc.

      The two big shots here Skyline and Gold Star Chili the way it's served is most regular a 3-way: that's noodles, chili, and a heaping mounds of shredded almost neon-yellow cheese (as I believe Anthony Bourdain described it on No Reservations' Cleveland episode). Then you can also do a four-way (which adds your option of either onions or beans) or if you're a real boss get a five-way which is all five ingredients!

  4. I used to eat chili dogs as a kid in Dallas but never cared to much for the cheese, those chili cheese dogs from Gold Star look rather tasty though.

    1. They're quite good! But sit heavy in the stomach so a few are plenty. Not sure how Sonic packs away hundreds!

  5. Nuuuuuuu!!!! Sonic's glove got dirty!!!! The Horror!!!!

    1. I know! It came out in the wash, though. Sonic is back to being clean and the indigestion has passed, too!

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