I wanted to get some michigans on the way up to Montreal. Michigans are the Plattsburgh version of chili dogs, red hots, or Texas hots, also known as coney islands. The michigan has a drier, meatier sauce, and is dropped into a somewhat heavier split-top bun. Or, at least, it used to be.
After rolling north for hours (and getting 44 mpg, thank you very much) through the Hudson Valley and the Adirondacks, I was ready for lunch at 2:00. And since McSweeney's Red Hots was a stone's throw from Claire and Carl's, the two hearts of michiganness, I had both.
The upshot? Not a lot of difference in dogs. Carl's delivered more onions, and a softer, lighter roll, but the sauces? Both had finely minced meat, not overly spicy but tasty sauce with very little juice. But... not so different. Both very good, but very similar.
The difference lies in the places. McSweeney's was plain jane; an independent, small-town lunch counter, yes, but without verve or individuality. C&C is an old clapboard building that's literally sinking into the ground, does real car-hop service, and is friendly as a puppy. It's fabulous, and I loved it. Definitely worth getting off I-87, too.