The line of people in overcoats stretched from the corner of Grand and Main Street, past two storefronts, and ended near the doorstep to the St. Vincent De Paul Place soup kitchen on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Free gourmet hotdogs — an impromptu act of giving by a Middletown food truck — is what drew them, curiously to queue up. That day, more than 150 people enjoyed Rough House Food Truck’s signature Nathan's all-beef hot dogs with just ketchup, or sauerkraut, bacon, onions, jalapenos and caramelized onions.
“It was really a rewarding experience to give to people in need, even if it was something as small as a hot dog,” said Elizabeth "Bessie" Bianco, who runs Rough House with best friend Kristen Angelico and brother Rafael Bianco.
On Dec. 13, the trio moved its free frankfurter operation down river, to the First Church in Old Saybrook for the the Shoreline Soup Kitchen food pantry day.
“We served about 300 hot dogs at each location and we were doing it just to spread holiday spirit, which it did,” Bessie said. “Everyone that came on those two days were the best and hopefully happiest costumers we had all year.”
This isn’t the last that Middlesex County will see of the trio’s charitable giving. Feeding the less fortunate is very important to the Rough House mission.
“We do plan on doing more of them,” she added. “We'd like to do a lot more if our budget allows.”