The 10th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour will be Saturday, September 21st. It is sold out with a waiting list as there are usually some cancellations. The itinerary is finalized. As always there are a couple of new stops while old favorites are rotated. This year's itinerary includes 2 new stops, one that is a repeat from last year, and some that we haven't been to in awhile. All represent some of what I consider the finest in their respective styles. Since there is one large bus this year instead of two, we will have the time to include an extra stop. Perhaps next year we will move the Tour further south. The stops are listed below with a brief description. Please note that with the exception of our starting point, the order has not been determined yet. I want to leave that open because I am currently talking to two television stations in the hopes of having at least one of them cover the Tour. It's probable that they would want to meet at a prticular place and time.
1) Galloping Hill Inn, Union. Our starting point and the only place that has been on every tour. They are kind enough to let us use their huge parking lot and serve one of the finest hot dogs in Jersey. A grilled (griddled) 6/1 special blend beef/pork frank from Grote & Weigel. One of the few places that serves a dog made special for them. It is based on a recipe from a small pork store in Union that used to provide these dogs to the GHI. It has a collagen casing and is served on a unique, harder football shaped bun. Only the Hot Grill in Clifton serves more hot dogs in the course of a day.
2) Marci's Dog House, Clark. A repeat from last year. Their dogs were so good that they have been added again as a stop. And, unlike last year, they have 2 new dogs. The premium 8/1 Hatfield (griddled) that was such a hit on past Tours at the Rahway Grill. And a special recipe from Hatfield that is made just for Marci's. Another instance of a place serving a dog made for them. This is welcome and rare as most in the business who claim this are lying. But Marci's and the GHI are truly offering dogs you cannot get elsewhere and made only for them. The special recipe dog at Marci's has a slightly different spicing and is bigger; about 6/1. Also available is the Sabrett 10/1 with Marci's excellent toppings. Named the state's best hot dog truck by the Star Ledger. They also make a great Italian Hot Dog.
3) Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth. A new stop. This location is a few years old and along with West Orange are the only two remaining Jimmy Buff's retaurants. The others, including East Hanover, which has been on the Tour 5 years, have closed. This Jimmy Buff's, in my opinion, is the best out of all the locations I've been to. And along with Tommy's and Marci's Dog House, one of the 3 best establishments serving this unique sandwich. This location is thriving despite being 2 blocks away from a big name competitor. Jimmy Buff's serves the traditional Italian Hot Dog. This particular place is known for better bread, bigger dogs, and more peppers and potatoes. A substantial, quality Italian Hot Dog. Big roomy retaurant also.
4) Father & Son, Linden. A past favorite on the Tour. It's been awhile since they were included. They had different owners a few years ago and service was lax and the dogs weren't served hot and fresh. This has changed in the past year as new owners bought and revived the place. Father & Son is back to what it was years ago. Same chili and dogs. An all beef natural casing 8/1 Grote & Weigel frank that is available nowhere else in Jersey. Topped with one of the spiciest and best chili's. A popular stop in the past. I'm glad to be able to include them again.
5) Munce's, Rahway. Munce's, in my opinion is one of the 3 finest hot dog trucks in Jersey. Stuart Burnett owns Munce's and is doing a great job. He has a tasty homemade chili that is one of my 3 favorites. Slightly sweet, unique, and very pleasing. Munce's serves a standard 10/1 natural casing Sabrett that is always fresh and hot. Prepared perfectly. But they also have what I consider one of the best, if not the best, butcher shop dogs around. Slightly bigger than the Sabrett, it is milder, with a wider array of subtler spices. An excellent dog and one of my favorites. A brand new stop on the Tour.
6) The Hot Grill, Clifton. On the Tour once before, it's time to bring them back. A classic North Jersey Paterson/Clifton area Texas Weiner. They serve more hot dogs than any New Jersey establishment. A deep fried beef/pork frank topped with mustard, onions, and a thin chili sauce that has cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. Not for everyone, but wildly popular in North Jersey. One of the most consistent places as far as the temperature of the franks and chili. The dogs (they use 8/1 Sabrett beef/pork and 8/1 Grote & Weigel beef/pork) are fried twice. They sell their chili to go. My favorite place for a Texas Weiner. A favorite of Tommy John and former President Richard Nixon.
7) Rutt's Hut, Clifton. Easily the most well known hot dog joint in Jersey. And one of the best. Around since 1928, Rutt's is known for their deep fried dogs. You can get them served to various degrees of doneness. From the in-n-outer, to the ripper, to the weller, to the cremator. Rutt's uses a special frank made for deep frying. Made by Thumann's, it is beef and pork, 8 to a lb. Rutt's homemade relish is like no other and perfectly complements their deep fried dogs.
As I mentioned, this Tour is sold out, but you can add your name to the waiting list. There will not be another bus added.