America's Best Hot Dogs

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jgleduc
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/03 21:04:46 (permalink)
Tuesday I head out for Detroit. My plan is to sample in the next couple of days from George's Coney Island in Worcester and maybe Olneyville NY System in Providence - then when at the Detroit airport, grab a taxi to Lafayette Coney Island and see how they all compare.
#31
colt45
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/05 21:02:32 (permalink)
Can't find a good hot dog, may I suggest you call LOBEL'S Meat Market in NY ( find at Google).

These are the best I have ever had!
#32
John Fox
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/06 13:24:02 (permalink)
Last year for my birthday, I had my wife buy me a pound of Lobel's franks and a pound of Niman Ranch franks. Both of these brands try to market themselves as "gourmet" hot dogs. Lobel's cost $14.99 per lb (9 to a lb) while Niman Ranch were $9.00 plus and 6 to a lb.

Both are all beef with casings. On 2 occassions I cooked one of each on my griddle after heating in water along with a Nathan's frank ($3.99/lb 8 to a lb, natural casing).

The Niman Ranch dog was good; a little on the mild side for a beef frank. A tough casing; tougher than I prefer. A good beef dog, although indestinguishable from any decent dog in this style. And not worth the high price. Ditto for the Lobel's frank. A better casing; good snap without being too tough. Good beef flavor (they use prime beef) and mildly spiced. I preferred this dog to the Niman Ranch one. But certainly not worth $14.99. These dogs are made for Lobels by an 82 year old Austrian wurstmacher from Brooklyn.

I liked the Nathan's frank better than both of these dogs. Just a better spicing and better overall flavor. The spicing of a dog might be more important than the actual beef used. I know that Best and Sabrett use quality beef. Choice, in fact. But I prefer these dogs to the so called "gourmet dogs" because they have more flavor. Plus they specialize in hot dogs where as Niman Ranch and Lobel's are known for high quality meats and just recently started selling frankfurters.

For those of you that like Lobel's, let me suggest that you try Boar's Head with the natural casing. Almost identical in taste (although I never had them side by side) to Lobel's with the same level of spiciness. If you like one, you'll like the other. Plus Boar's Head is a great deal cheaper, going for around $4.99 to $5.50 near me. In fact, Lobel's and Boar's Head were named as the top two all beef dogs in a tasting by food critic David Rosengarten. These hot dogs, as well as Niman Ranch have just enough spice in my opinion for a beef dog without being considered bland, like say Ballpark or Oscar Mayer beef dogs. Or many that you see in supermarkets.

Best's (N.J.) is a little spicier than the 2 gourmet dogs. This one best fits my taste. I'm sure for some, it may be too spicy. Spicier still are Sabrett and Usinger's. My favorite all beef dogs are Best's, Usinger's, Sabrett, Hummel's, and Boar's Head. Thumann's, Nathan's, and Hebrew National are also good. As are Niman Ranch and Lobel's. But not worth the inflated prices.

For a milder German style frank, my favorite is Thumann's. I also like Hofmann's, Schaller & Weber, Grote & Weigle (the special one used at the Galloping Hill Inn in Union, N.J.) and Miller's.
#33
colt45
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/06 17:39:28 (permalink)
you may be right, but living in AZ getting Lobel;s is a great treat for my family.
#34
John Fox
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 09:40:28 (permalink)
Don't get me wrong, they are quality dogs using probably the highest quality beef available. But at $14.99 much too expensive. If you have the money, and there's nothing good where you live, then what the heck. They don't have Boar's Head, Usinger's, Nathan's, or Sabrett's in AZ?
#35
Michael Hoffman
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 10:29:21 (permalink)
I know they have Boar's Head in the Phoenix area.
#36
howard8
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 15:47:59 (permalink)
John:
As I indicated on another site, I find Schickhaus, (the large ones that stick out of both ends of the bun), to be very tasty. I find they have a slight bacon-y taste which I really like. Any hot dog/roadfood establishments use this dog?
#37
John Fox
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 16:27:58 (permalink)
howard8,

The most well known place in Jersey that uses this frank is Max's in Long Branch. One of the more popular hot dog joints in Jersey. If you go, check out the wall on the left. Filled with celebrity pictures. More so than Katz's even.

Martell's on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant uses this frank, as does many other hot dog stands at the Jersey Shore. If you happen to look at the boxes, they will either say Schickhaus, or Boardwalk Griddle franks. One and the same.
#38
david6340
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 19:34:41 (permalink)
As far as I'm concerned, this Hot Doug's does not hold a candle to the legendary hot dog spots in the Chicago area. I'm talking Hot Dog Island, Fluky's, Gold Coast Dogs, Byron's, Super Dawg, Wiener's Circle and many more.
quote:
Originally posted by Badwaiter

Chicago could have dominated that list! Anyhow, Hot Doug's in Chicago should be on any top 10 list. As soon as it reopens (recent fire) Chicagoans or visitors can see for themselves. Here's the link to their site. http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm Click on condiments and specials for a better idea of that Doug is selling.

And where are the Detroit Coneys?
#39
Rex Allen
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 20:51:45 (permalink)
Last night I found out the "Wienerschnitzel" chain is now serving a "Chicago" style hot dog. It was just as described on this site. Really good, only I did not care for the sport peppers, way too hot. Rex in expensive San Diego.
#40
pwoolever
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 22:08:41 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Rex Allen

Last night I found out the "Wienerschnitzel" chain is now serving a "Chicago" style hot dog. It was just as described on this site. Really good, only I did not care for the sport peppers, way too hot. Rex in expensive San Diego.


Did they use a real Vienna Beef hot dog or the typical Weinerschnitzel-brand hot dog? If they use a Vienna Beef hot dog this could be the answer to this Chicago ex-pat's dreams!
#41
pwoolever
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 22:57:37 (permalink)
I'm a native Chicagoan, living in Orange County, CA that sorely misses my Chicago Dawgs.

It's a real challenge finding a good hot dog in So Cal as So Cal has been deprived of a hot dog heritage by the Dodgers baseball franchise. People in So Cal go to a Dodgers game once a year and have been served abysmal Farmer John hot dogs at the stadium so they think that is what a hot dog tastes like. For that reason the authentic Chicago-style hot dog joints rarely stick around for long (although there are exceptions, Mustards and Champs in Los Alamitos) as they don't have the adoring public that great hot dog cities have.

There used to be a good Chicago-style restaurant in Laguna Niguel, Georgio's, that served authentic Vienna Beef Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches. Same old story, great place, lasted a year or two, and then closed. Other times you find a place that serves Chicago Dogs and unbeknownst to you it's sold to someone that knows nothing about them and the next time you go there you get a toasted bun, or they don't use Vienna Beef, or something else that lets you know the good times are over.

Pink's is OK, but's another whole different bird.

Last year for Christmas I ordered 10 lbs of Vienna Beef hot dogs off the Vienna Beef website. It worked great. You tell them the day you want them delivered and they arrive packed in dry ice. You can order a whole Chicago hot dog kit too containing poppy seed buns, that freaky green relish, etc.

My husband, a native Californian, never appreciated a good hot dog until I took him to Super Dawg on a trip to Chi-town. Now he's a convert.

If anyone's familiar with So Cal, especially Orange County, and can recommend other Chicago Dog places I'd be delighted. Heck, I'd drive to the Valley or San Diego for a good Chicago dog.

Damn, my mouth's watering...
#42
ConeyIslandLou
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 23:14:38 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa

It's funny how subjective these lists are. I loved Flo's, Rutt's and Ted's, but didn't like Pink's all that much---that was ten years ago---Roadfood disappointments are rare and that was one of 'em. Also, I have to give props to the unsung hots found in a Nick Tahou Garbage Plate---they certainly would make my Top Ten!!!

Thanks John for your top ten. Sounds like it's time for another Jersey Dog trip!!!


I am assuming that Tahou's uses the Zweigle [red and white] brand for their GPs...
#43
pwoolever
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 23:38:17 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by david6340

As far as I'm concerned, this Hot Doug's does not hold a candle to the legendary hot dog spots in the Chicago area. I'm talking Hot Dog Island, Fluky's, Gold Coast Dogs, Byron's, Super Dawg, Wiener's Circle and many more.

quote:
Originally posted by Badwaiter

Chicago could have dominated that list! Anyhow, Hot Doug's in Chicago should be on any top 10 list. As soon as it reopens (recent fire) Chicagoans or visitors can see for themselves. Here's the link to their site. http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm Click on condiments and specials for a better idea of that Doug is selling.

And where are the Detroit Coneys?



I envy you living so close to Super Dawg...
#44
Renzi
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 13:26:49 (permalink)
I grew up in NY, but have lived in Chicago for14 years. Love it, love it, love it!! However, I can't get used to Chicago style dogs. I live half a block from Hot Dougs, have eaten Superdawgs, Gold Coast, any number of places. Nothing beats a Sabretts or Nathans. The Vienna Dog doen't have much flavor. Maybe that's why they bury it under all that crazy stuff plus the overseeded poppy bun. (You can actually get Nathans at some Treasure Islands, taste close but not the same.)
Just to prove I'm not East Coast biased, I do enjoy an Italian Beef, and Mario's italian Ice on Taylor is outstanding.
NY pizza is still no. 1! I never did like Pizzacake.
#45
berndog
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 13:47:18 (permalink)
quote:
John Fox said:
Don't get me wrong, they are quality dogs using probably the highest quality beef available. But at $14.99 much too expensive. If you have the money, and there's nothing good where you live, then what the heck. They don't have Boar's Head, Usinger's, Nathan's, or Sabrett's in AZ?


I know this is a hot dog post, but at 15 bucks a pound " />,
fuggettaboudit.



I'm buying filet mignon. (especially with fresh Zwiegles available everywhere for about 1/3 that price).
#46
chicagostyledog
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 19:45:14 (permalink)
Renzi, seek out a Vienna Polish. Have it char grilled with only yellow or Dusseldorf mustard and some well done grilled onions. Skip the relish, raw onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, and celery salt. This is a Maxwell Street Polish, born and raised on the west side of Chicago, as myself. Poochie's or Hot Dog Island in Skokie, both on Dempster make them all day long. After you try one, give us a comparison review.
www.ronnierice.com/images/HDIskokie/P1010081.jpg
#47
bobt
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 11:20:45 (permalink)
Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a good footlong hot dog in minnesota? I have looked online for someplace that would ship them and cant find anyone...I know hormel makes a excellant footlong..but the public cant purchase it through hormel...and even if I got a distributor to order it the minimum is 16 cases...way too many..So if anyone knows of a place I can order a good quality natural casing coarse ground foot long let me know!

Thanks
Bob
#48
garykg6
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 12:37:05 (permalink)
I may have stumbled on to one of the better hot dog brands EVER!!. I went to my local(Tampa) Italian market,Castellano and Pizza and picked up a dozen of the dogs they sell which are made in Dubuque,Iowa by a company named after the city name.....fantastic flavor(natural casing) with real 'snap' and just the right size(slightly larger than ,say Boars Head).....I boiled mine and the Frau liked hers grilled,either way,a great dog
John Fox,are you listening? You must know about these
#49
John Fox
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 21:08:19 (permalink)
Nope. I did hear somewhere about a good dog made in Iowa; it's probably this one. Is it all beef, or beef and pork?
#50
bobt
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/25 11:10:03 (permalink)
The Dubuque meats company was bought out by hormel...I have never seen a natural casing dog with the Dubuque brand name on it.
#51
Rick F.
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/25 11:53:42 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bobt

The Dubuque meats company was bought out by hormel...I have never seen a natural casing dog with the Dubuque brand name on it.
I went through the Hormel site. On a full site search "Dubuque" was not even to be found.
#52
jjen0926
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 08:33:05 (permalink)
The best hotdog locally is on the East Bay of RI - not too many folks
get to this side of the bay, but they find a gem when they are here:
Rods Grill in Warren! They are good weiners and the locals eat them by threes or sixes!
#53
garykg6
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 10:11:09 (permalink)
John,it is not all-beef, contains some pork but it is indeed a natural casing. the guy who sold them(whom I just called) says he orders them from his distributer who handles all of his meats, "Castellano and Pizza on Henderson Blvd in Tampa".....I would compare them to a boars head only difference being the Dubuque is thicker and the spices are somewhat more aggressive
#54
jm3amdg
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 11:37:17 (permalink)
I am a relatively new resident of Southwest Michigan and am looking for a great hot dog and a better hamburger, specifically in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek/Marshall/Coldwater area. Can any one offer some suggestions?
#55
Tisnothing
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 13:55:55 (permalink)
My hat's off to you Mr. Fox- you are a hot dog guru! I love the 'Jersey hot dog places & just recently got to Rutt's Hut, which was pretty tasty (as was the amazing relish). There are some really good 'Italian' hot dogs (with potato (w/ketchup), onions, peppers, mustard on the dog- all in a pita looking 'pizza bread'). You mentioned most of the better known places, but have you ever been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs on Route 1 (& Grandview Ave) in Edison NJ? Really, really delicious and certainly in league with the better known Italian dog places (e.g., Dicky Dees, Jimmy Buffs...). Frank's is a bizarre looking shelter/stand type building standing all alone on the side of Route 1. Quite an amazing Italian hot dog... I'd love to hear your opinion if you get to this place!
#56
Bogeyman
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 17:20:42 (permalink)
Ort,
Nu-Way Weiners are in Macon, Warner Robins & Fort valley. Being from the
middle Georgia area I've eaten at all locations & don't find anything special
about them. They were cheap, fast & filled us up. Thats not to say I'm an
expert. I do prefer them to the Varsity. Try the "Scrambled dogs" or the
"Mega-Burger" too.
#57
John Fox
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 06:53:31 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Tisnothing

My hat's off to you Mr. Fox- you are a hot dog guru! I love the 'Jersey hot dog places & just recently got to Rutt's Hut, which was pretty tasty (as was the amazing relish). There are some really good 'Italian' hot dogs (with potato (w/ketchup), onions, peppers, mustard on the dog- all in a pita looking 'pizza bread'). You mentioned most of the better known places, but have you ever been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs on Route 1 (& Grandview Ave) in Edison NJ? Really, really delicious and certainly in league with the better known Italian dog places (e.g., Dicky Dees, Jimmy Buffs...). Frank's is a bizarre looking shelter/stand type building standing all alone on the side of Route 1. Quite an amazing Italian hot dog... I'd love to hear your opinion if you get to this place!


I've been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs. It is an authentic Italian Hot Dog, not the bastardized version sold at the shore or at some pizzerias that have a sub roll rather than round pizza bread, and french fries rather than thin sliced potatoes. Frank's is good, but there are 2 things that I don't like about it. First off, I hate onions, so I get my dog without it. At Frank's, they have the peppers and onions already mixed together, so you have to get both or neither. Secondly, they use Sabrett, which is a good dog, but Best is better for this type of sandwich. It just fries up better and has a better flavor. 90% or more places use Best, which is from Newark, where this sandwich originated. The best Italian Hot Dog is Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth. Bigger sandwich, more vegetables, better potatoes, and tastier peppers, both red and green, and plenty of them. Overall, just a great tasting sandwich. Tommy's in Elizabeth runs a close second. Jimmy Buff's, Dickie Dee's, and Frank's is a notch or 2 below.
#58
Tisnothing
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 15:04:25 (permalink)
Thanks John! I'm off to Charlie's Famous Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth and Tommy's in Elizabeth this weekend for a taste test- you're amazing!
#59
DinoS
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RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 18:00:12 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jm3amdg

I am a relatively new resident of Southwest Michigan and am looking for a great hot dog and a better hamburger, specifically in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek/Marshall/Coldwater area. Can any one offer some suggestions?


In Kzoo there is (c.1987 at least) a good Coney Island joint on Main Street downtown. Also on E. Main was a good burger joint called Green's, I think. It's under the RR viaduct east of downtown, in back of the old Penn Central roundhouse (or what's left of it).

Battle Creek has (also c. 1987) a decent Coney Island place on W. Michigan at the edge of downtown. Also I remember Speed's Coffee Shops (several locations) in Battle Creek served up a pretty good burger. I always prefered the one in the Fort Custer area - in the City of Springfield, if I remember correctly.


Dino
#60
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