Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!)

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ellen4641
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2008/07/17 23:27:26 (permalink)

Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!)

On Monday July 14th, I made a return visit to Dickie Dee's in Newark, NJ. They claim to have invented the Italian Hot Dog here.
I was there once before a few years or so back.

I arrived about 6:30 pm, not even sure if they were still going to be open. I see their hours are VERY fair. They are open till 9 pm during the week, and 10 pm on weekends.
Located on Bloomfield Ave, off Garden State Parkway, exit 148, in the "good" part of Newark.

DICKIE DEE'S, Newark, NJ

(note the BBQ restaurant across the street, more on that later)

DICKIE DEE'S double dog ($5.60) (good deal compared to other places)

Not the best hot dog pic... I somehow thought it came out better


I asked if they used either Best's brand or Sabrett's hot dogs, and I was told they use Best's. There were 2 workers in there, (and judging from his confident mannerisms, one of them appeared to be the owner himself) Pleasant, accomodating service.
I did have to fight off a dirty old man drunk ahead of me in line, who kept asking if I wanted a Lexus. He was so drunk he asked the assumed owner for a Dewars and soda to go along with his hot dog. (no liquor in that joint, guy!)

This next pic I call "POTATO MOUNTAIN" !!

Ever see potatoes piled this high before, John Fox?!? Roadfooders?!?
Is this normal? They were a little too dry tasting for my own personal tastes. I prefer a little juicier/greasier. (the "wrong" way, I guess) I like to see those potatoes swimming in grease!

It was comforting to see an old Roadfood excerpt on Dickie Dee's from Jane and Michaels book!!


I noticed big crowds in the Bloomfield BBQ across the street.
Went inside and saw lots of chicken and ribs spinning around.


This hot dog served as my appetizer. I washed it down with Chicken Savoy from the Belmont Tavern, also on Bloomfield Ave, (with the nicer sounding Belleville town name)

On the way back to my AC area, I wanted to see what replaced our beloved SYD'S HOT DOGS in UNION/VAUXHALL.

SYD'S in NOW this:

and we can get these all over the place, but SYD'S was irreplacable!
RIP, SYD'S
And now instead of TABATCHNICK'S DELI, we have yet another STAPLES!!

Sorry to say, this kind of stuff does make my long for the good ol' days!!! (back when there were more mom & pop joints around!)
well at least that old time newpaper/magazine store is still there!
I always liked that place.

Well, before, this shopping center had CHARACTER!!
Now, it just looks like anywhere else.
#1

37 Replies Related Threads

    Bobs
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 00:43:04 (permalink)
    Good pictures and commentary!
    #2
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 09:24:02 (permalink)
    Great looking dogs.
    #3
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 10:43:06 (permalink)
    Ellen,

    Nice report and pics. However, though there exists speculation on just who originated the Italian Hot Dog, hot dog historians/enthusiasts by and large agree it was Jimmy Buff’s, at their original 202 14th Avenue, at South Ninth Street, Newark, N.J. (Longitude: -74.20055; Latitude, 40.7399) location, founded in 1932.

    Dickie Dee’s, Bloomfield Avenue, Newark, was founded in 1958, as was formerly proclaimed on the awning, and is now announced by a sign.

    Others have claimed to invent this New Jersey favorite, and a whole lore exists. One unconfirmed story has it that an elderly woman (unnamed), sold Italian Hot Dogs from her porch on Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth, N.J., several decades back.

    Casino Tony Goes, Trenton, now closed, though there is a Morrisville, Pa., location, lays claim to what it calls the Original Jersey Dog. However, not only do they use a pork/beef dog (instead of the proper all beef, skinless dog) and place it on a sub roll instead of on the required Pizza Bread, but they opened their doors in 1935…3 years after Jimmy Buff’s.

    A food writer I once consulted suggested that farm workers in Italy, going back centuries, would travel to the fields equipped with a carved out round bread, carried on a stick…the bread filled with sausage, potatoes, other meats, etc. If true, this could be a basis for the eventual “discovery” here in the U.S. But it’s a long shot, as Toynbee may have opined had he focused his historical interests in the direction of the Italian Hot Dog. Unfortunately for us, he did not.

    Additionally, after Jimmy Buff’s was founded, numerous copycat places popped up, serving their interpretation of the soon-to-be famed sandwich. Two places, right in the original neighborhood, gained loyal adherents. One was Sam’s, the other Emily’s.

    Getting credit for an invention is tricky business. Who knows? Maybe John Doe had a working model of the Italian Hot Dog in 1919. Yet maybe his permutation didn’t work out. Perhaps he tried to ensconce the hot dogs, peppers, onions and potatoes between two pieces of matzo. Proving unwieldy, the matzo cracking under the weight of the internal comestibles, John Doe may have narrowly missed his chance of gastronomic immortality.

    Essentially, what it boils down to is similar to what surrounds all invention. Granted, numerous folk worked on the radio, but Marconi got the credit…and for various reasons, not the least of which is the obtaining of acknowledged patents.

    Hence, short of someone coming forth with a picture or some such other proof, undeniably indicating that someone was served a commercially prepared Italian Hot Dog prior to 1932, then the substantiation that Jimmy Buff’s was the originator of the Italian Hot Dog remains undeniable.

    The Bear



    #4
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 10:51:22 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    Great looking dogs.


    That was a hot dog?

    Honestly the picture was so blurry I couldn't tell

    Sorry.
    #5
    John A
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 17:27:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    Great looking dogs.


    That was a hot dog?

    Honestly the picture was so blurry I couldn't tell

    Sorry.


    Not one of Ellen’s better pictures but I can certainly distinguish the ingredients???

    Thanks for another report Ellen.
    #6
    ellen4641
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 18:20:05 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew
    That was a hot dog?
    Honestly the picture was so blurry I couldn't tell
    Sorry.

    Sure, it was a hot dog! It's too narrow to be sausage links, so that leaves one choice left: it's a HOT DOG!

    Occasionally I will have a "dud" pic on my reports, but I've gotten a lot better (less duds!).

    Hey, SCREENBEAR: Thanks for taking the time to write the history of the Italian Hot Dog. That is one reason I used a KEY word in my report: I said "They CLAIM to have invented the Italian Hot Dog".

    Now, I'm just waiting for our resident hot dog guru John Fox to give his 2 cents. John, I know you're out there!!
    #7
    jeepguy
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 22:55:50 (permalink)
    That Five guys looks like a Walgreen's.
    #8
    leethebard
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/18 23:03:58 (permalink)
    My uncle sold Italian hotdogs just like these on pizza bread in the very early 60's and he said he'd been makingthem for years before opening his business,so I doubt the sandwich was invented in '58!!!
    #9
    John Fox
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 06:50:57 (permalink)
    Hi Ellen,

    I've enjoyed this thread although I haven't had time to post lately. Tomorrow (off day) will give me a chance to describe the stops on the upcoming Jersey Hot Dog Tour.

    Dickie Dees opened their doors in 1958 as stated by ScreenBear. It's run by the grandsons of the 2 men who originally owned the place. They did NOT invent the Italian Hot Dog. I think it's funny that they continue to pass off this piece of fiction. In a Star Ledger article some years back one of the owners was asked who invented the Italian Hot Dog. He mentioned the three places in Newark that were known for them years ago. Jimmy Buff's, Ting-A-Ling's, and Dickie Dees. He claimed not to know which came first. Baloney. He, as well as most people who grew up in the Newark area, knew it was Jimmy Buff's who invented the Italian Hot Dog. I would bet that his father and grandfather grew up eating them there. Only Buff's is allowed to call themselves "Originator" of the Italian Hot Dog. I'm sure the guys at Dickiee Dees are aware of this.

    Dickiee Dees is the best known place in Newark that serves this sandwich. This is because they have been around for 50 years while Ting-A-Ling's is gone and Jimmy Buff's moved out of Newark in the early 70's. As for the Newark Style Italian Hot Dog served there, it is authentic, popular, and pretty good. In my opinion, not one of the 3 or 4 best, despite their reputation. The bread used is from DiPaola's bakery across the street. It's good quality pizza bread and better than Calandra's, which is a block away. The dogs are Best's, but tiny 12 to a lb dogs. Most places use bigger dogs. The double itself is smaller than what you would get at Jimmy Buff's and most other places. The potatoes are cut in chunks rather than sliced thin. It's a matter of taste, but I prefer the potatoes sliced thin. Some places slice them thin (Buff's, Tommy's, Charlies), others cut them in chunks (Dee's, Attilio's, Bubba's). I can enjoy them either way, but given a choice, I'll take them thinly sliced. At Dee's, I've found that most of the time the potatoes are a little too dry for my taste.

    I don't like the peppers at Dickie Dees. Again it's a matter of taste. Here they are hard and crunchy rather than soft. I like them soft. In a fine post on the New Jersey Hot Dog Thread, Akavar mentioned that he didn't particularly care for Italian Hot Dogs because of the soft peppers. He spoke with Jimmy from Jimmy Buff's who told him that he can prepare them so that they aren't soft. I would suggest saying something at the counter if it makes a difference to you. When we went with the S.W.A.T. Team, only one out of 8 members liked the harder peppers at Dickie Dees. Another member thought the peppers came from a can. They tasted like it. I asked, but was told they weren't from a can. Don't know whether I believe him. Anyone who would stretch the truth about the origin of the Italian Hot Dog would do the same with where they get their peppers from.

    Everything is fried in peanut oil. The dogs, despite their small size, are tasty. All in all, a pretty good sandwich. Good bread, very good dogs, ok potatoes (a tad dry most times), subpar peppers. I don't have onions on my sandwich. I've eaten at Dickie Dees many times. Although I wouldn't drive out of my way to go there, I've stopped most of the time when I've gone to Calandra's bakery. Even though Calandra's pizza bread isn't the best, everything else I've bought there has been very good. Since it's only a block away from Dickie Dees, the lure of an Italian Hot Dog is great; especially if it's early afternoon and I haven't eaten lunch.
    #10
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 08:38:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ScreenBear

    Ellen,

    ...short of someone coming forth with a picture or some such other proof, undeniably indicating that someone was served a commercially prepared Italian Hot Dog prior to 1932, then the substantiation that Jimmy Buff’s was the originator of the Italian Hot Dog remains undeniable.



    Is there something available demonstrating that Jimmy Buff's served "Italian hot dogs" when they first opened in 1932?
    #11
    ken8038
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 12:37:55 (permalink)
    <<This is because they have been around for 50 years while Ting-A-Ling's is gone>>

    John or Screenbear (or anyone else who might know), where was Ting a Lings and when did it close? I remember when I first moved to NJ in the mid 80's that was the place that several people mentioned to me along with Dickie Dee's, but I never did get there.

    I've been to Dickie Dee's a couple of times, I'm just not a fan of Italian Hot Dogs, I prefer sausage & peppers if I am having something like that. The one Italian Hot Dog I really like is Mijo's in Colonia, but again, it's a matter of taste. I knoiw John doesn't care for them because they use a sub roll instead of a pizza roll, but I actually prefer it that way.

    Thanks.
    #12
    John Fox
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 16:33:43 (permalink)
    Ken,

    Don't know where Ting-A-Lings was or when they closed. I do like the Italian Hot Dog at Mijo's but prefer pizza bread rather than a sub roll. Mijo's used to use pizza bread, but switched because they couldn't always predict demand for the dogs since they sell mostly pizza and subs. Their rolls are always fresh and available. I've gone often because it's the closest place I could sneak off to during work. Big dogs (6 to a lb), good peppers and potatoes, though the potatoes are cut a little small for my taste. A few years ago the Italian Hot Dog cost $3.75. Unheard of for a double. Then they went up to $4.50. Last time there a few weeks ago it cost $5.70. Still good for what you get.
    #13
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 16:50:32 (permalink)
    Great "dog" report, Ellen. Not something we see in Dallas. BBQ? Yes. Dogs? No.
    #14
    ScreenBear
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 18:31:37 (permalink)
    Ken,

    Ting-a-Ling was about a block or two from Dickie Dee's, down Bloomfield Avenue, heading toward downtown Newark, on the same side of the street.

    I don't remember how many years ago they stopped serving frankfurters. Though, if I were on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and the choices were 5, 10, 15 or 20 years, I'd say 20. An old timer from the North Ward there would know.

    I'm not sure I ever had a dog there. My memory of it is a tad foggy. And for some reason, however, I associate the place more with Italian ices than with hot dogs.

    My favorite place, only a few blocks away, was a great seafood restaurant of yore where I had my first fried calamari: The Sea Crest.

    The Bear
    #15
    joerogo
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 18:56:26 (permalink)
    Ellen, Something different, great dog report. I was expecting to see BBQ pics, great willpower.
    #16
    ellen4641
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 21:39:04 (permalink)
    Hi Mousic!
    I appreciate your good intentions;
    I have spent hours and hours on Trip Reports, including lots of pics, and I'm starting to wonder if it's all even worth it.

    I guess that's why Wandering Jew gave himself a "pass" to criticize my pic. (it's cause I'd like to think there are plenty of other pics of mine he DID like.) Of course, it's always nice to hear an ending like "enjoyed your report, overall", but maybe he did NOT enjoy it so much.

    In this Dickie Dee's case, even though the pic did'nt come out like I had thought it would, I felt there were some other good pics in there that told my story well.

    Even though your first sentence would be considered too harsh for this Roadfood forum, I want you to know that it meant a lot to me that you would even step up to the plate like this!


    #17
    leethebard
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/19 22:33:53 (permalink)
    Ellen, this is a roadfood site,not a photography forum...I enjoy all the trip reports with pictures...and having tried one so far, I know how time consuming it is..and I for one have thoroughly enjoyed all your posts. Please don't stop. I noticed the guy's post you were referring to,and we all saw earlier,is no longer posted....I've been a victim at times of some nasty posts...so don't feel bad...know most of us have had much enjoyment from your reports and I for one look forward to many more...Thanks for posting!!!
    #18
    lleechef
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 06:48:38 (permalink)
    Ellen, keep up the good work and keep posting with pictures. I, too know that it very time consuming....my first shot at it took forever along with a couple of phone calls to Al the Mayor. I thought the photos and the report were very good. So there!
    #19
    John Fox
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 07:48:54 (permalink)
    Ellen, don't get discouraged. I really enjoy your posts and pictures. Although I don't put pictures in my posts (I lack the know how and desire) I include my opinions, which sometimes rub people the wrong way. I don't let this prevent me from continuing to post and enjoying the posts of others, especially you.

    I'm praying that you will take and post some pictures of our upcoming Tour.
    #20
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 09:23:00 (permalink)
    Another informative dining report, Ellen. The more of these around, the better the site is.

    In regards to the photos: Most of your photos are pretty darn good. Almost always, a mediocre photo is better than no photo at all. They just add so much to the discussion.

    Thanks for taking the time.
    #21
    ken8038
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 09:35:23 (permalink)
    <<I'm starting to wonder if it's all even worth it. >>

    No no no Ellen, don't even THINK about that. For the one person who felt it was necessary to make a sour comment there are 100 of us who look forward to your trips and reports with pictures!! Please keep it up!!!

    John and Screenbear, thanks for the comments about Ting a Lings and Mijo's. Screenbear, I think you're right, it's probably 20 years or more since it closed, by the late 80's it was being referred to in the past tense.
    #22
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 09:56:26 (permalink)
    Wow,

    It looks like I must have missed something that took place overnight.
    From the gist of things it appears mousec made another obnoxious comment towards or about me. No surprise since Mousec has an attitude towards me for awhile.

    Ellen and I have broken bread before and I think we know eachother well enough to poke some jabs at eachother every once in a while.
    I'm not the first person on the forum to "poke fun" at a couple of Ellen's blurry photos but again, I find it interesting that I'm the first one to take criticism for it and I have my own personal opinions why (which I've alluded to previously). But like Leethebard says, this is not a photography forum, and no one's photos are perfect including mine. So I think we're all in the same boat.
    There was nothing in my initial post that was malicious and I'm surprised that I should even take the time out to defend myself.

    Ellen,

    Of course no onewould on the forum would ever criticize you, but
    do you remember these comments you made on Pigiron's St Maarten trip report ?

    quote:
    Originally posted by ellen4641


    It was refreshing to see a report that was not about NYC, Kansas City, Omaha, Orlando, and the like.


    Perhaps I should have been fuming when I saw it, I can tell you that some people on the forum were pissed off at those comments, however I wasn't- I just took it in stride. It was no big deal. You can get away these these comments because "you're Ellen", if I, "Wanderingjew" made those exact same comments, all the "Mousecs" on the forum would have criticized me.

    As far as wondering "whether it's all worth it"- I know you're not insinuating that my innocuous comments precipated this because you said the exact same thing to TTM months ago

    It's funny, but a few years back, when the fast food forum and off topic lighter fare forums were still on the front page (although several on the forum are manipulating threads that should go
    in these forms so their posts could be on the front page), I would complete my trip reports, or ask roadfood relevant questions with no responses with the exception of a very small handful of supporters many of whom are now on Roguefood, most of the responses to me were either "quit your whining" or "if you don't like it, leave".

    In a nut shell....I think every one is being a little too sensitive about nothing.

    So I'm going to to say to Ellen and everyone else the same thing that was said to me in the past "KWITCHER WHINING"

    (the only difference is when others said it to me in the past- there was no smiley)
    #23
    TJ Jackson
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 12:45:24 (permalink)
    Acknowleging same as everyone that this is not a photography forum, I did find it advisable to always take 2-3 shots for each pic I was going to post (naturally, this is back when i still had pic posting rights here) because if I took a single one, I could almost guarantee it'd be blurry. If I took 3, I'd generally get at least one decent one.

    Nice thing about a plate of food - it will pose for as many shots as want without complaint :-)
    #24
    leethebard
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 13:22:05 (permalink)
    How did you lose "picture posting " rights????
    #25
    John A
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 17:21:59 (permalink)
    I suspect TJ is referring to Roadfood Insider Members that can use RF as the host site as opposed to using another host site (I use Photo bucket) and posting via it.
    #26
    ConeyIslandLou
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/20 17:45:39 (permalink)
    ellen's pics are ALWAYS the best - so one pic where she obviously was shaking with anticipation should be excused....
    #27
    ellen4641
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/23 12:54:14 (permalink)
    Thanks everyone ! You really lifted my spirits on the joys and tribualations of Trip Reporting

    Hey, WJ, I was poking fun at ME, as well, when I said "it's refreshing not to have a NYC, Omaha, Kansas City, or Orlando report"... (to have something a little different) cause if you'll notice, I just did a very recent Orlando report last month, and I continually do NYC reports. So it's nice to have a break from looking at my OWN domestic stuff, too.

    I just meant that it's good to see some TROPICAL destinations mixed in.
    I tend to be a VERY heavy DOMESTIC traveler, and as much as I LOVE the good 'old USA, it's REFRESHING to see Aruba and other Caribbean spots posted. (I'll occasionally say to myself "Instead of being on the hot asphalt streets of NYC, I should be relaxing on a beach with a Pina Colada.")

    Yes, it's cool if we take jabs at each other once in awhile, WJ...
    no problem.... cause we usually have plenty of uplifting stuff to say to each other as well..
    #28
    leethebard
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/23 17:31:30 (permalink)
    Amen...and welcome back Ellen...keep posting!
    #29
    ellen4641
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    RE: Dickie Dee's Italian Hot Dog, Newark (PICS!) 2008/07/23 21:23:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by leethebard

    Amen...and welcome back Ellen...keep posting!

    Hey, leethebard,
    thanks for the "welcome back"...!
    I was on an "Ellen does Connecticut" Roadfood trip all weekend..
    busy gathering up material for my next trip report!
    #30
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