Hot Dog Tour

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John Fox
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2004/07/21 20:28:47 (permalink)

Hot Dog Tour

I've started this thread continuing the topic of a hot dog tour; actually 2 hot dog tours previously discussed in New Jersey Hot Dogs. For some background, please read the end of the New Jersey Hot Dog thread.

What I think might be good is to have the first tour either 8/28 (I can make that Saturday) or 9/4. Then a follow up tour on either 9/18 or 10/30. Saturday is good for most people and all the hot dog places are open, unlike Sunday where at least Syd's and Rosco's are closed. The reason for the big space between Saturday's is that I am only off 1 out of every 6. I have consecutive Saturday's off on 8/28 and 9/4 because I am on vacation.

What we have to decide is what day is best 8/28 or 9/4 for the first tour, and which should we do first, N.J. or Conn.? 9/4 is Labor Day weekend, but it doesn't matter to me. Perhaps we should do it by vote? Let's try and determine which state we should do first, and then which date. After that, we'll try and determine which hot dogs to sample. Please submit your feedback.
#1

48 Replies Related Threads

    CheeseWit
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/21 21:01:26 (permalink)
    8/28 is not good for me. 9/4 is good for me. I'd like it to be in North Jersey that Saturday. That's my vote.
    #2
    signman
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/21 23:14:46 (permalink)
    9/4 would be my first choice for NJ. 8/28 is less desirable but probably possible.
    #3
    greasewheel
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 07:09:48 (permalink)
    9/4 should also be fine with me as well. I would prefer to start the tour in New Jersey.
    #4
    stanpnepa
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 07:24:01 (permalink)
    9/4 bad (two family birthdays), 8/28 maybe. I really want to get to Syd's.
    #5
    alesrus
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 08:29:53 (permalink)
    9/4 is good for me and my wife. We are up for NJ
    #6
    howard8
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 09:00:19 (permalink)
    John:
    9/4 is good for me. Jersey is great. If u do a Conn. tour. I am in for that as well.
    #7
    Bill M
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 11:19:50 (permalink)
    Either date is good for me for the Jersey tour.
    #8
    long dog
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 15:11:00 (permalink)
    John -

    let's get a consensus on a date, and I'll work my schedule around it, although given a choice - I'd prefer the 8/28 date over Labor Day weekend.


    greasewheel - where are the rest of the Connecticut people ?
    #9
    John Fox
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 20:17:51 (permalink)
    I have no preference, let's maybe give it to the end of the week before making a decision?
    #10
    ohman
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/22 20:35:06 (permalink)
    How far from Boston will this thing take place, my wife and I might be up for it
    #11
    greasewheel
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/23 07:35:34 (permalink)
    I don't know where they are long dog. Maybe they will respond for the CT leg of the tour. ohman, Boston to the general area in CT where the majority of the hot dog places are is roughly a 2 1/2 hour drive, depending on traffic of course. Tack on another 1 1/2 to North Jersey.
    #12
    flattop5
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/23 10:43:00 (permalink)
    Here's a CT party chiming in: 8/28 no good, 9/4 good in afternoon -- better in CT (obviously) but North Jersey do-able.
    #13
    Benzee
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/26 16:54:45 (permalink)
    Hello all ,
    I'm new to the site and would love to join you all for the Hot Dog Tour . Either Jersey or Conn. fine for me and either weekend.. Went to Rutts Hutt for the first time today . Great truly Great .
    Benzee
    #14
    John Fox
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/27 06:31:19 (permalink)
    So far 6 votes for 9/4 and 2 votes for 8/28. I'm leaning towards 9/4 myself. Let's give it to the end of the week 7/30. Then we'll settle on the date. For those that can't make it that day, maybe we can do a smaller tour some day in the future. Also on 7/30, we can discuss where we will be going and where to meet. I have a great place in mind that has a big parking lot and is right off the parkway. Three can't miss places are within 4 miles, so those that want to limit the amount of places can do a bare minimum of 3. Make sure you check back at the end of the week.
    #15
    the ancient mariner
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/27 07:26:36 (permalink)
    I am opening an Alka-Seltzer stand right in the parking lot, so you can phizz out before heading home.
    #16
    John Fox
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/30 19:10:36 (permalink)
    Ok, Let's plan on Saturday 9/4 for the New Jersey leg of the hot dog tour. I propose 5 places which I feel represent the best in Jersey hot dogs. This will be very easy travel wise, as 2 of the places are a mile apart, and a third is 3 or 4 miles away. The other 2 are about 17 miles away, but only a couple of miles from each other. We can all park at the first place, which will be the easiest to get to. Then we can carpool to the other 2. At this point, those that want to leave can because we will be coming back to where our cars will be parked. A short ride to the other 2 (20 minutes maybe) then we will head back to where we are parked. At this point, if anyone wants to continue, there are at least 5 places within 5 miles of where we are parked, including 2 (Tommy's Italian Hot Dogs and Jerry's) that are literally next to each other.

    What I suggest would be meeting first at the Galloping Hill Inn in Union. They share a parking lot with a banquet hall, so there will be ample parking for all who wish to attend. The Galloping Hill Inn serves a beef and pork dog in the German style. Cooked on a griddle and placed in a unique, harder football shaped bun. The dog is made by Grote & Weigle under a private label arrangement. The Galloping Hill Inn is the only hot dog restaurant that uses this particular dog. It is better, in my opinion, than the other dogs produced by G&W for the variuos Texas Weiner joints in Jersey. Just a great dog, in my top 2 or 3.

    The easiest way of getting to the Galloping Hill Inn is to take the Garden State Parkway to exit 138. It doesn't matter if you are travelling north or south, get off the exit and bear right. This puts you on Galloping Hill Rd. The Galloping Hill Inn is between 1/4 and 1/2 mile away on the left hand side. Go past the Galloping Hill Inn, and make a left on Salem Rd. then a quick left into the parking lot. This will be the first stop. From here, we can carpool and follow each other. I have a mini van and can take some people. Let's get some feedback as to what time to meet.

    From here we can either go to Syd's, which is about 4 miles away, or Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs which is a mile away off Galloping Hill Rd, going back towards the Parkway. I think we would be better off going to Syd's, then coming back to Charlies, which is about 1/4 mile away from the Parkway, which we will be using to go to the other 2. Charlies is also about a mile or so from our cars, so anyone who wants to leave after the third stop can.

    So, if we go to Syd's, that would take around 10 minutes. Syd's serves a 5 to a lb natural casing all beef dog from Best's. It is simmerred in water and then charbroiled. This is my favorite all beef dog; better in my opinion than any I've had including Katz's, Papaya King, and Nathan's. Picked as the best hot dog in Jersey by the Munchmobile crew the first year they reviewed hot dogs. Incidentally, the Galloping Hill Inn was picked as the best in the state by New Jersey Monthly. If I was limited to 2 dogs, these are the 2 I would pick. They are the best examples of a great grilled kosher style dog and a great tasting grilled (griddled) German style frank.

    Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs are my pick for best Italian Hot Dog in Jersey. An Italian Hot Dog is a deep fried beef dog (or two for a double) placed in a half moon of pita like Italian 'pizza bread" and topped with deep fried onions, peppers, and potatoes. Charlies gives you a bigger and better sandwich. The peppers are much better than any other place, and only Tommy's in Elizabeth has potatoes that are as good. This sandwich had it's origin in Newark, N.J. in the 1920's and is found only in a few northern Jersey counties. There is one place that moved to Toms River called Jo-Jo's.

    The next stop would be the Hot Grill in Clifton. Perhaps 20 minutes up the Parkway. The Hot Grill serves the best Texas Weiner in Jersey. Here you might get an argument from people who like Libby's or the Goffle Grill. Or Texas Weiner ll. But I think the Hot Grill's chili sets it apart from the other places. They use a beef and pork dog made by Sabrett and deep fry it in 2 stages. You can also buy their chili to go. The Hot Grill may sell more hot dogs than any other place in Jersey.

    About 5 minutes away is Rutt's Hutt. This place may just be the most well known hot dog joint in Jersey. And to many the best. They deep fry a Thumann's dog that is made especially for deep frying. It contains semolina and soy protein concentrate which aid in frying and enable the dog to withstand the high temperatures of the cooking oil. Other places use this dog, but Rutt's cooks theirs to different degrees of doneness, and they are already in the oil when you walk in. Service is super fast. These dogs are unique in taste. Just different than any other hot dog. Their relish is legendary and shipped all over the country.

    Fortunately, these hot dog restaurants are fairly close to each other. They are my top 5 hot dog restaurants, and each represents a different style.

    At this point we will return to the Galloping Hill Inn. For those who want to continue, we could drive 3 miles into Elizabeth and sample the dogs from Tommy's Italian Hot Dogs and Jerry's Famous Frankfurters. Tommy's is in the same league as Charlies when it comes to Italian Hot Dogs. A lot of people prefer Tommy's. They have great potatoes which they also sell in cups. There is Charlies and Tommy's, then everyone else when it comes to Italian Hot Dogs. Next to Tommy's (actually separated by one store) is Jerry's. Both of these places are walk up hot dog stands with no seating. Jerry's is a quality beef dog cooked a unique way. Boiled, then thrown on a griddle for a minute or two to add crunchiness and flavor. The dogs are hot and tasty. Best brand like Syd's (and Charlies) but smaller than Syd's. My wife's favorite hot dog.

    Also nearby are Father and Son which serves the same dog as Jerry's, but they cook it slowly on a griddle over low heat. They have a very spicy chili also. The Windmill has a location in Westfield, which is close to Union. They serve a quarter pound beef and pork dog (Sabrett) that is very good. Same style as the Galloping Hill Inn.

    I think the top five dogs are must hit places. I will be up for taking anyone to the others mentioned. What do you all think would be a good time to meet? The Galloping Hill Inn opens at 11:00, but that might be too early. Let's get some feedback on the time. I think we could do the top 5 fairly quickly. Rutt's, Hot Grill, and Galloping Hill Inn serve dogs as soon as you order them. Charlies can have them ready if we call and order ahead if anyone wants to do that. Same for Syd's. Syd's is a smaller luncheonette. We may have to eat outside. Looking forward to eating some dogs and getting opinions from those of you who have never been to these places.
    #17
    Bill M
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/07/31 20:58:52 (permalink)
    Sounds like an excellent plan John. Ive been to three of the five you mentioned and would love to try the clifton ones. Ive had the deep fry dogs at work and home, but never at Rutts. Count me In!!!
    #18
    seafarer john
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/01 11:46:50 (permalink)
    Looks like our Labor Day weekend will start with a lot of hot dogs in north Jersey. I like your plan for the tour - and if someone else will do most of the driving around that awful Jersey traffic we'll be very happy tourists.Count us for two .

    Cheers, John
    #19
    John Fox
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/01 12:47:30 (permalink)
    Glad to hear that you can make it. I'd be happy to take the 2 of you. Fortunately the traffic isn't that bad where we will be going. The Galloping Hill Inn is about a half mile from the parkway.
    #20
    long dog
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/01 21:40:23 (permalink)
    I'm definitely in, possibly with my girlfriend and/or my son.
    #21
    signman
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/01 22:11:33 (permalink)
    John,

    I'm pretty sure I'm in. Just curious to hear your comments about Jo Jo's in Toms River. I just passed by there on Friday, but didn't want to fill myself up and then not have room for Maruca's Pizza in Seaside Heights. I think I broke the Roadfooders creed by not stopping, but my breakfast just 2 hours before consisted of half a cheesesteak hoagie and half a regular hoagie at the White House in Atlantic City. And I was due for a big dinner with Cheesewit and Jane in preparation for the Cheesesteak tour on Saturday.
    #22
    John Fox
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 06:14:13 (permalink)
    signman,

    Jo'Jo's makes an authentic Italian Hot Dog. They moved to Toms River from Iselin (North Central Jersey) years ago. Ok, but not as good as Charlies, Tommy's, Jimmy Buff's, or Dickie Dees. You'll have the best at Charlies. I enjoyed the comments and pictures of the Cheesesteak tour. Wish I could have been there. Hope we can get Meowzart or someone to take pictures.
    #23
    ConeyIslandLou
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 09:10:01 (permalink)
    If Seafarer John doesnt mind carpooling with ME..I would be interested....and give live reports on my trip to Toronto..and the ensuing Toronto Cart Doggies..
    #24
    howard8
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 09:18:02 (permalink)
    John:
    I am thinking 11:30 is a good start time. After all we have a lot of eating to do.
    #25
    seafarer john
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 10:48:30 (permalink)
    John Fox: You're probably right, the traffic isn't as bad as it seems to me.
    Let's face it, i've been trying to avoid it, but it's Jersey drivers that scare the Hell out of me, not the traffic.

    Cheers, John
    #26
    seafarer john
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 10:55:29 (permalink)
    Coney Island Lou: Yes we'll be glad to pick you up at the Harriman Toll Barrier. As we have EZee pass we dont stop there , so you'll have to be prepared to dive in our open right rear window as we slow down. You'll know our car from the inflated hot dog attached to the roof.

    If you have a sign prepared, " Galloping Hill or Bust", or some such, we will know it is you and not a terrorist trying to sneak into north Jersey.

    Cheers, John
    #27
    garykg6
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 11:05:12 (permalink)
    It goes without the usual excess verbage,that I will be there in spirit John.....I wish all of you well and you should be secure in the knowledge that John will take care of business......a tear comes to my eye when I think of the happy times eating at the GHI(two complete and a beer), youse guys who never been to these places have got a rare treat ahead of you
    #28
    MGS1
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 13:55:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by garykg6

    It goes without the usual excess verbage,that I will be there in spirit John.....I wish all of you well and you should be secure in the knowledge that John will take care of business......a tear comes to my eye when I think of the happy times eating at the GHI(two complete and a beer), youse guys who never been to these places have got a rare treat ahead of you


    Hi everyone - I'm new here and I'm trying to navigate around. Went to Rutt's Hut over the weekend and loved the dogs/relish.
    #29
    greasewheel
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    RE: Hot Dog Tour 2004/08/02 14:48:55 (permalink)
    count me in as well John. Sounds like an excellent plan as well. Roughly 1 month and counting. Keep us posted if anything new develops.
    #30
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