RE: Mini Hot Dog tour
Sorry I'm just getting to you now; I had subscribed to this topic, but was never notified of your post. Rutt's Hut has been using their current dog for at least 6 or 7 years since I've been going there; probably longer. It is the Thumann's dog specially made for deep frying. Other places use this dog, and it is made in different sizes. Hiram's in Fort Lee uses this dog, but in a bigger size. Rutt's may have changed the size some years back. When they originally opened in the 1920's, Rutt's used a dog from a local butcher. This man was on his death bed, but refused to divulge the recipe for his dogs. Rutt's then began using Thumann's, and has been using them since, but may have changed sizes, as you stated.
As for the Galloping Hill Inn, they changed owners in 1987. Prior to the change, they used a dog from Gaiser's, a local German butcher. Pork and beef in the German style with a natural casing. Slightly spicier than other German franks. They are still available at Gaiser's for those who prefer this dog. The current owner switched dogs when he took over in 1987. He uses a frank produced by Grote & Weigel from Bloomfield, Ct. It is 60% beef 40% pork and different than the other hot dogs made by this company. They will sell them to any restaurant, but the Galloping Hill Inn is the only one that orders this particular dog. It is not skinless, but has an artificial collagen casing. I have tasted both dogs side by side and they are equal in terms of quality. There is big debate among long time customers over which dog is better; the older one or the current one. Most people don't know the source of either since both owners tried to keep it a secret. As I said, both are of equal quality, but if pressed, I would say I like the current dog by Grote & Weigel a little better.
Jimmy Buff's is greasy, but good. Charlies Famous in Kenilworth is much better in my opinion. So is Tommy's in Elizabeth. The Windmill is a good dog, but a little bland for my taste. You can print $1.00 coupons off of their site.