RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs
Today I went to Frankly Burgers and More for the first time. From reading the posts on another forum and asking questions, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I was not disappointed. Frankly Burgers was what I expected and then some.
I'm not the type that is very observant of my surroundings, prefering to look at the menu and the grill area. But I did notice that the place was clean and had pictures of the Jersey Shore on the walls. A nice looking litlle restaurant with a good atmosphere.
Before, during, and after eating I had the chance to talk with Carolyn and Ralph, who own Frankly Burgers and More. They've been open about 9 weeks. They are hands on owners who take a lot of pride in the food that they serve. Everything is cooked to order and extremely fresh. Customers are encouraged to request their dogs (and burgers) to be prepared how they want. As has been mentioned previously, you can get your burgers cooked on a griddle or chrbroiled on a grill. The franks are fried or grilled. Or you can have your dog char grilled. Ralph and Carolyn are not shy in contacting their current suppliers and new ones in order to have everything meet their high standards. They just had a bigger hot dog bun made for them, which better fits their longer dog.
I wanted to sample their many dogs and have them prepared differently. Also their burger. I didn't get to sample the burger or have a charbroiled dog. Next time.
I started off with the natural casing 6 to a lb dog. I had it griddled. It was served on a toasted New England style bun. The bun was perfect for this dog and of good quality. I have no preference between a regular bun or New England style as long as it is fresh and sturdy. Not like the supermarket brands that fall apart. You have a choice of Gulden's or French's mustard. I like the brown mustard (Guldens) on a beef dog. The dog was fresh, tasty, and juicy. Hot as well. I like that this place offers a Best natural casing frank griddled. I don't know of anywhere else that does. Father & Son in Linden used to. The brand is my favorite beef dog, and here it was prepared perfectly. It's one thing to serve a quality brand. That's only half of it. What a lot of places fail to do is to prepare it well.
Next I tried a single Italian Hot Dog. It was authentic, and along with Jersey Joe's in Port Monmouth, a place where you can get a real Newark Style Italian Hot Dog south of the Driscoll Bridge. JoJo's is in Toms River, but isn't nearly as good. Frankly Burgers use 8 to a lb dogs, which I prefer to any other size for this type of sandwich. They are natural casing which I look for in a regular dog, although I like skinless in an Italian. Again the dog was sufficiently hot and juicy. The peppers (red and green) were outstanding. Soft, fresh, and tastier than what you usually get on an Italian Hot Dog. Cut a little bigger too, which I liked. Ralph told me that he gets high quality peppers from a small supplier and makes them his own unique way. The ingredients are deep fried except for the peppers, which are cooked on the griddle. The potatoes are sliced thin and fried to a golden brown color. Very similar to the old Charlies Son's (not to be confused with Charlies Famous in Kenilworth), formerly of Union. The pizza bread was good. Although I prefer Carmen's and Sorrento's (East Hanover) this bread was solid and fresh. It's fresh because it's from a nearby bakery and ordered as needed. Since this restaurant is not primarily an Italian Hot Dog joint, it's hard to gauge demand. I think they made a wise choice in getting a local bakery to provide good fresh pizza bread.
All in all one of the better Italian Hot dogs in the state. Easily the best from a place that isn't primarily an Italian Hot Dog restaurant. I only had a single. I'll have to have a double to get a better idea since that is what I usually order.
The last dog I tried was the quarter pounder. Here it is usually ordered grilled. But I wanted to try one deep fried since I already had one griddled. I had mine with just mustard. This one was very good as well. Exactly like the old dog was at Amazing Hot Dog. It was hot enough and ripped open. This is fine since it is a thicker dog. Any less time in the fryer and it wouldn't have been sufficiently hot. I've had dogs this size less than hot in the past.
I also sample the chili (on the side) and some french fries. The chili was thick, slightly sweet, with a little spice in the background. A good homemade chili. Not the clovey, thin, sweet Texas Weiner type chili you see at many Passaic County places. Although I liked it, the juicy beefy dogs were so tasty that I prefer to have them here with mustard only. Maybe I would have it on the Schickhaus beef and pork dog . Another thing to try next time.
Lastly the fries. Cut fairly thin, they are fresh cut (not the cheap frozen Sysco fries) and delicious. In the same class as Amazing Hot Dog, Syd's, and Bubbas. It's nice that the fries here are top quality and not the cheap, frozen, empty calorie fries served at too many burger and hot dog joints.
I really enjoyed my lunch here yesterday. The food was great as was the service and preparation. The owners are passionate and care about quality and service. It's a trip for me, but worth it. I'll be back.