The itinerary is set for the Ninth Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. Once again we expect to fill 2 buses. There are still some seats left. If you are interested in attending, please contact Erwin Benz at email@example.com
. The Tour is on Saturday, September 22.
Because this Tour has gotten so big it does take a bit longer for us to get from one stop to another. In the beginning we had one bus. We added another and can fill more but 110 people is enough to be descending on any one place. One bus would be the perfect size but we would like to include as many people as we can. Because of this we can't choose a lot of places that I would like to have on the Tour. We also have time constraints. We seek to add new stops each year plus rotate old favorites. Galloping Hill Inn is the only stop that has been on the Tour every year since they are kind enough to let us use their lot, it is conveniet to get to being right off the Parkway, and it is one of the best and most popular hot dog stands in the state. Because of the time constraints and the size of our group Benzee and I almost had to pay a considerable fee for coming back late last year. This is why Jimmy Buff's East Hanover is not included on the Tour this year. Jimmy did a great job and because he serves a unique style of hot dog that his family originated, was an exception as far as being on the Tour the last 5 years despite being much further away from the rest of the stops. There will be at least 2 stops that will be serving a top notch Italian Hot Dog on the Tour this year.
This year the stops will be close to each other. I don't want to be rushed and we will have enough time so that if we finish early enough we might be able to squeeze in another stop. The order will not be determined until I find out what time a television crew will be at one of the stops to do a piece on the Tour. I'm told that this will be more than just a couple of minutes which is another reason why we're being careful about the time. I want to be able to have us spend some extra time at this particular place.
Without further ado, the itinerary. And again the order is yet to be determined.
1) Galloping Hill Inn, Union. Our starting point and always the first stop. We meet at around 11:30 and plan on departing for the next stop at noon. The dogs here are a grilled 6/1 collagen casing beef and pork blend from Grote & Weigel of Conn. based on a recipe from Gaiser's Pork Store in Union, N.J. A very good hot dog and the favorite of many; especially our New York contingent. Basic toppings and a very good Dusseldorf mustard. A large and unique bun that is good quality but some consider too big. I usually get a double but you might want to pace yourself. There will be 6 stops so you may want to share or even skip a place that you may not like. Some do not eat dogs with pork.
2) Manny's Texas Weiners, Union. Manny's has been on the Tour a few times and serves a Jersey special; the Texas Weiner. A grilled 6/1 beef/pork dog from Grote & Weigel. This is their standard recipe frank. GHI above is one of the few places that does have a special recipe frank. The chili here is dark, thick, and spicy. Manny's is able to seat our entire group and serve us quickly. Amazing service and a good example of a Jersey Texas Weiner.
3) Uncle Petey's Weenies, Colonia. One of the better hot dog trucks in the state. The basic dog here is an 11/1 boiled or "dirty water" Sabrett. Common among carts and trucks. When judging these places I look for natural casing first and if the dogs are hot and fresh. Yes and yes here. Prepared perfectly. What sets Pete apart from almost every other truck is that he has a griddle and offers more than a dirty water Sabrett. He is the first truck I know of that offered an authentic Newark style Italian Hot Dog. Very good and with pizza bread. You will have to come back for this one as it won't be offered on the Tour because it would take too long with over 100 people attending. Petey's does offer a grilled beef and pork frank that he gets from a butcher shop. I've had it and it's excellent. Natural casing and bigger than 4/1. Closer to 3/1. These will be available for the Tour. It might be a good idea to share one of these since they are so big. Pete offers the standard toppings including a spicy homemade chili.
4) Marci's Dog House, Clark. Marci's is another truck specializing in dirty water Sabretts. The basic dog here is a 10/1 natural casing Sabrett. Homemade toppings include 2 homemade chilis and an outstanding homemade sauerkraut called Strubelkraut. Marci's has a griddle and a deep fryer. He also offers an outstanding Italian Hot Dog which is my personal favorite. There will be extra people on hand to help and the Italian Hot Dog will be available for the Tour. In addition to the dirty water Sabrett and IHD, Marci's offers a 6/1 natural casing all beef dog from Best Provisions. It's great to see that hot dog trucks now are not limited to just dirty water dogs. Marci's and Uncle Petey's have grills and make authentic Italian Hot Dogs that are as good as, or surpass the quality of the bigger places that specialize in them.
5) Jerry's Famous Frankfurters, Elizabeth. Jerry's is a walk up storefront that serves up some of the best dogs I've had. The frank here is an 8/1 natural casing frank from Best's. It's prepared a unique way here. Boiled, then finished off in a steel compartment that is like a grill. This adds a little snap and flavor. Delicious and easy to down 4 or 5 in a sitting. Standard toppings including a homemade chili that resembles a Paterson area Texas Weiner chili. You can taste a little clove/nutmeg. These dogs are great with just mustard. Other than Galloping Hill Inn which is down the street from where I live; I've probably eaten more hot dogs from Jerry's than any place else.
6) Tommy's Sausage and Italian Hot Dogs, Elizabeth. Two doors down from Jerry's, Tommy's is known for their Italian Hot Dogs and sausage sandwiches. But they do serve regular hot dogs. The regular dogs are 8/1 Best's that are boiled. I would suggest getting a regular dog at Jerry's and an Italian dog or sausage sandwich at Tommy's. But Tommy's does have their own homemade chili. I've never had it since there are onions in it that are visible. I've heard it's a spicy chili. The sausage here is homemade and considered very good although I've never had it because I've always gotten an Italian Hot Dog. Tommy's is popular for their IHD's. Named the best in the state by the Star Ledger in 2006, it is definitely one of the three or so best in my opinion.
There are a lot of choices here. I encourage sharing and if you live in state or nearby, returning to sample some of the other dogs (and topping combinations) offered by these fine places. The Tour has been to 4 of the stops previously so I know that they can handle our large group. Uncle Petey's and Marci's are new to the Tour but they will have extra people on hand and I can guarantee that they will provide excellent service.
It will be a fun day. Again I urge everyone to pace yourself. I wouldn't fill up on things such as french fries because it may cause you to have to miss a hot dog later. Remember, this is a hot dog tour. But eat what you want. Manny's has a Diner's menu and some decide to order something else as a change of pace. This is the highlight of my year and a time to see old friends and meet new ones. And to eat great hot dogs. Please be on time as we hope to depart Galloping Hill Inn by noon and sometimes we are stuck waiting for those who haven't shown up. I will give out my phone number shortly before the Tour so that you can contact me if you can't make it or get lost.
See everyone on the 22nd.