Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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CCinNJ
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/03 23:51:40 (permalink)
Stephen Rushmore explained it in another thread...


"We needed to condense the thread in anticipation of a software upgrade. It will be merged back after the weekend"
porkbeaks
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/04 16:34:41 (permalink)
I've been in NJ since last Saturday and spent today with my mother in Hunterdon County. We "celebrated" her 89th (belated) birthday by going to Charlie's Pool Room for lunch. I spent a good part of the drive from Flemington to Alpha (via Frenchtown) preparing her for what she might expect when we got to our destination. She loves hot dogs and is somewhat adventurous so I figured (even though I had never been there either) "what the heck." Well, she loved everything about it. The dogs, the sauce, Joe (we didn't see much of John), and the "ambience". She only ate 1 w/sauce and I had 2 mealies. She wished she ordered 2 and I craved 2 more, but we managed to resist in order to save room for pizza in Whitehouse Station 2 hours later. More on that later. Anyway, CPR was everything I imagined and much, much more. If there is a Roadfood Hall of Fame, Joe & John should be in it. pb
DPuro329
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/04 21:21:51 (permalink)
Hi everyone,
I ate at a hot dog truck that I've been meaning to try but for whatever reason just hadn't until today. Jo-Jo's Truck is on Route 88 in Brick. it is located west of Route 70 and east of The Ocean Lanes bowling alley. They serve a nice sized skinless sabrett dirty water dog, an Italian Hot Dog and Cheesesteaks. I opted for the Sabrett with their homemade chili. The dog was nicely heated and the chili was good, Very meaty with a sweetness to it. The owner (I believe) said he uses cinnamon as the only spice and his chili is a Coney style sauce and not hot at all. It was a nice combination of flavors and overall a good dog. I would return and eat there again.

Dave
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/05 01:40:08 (permalink)
Thanks for the info....I've seen the truck but never stopped....I'll give it a try!
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/06 14:45:43 (permalink)
Nice article (and video) about Dickie Dees Italian Hot Dogs in Newark. They are one of the oldest places making Italian Hot Dogs. The owners mention Jimmy Buff's and acknowledge that they were the originators of this popular sandwich that was invented in Newark in the early 1930's

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/12/these_couples_are_top_dogs_in.html
jbones
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/06 21:37:50 (permalink)
not sure if it's been mentioned in this thread yet, but two of my local favorites are munce's lunch truck on st. georges ave. in front of rahway park and father and son's on st. georges ave. in linden. during the summer, you're guaranteed to wait on a line for munce's. father and son's has some good, spicy chili.
DPuro329
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/15 22:00:13 (permalink)
I was in Long Branch today and stopped at an enclosed hot dog cart/trailer selling Sabretts right off Route 36 on Edwards Ave. The street is East of Monmouth Park and before the beach and the Sabrett umbrella is very visable from Route 36. I had eaten here several years ago and for whatever reason (probably my OCD obsession to eat at as many hot dog joints once as I possibly can) I hadn't been back. So I ordered a chili dog (the guy swore the chili was homemade and beanless...we're batting 1000 excellent) It was really good. The dog was skinless, I'm not sure of the size but I know it wasn't a skimpy one and it was heated all the way through as it should have been. The chili was really good. Meaty with a nice tomatoey flavor and a nice spicy kick. It wasn't as spicy as the chili at JJ's truck in Newark (which gives me hiccups when I eat it) but it definitely had a nice kick and nice flavor without being overpoweringly spicy. Overall a good dog and I'll stop back.

Dave
DPuro329
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/15 22:03:02 (permalink)
I think this might cause some good "discusion" but what does everyone think the most overrated hot dog joint in NJ is?

In a 3 way tie...

Hot Dog Johnny's
Rutt's Hutt
The Windmill

Just my $.02

What does everyone else think?

Dave
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/15 22:17:49 (permalink)
Most Overrated: Hot Dog Johnny's.

John Fox enumerated the reasons much better than I can.
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/16 05:42:11 (permalink)
The Windmill....I'm not crazy about their reformulated Frank...nor their anemic roll!!!!,,,,still an ok dog...but I've had better!!
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 08:10:14 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by DPuro329

I think this might cause some good "discusion" but what does everyone think the most overrated hot dog joint in NJ is?

In a 3 way tie...

Hot Dog Johnny's
Rutt's Hutt
The Windmill

Just my $.02

What does everyone else think?

Dave


Good topic. And of course there will be a wide range of opinions since there are different tastes. And different likes and dislikes since N.J. has many types of hot dogs and ways of preparing them.

I like the Windmill's dogs and have been enjoying them more than I have in the past. I was surprised how good my dog tasted on the recent Hot Dog Tour. Many though consider this dog bland. Especially those who favor a spicier all beef hot dog.

Rutt's Hutt, due to their mild flavor and deep frying elicits the full spectrum of opinions. Described as the best dog in the Universe or the worst. I like their dogs, especially topped with their unique relish. Most of the time I would prefer a beef and pork dog grilled rather than deep fried, though sometimes nothing hits the spot like a well done ripper. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a particular type of dog. But overall I would generally prefer a dog from the Galloping Hill Inn or Windmill to Rutt's, Hiram's or other places that fry a beef and pork dog. I can definitely understand Rutt's being described as overrated. So many people I know of have gone there for the first time with great expectations only to be disappointed. I would say that our friends from Chicago who are used to all beef dogs would probably consider Rutt's highly overrated. I do know 2 people from Chicago who love the dogs at Rutt's. I can't consider them overrated since I happen to enjoy them very much, especially when I get a craving for them. Sort of like the craving I get occasionally for White Castle hamburgers. Not my favorite burger, but sometimes I have to have them.

Hot Dog Johnny's, in my opinion is the most overrated hot dog. Although there are places that sell more hot dogs, Hot Dog Johnny's is known by more people than any hot dog joint in the state with the exception of Rutt's Hut. First time I went to Johnny's I was expecting a very good dog, though one opinion I read stated that their dogs were bland and overrated. So I wasn't that surprised to reach that conclusion myself. I thought they were horrible after going the first time. It was a few years later that I returned after hearing ad nauseum that they were good and thinking maybe I just had a bad experience or that Johnny's had an off day. When I went back, I found that they weren't horrible, just mediocre. I was expecting a lot due to their reputation which is why I called them horrible.

I have since been back a few times. Once with the Munchmobile and 2 or 3 times since I happenned to be in the area. Compared to even the milder West Jersey dogs, Hot Dog Johnny's is bland. That was the opinion of the entire 8 member S.W.A.T. Dog Team when we went. And we compared apples with apples as we went to a few places in the area serving the same style dogs. Johnny's was rated below the others. The skinless dogs come with mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, and a pickle slice. I've omitted the ketchup, relish, and onions.

Johnny's is not only the most popular hot dog joint in West Jersey, but the most popular eatery of any kind. The Star Ledger did an article about this a few years back. The reporter contacted me and wanted me to say something favorable about the place. I just couldn't. I was quoted as a dissenter.

People who like this place often say (and post) about the atmosphere. Or nostalgia since many grew up eating at Hot Dog Johnny's. While I agree that atmosphere, setting, nostalgia, etc. may add to or enhance the overall experience, to me it doesn't make the hot dogs taste any better. The first year of the Munchmobile, the panel compared Hot Dog Johnny's to Toby's Cup. Toby's is located in a dingy stretch of Route 22 while Johnny's is located in a beautiful rural section of Route 46 overlooking the Pequest River. The dogs at Toby's are much better than Hot Dog Johnny's, yet the entire panel picked Hot Dog Johnny's. The reason? Toby's couldn't compare to Johnny's in terms of atmosphere! Unbelievable. They were supposed to be judging hot dogs, not destinations for a Hallmark Card. I would have had more respect for this particular panel if they just said that HDJ's dogs tasted better than Toby's.

The woman who owns Johnny's can be downright nasty at times. This aside, I'm glad that the place is there and doing well because so many people love the place. I wish every hot dog joint success, but it saddens me that there are places that serve a much better hot dog, but for other reasons go under. Syd's is an example.

The whole thing reminds me of a restaurant serving quality Italian food that goes under after being opened less than a year while places like the Olive Garden thrive because of being well known and for other reasons not having to do with the quality of the food. This may be a bad analogy since the Olive Garden is a chain while Johnny's is a small family owned restaurant. For me, hot dogs or any food should be judged on the basis of taste and quality. While I appreciate nostalgia, atmosphere, quirkyness, etc., these things are or should be secondary to the actual food. Sorry for the rant.

Another highly overrated dog is JJ's Truck on Bloomfield Ave. in Newark. They serve a dirty water Sabrett frank. They are known for hot onions (which I've never tasted) and an overly spicy chili that is the hottest I've had in N.J. Much too hot for my taste. There are countless trucks, carts, and storefronts serving dirty water Sabrett's. Although similar, I look for certain things that set the better ones apart from the many that I consider average or run of the mill. Casing, (always preferable to skinless), temperature, (many aren't served hot enough), size, (anything smaller than 10 to a lb is too small, although these places will charge the same price as those offering a bigger dog), price, snap (some natural casing dogs have no snap due to being left in the water too long), and freshness. I've seen dogs that have turned gray or green from being old. Some places will add vinegar to the water to prevent old dogs from changing color.

Prior to '05 JJ's served a natural casing 11 to a lb Sabrett dog. It was barely hot enough, but sufficiently hot and fresh. The chili was very spicy. A decent dog, but overrated even then. People raved about this truck and many considered it the best in the state. There are many that are better. Tony's, a few blocks away is head and shoulders above JJ's.

Sometime prior to August of '05, JJ's switched from a natural casing 11 to a lb dog (still too small) to a tiny 12 to a lb dog that is skinless. I was there once on my own after the switch and once with the Munchmobile. Both times the dogs weren't hot enough and lost flavor from being in the water too long. What was an average, run of the mill dirty water dog in the past is now a way below average dog. Small, skinless, lukewarm, and tasteless. Why so popular? While Hot Dog Johnny's devotees gush over the setting and atmosphere, JJ's clientele makes much of the fact that JJ's is open until 3 or 4 AM. They cater to late night college students from nearby Rutgers who have been out drinking. At that time anything tastes good. I doubt that many of the customers noticed the switch to an even smaller, skinless dog. Bad enough that the dogs are small and skinless. You can get bigger dogs with casing at a number of places, but the dogs are barely warm and bland to boot from sitting in the water too long.

Because this has been my experience, I haven't been back in over 2 years. It is possible that the dogs have gotten better. I don't know and it wouldn't be worth it to go back. Tony' Truck is a few blocks away and is infinitely better. A tasty but milder Golden D brand frank is used, but at 10 to a lb is a much better size than JJ's. Tony's also has a good casing, good snap, served at the right temperature, and much fresher and tastier than JJ's. Even though Sabrett has a spicier flavor profile than the Golden D dog, Tony's franks are much tastier than JJ's because JJ's loses much of their flavor due to too much time in the water. A great example of a place with a reputation (undeserved in my opinion) cutting corners and resting on it's laurels. For a good Sabrett dirty water dog, I go to Dees Hut in Roselle Park. Natural caswing, 10 to a lb, hot, fresh, and tasty.

Other places that I consider overrated are those with a reputation for good dirty water dogs that serve tiny franks and charge too much for them. Big Daddy's in Little Falls is an example. A popular place serving tiny Sabretts and charging more than places like Dees that serve a bigger dog. Part of the popularity of Big Daddy's is due to their selection of hot sauces which in my opinion don't belong on a hot dog. They totally overwhelm the hot dog and mask the flavor. You might as well be eating a celery stick. You wouldn't know the difference.

Falls View is overrated. This small chain was considered one of the best places to get a Texas Weiner years ago. Now they serve a bland, skinless dog. The chili is tasteless as well.

Dickie Dees is an overrated Italian Hot Dog. Unlike Hot Dog Johnny's, JJ's, and Fall's View where the dogs don't taste good, Dickie Dees (and Big Daddy's) serve dogs that do taste good. Dickie Dees is overrated because of the tiny size of their dogs and overall sandwich. And their inferior peppers. And the fact (or more accurately, opinion) that the places known for Italian Hot Dogs all serve a better one. Jimmy Buff's, Tommy's, and Charlies (most of the time when the bread isn't stale). And lesser known places like Dino's, World's First, Paul's, and Joe's Pizzeria.

When I come up for air, maybe I'll post on underrated hot dogs.
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 08:37:53 (permalink)
Thanks John...a comprehensive and excellent analysis...perhaps I was too hard on the Windmill...but I think I liked their older dog better...the new one is just a bit too mild for me...do like their hot relish,,,I guess I have a soft spot in my heart for the Windmill..since in the late 60's while a student at Monmouth College, I was a regular fixture at the actual "windmill" located on the Westend...eating at one of the franchise places always brings me back...
I also agree with your Sabrett comments....I'll eat one if I'm in Manhattan...did that a lot with mom in the 50's on our many trips to NYC...again it's nostalgia...but one pretty much tastes like the next...you know the taste before you actually bite in!!!! And they have to be with mustard and Sabrett cooked onions!!!And yes, a Sabrett better be fresh,likewise for their condiments.
I like atmosphere as much as the next guy, but I'll judge a hotdog place on the dog , the bun(no Wonderbread type rolls on my buck!)and the quality of the ingrediants I put on top!!! That's it
Again, thanks for your excellent expertise, as always!!!!
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 08:42:11 (permalink)
Leethebard,

You should join us on the next Hot Dog Tour!
Benzee
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 09:44:21 (permalink)
Hello all ,

The 6th Annual Jersey Hot Dog Tour will be held on Sat Sept 26th , 2009 .
Many of the places discussed in this forum are stops on the tour . Intinerary will be put together again by John Fox .
Meeting and departure point of first five tours has been Galloping Hill Inn , who gave all attendees a very nice gift on last years tour .

Benzee
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 09:46:50 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by John Fox

Leethebard,

You should join us on the next Hot Dog Tour!


Yeh, John...now that I'm retired that is possible...thanks!!!!
ShellysDawgHouse
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 16:51:44 (permalink)
John,
to each his own would definetly apply here. As for hot sauces, i have tons and those who like them use them, those who don't don't use them. To say they have no place is an opinion.
To all, Enjoy what you like. That is why there are so many choices.

Good holidays to all.
Shelly
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/17 19:46:54 (permalink)
Shelly,

I agree, to each his own. Many people enjoy ketchup on a hot dog. I think it's an abomination though I would never try to prevent anyone (with the exception of my son) from doing it. If you look at my post, I said "Part of the popularity of Big Daddy's is due to their selection of hot sauces which IN MY OPINION don't belong on a hot dog. They totally overwhelm the hot dog and mask the flavor."

I, too say enjoy what you like. But don't be afraid to state what you don't like and your opinion of whether something belongs or doesn't belong on a hot dog. To say ketchup and hot sauces belong on a hot dog is also an opinion. One that I feel free not to share.

Happy Holidays.
DPuro329
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2008/12/20 00:17:03 (permalink)
I agree that Big Daddy's dogs are expensive for their size but I think I'm inpartial because Big Daddy's is where I started my hot dog obsession over 10 years ago. My friend and I found it by accident and had an incredible meal there. I've definitely eaten hot dogs with better chilis than Big Daddy's but the hot dog is good and the atmosphere along with the personalities of the present and original owner make it one of my favorite dog joints. As for the hot sauces, I've always used them on my final dog of the meal and yes they are a novelty, but with so many  dog joints in NJ (both good and bad) something that differentiates you from your competition is always good.

Dave 
Risasmom
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/08 15:16:10 (permalink)
I was born and raised in Clifton, Passaic and Wayne N.J.  I've been in Florida for over 30 years, but my taste buds still cry out for a (OK-some) Texas Weiners.  There's no such thing here in Florida, all they have is what they call a chili dog, which is just that, a dog with chili on it.  I've been back to NJ only once many years ago and made sure I went to Falls View and purchased a few containers of their Texas weiner Sauce to take home (on the plane).  From what I understand Falls View is no longer there, but some of my other favorites were: Rutts Hutts, Anthony Waynes, Hot Grill, and The Hearth.  I've tried alot of "secret recipe" sites to find how tomake REAL Texas Weiner Sauce, but had no luck.  Pizza, (good Pizza) real NY bagels, bakery's and such are also on the not-available list of Florida living.  My family owned a few real old-fashioned Bakery's in Totowa, Paterson so I really miss good Bakery items too.  I'm glad I found this site, although it makes me yearn for the good ole' food of Jersey & NY. 
acoustic blues
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/08 21:48:48 (permalink)
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/09 06:05:34 (permalink)
Risasmom,
 
Welcome to Roadfood! Falls View is still in Jersey. There are a number of locations, but I think the quality has gone down. This is the opinion of those who have gone years ago as well.  Rutt's Hut and The Hot Grill are still going strong. The Anthony Wayne closed down a few years ago, and I'm not sure about the Hearth. Since you're familiar with Totowa, have you ever been to Pappy's? Excellent Texas Weiners, although the service is slow. I love their tangy "all the way" sauce.
Foodbme
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/09 10:36:37 (permalink)
Risasmom

I was born and raised in Clifton, Passaic and Wayne N.J.  I've been in Florida for over 30 years, but my taste buds still cry out for a (OK-some) Texas Weiners.  There's no such thing here in Florida, all they have is what they call a chili dog, which is just that, a dog with chili on it.  I've been back to NJ only once many years ago and made sure I went to Falls View and purchased a few containers of their Texas weiner Sauce to take home (on the plane).  From what I understand Falls View is no longer there, but some of my other favorites were: Rutts Hutts, Anthony Waynes, Hot Grill, and The Hearth.  I've tried alot of "secret recipe" sites to find how tomake REAL Texas Weiner Sauce, but had no luck.  Pizza, (good Pizza) real NY bagels, bakery's and such are also on the not-available list of Florida living.  My family owned a few real old-fashioned Bakery's in Totowa, Paterson so I really miss good Bakery items too.  I'm glad I found this site, although it makes me yearn for the good ole' food of Jersey & NY. 

 
Welcome to Roadfood! I see John Fox replied to your post. John is our Resident EXPERT on all things pertaining to Hot Dogs in NJ! Regarding REAL Texas Wiener Sauce, There are a number of recipes on here related to that subject. Just Use the SEARCH function at the top of the page to find them. If you have  problem with searching, just let us know and someone will walk you thru the process. In the Meantime, here's one of the recipes I picked up here that is really good It was originally posted by TDJ_TX. You can search his posts as well.
 
Texas Hot - Wiener Sauce
8 cups water Less if you like it thicker
12 to 16 oz finely ground hotdogs (I prefer Hebrew National skinless all beef)
1/2 cup cornstarch (dissolved in a little cold water)
1 tbls paprika
1 tbls chili powder
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp sea or kosher salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
a few grinds of fresh black pepper

Bring everything to a boil, except the cornstarch.
Let simmer for 30 minutes, then slowly add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly. Bring back to a boil, and keep stirring.
Taste along the way, adjusting the salt or pepper as you like it.
Serve on your favorite hotdog, with brown mustard, diced onion, in a steamed hotdog bun. This sauce will be thin, it is supposed to be, it is not a "chili dog" recipe. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It freezes well.
Note; Each time you reheat the sauce, it will get thicker


 
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/09 19:06:09 (permalink)
<< I'm not sure about the Hearth

I think I read somewhere that The Hearth closed a while back.

With both that and Anthony Wayne gone I wonder if there's any place that still offers that "red relish" for hot dogs and burgers that I think was unique to the small stretch of North Jersey.  
ellen4641
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/09 19:54:39 (permalink)
ken8038
Anthony Wayne gone

I tried going to that Anthony Wayne place a year or two ago, to find it shuttered.
I'm glad I got to experience it once , though...glad for that, at least..
It had a busy location, right on the Route 46 highway, across from Willowbrook Mall.
 
I love places like that, and wish we had more of them still left here in Jersey!!


John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/09 21:45:26 (permalink)
Ken,
 
Galloping Hill is known for their hot relish. Although I've never had it, it's what my wife Pat orders on hers whenever I make the drive down the street for a few hot dogs from GHI. I get mine with their delicious (Gold's Dusseldorf) mustard.
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/10 10:46:12 (permalink)
<<Galloping Hill is known for their hot relish.

John, what they had at Anthony Wayne and The Hearth wasn't a hot red relish, it was more on the sweet side. I was only at each place a couple of times but that's what I remember about it.

I wasn't even that it was so great that I miss it, just that it was unique to that area, so I would get it every time I went (When in Rome, etc).  --Ken
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/12 19:48:54 (permalink)
Tomorrow, Tuesday 1/13, Good Day New York on Fox 5 will show a live segment from Amazing Hot Dog. Matt will be preparing a New Jersey Breakfast Dog. His other unique creations will also be displayed. The show airs from 7 to 9 AM. Amazing will be featured around 8:40.
Londonmatt
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/14 08:09:11 (permalink)
I am sad to hear that the Anthony Wayne is no more, that place was a true original. This is such a long thread so excuse me if this place has been mentioned, but G&G, a hot dog truck on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank NJ (Monmouth County) is exceptional. Its a dirty water sabrett, and I am pretty sure its boiled in Beer, at least thats what I've been told. Its a bit of a legend, sort of like White Manna where people will order 5 or 6 at a time. He has been there forever. He also does an Italian Sausage. He's got a great chili sauce, red onion, chopped, relish, and saurkraut. The best part is how the dog truly snap, not crunchy, but just snap. Delicious!
DPuro329
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/14 21:47:31 (permalink)
Londonmatt,
Welcome to roadfood. I agree with your thoughts about G&G in Red Bank, definitely a great dog. Have you been to That Hot Dog Place on Monmouth St in Red Bank? www.soupmeister.com They are also known for really good soups as well as their dogs.

Dave
Risasmom
Junior Burger
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  • Joined: 2009/01/08 14:22:00
  • Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/01/17 08:26:21 (permalink)

Thank you John for the "welcome".  You know what else they never have in Florida?  Saurkraut!  I can't believe it.    I worked at the Hearth for awhile way-back when!  I loved their taylor ham and cheese sandwiches on a Jewish hard roll(something else Florida hasn't conquered yet) .  I also loved their steak sandwiches.
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