I did a post that recounted some of my memories of George’s
, one of the best hot dog joints in NJ. It’s on Page 33 of this thread. I also posted about Walt’s 42nd St.
on Page 32 of this thread.
Here’s a little more information about hot dogs in Elizabeth:
At the same time George had his 2 wheeled wooden push cart parked on the lot where he eventually built his restaurant there was another wooden push cart that was always on the corner of 2nd Ave. & 7th St. across from the school that is across the street from the O’Brian Field playground. It was on the edge of the open-air market. The guy’s name was Gus and he had the exact same chili as George. He owned a luncheonette on 3rd
St. near Broadway. When my father was in high school at St. Pat’s, Gus would push his cart down New Point Rd. from the market toward South Park St. and sold hot dogs at 6 for 25 cents. At the same time there was a kid who also had a push cart in that area around the market who eventually opened a hot dog joint by the island in front of the old Harmonia Savings building. It might have been Jerry or maybe Tommy because both of their stores are located there.
Both George and Gus’s chili would vary in hotness from week to week but it was always good. If you didn’t like spices you didn’t like their chili. I started eating it at around 8 years old and it spoiled me such that I compare all hot dog chili to George’s.
George always greeted customers with a big smile and a welcoming warm greeting. The people who bought the business from him did not mirror that warmth one bit. That’s why they lost business. As they lost business they tried opening early in the morning to serve breakfast. That didn’t last long. They never understood that it was their lousy attitudes that lost them business. Like I said in the post, they acted like they were doing you a favor when you ordered food and they made customers feel like they were unwanted interruptions.
There is no George’s at a new location.
Around 15 years ago I asked them what brand of hot dogs they used and they said Marathon. I’d never heard of it.
Over the years I’ve tried to duplicate the chili and always failed until a few weeks ago. Because of this forum and Internet research I experimented with various spices and came up a replica of George’s chili that’s pretty darn close.
When my brother tasted it he said it was identical to Georges but I only think that it’s very, very close. He never ate the hundreds of George’s hot dogs that I ate there. This is how it came out.
George’s chili was never this dark. Mine is because I kept adding spices, onions, water, and cornstarch until I got to the flavor and consistency that I was looking for.
Evidently the Star Ledger Munchmobile never heard of George’s. George’s, which was a free standing building with parking lot on 3 sides and not some hole in the wall with a sliding window on the sidewalk or the size of a small pizzeria, was never visited. It’s a shame that people weren’t treated to what I consider to have been Elizabeth’s best and one of New Jersey’s best hot dogs.
<message edited by Food_Fan on Wed, 06/24/09 10:43 AM>