Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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Dog Boss
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/10 17:57:46 (permalink)
John Fox

Dog Boss,

You crack me up. The cook gave you the death look! I know who you are talking about. And he does have a lousy attitude. His nickname around Linden is the Son of Satan. I will say that the last 2 times he has been civil to me. Don't know if he's somehow changed or if it was because the owner, who has a reputation as a bit of a tyrant, was standing there. As for the dogs, most of the time they've been fine, but a few times I've gotten an old dog that wasn't hot enough.

Regarding the Rahway Grill, I've probably been there less than 10 times but always enjoyed the dogs. They close early and I'm usually working, so I don't get a chance to go often. I'm glad we included it on the Tour and I'm delighted at the positive response. But I can believe that there may have been old dogs on the grill. I say this because a friend of mine told me on Saturday that he went last week and got a dog that was old, lacked taste, and was cold. It was served by someone other than Fran or Ted.

It's too bad that every now and then you may have a bad experience. I am off Thursday and have to be in Rahway. I will probably make a stop at the Rahway Grill and if I do I'll tell Ted about what is posted here. I'm sure he would like to know. Hopefully my friend's experience and Dog Boss's are aberrations.

 
All i'm going to say is  THAT WHEN THEY SERVE ME CRAP i'm not a happy guy!!!!! when its good it's good, and when its bad it's BAD !!!!!!!!!! I don't candy coat things and i don't make up things that are bad to make them look worst then they where......................... i REALLY TRY TO BE AS HONEST AS I CAN !!!!!!!
 
I was the first to tell mrs fran, how well they did with the TOUR, so, i must love the old dogs on the grill. if fran was in my sites, i would've been more then happy to step in and speak my mind about the window dressing's.
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/10 20:29:59 (permalink)
Just don't give her the death look!
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/12 13:43:03 (permalink)
I had to make a trip to Rahway so I stopped at the Rahway Grill to grab a quick dog. There was a woman (not Fran) behind the counter. There were 6 dogs on the grill and they did look old and wrinkly. I was in a hurry so I didn't ask for a fresh one. Besides, I wanted to see how one tasted that looked wrinkly.

As I was leaving Ted emerged from the back. I said hello and asked how he was doing. I was on my way out and kind of in a hurry, but I did ask Ted if he has a computer. He does, and he told me he reads the comments we have posted. I didn't mention anything further. I ate my dog in the car and it was definitely hot enough and as good as it ever was. I think it just has a wrinkly appearance after spending some time on the griddle. It's been awhile since I've bought a 5 lb bag from Restaurant Depot, but I vaguely remember these dogs having a wrinkly appearance. But my dog was fine.

Father & Son, the Rahway Grill, Papaya King, Gray's, Katz's, and Nathan's all leave their dogs on the griddle at approximately 165 degrees. And with very few exceptions the dogs have tasted ok. But the dogs at the Rahway Grill did not look good.
big g in joisey
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/12 20:53:34 (permalink)
Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City also prepares their great tasting Sabrett hotdogs on a griddle or flat grill, I prefer the well done dogs,with a little grill mark on the dogs. Their always fresh and hot and that is due to the high volume of business this NJ landmark still maintains. Still one of my favorites.
Benzee
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/12 21:59:33 (permalink)

Hello all ,

Great thread as always !!
What I love about reading these adventures on here is how honest everyone is . That is a pleasure .

Benzee
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/13 06:24:29 (permalink)
I love Boulevard Drinks as well. It's been awhile since I've been there. I'm due to go back. The only thing I don't like about it is the parking. It's near impossible to get a spot. There is a parking garage nearby.

I usually go to Papaya King in Clifton if I want a grilled Sabrett. When I went with the S.W.A.T. Team in 06, the Clifton Papaya King wasn't open yet. We did make one trip to New York where we had grilled Sabrett's at Papaya King and Gray's Papaya. The panel was unanimous in rating the dogs at Boulevard Drinks higher than the other places. As Big G stated, they're always fresh and hot. I never had a bun fall apart there like I did at Papaya King in Manhattan.

Out of the 87 places we visited which included well over 100 different hot dogs, Boulevard Drinks was at the top of the list, behind only Syd's for favorite overall dog.
big g in joisey
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/15 11:05:55 (permalink)
Papya King in Clifton is very good, their Happy Hour special for .99 cent hotdogs is tough to beat,especially when they are going up against Rutts Hutt & The Hot Grill.
Syd's long gone now,but you can still get that great Best's provision hotdog at Tommy's Italian hotdogs and Jerry's frankfurters in Elizabeth,both on the same block, as well as Frankly Burgers and More in Freehold. They will prepare your Best's footlong either on a griddle or chargrill.
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/15 12:30:34 (permalink)
Big G,

Jerry's and Tommy's both serve Best's natural casing dogs, but in a smaller size. The Best's 5 to a lb natural casing (Syd's dog) can be found at Jimmy Buff's (East Hanover), Bubba's (Lyndhurst), Frankly Burgers & More (Freehold), The Martini Bar (Millburn), and Seymour's (Livingston). And will soon be served at The Garage in Millburn. The Garage is owned by the same people who own the Martini Bar. They will also be serving the Don's (4 to a lb) dog. They will be boiled, then grilled like Syd's.
big g in joisey
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/15 13:15:28 (permalink)
Thanks John, I forgot about Bubba's, will be glad when they reopen. Will have to try Seymour's and the Garage. Still remember that large pot of water at Syd's, cooking the dogs in hot/boiling water,then finishing them on the grill. Still can't figure out how more places don't carry Best's, one of the best dogs jersey has to offer.  
MrTudo
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/19 01:49:48 (permalink)
I grew up in union cnty NJ  and boy oh boy do I miss being close to so many choices and such great food. NYC only 45 minutes away.
 
There's nothing even close here in charlotte county Fla.
 
 
Dog Boss
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/21 10:49:11 (permalink)
did a road trip, on wed's, hit rutt's and our 1st trip to the hot grill, the hot grill was ok, perfer rutt's hut..................... the grill had there coney, faint taste of can chilli, just ok,  no WOW factor , fries with gravy........................ travel buddy had 2 coney's and fries, was mad, did'nt like it all, he's the reason we went over to rutt's, he had 5 more over at rutt's, lmao

i had 2 and bought some of there relish for home.
post edited by Dog Boss - 2009/11/21 10:50:38
Benzee
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/22 10:22:44 (permalink)

Hello all ,

Rutts Hutt relish is the best going .
Is Bubbas open yet and has the Garage opened yet ?

Benzee
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/22 10:32:24 (permalink)
Benzee,

Bubba's reopened yesterday. The owner of the Garage said that they will open within a few weeks. But you never know with a new business. I was told originally that it would be open in time for our Tour. I'll keep you posted. I was invited to take a look inside when I get a chance. They will be serving the Syd's dog prepared like Syd's (boiled then grilled), also a 4 to a lb (Don's dog), a gourmet burger, and a variety of milkshakes and ice cream.
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/22 18:54:21 (permalink)
There is a separate thread regarding the Jimmy Buff's benefit dinner which was a huge success. On this night, the hot dogs were secondary. But I did have a few. Two single Italian Hot Dogs and a couple of pushcart dogs with chili. Both excellent. I had forgotten how good their chili is.

Within the last 2 weeks I had chili at Jimmy Buff's, Pappy's Diner, and the Rahway Grill. I have to say that I enjoyed Jimmy Buff's the best. It was so good that I asked Jimmy if he changed the recipe. He didn't. I also asked if he offers it for sale as I never thought of picking some up. It is available for $2.80 for a 12 ounce cup. An excellent topping for the fried pushcart dogs or the footlong.

The pizza bread for the Italian Hot Dogs is definitely the best of any place serving it. It comes from a local bakery in East Hanover. The bread makes the sandwich, but the dogs were fried perfectly as were the peppers and potatoes. Onions were left out because I hate them.

The East Hanover location also offers a quarter pound Schickhaus dog that is griddled (like Max's) then chargrilled. Great quality dogs, great chili, great preparation, great service, and an owner who cares. Which is why Jimmy Buff's East Hanover restaurant is in my opinion Jersey's premier hot dog joint.

They will be featured on a new Travel Channel program called "101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown." The first of 5 parts to this special airs Jan. 3rd.
Benzee
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/22 21:14:17 (permalink)
Thanks for the update John ,

Keep an eye out for that Travel Channel Show  everyone , we Hot Doggers have known for a long time one of the best places to have a dog in the country is Jimmy Buffs

Benzee
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/11/22 22:55:54 (permalink)
John

I agree that the chili that Jimmy had at the benefit was sensational. I tried to find out when that batch of chili was made. I never tested a chili for like 5 days to see if it gets better or is it good when first made.

I did get some chili to go. I had it a few days later and it was still great, even with my hot dogs.

I never gave a post of my pick of the best hot dog on our last tour, because there weren't two of a kind places to compare.

My opinion would have been:

The bun from Galloping Hill

The hot dog from Lutz's Pork Store (it's a larger hot dog to fit the bun)

And the chili from Jimmy Buffs


big g in joisey
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/02 10:12:12 (permalink)
I agree with Benzee the relish at Rutt's is IMHO very good and one of the most unique toppings you can have on a hotdog. I always get a kick out of the customers who ask what is the recipe for their relish, the response is usually, sorry family recipe.  During a summer visit to Charlie's Pool Room, Joe asked me if I would like to try a homemade relish one of his local customers had made. Joe said it was one of the best relishes he had ever tasted and was  interested in my opinion. After trying the relish, I would have to agree with Joe that the relish was outstanding, it had a subtle jalepeno flavor as well as other peppers with the sweetness of a green relish. Would make a great addition to Grandma Fenczes Heavenly Homemade Onion sauce on their menu.
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/16 20:28:25 (permalink)
My Christmas shopping travels (travails would be a better word) took me to Route 22. Being in close proximity to Jimmy Buff's, Texas Weiners ll, and Red Tower, I decided to hit all 3. After the day I had, I needed a couple of hot dogs to unwind.

First, Jimmy Buff's. This is the Scotch Plains location. I haven't been here in quite awhile as I usually go to East Hanover. The sandwiches here and at the old Irvington store have more oils than East Hanover and West Orange. Years ago I preferred a drier sandwich. Then I started to go consistently to Irvington as they were the only place that I could get an Italian Hot Dog on a Sunday night. I aquired a taste for the sandwich with the extra oils and remembered to leave the bag on the floor so that the oil wouldn't seep through. I like mine now both drier and with the extra oils, depending on what I'm in the mood for. Then Irvington closed.

I had an exceptional sandwich at Jimmy Buff's in Scotch Plains today. I ordered a single since I knew I would be going to two other places. All of the ingredients were fresh and tasty. There was a good amount of oil, but it stopped short of being too greasy. The potatoes were done perfectly as was everything else. The bread, while from a different bakery than the others, is just as good and better than any other place. The top quality pizza bread at all 3 Jimmy Buff's locations is one reason why they are better than their competitors. I enjoyed speaking with the pleasant young woman working there. She is a relative of Jimmy's and told me that her grandfather, who owns the restaurant, is not looking to sell. It will be kept in the family which is good news.

Second was Texas Weiners ll in Greenbrook. I haven't been here since they changed owners. It was posted somewhere that they have gotten better and the prices are more reasonable. Well, the price has gone down from $3.50 for a 6 to a lb frank with mustard, chili, and onions to $2.99 and the service is better. But the chili is worse. Overly dry with very little flavor. Subpar. Middlesex Texas Weiner, Manny's, and J&G's in Dunellen are much better for this type of Texas Weiner. As is Texas Weiner l in Plainfield. The dog was prepared well and was hot enough.

Last stop was Red Tower in North Plainfield. I remember this from the Munchmobile trip as being an undercooked dog with lousy service and a horrible chili that had a very tangy mustardy flavor. Today service wasn't bad as I was served immediately. But then again there was only one other customer in the place. The dog wasn't undercooked this time, but the chili wasn't good. Not as bad as I remember the last time, but below average. Maybe a little better than what I just had at Texas Weiner ll a few minutes before.

I was wearing a Manny's Texas Weiner shirt. The guy who served me noticed and said that his dogs were better. I told him that I was also at Texas Weiner ll. He told me that his dogs and chili were better than them as well. I asked him how can his dogs be better when they were the same brand (Grote & Weigel griddle franks) prepared the same way. Unless they were under or over cooked. He said that his chili is better, and that while all 3 served the same dog, Texas Weiner ll recently switched brands. According to him they were forced to since they didn't pay the distributor for a few months. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. It's possible, but the dogs looked and tasted the same at both places. The chili at Red Tower may be better than Texas Weiner ll since the latter changed the chili, but both weren't that good. Manny's is better than these two.

Jimmy Buff's was excellent, the Texas Weiner joints were disappointing.
ScreenBear
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/16 21:59:36 (permalink)
John,

   Thanks for taking the bullet for hot dog enthusiasts at both Texas Weiner II and Red Tower. I will somehow sleep better knowing I'm  still not missing anything, and will continue to avoid both places.

 As we have both agreed ad nauseam, it is amazing that so many mediocre places stay in business while so many worthy purveyors of good hot dogs--the famed Syd's being the prime example--- can't seem to find the formula to commercial success.

   The Bear
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/17 20:57:37 (permalink)
John, thanks for the update on the 3 local places. These are all practically in my back yard but I hardly ever go to any of them. I used to like Texas Weiner II when I first moved to Scotch Plains 10+ years ago, and used to go at least a few times a month. But then it went downhill and as you said, it's not back yet. My go to place locally is currently J&G.

I don't like the Scotch Plains Jimmy Buffs at all. Way too oily for me, and I can eat just about anything greasy. Matter of taste I guess.
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/25 22:00:38 (permalink)
Hello all ,

Great job John in saving everyone a trip to a few mediocre places .
I wish I would have been there when this guy at Red Tower started discussing dogs with you .  I would have paid admission to see him try to explain why his dogs were supposedly better

Benzee
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2009/12/26 06:09:26 (permalink)
I rattled off all of the Texas Weiner joints that used the same dog as he did. Then he tried to tell me that it was the chili that made Red Tower better. He also said that Texas Weiner ll switched to a cheaper dog because they were behind in paying the distributor. I found this hard to believe because I had both dogs in a matter of minutes and they looked and tasted the same.

I later spoke to the owner of Texas Weiner ll who told me that he worked there a long time before buying the place. I didn't mention what the guy at Red Tower said, but asked if the dogs were different. He said he uses the same Grote & Weigel dogs that were used there before he bought the place. I believe him. But the chili has changed and not for the better.
big g in joisey
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/02 13:02:49 (permalink)
I remember many years ago when my Grandfather would take us to Texas Weiners II on rt22e in North Plainfield, all their meat products were from Schickhaus back then,from their great tasting frankfurters to their 100% all beef hamburgers. Over the years always enjoyed this roadside establishment with my family and friends. I miss the great tasting Schickhaus frank,but the Grote & Weigel is very good.
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/03 13:38:52 (permalink)
I was talking to Screenbear last week about Best's hot dogs but was not sure if the ones I purchase were from New Jersey or not. 
 
Here is a pic I took of the ones I found in a QuickChek near were I live in New York.  QuickChek is a gas/ convenience store based out of New Jersey. 
 
The Taylor Pork Roll and Best's skinless franks are from Jersey.
 

 
 
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/03 14:09:27 (permalink)
These are definitely the ones from Jersey that are available everywhere in the state. I think QuickCheck only sells Best. Unfortunately you have to go to the factory to get the natural casing franks. Or else the hot dog joints that serve them.
ScreenBear
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/03 16:17:07 (permalink)
Indeed, 
 Those are skinless eights. If you simmer them in boiled water for three minutes and then finish them on a grill (I like a cast iron grill) for about 3 minutes or until they look slightly crispy, they're almost as good as the natural casing dogs.

   The Bear
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/09 01:49:59 (permalink)
I had a griddled Best's dog with chili at Frankly Burgers in Freehold today. It was excellent. Nice toasted roll, perfectly cooked dog, and the chili was tasty even if it wasn't as hot as I like. I'm definitely changing my opinion of this place.

Dave
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/09 10:11:53 (permalink)
Frankly Burgers & More is a favorite when I'm in the area, you can get the Best's great tasting all beef dog as well as the Schickhaus beef/pork blend, and you can get the hotdogs prepared either on a flat or chargrill.
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/20 19:28:51 (permalink)
John Fox
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Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/01/25 07:12:05 (permalink)
Last week I went to Smashburger for the first time. I returned yesterday for another burger and also to try their hot dog. The burger is easily one of the best I've had. I love Five Guys, and Smashburger is right up there with them. Fresh quality beef used at both places, cooked fairly well done, but juicy and flavorful. I might be in the minority, but I like burgers prepared this way as long as they aren't dried out.

See here for a review and pictures: [link=http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/01/smashburger-review-montclair-nj.html]http://aht.seriouseats.co...view-montclair-nj.html[/link]

As for the hot dog, they use a natural casing 6 to a lb beef dog from Best Provisions in Newark. Most of the other Smashburger locations in other states use Hebrew National. The dog is split and griddled just like Five Guys. It's then put on a poppy seed bun. I ordered my dog with just mustard, which is Heinz yellow. I prefer brown, but no big deal. The dog was a bit of a disapointment. I love Best's natural casing beef dog, but this one was barely warm. I could hardly taste the dog as they put too much mustard on it. Although I prefer Best's to Hebrew National, the dog at Five Guys, which is the same size and also split and griddled, is much better. It's always hot, even when I take it home, and they leave it on the griddle for a sufficient amount of time.

If you decide to order a dog, I would request them to leave the mustard off so you could apply it yourself. And ask for it to be left on the griddle until there is some char. Or just say well done. As for splitting the dog, I don't mind it on a skinless dog (Five Guys), but prefer a natural casing dog to be left intact so as to enjoy the snap.

Smashburger makes an excellent burger but I would pass on the dog. Or at least insist that they prepare it better.
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