Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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learning
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/11/29 08:19:04 (permalink)
Can you share the recipe for the chili? I can eat 10 gallons of it by myself!
 
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/11 10:22:07 (permalink)
Karl Ehmer is now a zombie brand. After seeing Jack's 99 cent store on Herald Square selling short dated Karl Ehmer products with another name on the package, I find this sad tale:
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2010/10/06/2010-10-06_the_wurst_of_times_for_ridgewood_german_butcher_shop.html
Still to be seen is if the new owner keeps the same recipes in the production of these products.
 
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/11 12:35:55 (permalink)
Thanks David (I guess...) for this sad news. I've been an Ehmer fan ever since I came across them at the old Bavarian Festival in Barnesboro PA ("The Official Wurst Of...,) back in the 70's and then discovered that there was a retail store near where I lived in Brooklyn at the time (how could I have not known that???).
 
And, although it's a hike for me, I'll occasionally drive up to Ridgewood on a Saturday for thier outdoor grilled wursts, and to pick up some additional food from the retail shop.
 
It's not clear from the article, but was the Ridgewood manufacturing plant the supply source for the other Karl Ehmer stores?
 
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/12 00:04:00 (permalink)
Yes, the Ridgewood manufacturing plant supplied all the hot dogs, bratwurst, hams, etc. I'm not sure where the fresh meat was processed after Karl Ehmer sold his upstate farms.
The retail store on Fresh Pond Road has also closed. Another story on the closure:
http://www.timesnewsweekly.com/news/2010-09-30/Local_News/Best_Butcher_On__Block_Will_Close.html
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/12 12:10:47 (permalink)
Karl Ehmer's in Hillsdale, N.J. is still open. All of their products come from the Ridgewood plant with one glaring exception. The German style franks sold at this location come from Kocher's Continental Provisions in Ridgefield Park, N.J. The people who own Karl Ehmer's were not happy that one of their stores was selling a hot dog not made by them.
 
A few years back I called the Ridgewood plant and spoke with someone in charge. I told him that I couldn't sample Karl Ehmer's franks because they weren't sold in Hillsdale, so he sent me some. They were good, but not as good as those that came from Kocher's.
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/12 14:18:40 (permalink)
Thanks John and David.
 
I should have been more specific in my post above, the Ehmer product I've really liked all these years is their bratwurst. As you said John, thier dogs (which I've had from their other stores) are not as good as the Hillsdale Kocher franks.
 
Oh, and the Bavarian Festival was in Barnesville (near Jim Thorpe), not Barnsboro. That's where I first tasted Ehmer's bratwurst.
 
Thanks again.
 
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/12 21:46:19 (permalink)
I didn't have my reading glasses with me when I visited Jack's, but I am 99% certain the Karl Ehmer bratwurst and skinless hot dogs sold there on Friday were made by Hummel Brothers in their New Haven plant. Bittersweet moment, for one of my earliest memories is of my dad taking me to Karl Ehmer's store at the plant on Saturday mornings. He would buy meat, including their bratwurst. He used to buy the UNCOOKED version. The taste of Ehmer's bratwurst didn't change much over the years.
 
Hummel, of course, makes excellent franks, bratwurst, etc. It will be interesting to see if Hummel or Ehmer recipes will be used.
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/13 08:09:55 (permalink)
Interesting stuff...thanks for the updates. I need to head over to my local Karl Ehmer...Wednesday is when they get the fresh Silver Bell Lithuanian bread...and see what they have to say about all this. I hadn't really noticed any changes of late, but can't say I have been paying close attention. My memories of Karl Ehmer are similar to yours David, I recall going in there as a boy and always getting a free cocktail frank to munch on, as did all the kids.
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/13 08:59:58 (permalink)
Wow, I forgot all about the free handouts for the kids. I must be a bit older than Tony. I now remember getting a slice of bologna instead.
Tony Bad
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/13 09:52:33 (permalink)
David_NYC

Wow, I forgot all about the free handouts for the kids. I must be a bit older than Tony. I now remember getting a slice of bologna instead.

 
I think the Forest  Pork store gave the bologna slices...or I could have it backwards. My handouts were in the early 1960's to give you a time frame. Those handouts, the big white display cases, and the sawdust floors are some of my earliest memories.
ScreenBear
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/17 10:32:37 (permalink)
 Here’s a quick review of the newest Jimmy Buff’s, New Jersey’s legendary Italian Hot Dog emporium, which opened Wednesday, December 15, 2010, at 506 Boulevard, Kenilworth, New Jersey.
 
 The good news is that the double Italian Hot Dog I purchased was quite delicious. I’d give it an 8.5 out of 10, with the only demerit attributed to the scant amount of peppers adorning the sandwich, made of good, sturdy pizza bread that was just the right taste and consistency, and quite ample. The potatoes, thin-sliced round fries, were world class, and somewhat reminiscent of the golden spuds Charlie and Sons in Union made years ago…nice and crispy, not too oily.
 
  The onions were plentiful and good.
 
  The franks were Best Provision, all-beef, 8-to-a-pound natural casing, which were quite fine and fried just right…but somewhat of a surprise. Here’s why: Some strict constructionists would say natural casing is a no-no because an Italian Hot Dog, with its multifarious elements and hence different resiliencies and textures, shouldn't offer an extra challenge to the bite that a natural casing frankfurter presents.
 
  However, that might be like complaining that the car dealership gave you leather seats at no cost, even though you didn’t order them. N/c (natural casing) is more expensive and hence offers more value for the money. And, if you don't mind a little extra chomping and that snap, why not? They were good…and served hot.
 
 The restaurant space is roomy, pleasant, and decorated stylishly, though there are small, connected booths rather than tables. And if one eats doubles on a very regular basis, he or she might wish the tables were arranged a little farther from their attached benches. The bathroom (1) was clean.
 
 The location is great….prominent on the Boulevard, with lots of street parking, as well as a parking lot behind the store. It is easily reachable from Route #22, only about a mile away, and from Garden State Parkway exit #138, just a half mile or so away.
 
 The unfortunate part of today’s visit on Thursday, December 16, a day after the store opened, is that there didn’t yet seem to be a preparation system in place to accommodate more than a couple customers, whereas there were about 17 people waiting for their food when I and my two pals entered the establishment at 2 p.m.
 
  We ordered 2 doubles ($7 each), a single ($4.25) and three medium Pepsi sodas ($1.80 each), and received them 25 minutes after ordering. I would consider no more than an 8 to 10 minute wait acceptable.
 
  However, everyone seemed to be in a very patient, pleasant and understanding mood.
There was a nice anticipation in the air…a new Buff’s.  We would be fair. When the dogs turned out to be good, it made us appreciate our civility. I was surprised, though, that the management hadn’t hired some extra help, just at least until they had their preparation down pat… so less patient and tolerant folks than we wouldn’t be turned off by this first impression.
 
  Patrons kept coming in.  And later, after going to a coffee shop with my friends and passing by Jimmy Buff’s again at 5 p.m., there were still customers filing in. Assuming the new Jimmy Buff’s gets up to speed soon and shortens considerably the wait for an order, from what I saw today this could be a very, very successful enterprise.
 
Tip: ---Unless you like a lot of ice in your fountain drink, stipulate only a moderate amount of it in your beverage.
 
  P.S. ---The red Jimmy Buff’s sign outside, above the storefront, is very attractive.

  Jimmy Buff’s is located at 506 Boulevard, Kenilworth, N.J., and is open 7 days a week, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The phone number is 908-276- BUFF (2833).
 
  The Bear
 
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/17 20:12:52 (permalink)
Now that's one heck of a review. Screenbear, I wish I could write like you. I enjoyed your post and agree with you for the most part as I had a similar experience. I usually wait until a place has the chance to "work out the kinks" but I wanted to check out the new restaurant and receive a free tee shirt as one of the first customers on Opening Day.

I went Wednesday at 4:30 right after work. The place is big and there were some people sitting down waiting for their orders and about 3 others at the counter ordering. I placed my order and waited about a half hour. Much too long and they had about 7 people working. The first person took my order, the cashier later repeated it and got it wrong. Finally the cook/owner asked me himself. I chalk this up to being new. I always wait awhile to make a final judgement on service. In a few weeks we'll see if they got the kinks worked out. There are posts on the Kenilworth forum complaining about the long wait.

As for the sandwich itself, it was very good overall. Everything was fresh and tasty. The bread was sturdy as you said and better than what most places use. Better than Charlies, that's for sure. The only pizza bread that I would prefer is what the East Hanover location uses. The potatoes were sliced rather than in chunks and had the right consistency. Not too greasy, not too dry. Just right. Slightly smaller in size than the other Buff's locations.

The peppers were well done like I prefer. There could have been more, but I wouldn't consider the amount on mine scant. Probably because I order my sandwich without onions, and to compensate they might add more peppers. The mustard was excellent deli mustard (Admiration brand, my favorite) and placed on the bread before the ingredients are added. This is the right way.

Now to the dogs. Normally I prefer a natural casing frank. My favorite is the 5 to a lb footlong served at Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover. I also love their smaller fried pushcart dogs. But I prefer a skinless dog on an Italian Hot Dog. Natural casing isn't a deal breaker, but to me it interferes with the synergy between the ingredients that makes the whole sandwich greater than the sum of it's parts. Mrferrari actually makes a better argument for their exclusion than I did even though he prefers them. I've had natural casing franks on an Italian Hot Dog before. Jo Jo's in Toms River has them as does Dickie Dees in Newark.

One thing I disagree with in the above post. The hot dogs served at Jimmy Buffs in Kenilworth are definitely not 8 to a lb. I would bet on it. I don't even think they are 10 to a lb. More like 12. Which is my only complaint about my experience other than the long wait. The dogs are prepared well; are hot, juicy, and fresh. But too small. And the size makes the snap stand out all the more. For lack of a better description, let me say that the sandwich was slightly out of balance. But this is a small criticism in an otherwise very good Italian Hot Dog. They got the most important things right. Good fresh pizza bread. The right brand of dog. Peppers, potatoes and franks fresh and well prepared. They have to work on the service aspect or they will lose customers. People don't won't to wait 30-40 minutes, especially at lunch when they might only have a half hour. Use bigger dogs and give more peppers is what I would suggest.

joerogo
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/17 20:41:09 (permalink)
ScreenBear & John Fox, Thanks for the thorough review of the new Buff's.  After reading both reviews, I felt like I ate there with you.  Only without the heartburn
 
John, you mentioned the owner, is this a franchise?
ScreenBear
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/17 21:55:15 (permalink)
John, Joe, 
 
  Thanks for the compliments. 
 
  John, I myself remarked to my pals that I thought the dogs were n/c 10's. But, just to be sure, I asked the fellow back in the kitchen. "Best, natural casing 10s, right," I asked? 
 
  He replied, "Nope, 8's"... so I took him at his word. 
 
The Bear
 
 
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/18 09:58:42 (permalink)
Bear and John: Thanks for the reviews. Since I have no patience at all I will wait a while to try this one out, but it's on the list. I also want to try out Big Blue's (mentioned on the Munchmobile forum, 11 N. Wood Ave, Linden). I'm sure I've driven by there 50 times and I still can't picture it.
 
As for me, I prefer natural casing, no matter how the dog is being served.
 
John, you've mentioned Admiration mustard before, I think. Is it available at retail anywhere that you know of?
 
Thanks again.
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/18 12:17:07 (permalink)
Ken,
 
The only place I know of that you can purchase Admiration mustard other than Restaurant Depot is Karis, the store across the street from Best's and owned by them. Corrado's in Clifton next to Papaya King also carries it.
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/18 12:24:59 (permalink)
John mentioned a few places in this post a while back:
http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/fb.ashx?m=100293
 
Admiration at 1-800-salad-oil has helped me find outlets in the past. I see it from time-to-time at food stores that carry bulk sizes as well as food service cash and carry stores. Admiration mustards are sold in gallon jugs.
 
Edit: John posted while I was composing. Sorry about that.
post edited by David_NYC - 2010/12/18 12:26:04
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/18 16:11:31 (permalink)
Guys, thanks for the info on Admiration mustard. I go to Corrado's every once in a while, next time I'm up there I'll look for it. Since it's not made in consumer sizes I guess I'll have to get a gallon and break it down into smaller jars. A gallon of mustard taking up most of the top shelf of the refrigerator would be fine with me, but my wife probably wouldn't be to happy about it.
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/18 22:53:25 (permalink)
you folk's like this stuff ,  Admiration Mustard ?  it's bottom line condiments ......... mustard is ok...... the mayo is the pit's ..........  jmo 
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/19 10:47:13 (permalink)
Nah, I disagree. Although I've never tried their salad dressings, I hear they are among the best. I love their deli mustard and their mayonnaise is better than Hellman's. It's tangy and delicious. They serve it at Five Guys.
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/21 19:03:58 (permalink)
After reading some posts on the Munchmobile Forum and remembering what one of my co workers told me about the Italian Hot Dog at Big Blue, I decided to go today. I had stopped in once without buying anything, so I knew where it was (Wood Ave. and Eliz. Ave) and what it looked like. Below is what I posted on nj.com.

Tiny place as hotrodford described with only 4 little booths. This is the quintessential hole in the wall. I stopped in shortly after 1 PM. There was a woman at the counter working the register and making sandwiches and two cooks who came out of the back occasionally. They were busy, but I was able to talk with all of them on and off after I ordered a double Italian Hot Dog. Let me suggest a double which goes for $5.75. A single is $4.75.

From talking with everyone I was able to determine that this place has been around for approximately 50 years. The bread used comes from America's Bakery in Irvington which supplies Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth and Scotch Plains restaurants as well as Tommy's in Elizabeth. Impressive for such a tiny place. The dogs are Best's skinless 10 to a lb. Potatoes are smaller than the chunks served at Dickie Dees, Bubba's, and others, but bigger than the thinly sliced potatoes at Tommy's and Buff's Kenilworth. I would describe them as wedges. There were a few pieces that could be described as chunks. The peppers were cut in fairly small pieces and there were plenty of red and green ones. This made up the dog I was about to eat.

As for the dog as a whole, I would say that it lived up to or exceeded what I had heard about and expected. The sandwich was very big and filling, about as substantial as the monster from Tommy's. But much cheaper at $5.75. And that's including tax I believe. Everything but the peppers were prepared in a deep fryer. Peppers were grilled. The potatoes were fried to a golden brown and were very good, among the best. These were bigger than what I'm used to, but I loved them. There were so many, I put most on the side. The bread was excellent and very fresh. I didn't ask, but they must sell a lot of Italian Hot Dogs. Along with the menu on the wall listing their sandwiches and other offerings, there is a big sign mentioning the Italian Hot Dog.

The hot dogs were skinless, deep fried and tasty. The peppers were also very good and also different than what you usually get in an Italian Hot Dog. There are plenty of red and green peppers over the dogs and under the potatoes. No one can accuse this place of skimping on the peppers. They were soft, tangy, and delicious. They tasted as though they were marinated. I asked the cook if they were from a can or jar and he said that they were. There was some similarity to the peppers at Dickie Dees. I don't like the peppers at Dees, but I like them at Big Blues. The difference is that they are soft at Blues, tastier, and more abundant.

Big Blues Italian Hot Dog, like other places serving the Italian Hot Dog, has their own way of making it. Each place has a few little things that make them unique as far as ingredients and preparation. Big Blues peppers are a little different than what you usually get. But in a good way. So are the potatoes.

I consider Big Blues Italian Hot Dog to be a top notch example of the style. Big sandwich, fresh and plentiful ingredients prepared well, with their own unique take. And less than what you pay at most places that are now $7 and up. Well worth trying, and like hotrodford and mrferrari stated, I can't believe a place like this has stayed off the radar screen and this forum for so long.
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/21 19:44:01 (permalink)
Great and thorough report, as usual John. Looks like a winner. One question: Is the bread used a half pizza bread?
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/21 19:49:01 (permalink)
Yes.
leethebard
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/21 20:34:53 (permalink)
Well,then,this sounds like a keeper!!!!
ScreenBear
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/21 23:51:15 (permalink)
John,
  Thanks for venturing out in the cause of Hotdogdom. I'm amazed, not only by the fact that Big Blue earned such high praise, but that there might be other such gems hiding right under our frankfurter identifying noses. 
   It reminds me of the conclusion the Academy of Science came to in the late 19th Century...that everything important had now been invented...that there would be nothing new under the sun.
  And here we are, we good men and women of Hot Dog enthusiasm, complacent with our established routine of purveyors and the storied legends surrounding them...and then John, like a Balboa or Pizarro, returns from his voyage and regales us with tales of wondrous finds.
  Just think, the Italian Hot Dog answer to Bill Gates, perhaps yet a teenager, might right now be trying different techniques in his or her kitchen, striving to one day set the Italian Hot Dog World on its ear with the greatest permutation of the culinary classic yet. Ah, hope springs eternal. 
  The Bear
 
 
ken8038
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/22 19:03:06 (permalink)
Thanks John for your usual and thorough review of Big Blue. Another place added to my to-do list.
pimple2
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/23 22:05:35 (permalink)
What is the forum's opinion of Hatfield's hot dogs? Have seen Hatfield's mentioned with approval re: hot beef links by some of the AZ/TX folk, so was curious.
 
Regarding the same Texas hot beef sausage, the Johnsonville brand was suggested as an alternative. Regionally, Johnsonville carries its Andouille, that I have found makes a tasty mildly spicy hot dog when cooked by the dirty water method. Pulls out the salt, fat and spice. Nice casing, crunch and meaty flavor. Nothing else needed.  Too salty for me when grilled. Anyone tried this? Prices not bad,  $3 moved up to $3.50 recently/lb, compared to $4.49/Sabretts w/natural casing, & Hebrew National.
 
Zweigle's is one style I do not like, too much sage for me, where you cannot taste anything else, and the internal texture is not to my taste either. The preferred upstate NY pork grind, e.g. Hoffmans, is too fine, and definitely not to my taste.
 
The  pork substitute for beef franks that  I like best is Gaspar's linguica, although their prices [6.59/lb] are becoming way too high. Any comments on this sausage and on using this as a moderately spicy but interesting frank with a coarser grind?
 
Benzee
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/24 22:27:25 (permalink)
Hello all ,
Great reports as usual everyone .
Fantastic reading
Benzee
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/25 01:05:22 (permalink)
Sorry! Did not pay attention to the thread title close enough! Got engrossed with  John's hotdog gospels and forgot about the NJ bit [John has that effect!] & wrote in my stuff. So where should I move/repost it?
 
Thanks.
 
P.S. Re: Best's, I received an exceedingly courteous personal response following a query to their Sales Department. Although they must be terribly busy, that they took time out to reply to customer shows how seriously they pay attention to every detail. Thank you, Best's.
post edited by pimple2 - 2010/12/25 01:15:42
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2010/12/30 14:16:45 (permalink)
ok i just left the new Jimmy Buff's in Kenilworth location.  Got there slightly after noontime and there was a decent crowd.  I ordered a double italian hot dog no onions with peppers, potatoes and mustard- to go just in case i got busy with work and had to leave.  Girl took my order, i get my food after a minor wait, and i open it up as i sat down to eat, and it is filled with a large amount of potatoes(good!), a ton of onions(not good!) and 3, yes 3, green peppers(not good again).  Rather then beef about it i took the onions out and just ate it.  I will say the sandwich was fresh and very good .  I will accept it as "growing pains" maybe because it was mostly kids working there?  I don't know if the girl messed it up when taking the order or if they messed it up in the back.  So, on a good note, i will return and there is also plenty of parking around there even with all the snow on the ground.
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