With the closing of Texas Weiner II on Rt 22, it was time for me to find another "go to" Plainfield area Texas Weiner place. (Not that I "went to" all that often, maybe a few times a year).
I had been to a few others over the years, and using Google and a couple of other sources I came up with a few others that I wasn't familiar with for a total of 6 candidates. I decided to do them all in one long afternoon last week, so I could compare each one easily.
First stop: Texas Weiner 100 Watchung Ave. Plainfield. Parking was easier than I thought. I had been here once before years ago. Excellent Standard Grote & Weigle 6/lb dog, good spicy sauce, prepared the griddle way, very quick service. Only drawback was the roll didn't hold up at all. Fell apart after a few bites. It's possible this was a left over roll from the day before, as I was there fairly early, around 11:45 AM.
Next stop on my walking tour of Downtown Plainfield: Pharoah Texas Weiner, 204 Watchung Avenue. Good quick friendly service but this wasn't a very good dog. Smallish all beef, not sure what brand, but not top quality, sauce was a little off too. And the price was about same as all the other places, $2.50, but this time for a small dog. This would turn out to be the worst dog of the day.
Next stop, Friends Texas Weiner, a few blocks away, at 208 Front Street. This was the largest place of the day (they even advertise a Party Room), but I was the only customer at about 12:30. In spite of the name of the place, this wasn't a true Texas Weiner. It was a Sabrett Skinless All beef (looked like a Costco Pack), deep fried and topped with a sauce that was in the Texas Weiner family, but more like a chili. All in all it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but there's no reason to go there with Texas Weiner 1 nearby. I might go there one day for thier Fried Chicken, which seems to be what they do more business with. There was some under a heat lamp that looked pretty good, but I'd want mine freshly cooked.
Back in the car and south a few miles to a place I had never heard of, Julianna's Texas Weiner, 172 Stelton Road, Piscatway. This was the nicest place of the day, a modern style coffee shop which seems to be doing a good lunch business. My Texas Weiner was another Standard Grote & Weigle, and very good. Only complaint was it wasn't cooked enough. I'm sure if I asked, I could get it well done. I guess if you don't specify they undercook it just a bit.
They also apparently do a brisk business in take-out homemade empanadas, but my waitress told me they are so popular they usually sell out by 10 AM. I would definately go back here, it's a very pleasant place, and the other food being served food looked very good too. I'd call this place a Find.
Anoter short drive to Middlesex Texas Weiners 1355 Bound Brook Road, Middlesex. I had been here a few times before. Very well run, cheery, friendly quick service, you order at the counter and they deliver it to your table. Very busy at around 2:30 PM. Here I also ordered a couple of sides, just for variety. The fries and the rings were quite good, but I only had a few of each and took home the rest. The Texas Weiner was the same Grote & Weigle and very well prepared. The one thing I don't like all that much here is the sauce, which is much drier and more crumbly than all the other places. Just a matter of taste, I guess.
By now I was quite full, but the end was in sight. J & G Texas Weiners, 238 North Avenue, Dunellen. As soon as I pulled up to the street parking here, I realized I had never been to this place. Very small, old, busy storefront on Dunellen's Main Street. (My favorite Hispanic Chicken Place, Planet Chicken is just around the corner). Grote & Weigles ready on the grill. Excellent, and good sauce and roll. I actually hadn't planned on finishing it as I was so full at this point, but it was so good it went down easy.
So that was it. I'd rate Texas Weiner 1 and J & G a tie. I liked the sauce a little better at Texas Weiner !, but the roll was much better at J & G. Both were easily as good as the late lamented Texas Weiner II. I have found two new homes.
The only downside is that niether of these places are as comfortable to eat in as Texas Weiner II, and I'll have to go it alone as my wife usually would come with me to II as she loved the California Burger there.
<message edited by ken8038 on Tue, 01/21/14 11:50 AM>