Re:New favorite brand
You can get Lutz's franks at Kings and Bishop's Thriftway Supermarket in Whitehouse Staion. They are also distributed by Dutch Prime Foods, Porky Products, and McMahon Farms Distributors. The best place to get these franks are at Lutz's Pork Store on Stuyvesant Ave. in Union. The packaged franks at the other locations aren't made at Lutz's; they are made for Lutz's at Schmalz Provisions in Springfield. If you come to Lutz's, they are made in the back and sold loose behind the deli counter. You can get the regular size (6 to a lb), cocktail franks, or footlongs.
Lutz's makes a very good frank. Handmade from choice cuts of beef and pork. They were a stop on last year's Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. I've never had a bad frank from any butcher shop or pork store. If you're in the area, try the franks at the Union Pork Store. John's Meat Market in nearby Scotch Plains sells franks from Kocher's Continental Specialty Meats in Ridgefield Park, considered by many to make the best franks in New Jersey.
If you do a side by side taste comparison, you can really get an idea of what you like and see the subtle difference between franks made in the same style. My favorite beef and pork frank has always been Thumann's. But sometimes I prefer something else depending on my mood. About a week ago I did a tasting of several German style beef and pork franks that I consider among the best. Thumann's, Kocher's, Union Pork Store, D.A. Barsch, and Lutz's.
All were great and of the same high quality as they are made with top of the line ingredients and no fillers. Depends on your particular taste and mood. On this day I enjoyed the franks from Union Pork Store and Kocher's more than the others. Even Thumann's. My wife reluctantly agreed to sample these franks and said that Kocher's was her favorite. I enjoyed all of them, but couldn't pick a favorite of the day between Union Pork and Kocher's. Union Pork had a tad more spice than the others. I liked the texture as well. light without splitting apart in the skillet. Kocher's was thicker and just had a great meaty flavor. Thumann's was good as usual but seemed almost sweet compared to the others. Barsch's and Lutz's were a little milder than the others. Would have liked more flavor in this type of dog. The Lutz frank also was a tad mushy. But these are all minor points.
All tasted are top quality that I have enjoyed many times and would recommend. I suggest that you stop by these places (though Toms River is a distance from the other places), buy one frank of each brand and do your own comparison. I'll do it again soon and chances are I'll enjoy a different frank more than the others. My taste can be fickle.