RE: The Original
I live in New Jersey where we have many fine hot dog emporiums. I've heard of the Original, but never been there. Always wondered about their dogs. They were included in a Hot Dog Program on PBS. I know of a guy from Jersey who moved to Pittsburgh and opened a hot dog restaurant close to the O. He was trying to decide on using a spicy all beef dog or a pork/beef blend that he would deep fry. He gave out samples of both, and determined that people in Pittsburgh prefer the hearty flavor of a spicy all beef kosher style dog.
He told me that the supplier of the O is Star Beef. He was contacted by the salesman who wanted to sell him this product. He refused, saying he had his own supplier. He wouldn't divulge this information to the salesman or anyone else. When he opened his place, he met some resistance because he charged $2.00 for a 6 to a lb dog. This dog was more expensive and of higher quality than the dog used at the O according to my friend. Eventually people came to love this dog and flocked to his place. They said the dogs were a lot better than the O's. Although he made a profit, he didn't do as well as the O because of their closer location to the college there and because people went in mostly for their fries. It was amusing when the owners of the Original went in incognito to find out what all the fuss was about concerning the upstart from Jersey. They even inquired as to the brand of dog used. My friend would not say. Eventually, he sold the business at a profit and moved to Florida. The new owners were given the distributor and brand used. They used the brand (which was Sabrett) but then switched back to the cheaper Star brand dog used by the O. I don't know if they are even in business anymore. I think the name of the place was Fat Mikes. I could be wrong, but I'll find out for sure soon and post the name. My friend (whose opinion I trust) has had hot dogs from all over and says nothing compares to what we have in Jersey.