Rutt's Hut

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alesrus
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Rutt's Hut - Wed, 09/3/03 10:23 AM
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Does anyone know if Rutt's Hut changed ownership? I have a friend who swears he went there in the very early 90s and was served a hot dog out of a microwave with velveeta cheese on it ! Now the last time I was there was 1985 and I had a "RIPPER" and it was great and judging form resent posts it seems like the same old Ruts to me.
So any information on a change of ownership and a change back will be greatly appreciated.

P.S.
Hooray for my first post!

i95
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Wed, 09/3/03 2:28 PM
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I know that some years back, Rutt's Hut ownership changed from the original owners to a cabal of four Greek-American families and I've been there enough in the last two years to know that, indeed, the Ripper lives on. Thank God!

pimple2
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Wed, 09/3/03 8:46 PM
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lately, i have been hearing positive comments about Crif's hot dog restaurant in Manhattan, NY; any insights?

John Fox
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Wed, 09/3/03 8:56 PM
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When the new owners took over, they didn't change a thing. They understood the popularity of Rutt's and kept everything the same. The dogs are (and always were) deep fried. I don't think there's a microwave in the place. Your friend is trying to pull a fast one.

These dogs differ from others that are deep fried in that the dog is made especially for deep frying. A little lighter in flavor and color, it contains semolina and soy protein to aid in frying. The dog puffs up and takes on some of the flavor of the oil. There are other places in N.J. that use this same dog (Thumann's for deep frying) such as Hiram's, Libby's, Goffle Grill, Johnny and Hanges, etc. But these places don't cook them as long as Rutt's. You can get them at Rutt's the way the others cook them. This is called an in and outer. Cooked long enough to eat. Then there is the ripper. Cooked long enough for the skin to rip. Most dogs at Rutt's are rippers. Next is a "weller" or well done. My favorite. Then there are cremators. Cooked until almost black.

Besides the dogs being cooked to different degrees of doneness, they are already in the oil when you walk in, so you never have to wait. Plus the other places don't have Rutt's relish. Not like regular relish at all. I don't like relish, but I love Rutt's.

I think you'll find that Rutt's hasn't changed since the last time you were there in 85.

John Fox
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Wed, 09/3/03 9:02 PM
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Pimple2,
Your post was added before I finished my last one. Crif's uses the same exact dog as Rutt's. In fact, the owners clearly admit that they set out trying to copy Rutt's Hut. They have a lot of toppings including avocado (yuck!). But they do not cook the dog long enough to be a ripper unless you ask. And they don't have the same relish. A lot of New Yorkers love this place (Crif's) without knowing that it is a copy of Rutt's.

alesrus
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Thu, 09/4/03 12:51 PM
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Mr Fox thank you for the info. My wife and I are now committed to going back to Rutt's Hut. She grew up in East Rutherford N.J.

I have enjoyed reading your reviews of some of my favorite hot dog establishments.

Have you ever been to River view in Elmwood park N.J.?

pimple2
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Thu, 09/4/03 3:39 PM
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Dear Mr.Fox,
Thanks a lot for a great clarification; one more query, if you please: Ed Levine (?) in New York Eats Out-Again had spoken highly of the Paley dogs, served at Paley Park, Rockefeller Center(?); he said they were Sabretts but made to a special garlicky formula; do you have any experience of these?

Also would query all hotdog mavens: we get Sabretts and Nathans at our groceries ( pricey at $4.69/lb),but skinless. As the natural casing is a huge part of the charm, what is your opinion of the skinless versions of these brands? Thanks again.

John Fox
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Thu, 09/4/03 9:04 PM
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Never been to the River View. I believe it is a place serving Texas Weiners. When I'm up that way, I like to go the Hot Grill. Great chili.

Also have not had a Paley dog. Is there a link to this article by Ed Levine? I can tell you with absolute certainty that ALL Sabrett beef franks are made to the same special garlicky formula. I've spoken about this at length in other forums, but let me attempt to go over it again. Bear with me, this may be long.

A couple of years ago, I went to Manhatten to sample hot dogs. Papaya King, Gray's, Katz's, and F&B. While at Papaya King, I bought some of their dogs to take home. $37.50 for 5 lbs. The manager told me that they are made for them by Marathon Enterprises (Sabrett) under a private label agreement. With a secret unique recipe for only Papaya King. A friendly employee at Katz's also told me that Sabrett made their franks. Katz's tries to say that their dogs are made at the store, but this is not true.

I assumed that each place had a special dog made just for them. Papaya King's website even insinuates this. Anyway, I called a Sabrett distributor in an attempt to purchase some of the dogs that they make for Papaya King for cheaper. He told me that he was pretty sure that all these places use the basic Sabrett dog. I didn't believe this, so I called another distributor. This guy told me the same thing, and was insulted that I doubted him. He said he was in the business for years and knew that Sabrett made one recipe for beef dogs and one for pork and beef. At this point, I didn't know what to believe. Then I called the person in charge of private label at Sabrett. I told him that I wanted to purchase a quantity of franks similar to what they sold to Papaya King. He must of assumed that I was going to be opening my own place, but by quantity, I meant 5 lbs; the minimum order sold by a distributor. He told me that I could have the same frank that is sold to Papaya King.

He went on to explain that indeed they only make franks according to 2 recipes. An all beef frank and a beef and pork frank. There are different sizes, and skinless or casing dogs, but only 2 recipes. It would be very complicated, he explained, to have a different recipe for each client. Especially those that do a lot of volume. He explained that a lot of the mystique surrounding places like Papaya King and Katz's is due to marketing hype. Papaya King and Gray's Papaya use the EXACT same 10 to a lb Sabrett beef dog. The id or case numbers on the boxes are the same. I even have them written down somewhere. Katz's are the same Sabrett dog, but slightly larger, about 8 to a lb rather than 10. Any differences in the taste of these dogs are imagined or due to how they are cooked at the different places, or how they are handled, etc.

The beef and pork dog produced by Sabrett is the one used at the Windmill, Callahan's, and the Hot Grill. Some time later, I came in contact with someone whose father delivered franks to Papaya King, Gray's, Katz's, and others. He confirmed what I just said. I was contacted by someone about the possibility of going on a news show and mentioning this. I agreed to do it because I believe it is true and am not afraid of being sued. However the station decided not to do the story. But that is their nasty little secret. Once in awhile you can get someone who works at one of these places to admit that they use Sabrett. People I know have even seen the boxes. I'm sure what Papaya King puts on their site is legally protected double talk. When they say that you can't get a Papaya King dog anywhere else but Papaya King, they aren't saying it isn't Sabrett, only implying that. You can't get a Papaya King dog anywhere else because no one is allowed to call their product Papaya King. And when they say that they have a special spice blend and a casing that comes from Germany, they are correct. Sabrett's casing comes from Germany.

That's not to say that some hot dog manufacturers don't make special dogs for certain places. They do. I know of some. But Sabrett has only 2 recipes. One for beef and one for their beef/pork blend. I know this from impeccable sources.

So, for $17.50, you can go to A Sabrett distributor and get 5 lbs of 10/lb natural casing dogs. And if you have a cheap griddle at home, you can reproduce a Papaya King or Gray's hot dog. Or go into a supermarket where they have the slightly bigger dogs, approximately 6 in a package of .75 lbs which comes out to 8 to a lb. Near me a package of 6 is $3.50 to $3.75. for what is used at Katz's deli. There, they charge $7.99 a lb. All hype, marketing, and mystique. I was fooled too, until I found out.

pimple2
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Fri, 09/5/03 8:57 PM
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Dear Mr.Fo (my eks key just broke, please pardon ),
Thank you very much for your painstaking answer here and on the other thread; when you have time, i would like to find out how to order from a Sabrett distributor. The Ed Levine comment was from a book written by him, the title mentioned; anyhow, he recently reviewed pastrami places in the New York Times, and mentioned an e>cellent souce for basturma, the turkish ancestor of ashkenazim pastrami; i'm sorry I dont have the link.

What you said about Gray's papaya rings true; years ago, 1979-82, just 3-4 shops down from Gray's, on 72nd street, walking towards Columbus Ave. ther used to be a tiny hole in the wall Me>ican greasy spoon, who sold the e>act same dogs at 4 for a dollar; those were the days when Citarella's was just a narrow fish shop with sawdust on the floor, and breakfast at one of the Greek diners on Columbus and 71st wasjust a dollar for eggs, toast, hash brown, jam and coffee! Anyway, thanks much.

John Fox
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Sat, 09/6/03 2:34 PM
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Pimple2,
I don't know where you live, but here in N.J. there are Sabrett distributors that I know of in Clifton, Newark, and Carteret. You have to buy a minimum of 5lbs usually. Check the phone book or go to sabrett.com and send them an e-mail. They will lead you to the nearest distributor. Good luck.

Rick F.
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Sat, 09/6/03 2:54 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by pimple2

Ed Levine. . . recently reviewed pastrami places in the New York Times, and mentioned an e>cellent souce for basturma, the turkish ancestor of ashkenazim pastrami; i'm sorry I dont have the link.
You might try this Google link for bastruma:
http://www.google.com/search?as_q=basturma&num=10&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&btnG=Google+Search&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&lr=&as_ft=i&as_filetype=&as_qdr=all&as_occt=any&as_dt=i&as_sitesearch=&safe=images

alesrus
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Mon, 09/29/03 9:22 AM
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Just wanted to tell everyone I made it back to Rutt's Hut this past Saturday. Mr Fox you are right the place is the same as I remember it from 1985. The hot dogs were great as was the relish. My wife ordered two "wellers" and I ordered three "rippers" They are great dogs! The fries were very good also.
Has anyone ordered anything besides hot dogs at Rutt's ? They have a lot of stuff on the menu but everyone was eating hot dogs.

p.s. I did not see a microwave.

i95
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RE: Rutt's Hut - Mon, 09/29/03 10:06 AM
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I have, indeed, ordered other grub at Rutt's Hut. While my family too often sits across the table from me with a look of combined amazement and disgust as I lather-up two rippers, they've eaten the Hut's soups, hearty dinners and other fare (including desserts). Best of all, last time I was there as a party of five (inc. three young-ins), my tab was, believe-it-or-not, just 15-bucks!