I took a ride to Jersey Joe's this past Wednesday. It's been a few years since I last had one of their Italian Hot Dogs and a few weeks since I had an Italian Hot Dog of any kind. I was in the mood for one, so off I went.
Frank the owner is the only one who prepares the dogs so it's a good bet that they will be consistently good every time. I've liked them in the past and mine was excellent on this day. There was one small change. The pizza bread came from Paramount Bakery in Newark. Now it's from a bakery in the Bronx or Brooklyn. I was shown the box, but I forget the bakery. It's of the same high quality as in the past; the supplier was changed because Frank wasn't happy with the service, not the bread.
The pizza bread was fresh and of good quality. The hot dogs (Best's) are fried in the tilted steel pan. They are a nice size, 8/1. Most use smaller dogs. Tommy's is the only other place specializing in Italian Hot Dogs I know of that uses 8/1, but theirs are longer and thinner. I prefer the standard Best's 8 that Frank uses. The peppers were nice and soft and plentiful. The potatoes are cooked to be a little crispy with just enough oil without being too greasy. They are cut thin and small compared to others that cut their potatoes thin.
As I mentioned in previous posts, every ingredient is good in this sandwich. Other places may have one or 2 ingredients that are standouts but may have another that is subpar. At Jersey Joes there isn't a weak link. I guess you could describe it as a balanced sandwich. The actual franks are my favorite in terms of size and shape. It's what I use on the rare occasions that I make an Italian Hot Dog myself.
Jersey Joe's in my opinion makes the best Italian Hot Dog south of the Driscoll Bridge and one of the four or five best anywhere. They had their origins in Newark, birthplace of the Italian Hot Dog, and continue to put out an authentic version of this sandwich that ranks with the best.
I consider Jersey Joe's, Jimmy Buff's, Tommy's, and Big Blues to be the best. Charlies Famous was as good as any and at one time on top of my list. Like Jersey Joes, all of their ingredients were great; especially the peppers. But now they no longer use Best, which to me makes a big difference.
I paid $8 for a double, which is expensive, but it seems like it is the going rate. The sandwich is quite substantial and very good. Definitely THE place to go in Central Jersey for an Italian Hot Dog.