Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal

Post
bigcab
Hamburger
2008/03/29 10:18:55
WSJ article on finding the best hot dog in America

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120673297868272437-Vlx8buxJlbxm3mAm_fmBXbb5q3g_20080427.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top
jimsock9
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 10:20:52
Well, you know how it is....if you're looking for a good hot dog the first place you should check is the Wall Street Journal.....
sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 20:57:53
another best of by the rich staff at the wsj. I'm thrilled.
myterry2
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 21:18:51
Speeds could very well be the best..I went to college in Boston and ate tons of them..grew up in the suburbs of Chicago eating Vienna dogs..and I think Speeds are the best.
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 21:27:28
Another list...I'm not to sure of any of these...I've never eaten at pinks...but what I saw on the Travel Channel didn't impress....and a New York hot dog selling Chicago dogs...in hot dog country...no Jersey dog....give me a break....
wallhd
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 21:37:25
I wonder how many places the reporter actually visited. Did he travel at all to any areas besides NY Boston and LA?

If he didn't he missed Sooooo many good hot dog joints. And going a step further, many hot dog "stands" are open only during the summer season. Here in the Northeast many of us ain't had the slightest hint of summer so far.

Wally

sk bob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 21:44:53
I WANT THAT JOB !!!. just coming up with best of lists ? they're working hard.
signman
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/29 23:35:32
I'd never heard of Speed's, but it looks good. However, in reading the actual article, it says the price of a Speed's dog is $7. Can that possibly be right? Why?
ellen4641
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 00:23:37
The best part for me was clicking on the link to the WSJ Forums. Cause there are already 7 pages worth of hot dog talk about the article !

I found it so much more entertaining and more pleasant to read than the actual article itself!

(I hated the format in which the article was written; There should have been an offical hot dog address/location guide at the end of the article, but I did'nt see one)
signman
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 00:45:25
Ellen, you sent me to the forums. Here's one that caught my attention.






Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:45 am Post subject: Re: Mmmmm, hot dogs

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The best hot dog is Syd's in NJ, formerly in Millburn now at Springfield. They grill huge Bests 1/4 lb. hot dogs made in Newark.

This can't possibly be true, I thought Eric gave up.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 08:58:36
Syd's is out of business. Eric left to pursue other interests. And the dog wasn't a quarter pounder, but a thinner 5 to a lb. Thanks for mentioning the forums; I haven't seen them yet.

The reason that Boston Speed's dog is $7.00 is that it is a giant half pound dog. It's a Pearl brand all beef dog that is good, but no Best's, and it is marinated in brown sugar and apple cider. It's also topped with special homemade barbecue sauce and some other things, I believe. I've never had one (although I have had the Pearl dog) but I know a lot of people love them. I don't know if I would like the marinade.
Russ Jackson
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 09:41:38
I believe you are all missing the point of the article. It is a tribute to Speed in regards to his longevity and originality. Having outlasted most likely 1000s of other stands in arguably one of the toughest cities. Doing it his way and creating a following over the past 5 or 6 decades.

Speed confides that he marinates the dog, supplied by a local company called Pearl, in apple cider and brown sugar. Then he grills it over charcoal. Actually, this octogenarian entrepreneur lets his young apprentices handle the dogs under his watchful eye. They also toast the buns.

When was the last time you saw someone cooking dogs over charcoal. Let alone marinating them the day before. And your regular patrons calling local businesses to see if the old guy is open everyday. How old is the guy 80+.

Hot Dog fans should bow down in tribute to one of the true greats of the pavement. The odds of him finding a successor to carry on this tradition is slim at best. Speed I have never had your Hot Dog but you are KING in my book...Russ
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 10:12:52
I don't doubt that Speed is "one of the true greats". His popularity and following speaks for itself. I admire creativity and originality. I was stating why the dog is expensive. And my opinion on whether or not I would like the marinade. People who are customers of Speed's obviously do.

As for cooking dogs over charcoal, last time I saw this was this past Tuesday at Jimmy Buff's. It's not as uncommon as you might think. Bubba's in Lyndhurst also does their chardog this way. Both are fairly close to where I live. Ted's in the Buffalo area is known for their charcoal grilled dogs. A place in Newburgh, New York called World's Best Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, not only cooked their dogs over charcoal, but marinated them the day before. I've been to this place two or three times. I've heard that they might be temporarily closed, but still doing catering. I don't know. But one of the times I went, I sampled the charcoal grilled dog plain with mustard, and one marinated. Although the marinated dog was unique (and good) I preferred the dog that wasn't marinated. This is why I said that I don't know if I'd like the marinade. My guess is that I wouldn't, but I won't know until I try.

As for Mr. Anderson finding a successor, he is already training at least two people to carry on his business and the Speed tradition.
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 10:44:49
If a marinade drowns the taste of a great dog, why bother... save it for Ballpark brand or worse!!
ellen4641
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 11:10:15
marinade on a hot dog ? What is this world coming to?!?

I remember vaguing reading somewhere else about Syd's now being in Springfield, NJ, which did'nt make sense to me , eitehr.
Even the Tabatchnick's Kosher Deli in Springfield, (on Mountain Ave) was shuttered (and "for sale") when I drove by last month. Being the one recently closed in Vauxhall/Millburn Mall, I was sad to see this other locations' demise, as well. ... (I don't know if they were the same owners lately , or what, but their pastami was decent and a normal sized sandwich for like 6 dollars)

We all know that the closest we can get to Syd's is the Best hot dog served at Jimmy Buff's in Hanover.
Holly Moore
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 11:30:11
I'm a major fan of both Speed's and Pink's. What I don't get is how the WSJ, which is based in NYC, chose the Shake Shack which focuses on burgers and, in my single experience, treated hot dogs as after-thoughts. No way does the Shake Shack serve the best dog in NYC. Their burgers and frozen custard though are mighty fine.
Mosca
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 11:44:38
I've decided that I hate "best of" lists. There is no "best of". The very concept of ranking such things is a flawed paradigm. You know, it's a Zen answer, but the best hot dog is the one in your hand. Really. It doesn't matter that Speed's is great when I'm in Jimmy's in Hazleton; it doesn't matter if Abe's in Wilkes-Barre is better than Abe's in Mountain Top, if I'm in Mountain Top. If I'm at a picnic, and they are serving Ballparks, then that is the hot dog I'm going to eat.

Freedom from the concept of "best" means freedom to enjoy them all for what they are.


leethebard
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/03/30 11:46:42
Mosca...I agree to a point...amny lists are arbitrary..and slanted...or simply biased opinion...but well researched can, at BEST can serve as a GUIDE.
caratzas
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/01 13:07:20
A follow-up, that touches on the fact that any such list will by necessity omit thousands of worthy dog shops, and then turns into a discussion of the Michigan Coney: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120855171409927167.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Buddy Dek
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/01 16:13:43
This detailed article by the Wall Street Journal about Speed's dogs raises my curosity about its taste. Apple cider and apple juice are a common marinade ingredient for BBQ meats. I tried a similar attempt, at this combination, using Black Bear natural casing dogs overnight without any success. Unfortunately, unless I missed something in the original article, I can't imagine what this marinade could do for this dog. How it absorbs the flavors and what it tastes like,is still a mystery. Maybe the dog has to be skinless to absorb whatever its soaking in. I guess I 'll have to visit Speeds' on my next trip north to find this out.
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/01 21:19:29
Nobody should be rating hot dogs, but John Fox IMHO.

For my taste, I want a nice boiled steamed, skinless, hot dog (I like them when they look sort of grey) on a steamed poppy seed thick doughy soggy roll and top it with lots of banana peppers, green peppers, lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, celery sticks, green olives, black olives, radishes, eggplant, mustard, ketchup (NO HEINZ), mayo, bbq sauce, sour cream, yogurt, raisins, dates, apples and a slight touch of brown sugar.


Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/01 21:35:55
quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben

Nobody should be rating hot dogs, but John Fox IMHO.

For my taste, I want a nice boiled steamed, skinless, hot dog (I like them when they look sort of grey) on a steamed poppy seed thick doughy soggy roll and top it with lots of banana peppers, green peppers, lettuce, tomato, chopped onions, celery sticks, green olives, black olives, radishes, eggplant, mustard, ketchup (NO HEINZ), mayo, bbq sauce, sour cream, yogurt, raisins, dates, apples and a slight touch of brown sugar.





What? No peanut butter and anchovies?
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/01 21:52:47
Twin..thanks, I forgot two key condiments!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/02 06:33:52
Add to that salsa, guacamole, sambal, cream cheese, and scallions! There is actually a place in N.J. that offers these plus the aforementioned peanut butter and sour cream. They are also fond of putting a fried egg on top of a dog.
Twinwillow
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/02 10:00:04
Hey! whey not a little lox as well?
Scorereader
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/02 10:48:05
quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben


For my taste, I want a nice boiled steamed,...




I stopped reading there. I cannot stand boiled or steamed hotdogs. The method just steals away any flavor in the hotdog. Flat grill is my favorite method, but on the summer, I often enjoy charcoal grilled hotdogs, too.
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/02 16:27:13
Scorereader - There's nothing better than a boiled,skinless hot dog! Steaming it only keeps the color too long. It won't turn grey enough. Hey, you like them nicely grilled...to each his own.

Lox on a salad dog? Good idea Twinwillo. Never thought of that one...

John can you please post on the hot dog place that adds those "very special" ingredients. I wonder if they ship to Florida? Maybe they have a website?

Meanwhile those "experts" might want to take a trip up to Maine to Wasus (sp) in Rockland (I think they are 10 to 1's and made by some pretty famous provision company up there in the area) It's a very, very underrated puppy. A natural casing puppy with sweet caramelized diced grilled fresh onions served with a real hot relish. The grill has a thin layer of salad oil almost bubbling from the heat. Real good stuff.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 06:25:34
Baah Ben,

The place I was referring to is Amazing Hot Dog. http://www.amazinghotdog.com. Another place, Maui's in Wildwood puts broccoli rabe on a dog. There are other off the wall combinations, but I don't have access to a menu and their website has closed down.

As I stated in a previous post, there is a rumor going around about a new hot dog restaurant opening in New Jersey. Two twenty something guys are looking to outdo all of the places whose focus is the crap on the dog rather than the dog. Proposed toppings include raisenets, gummy bears, oatmeal, sweet tarts, and even ice cream. As one of the potential owners told me, "Don't knock it until you've tried it. I didn't think I would like ice cream on a dog until I tasted it. Don't be a snob."

Something you might enjoy. http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/food/la-fo-dogtown30-closeup_jzt0fwnc,1,6482689.photo
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 06:31:05
Oh great...that's just what we need...20 somethings...that explains it!!!!!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 06:31:54
Another.



we estimated that there was one-fourth to a half cup of mayonnaise per hot dog
The completo came on its own special clear plastic tray with two ridges to elevate the hot dog for ease of handling and to ensure the integrity of the hot dog's upright position. Considering that the hot dog was densely packed in a bun with sauerkraut and impressively topped with a massive amount of avocado mash, a smattering of chopped tomato, a bit of mustard and hot aji sauce, and, most importantly, a heart-stopping splodge of creamy, mild-flavored, homemade mayonnaise, an overturned hot dog could've resulted in a disastrous mess. Although the actual amount of mayonnaise was probably less than what it appeared to be, we estimated that there was one-fourth to a half cup of mayonnaise per hot dog. Don't even bother calculating the nutritional value of this thing; nobody wants to know.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 06:34:41
Sorry, the picture didn't get included. Check here, http://www.seriouseats.com/eating_out/2008/05/snapshots-from-chile-hot-dogs-and-sandwiches.html

scroll down until you come to the completo.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 09:25:11
While new entrepreneurs may experiment with multifarious toppings, the Perro Caliente is a long established food entity in Latin American communities, both here and abroad.

In this link, a food journalist examines a few examples in NYC. The article was later included in a NY Post story that surveyed such hot dogs.

What surprises me is that there are no places in New Jersey that prepare the Latin American take on the hot dog.

While there are various different combinations, the one ingredient usually common to all the Latin American hot dogs is a bottom layer of crushed potato chips.

http://www.project-me.com/chilean/index.html

The Bear
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/03 09:32:25
quote:
Originally posted by ScreenBear



While there are various different combinations, the one ingredient usually common to all the Latin American hot dogs is a bottom layer of crushed potato chips.

http://www.project-me.com/chilean/index.html

The Bear


My Chilean cleaning lady says that Chilean hot dogs do not have potato chips on them. Maybe it's a New York City thing.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/07 06:36:45
The madness continues.

http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/46632/

Kimchee, deep fried mayo, hot dog bun crumbs, tomato molasses, freeze dried onions, shredded romaine.

Heathens! If this isn't a true sign that we're approaching the Apocalypse, I don't know what is. Historians will tell you that the fall of Rome came about when they started messing with the hot dogs.
Baah Ben
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/07 08:43:54
Can you imagine what are they saying over at Hirum's or at Rutt's Hut. I don't want to offend anyone's sexuality here, but they've got to be questioning the "manliness" of these new designer salad dogs in Fort Lee and Clifton, NJ. I got to believe they are calling them "Alternative Lifestyle Hot Dogs" or something to that effect...maybe calling them something shorter? Use your imagination.

John, "King of Hot Dogs" I think you are on to something here. It is the beginning of the end. Fortunately, I'm already old so I am not going to worry about it. But, yes, it's coming.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/07 09:43:22
Well said Baah Ben. Hot dogs are meant to be a simple unpretentious food enjoyed plain or with a minimum of toppings that enhance, rather than detract from the flavor of the actual frankfurter. Not to be buried underneath a mound of stuff that should be off to the side or avoided completely. I would hesitate to even order a hot dog with mustard from one of these trendy "designer" hot dog bistros for fear of cross contamination from the ungodly crap that they defile the sacred hot dog with. And I though ketchup was bad enough. I wonder how many of these chef designed inventions are the result of someone's desire to feed their ego. Well, I'm not impressed. Keep it simple, stupid!

Not that they would have succumbed to this trendy insanity, but I'm glad in a way that Syd's vanished before a new owner had a chance to sully it's memory with designer crap. Now there was a hot dog that was resplendant in its simplicity. A high quality natural casing frank prepared well and served hot with a good simple sturdy bun. It was delivered to you plain. There was mustard on the table for you to apply. You had to request sauerkraut, relish, or chili. That was it. Most enjoyed it with just mustard, or mustard and kraut. They didn't need anything else to build a great reputation, increase business, or maintain their popularity. They didn't even need to advertise.

Besides all the newfangled toppings that these places keep adding in an attempt to appear creative, they are messing with the underlying dog as well. A hot dog is meant to be made of meat. A mixture of beef and pork, beef, pork and veal, or all beef. Or even buffalo. But not poultry. Or some cheap substitutes like soy and grains. Why not eat cardboard or plastic?

I think you have it pegged. "Alternative Lifestyle Hot Dogs" perfectly describes these creations.
David_NYC
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/07 11:14:11
The WD-50 restaurant is well known for these unusual food pairings. But why do this when Katz's Deli is only 5 short blocks away?
JakerDog
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/09 08:44:43
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

quote:
Originally posted by Baah Ben


For my taste, I want a nice boiled steamed,...




I stopped reading there. I cannot stand boiled or steamed hotdogs. The method just steals away any flavor in the hotdog. Flat grill is my favorite method, but on the summer, I often enjoy charcoal grilled hotdogs, too.


I agree. Once I hear boiled is the preferred method, everything after that statement comes into question.
NYPIzzaNut
Filet Mignon
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2008/05/10 01:45:37
quote:
Originally posted by John Fox

Well said Baah Ben. Hot dogs are meant to be a simple unpretentious food enjoyed plain or with a minimum of toppings that enhance, rather than detract from the flavor of the actual frankfurter. Not to be buried underneath a mound of stuff that should be off to the side or avoided completely. I would hesitate to even order a hot dog with mustard from one of these trendy "designer" hot dog bistros for fear of cross contamination from the ungodly crap that they defile the sacred hot dog with. And I though ketchup was bad enough. I wonder how many of these chef designed inventions are the result of someone's desire to feed their ego. Well, I'm not impressed. Keep it simple, stupid!

Not that they would have succumbed to this trendy insanity, but I'm glad in a way that Syd's vanished before a new owner had a chance to sully it's memory with designer crap. Now there was a hot dog that was resplendant in its simplicity. A high quality natural casing frank prepared well and served hot with a good simple sturdy bun. It was delivered to you plain. There was mustard on the table for you to apply. You had to request sauerkraut, relish, or chili. That was it. Most enjoyed it with just mustard, or mustard and kraut. They didn't need anything else to build a great reputation, increase business, or maintain their popularity. They didn't even need to advertise.

Besides all the newfangled toppings that these places keep adding in an attempt to appear creative, they are messing with the underlying dog as well. A hot dog is meant to be made of meat. A mixture of beef and pork, beef, pork and veal, or all beef. Or even buffalo. But not poultry. Or some cheap substitutes like soy and grains. Why not eat cardboard or plastic?

I think you have it pegged. "Alternative Lifestyle Hot Dogs" perfectly describes these creations.
I could not agree more - this sounds like the sermons I give to my friends here in Ohio when they want to top their pizzas with a bunch of crap - good dough, cheese and tomato sauce and some nice olive oil and oregano and basil is all a great pizza needs.
Schmelly
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2011/08/30 16:12:05
Does anyone know what dogs are used by "Boston Speed" ?
 
I think I have conflicting information....
 
Pearl dogs ?  or are they Grote & Weigel ?
post edited by Schmelly - 2011/08/30 16:13:10
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2011/08/30 18:15:02
For years Boston Speed used Pearl's. Since the new owners took over a few years ago, they have been using a beef frank from Grote & Weigel.
Schmelly
Cheeseburger
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2011/08/31 01:17:20
John Fox

For years Boston Speed used Pearl's. Since the new owners took over a few years ago, they have been using a beef frank from Grote & Weigel.

John, thanks for that info
Foodbme
Porterhouse
RE: Americas Top Dog - Wall St. Journal 2011/08/31 03:47:13
signman
I'd never heard of Speed's, but it looks good. However, in reading the actual article, it says the price of a Speed's dog is $7. Can that possibly be right? Why?

It's been written up and featured on here several times and has been given good reviews.
I get a kick out of people who say "I've never heard of"----- or the 18 year old who says " I've never seen anything like that in my whole life" Like it never existed because you never knew about it.