Amazing Hot Dog Bound Brook Grand Opening
Screenbear and I decided to go to the new Amazing Hot Dog store in Bound Brook, NJ today. Yesterday was the actual first day of business, but we were not able to get there until today.
We arrived at 1:30 PM as the tail of the lunch crowd was finishing up. There was a good sized crowd of about 20 people finishing up their lunch. As we ate and talked with some of the other customers I was surprised that there was always at least four or five people eating in the store. I think this is very good for being only the second day of business for this location.
I ordered the Smokey Joe. This is the standard quarter pound deep fried hot dog topped with BBQ sauce and baked beans. Bear ordered a "normal" hot dog with onions, relish, and mustard. We also ordered some of the hand cut fries.
I found the Smokey Joe to be a tasty hot dog. The underlying dog turns out to be a very famous NJ specialty. Screenbear took the time to explain to me that this dog is made by Best’s in Newark, NJ. It is a quarter pound dog with a natural casing and a nice spice profile. It was originally made for a long defunct place in Irvington called Don’s and has become known as Best’s “Don’s dog”.
The deep fried hot dog had a very nice snap and crunch to the skin. This contrasted nicely to the smooth texture of the beans. The beans blended subtly into the lightly spiced BBQ sauce so that it was difficult to tell where the beans sauce ended and the BBQ sauce started. I found this to be a wonderful taste and texture sensation.
Screenbear was very familiar with the hot dogs at Amazing Hot Dog. He was pleased with his more standard dog. We found the fries to be crisp and tasty. These hand cut fries were fried perfectly. The golden brown color is indicative of a deep and slightly sweet taste. If you look closely at the picture you will see the coarse grains of salt that are sprinkled on the fries. This adds just the right balance of salt to contrast with the slightly sweet taste of the browned fries.
I have found some hand cut fries that are not fried correctly and come out too soft and flavorless. These had just the right flavor that can only come from a hand cut French fry that is prepared by people who know what they are doing.
We decided to split one more hot dog. Screenbear wanted to try the bacon wrapped hot dog with cheese whiz. This was another excellent dog. The hot dog gets a wrapping of bacon before it is deep fried. This adds an extra layer of flavor and crunch to an already flavorful and crunchy dog. The cheese whiz smothers the crisp dog in a comforting and tasty blanket of cheese. This ranks very high as comfort food for hot dog lovers.
A few weeks ago I learned about the “sweet works” style of dressing a dog. Today I learned about another style of dressing a dog that I had not heard of before. It is called the “hot works.”
Screenbear and I were to talking to a gentleman who had grown up in the Weequahic neighborhood of Newark about 20 years before Screenbear. On my last trip I learned that Weequahic favored putting mustard, relish, and sauerkraut on a hot dog and calling it “sweet works”. This trip I learned that they also put mustard, hot relish, and kraut on a dog and call it “hot works”. The more I learn about hot dogs the more I realize just how regional they are and how each region has their unique approach to preparing their style of hot dog.
I have one complaint about Amazing Hot Dogs. Their hot dogs are too big. Amazing Hot Dogs offers so many different ways to top their tasty hot dogs that I want to try several of them when I visit. With a quarter pound dog you are limited to how many dogs you can eat on a visit. I am not asking them to change the size of the hot dog. They serve an excellent dog. It just makes it difficult to sample different toppings without overeating. I guess I will just have to visit more frequently.
Next we drove about three miles east on NJ Route 28 to Middlesex Texas Weiner. I had worked in this area for many years and had tried several of the Texas Weiner places on Route 22. I had never found any that I really liked. Screenbear suggested we try this place.
We each had a Texas Weiner and hash browns. The wieners were topped with a well made Greek or Cincinnati style chili, onions, and mustard. This chili had a little bit more hot spice to it than some of the other Greek chili that I have tasted. This extra spice added just enough heat to make it noticeable but not overwhelming. It was still easy to taste the mustard and onions underneath the chili. The mustard added a slight sour contrast to the chili and the onions added a nice sweet crunch for texture contrast.
The underlying hot dog was a grilled six to one from Grote & Weigel. Or so said Screenbear. This dog was the perfect base for this sandwich. All in all I had found a Plainfield style Texas Weiner that I liked.
We like our hash browns crisp and had asked for them cooked that way. They were crisp, but could have been cooked longer. Maybe we should have asked for them to be crunchy. The bits of onion in them added a bit of flavor that we liked.
At the end of the day I had two positive experiences at two hot dog restaurants that I had not visited before. I am looking forward to visiting both places again.