Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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howard8
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/19 12:55:20 (permalink)
I eagerly await your hot dog tour John. Count me in with a couple of other hot dog fans.
Too bad you can't make the cheesesteak tour. Look forward to meeting you.
#31
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/19 19:24:55 (permalink)
I'll be on vacation from 8/22 to 9/7. Let me check with my family to see if we will be doing anything. Saturday would probably be the best day as most people work during the week and many of the places (Syd's included) are closed on Sunday's. Unfortunately, I work 5 out of 6 Saturday's when I'm not on vacation. Meantime, let's try to get an idea of who wants to go. And which do you want to do first?. I've been to all the Jersey places and some of the Conn. ones. Really looking forward to going to Rosco's and the Glenwood at the very least.
#32
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 06:31:38 (permalink)
My vacation starts on Sunday 8/22. I assume most people who want to do the hot dog tour would want to do it on a Saturday, although I would be up for a weekday between 8/22 and 9/7. I am scheduled to work 5 out of every 6 Saturdays as I have a rotating day off that changes every week. I will be off the following Saturday's: 8/28, 9/4, 9/18, and 10/30. And my daughter is supposed to move back to school on 8/28, so that day might not be good for me. She is seeking permission from the school to move in a day earlier. I'll know later in the week if that day will be open for me for a hot dog run. That would be ideal, because 9/4 is the start of Labor Day Weekend. I would be up for that day, but I know other people may not be. What I was thinking was that we could do one state either 8/28 or 9/4 and the other on 9/18 or 10/30. You people are lucky who have every Saturday off.

I think it would be good to get an idea of how many people might be interested in doing a hot dog tour in Jersey and Connecticut. If interested, post on the forum or e-mail me. If it's only going to be a few people, we can be more flexible with the days; perhaps doing it on a weekday that is convenient or at night. The Jersey places with the exception of Syd's are all open Sunday's and stay open till late at night during the week. They are also clustered closely together. We could hit 10 great ones if we wanted to within 17 miles. So, who's interested?
#33
CheeseWit
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 19:40:42 (permalink)
9/4 and 10/30 are good for me. John, you put together a rough schedule and we'll all try to help it come to fruition.
#34
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 20:29:45 (permalink)
I should know by the end of the week if 8/28 is open. 9/18 is also a day that would be good. We'll see what's good for everyone who's interested in going.
#35
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 20:59:03 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bxfinest

Well I give Jersey it's due on good pizza, sandwiches and Hot Dogs, however NYC is the Hot Dog capital. Not just because the term 'Hot Dog' was coined in the early 1900's in NYC by a reporter of the NY Times, But there's not a Hot Dog any where that can touch Nathan's Famous(Coney Islands own), Papaya or Sabrett(based in NY and imported all over the Nation).


I disagree. If you're talking solely in terms of most hot dog joints or hot dogs eaten, then Chicago would be the hot dog capital. If you're talking about best hot dogs and biggest variety, then it would be New Jersey and then Connecticut before New York. Granted, New York has Nathan's and Sabrett (Papaya King, Gray's, and Katz's use Sabrett beef dogs). But Sabrett is owned by Marathon Enterprises in East Rutherford, N.J. Their dogs are made in the Bronx and also in a plant in Jersey, I believe. Windmill uses a Sabrett beef and pork dog (different than the all beef dog used by most other places)and their website states that it comes from Jersey. Either way, many Jersey places use the Sabrett dog. There are many pushcarts serving the dirty water dogs as well as places such as Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City that use the smaller Sabrett and griddle cooks it like Papaya King.

As for Nathan's, they are considered a New York dog, but they are actually made by a company called SMG in Chicago. They haven't been made in New York for sometime. And there is a dog in Jersey that is better than Nathan's and Sabrett. Have you been to Syd's in Union? They use a Best brand dog from Newark, N.J. that is charbroiled and absolutely delicious. Better than any all beef dog I've had from any hot dog joint. Father & Son in Linden uses a smaller version of this dog and cooks it on a griddle. Better than Papaya King and Nathan's. In fact Father & Son used Sabrett for years before switching to Best. Jerry's in Elizabeth also uses this dog and cooks it a unique way, boiled than grilled.

New York dogs are very good, but they lack the variety of New Jersey and Conn. I know of nowhere in N.Y. where you can get a grilled German style beef and pork dog. There are no Texas Weiner or chili dog places that I know of in New York. And until recently, you couldn't get a deep fried dog either. Now they have Crif Dog's, which is a blatant rip off of Rutt's Hut. Come with us on the hot dog tour of Jersey and Conn. for some truly great and different dogs. Texas Weiners, Italian Hot Dogs, ripper's, grilled Germans style dogs on buttered New England style buns.
#36
signman
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 23:40:11 (permalink)
My vote would be for 9/4. Second choice Oct. 2-3. 8/28 and 9/18 not as good but possible.
#37
bxfinest
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 02:21:59 (permalink)
OK J. Fox:

I can understand your argument that Jersey has more of a variety of Hot dogs. However, Sabretts are truly a NY frank. Even if the cooperate office is in East Rutherford. The Recipe and taste are truly NY with manufactures in Medford NY. Even the Website states "Experience a taste of NY sidewalks" It makes no references to Jersey other than the cooperate office. And I'm sure there is a high consumption of Sabretts in Jersey. But it's truly a staple to the NY taste in hot dogs.

"Ask any New Yorker what is a Sabrett" is the first sentence.

And Nathan's is no question a NY Frank no matter where it's manufactured, the ingredient that made the Frank so popular started in Brooklyn NY in 1916 and it never changed. Still the best beef frank ever. But that's just my opinion..

Lastly, Chicagians claim that they are the Hot Dog capital but that's not official. They also feel they have the best pizza. But a national battle showed more people chose NY thin crust over Chicago deep dish. And I can't see how they can accurately state that Chicago has more Hot dog outlets than NY. Maybe indoor spots, but NY has push carts all over the city in every borough. In Manhattan alone you can get a Hot Dog on almost any corner. Definately gotta disagree with that!!!

BTW thanks for inviting me to the Hot Dog tour. Must check my schedule. But sounds very interesting.
#38
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 06:51:54 (permalink)
bxfinest,

Maybe we're getting too involved in semantics here. I'll grant you that Sabrett is considered a New York hot dog. Like Nathan's, they originated and are still being made in New York even if their headquarters is N.J. and some of their franks may be made there according to the Windmill's site. Schickhaus is considered a New Jersey dog, even though it is made by a Connecticut company. There are countless numbers of people who leave Jersey and crave Schickhaus hot dogs. They can't find them anywhere including Conn.

I grew up eating Sabrett hot dogs from puschcarts and hot dog trucks. One of my 3 favorite all beef dogs, the other 2 being Best's and Usinger's. Sabrett has a unique flavor that you can identify blindfolded if you've eaten enough of them. Great cooked in water, better cooked on a griddle. I prefer the smaller ones on the griddle, as the bigger 8 to a lb that you can get in some supermarkets here are a little mushy an the skin isn't as tight as on the smaller ones. As you said, it is a matter of taste. I prefer Best because I like their unique taste and blend of spices even though they are a little less spicy than both Sabrett and Nathan's. I like Nathan's also, if you can find one of their locations that uses the natural casing dog and cooks it long enough. One particular Nathan's on the Turnpike makes them perfect. And I agree, even the skinless version is very good. I had one at Yankee Stadium and it was the best dog I've had at a ballpark (although that might not be saying a lot). I spoke with someone from Nathans headquarters and was told that their dogs are still being made according to the 1916 recipe. I just don't understand why the ingredients list includes corn and wheat gluten. I wrote back and asked if these ingredients were part of the original recipe, but didn't get a reply.

I stand by my statement that New Jersey and Conn. are the best states for hot dogs because of what you can get from their hot dog restaurants. In Jersey and a few places in Conn, you can get a Sabrett dirty water dog. In Jersey City, Boulevard Drinks uses the same dog as Papaya King and is every bit as good. Jersey also has a few places that serve the Nathan's dog and make it as good as the Coney Island location (atmosphere not withstanding). We have Syd's which serves the best (in my opinion) beef dog around as well as the aforementioned German style dogs, Italian Hot Dogs, Texas Weiners, and deep fried rippers.

You make an excellent point about New York vs. Chicago hot dogs. Chicago does have more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King combined. But New York has all those puschcarts and in all probability serves as many or more hot dogs than Chicago. Chicago dogs have their devotees, but they have hardly any variety at all. The dogs sold are almost all the same brand (Vienna Beef) which is much milder in flavor than a Sabrett or Best's.

Hope you can make the tour.
#39
bxfinest
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 10:36:55 (permalink)
J. Fox:

Thanks you for at least considering my point. And excuse my emotional reply. It's just that I'm a Hot Dog fanatic like yourself. And I take a great deal of pride in NYs contribution to the Hot Dog nation along with other foods. Like I said I'll always had a great deal of respect for Jersey and it's great tasting pizza, hot dogs(all varieties)and subs(I call em heros).

On the Chicago issue, I actually did see a show I beleive it was on Bravo, A&E or the food channel where they talked about hot dogs from all over the nation and how different region cook and load up their dogs. From Nathan's on Coney Island, to the place in Jersey(forgot the name) that deep fries hot dogs, to Atlanta where they showed a place serving Dogs that's been around as long as Nathan's, to a place on Pittsburgs University where they serve hot dogs with an order of fries that can feed five people to Chicago where they load up their dogs like burgers with lettuce, tomatoes ,onions, ketchup and mustard. The host did declare Chicago as the Hot Dog capital(over NY) based on the fact that they have more hot dog restaurants. However, I didn't agree with that since I find it hard to beleive that they can accuartely state that their restaurants out number the amount of Pushcarts in NYC.

Good debating with you. And if you get a chance please hit me with the info on the Hot Dog tour.
#40
lyndsay
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/25 10:05:03 (permalink)
Have you tried The Hot Dog House on Rt. 17 South in Carlstadt? I love their Darrel Dawkins with cheese!
My husband swears by Hank's Franks on Rt. 46 in Lodi though.
We always get the rippers at Rutt's Hutt (smothered in their heavenly relish ), we recently went there for our last one before moving to NC! I'll also miss Hyram's.
Do you check out the hot dog articles in Weird NJ? It seems like they are always on an endless quest for the best dog.
#41
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/25 10:54:33 (permalink)
The Hot Dog House and Hank's Franks both served boiled Sabrett's. These places are known for their hot dog toppings. Just got the current Weird N.J. and there are a few articles about Jersey hot dog places including a letter from me about Charlies Pool Room in Alpha. There was also an article in last Thursday's Star Ledger about hot dog places in western Jersey (Warren County). There aren't many restaurants in that part of the state, even fast food places like McDonalds. Hot Dog Johnny's is actually the most popular eating establishment. The gist of the article is that hot dogs are real popular in Warren County as compared to other types of food. There aren't as many hot dog places as in the north eastern part of the state, but there is a cluster of them in the Philipsburg-Lopatcong area. There may be a higher hot dog stand to people ratio than in other parts of the state because Warren County is a rural, less populated area.

I spoke to the reporter for the article and was mentioned briefly in it. But I told him that while popular in Warren County, hot dogs are much better in the northeast. There is a bigger variety of dogs including Italian Hot Dogs and Texas Weiners, which I'm sure many of the people in Warren County have never heard of, much less eaten. Most of the dogs served there are a mild (even bland) beef-pork dog that is usually steamed or cooked on one of those roller grills. You would be hard pressed to find a beef dog out there, although I think Eddie's in Philipsburg serves one if you request one of their special dogs. Bottom line is that while hot dogs are popular in Warren County, they are quite ordinary. I think Toby's Cup might be the best of the bunch. I don't like Hot Dog Johnny's. I feel that they are vastly overrated. Much of the attraction here is the atmosphere and nostalgia which I totally discount when judging hot dogs.

The reporter was limited to Warren County for this article, to the exclusion of hot dog places elsewhere in the state. I contacted him and tried to convince him to do a followup article on hot dogs in the rest of the state. Hopefully, that will be coming.

I've been asked to review hot dogs for an upcoming piece to be shown on television. It will be filmed in a few weeks. I'll give the details as to when it will be shown as soon as I know. We'll be going to some of Jersey's best hot dog joints. Sort of like a hot dog tour. In fact, we'll probably be hitting some of the same ones that will be included in The Hot Dog Tour.
#42
Rick51NH
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/28 20:53:08 (permalink)
Hi John-
With my mouth watering at this site for several weeks now, I just heard I'm going to Paramus on business in a week or so. Please let me know where the best hot dog joint is which is close to the intersection of Rt 17 and Rt 4. I've never had a Thumann's or a G&W either so this will be a real treat. If I play my cards right, I may even get out early and buy a few boxes to bring home while I'm down there. Can you recommend a supermarket chain in the area which would carry them? I appreciate your help as always!

Thanks!
Rick
#43
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/28 23:17:03 (permalink)
Rick,

I'm not sure exactly where, but near Rt 4, which is much farther north than Union, is the Goffle Grill, which makes an authentic North Jersey Texas Weiner. Clixes is about 1/4 mile down the street. Johnny & Hanges is close by in Fairfield. If you get on the Parkway, go south for a few miles and get off at exit 153a. Take 3east to 21 north. Get off at the first exit (10A I think) make a left off the exit ramp, go over the bridge, and make a left onto River Rd. Rutt's Hut is about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile down on the left hand side.

Go to any Shop Rite in the area. Buy a package of Thumann's Frankfurters (in the blue and white package) and a package of Schickhaus (made by Grote & Weigel for the Jersey market). Let me know what you think of them.
#44
poundpod
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 02:04:07 (permalink)
Bxfinest must be dreaming.
My late father worked for Sabrett for 41 years. For the entire existence of the company, from the creation of their formula to the sale of the company by the son-in-law of the founder Julius Frankel (no joke) to Marathon Company, it was in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The manufacturing plant was at the corner of Henderson Street and Coles Street, near Colden Street, in Jersey City. I had to laugh when someone wrote about "corporate offices." When my Dad used to drive me to work with him (his truck routed from JC to Harlem to Hunts Point and then to New Rochelle) the "corporate offices" were two wood-paneled rooms off the loading dock where the rolls and meat were loaded onto the trucks.

The owners of Sabrett lived in New Jersey. The truckers all lived in New Jersey (I grew up playing outside their union meetings at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel) The late chief baker, Caspar, is the father of the Jersey City Police Chief.

Sabrett was widely distributed in New York and New Jersey, but don't be deceived: The umbrellas you saw FOR YEARS denoting a Sabrett product on pushcarts in New York were given to vendors as a premium and a promotion. Quite often, the dogs they sold were NOT Sabrett, but the cheaper House o' Weenies, Concourse, or other brands. There was no one policing the use of those pushcart umbrellas, which caused my late father great consternation.

I spent many hours in that factory, over the years. They made a great product, and the best onion sauce in the world. It was a New Jersey company, through and through.

Rick
#45
John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 06:16:21 (permalink)
Great post Rick. I remember in the past you mentioned your father delivering Sabrett Franks to Papaya King and Gray's. Do you know where Marathon now has Sabrett's produced? I believe there is a plant in the Bronx. Do you know where in Jersey? Also, have you heard of the Golden D brand? Last time I was in Manhatten I saw this brand being sold from a few carts. I was so full from eating hot dogs elsewhere that I couldn't even eat another one.
#46
long dog
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 19:56:00 (permalink)
Rick -

Hit Rosco's Big Dog in Hartford on your way home after Blackie's.
394 Franklin Ave
Exit 27 off I-91

You can even hit Capitol Lunch in New Britain in between for three different brand dogs.



LMK when you do the southern route.
If I'm able to, I'll meet you at Glenwood and lead you to SDW.
#47
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/01 15:40:50 (permalink)
poundpod -

Of all the websites I visit on the web, those run by food manufacturers seem to have the most shoddy scholarship, politically correct hot air, falsehoods, and outright lies. The advertising copy I read about Nathan's doesn't square with what I was told by a woman who I took a lab class in college with who happened to be Nathan Handwerker's niece.

I was fascinated to read your remarks about Sabrett. One day in 1989, as the people in my departmnet were waiting to be laid off, we took the PATH subway line from the World Trade Center to Jersey City and walked to the address shown in the phone book for Sabrett to see where the hot dogs we bought from the push carts actually (or who we thought) came from. I clearly remember that trip. There was a two building complex. A single story plant was obviously producing smoked meat products, for you could smell the exhaust from the smoke house. Next door was a very old multi-story (but unused) plant that had painted on it the old Sabrett slogan of "World's Largest Exclusive Frankfurter-Hamburger Manufacturer" or something like that. There was litter on the streets, including a pack of about 100 frankfurter labels meant to be inserted inside shrink-wrapped packages. The USDA plant number was 850. There was a Sabrett distributor across the street that would sell at retail to anyone with cash. At least he sold to us.

I remember at the 1964-1965 World's Fair that Marathon had a pavilion called "House'O'Weenies" that sold frankfurters. So, they were separate companies at that point.

Could you perhaps give us a bit more history about Sabrett up to the time of the buyout?

David
#48
bxfinest
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/02 12:16:00 (permalink)
Nah poundpod, never dreaming. If I was mistaken on where Sabrett franks started then pardon me... I'm just going by what I seen growing up in NYC(Sabrett and Hebrew National umbrellas). Not to mention that the websites regards Sabrett franks as the taste of NY sidewalks. Anyway very interesting story.
#49
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 12:07:51 (permalink)
I found this really neat tool for determining who actually manufactures meat products:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ofo/faim/faimmain.htm

There is some interest in finding out where Sabrett's second plant is. I just purchased a package of Sabrett natural casing frankfurters in a Western Beef supermarket. The package used to have USDA plant number 850 of the above-mentioned Jersey City, NJ plant. Now the number is 7879. If you go to the Small HACCP Plants section of the USDA's website, and click on the District 65, Albany, NY button, you will find that plant number (with a leading 0, 07879) listed as belonging to Marathon. Now, all we need to know is where is it, and if it was used by someone else in the past. (The USDA doesn't list street addresses anymore. Who wants a terrorist dropping a pound of LSD in the frank mixture?) District 65 is very large. You will see plants from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts on that list.

Poundpod's remarks brought back some memories about the history of the Sabrett plant in the Bronx. I remember that at the time Marathon bought Sabrett, it was reported by the New York City media as big news. Marathon was selling their skinless frankfurters in supermarkets under their House O' Weenies brand. Sometime later, the franks from the Bronx plant (USDA plant number 8854) started to be sold under the Sabrett label. Now take a look at this page:

http://www.14to42.net/33street2.html

Note this is a 1986 photograph. It was faded already at that time. I remember seeing this painted building sign when I worked up in that area. Click on the "capital stock" link and as of 1969, Marathon was a New Jersey Corporation with the address being that of the frankfurter plant in the Bronx. This plant now has "Sabrett" painted on it in big letters.

The taste and sensory experience of the products from the two plants is different. I believe the products now bearing the 7879 plant number are superior. This should answer the question of the people all around the country who probably bought the skinless variety and who wondered why many people here were raving about Sabrett franks.

With the original Jersey City plant number no longer showing up on the FDA's list (I don't know what happened to that site), a discussion of whether Sabrett is a New York dog or a New Jersey dog becomes very interesting.
#50
poundpod
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 14:18:00 (permalink)
Wow. So many good folks interested in Sabrett. Let's see:
Sabrett began after a failed business venture in Egypt. One of the founders decided in the 1930's to build drycleaning stores in Egypt, and quickly found out there was REASON the largest producer of fine cotton in the world didn't have many dry-cleaners. They didn't want any. With little of his cash left, he re-entered the United States, and went into the food business. Sabrett was a name picked basically out of the imagination. It was not a family name, no Yiddish translation---just an attractive and memorable tag-name for the Company. By the late 1940's, the plant, located on Coles/Henderson St near Colden Street in Jersey City, was producing hot dogs, hamburgers, and rolls. The baker for most of the life of the company was Caspar Buonocore, who fathered the current Jersey City Police Chief, Ron Buonocore. Ron's son starred in a short-lived MTV show a few years back.
The owners of Sabrett were relatives, Mack Katz and Julius Frankel. My Dad came back from World War II, having learned how to drive a truck an very little else, in Europe. He took a job through the Bakery Drivers Local 108, and worked for Sabrett for 41 years. My brothers and I did shifts on his route, which led from JC to Spanish Harlem to Hunt's Point, up to New Rochelle, back home. My dad started loading his truck at 2 am, and came home from work in the afternoon. It was back-breaking work. He always brought home a bundle of franks and a box of burgers. We never went hungry. When he broke his legs in an accident at work, the drivers visited us with bundles of meat and bread. I recall my dad bartering with other purveyors in those days---The United Pickle Company in the Bronx stacked up bottles of pickles and kraut in our garage. I can still remember the taste of those sour tomatoes and red peppers, the best in the Bronx.
Sabrett maintained very high standards of cleanliness and secrecy about the spice formulas. My dad knew the secret: Lots of garlic and paprika. The company made a product called 'hot sausage' which was basically a skinless knockwurst with some cayenne pepper. Delicious. They made knockwurst, all beef hot dogs, hamburgers without any filler, and sold tons of chop meat. My Dad used to sell chopmeat to the Brasserie in NYC, a fine restaurant, and many of the diners that lined the route uptown from the Holland Tunnel. If you ate a burger at the Brasserie from 1960-1980, chances are it was Sabrett meat. In those days, Sabrett made a casing and skinless all beef franks, pork/beef "Country Girl" franks, and burgers, meat, and buns. Onion sauce came later.
One of the bonuses in those days was getting the meat that didn't make into the grinder. Sabrett used to throw skirt steaks in with the chuck and round, back in the days when NO ONE wanted skirts. My Dad would always bring them home in time for 4th of July. Yum.
All good things come to an end. Julius Frankel passed away, and his son in law, Boyd, took over the business. A lawyer, he took the business in a different direction, attempting to use the name for national distribution. My Dad retired and moved to Houston, where my parents opened up a New York style Deli, shipping Sabrett dogs to Houston, along with National Deli pastrami and corned beef. They made it into the New York Times in 1986, when they tried to put pushcarts out on the streets in downtown Houston, and battled the city.
In the early 90's, if I recall, Sabrett was sold to Concourse Provisions, a competitor. They had never really hit it big on the supermarket shelf, as the previous owner hoped. It's a very spicy dog, with lots of flavor. Outside the East Coast and Chicago, I think a milder product held sway. Me, I only eat kosher now, but I have very, very fond memories of Sabrett casing franks, 8 to the pound, with mustard, red onion sauce, and kraut.
Need more details? Ask away.
#51
David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 22:09:32 (permalink)
The Sabrett Jersey City, NJ complex, A/K/A USDA plant number 850, is no more. I was out there today and find the streets around the old site have been closed to create a superblock for the construction of an educational institution. One sign said it was the property of Jersey City Public Schools. I could not find a project name, but some job site signs from school construction authorities leave no doubt this will be a school. Right now, it looks like all demolition has been completed, and they are erecting building steel. Brick laying has begun in one wing. I know I was in the right place, because I found the shopping center with the Pathmark Supermarket in it just where I remember it. Some of the street names have changed as well. The Light Rail is about two blocks away.

Right across the street from the construction site is a deli at the corner of Bright and Varick Streets selling bulk Sabrett products, such as might be bought by push cart owners.

I'd like to thank poundpod for his insightful essay about the origins of the Sabrett frankfurter, and the other products Sabrett produced in Jersey City.

Now, I'm interested in finding out about the Marathon roll plant that used to be in East Rutherford, NJ and about the facility in Fair Lawn, NJ (Marathon Baking Corp) that is listed on bags of Sabrett hot dog buns right now.
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John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 23:25:42 (permalink)
A few years ago I spoke with the person in charge of private label at Marathon in East Rutherford. I asked him about purchasing franks that were similar to Papaya King in New York, at the time believing that they were made by Marathon specially for Papaya King. I had spoken to at least 2 Sabrett distributors who told me that Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Katz's all use the same basic Sabrett all beef frank, although the one for Katz's might be a little bigger. I was under the impression that Marathon made a different frank for each customer and didn't know whether to believe the distributors.

The person at Marathon, believing I represented a business, told me that they only make 2 recpies, all beef and beef/pork, which poundpod refers to as "Country Girl". There are different sizes, and natural casing or skinless, but 2 basic recipes. I was shocked, especially since Papaya King implies that they have a special dog made for just them. The three places that I mentioned all serve similar tasting dogs, but I always liked Papaya King because they were cooked more and seemed fresher. Katz's usually undercooks them. Make sure you ask for well done there. I was also angry because I had paid something like $37.00 a few years ago for 5 pounds of Papaya King dogs to take home, when I could have gotten the same 10 to a lb dogs at a Sabrett distributor for $17.50.

When it comes to natural casing Sabrett's, a woman who has a hot dog truck says that the 10's are the best as far as the casing goes. I agree. I've bought the 8 to a lb at the supermarket and they are a tad mushy. Some places (JJ's in Newark and Munce's in Rahway) serve the 11 to a lb dogs. The casing is too tight. Plus the dog is too small. Would you believe that Best's and Sabrett also have dogs that come 12 to a lb? Boulevard Drink's in Jersey City uses the 12's while Dickie Dees in Newark uses the Best's 12 for their Italian Hot Dogs.

You can also get the "Country Girl" beef and pork franks from a Sabrett distributor. These are the franks used at the Windmill, Hot Grill, and Callahan's. And for much less than you would pay for them at the restaurants that serve them.

The guy I spoke to told me that while Marathon has corporate offices in East Rutherford, they do not make franks there. They are produced in a plant in the Bronx. I don't know where else. I should have asked. According to the Windmill's website, they get their franks from a North Jersey plant. Maybe WindmillHotDog can confirm this.
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David_NYC
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/04 21:16:36 (permalink)
To bxfinest -

I have a mystery for you. I work with people who live all over the New York Metropolitan area. One man, who lives in the Seaview section of the Bronx, tells me there is a plant on Oak Point Avenue in the Hunts Point Section, going all the way through the block between Casanova and Barretto Streets. He says there is a large parking lot in front, and he often sees large refrigerated trailers parked in there with Sabrett painted on them. He also sees polyethylene barrels in the lot, like the ones imported bulk spices are packed in. He says there are a number of signs on the building, but he never paid attention to them. He also says a "nice smell" comes from that building.

Could this be the second Sabrett plant 7879? Could all the Sabrett franks now be produced in the Bronx?

David
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/08 13:31:55 (permalink)
Just read an article about Connecticut hot dogs on Fairfieldweekly.com. Go there and click on dining then click on hot dogs revisited. The reporter visits Super Duper Weenie, Rawley's and Swanky Franks. He talks to Gary Zemola of SDW and mentions Jimmy's of Savin Rock. Gary laments the people that come in and try to tell him how to run his business. Suggesting poultry franks, veggie franks, and even all beef franks. Gary's attitude is that only a beef and pork dog is a true hot dog. I personally disagree. The beef and pork German style frank may be the more traditional hot dog, but the kosher style all beef dog sure has it's place. I like both types. Depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Which leads me to ask longdog and our Connecticut friends about some of their dogs. I've been to Swanky Franks twice and know that they use a Hummel brand dog. I've always been under the impression that they use the all beef Hummels. Is this so? And what about the Glenwood? They too use Hummels, but which type? I had heard of Jimmy's and knew that they switched from Roesslers a long time ago to Hummels. I didn't know that they used the beef/pork blend until reading the article, but this would make sense since they would more likely switch to a similar style dog than one that is drastically different. I've had the Hummels all beef dog at home and it is one of my favorite all beef dogs. I only had their beef/pork dog once when I bought a few different dogs loose at a supermarket deli counter in Storrs or Mansfield. This dog didn't taste good, but I think it may have been too old. Probably was since Hummels has a good reputation. The dog I had I didn't even finish which is unheard of for me.
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Rick51NH
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/12 21:24:09 (permalink)
I really enjoyed the posts regarding the history of Sabrett's.

I'm back from by NJ trip and was able to stop at several hot dog joints in NJ, MA & CT. Unfortunately, I did not get to try a NJ Texas weiner due to time constraints. I also missed Callahan's which I found was very close by (Lodi?) and will try that on my next trip (I thought it was in or near Fort Lee). I want to go to Syd's as well.

My order of preference for taste were (favorites first) Rosco's in Hartford, Elvis' Dogs, Lunenberg, MA, Rutt's Hut, Clifton, NJ and Blackie's in Cheshire, Ct. My cost for the hot dogs, highest to lowest, was coincidentally in the same order.

What made the difference is that I personally prefer both the dogs and rolls grilled in butter. The first 2 places did just that. Rosco's used a Thumann's dog and mustard. What a treat!

Long Dog-You were right about Rosco's!


John-
You were right about the Thumann's. Great dogs! I brought back both the Schickhaus grilling franks and Thumann's blue & white (5 lb) packs both of which will grill up nicely for our block party in a few weeks. I also brought back some Sabretts & Nathans with casings which they dont sell up here along with some Nathan's & Thumann's mustard. I'll cook up the Schickhaus' over the weekend and let you know.


As a side note, I had the occasion to also go to Flo's in Cape Neddick, ME. The house special had some (sweet) mayo and some home made hot relish which was very tasty. We also had a good time talking with Flo while waiting for our food. It's quite a nostalgic place and not a bad place to stop if you're not in a hurry and dont mind waiting a bit.

Rick




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John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/13 19:42:21 (permalink)
Rick,

I enjoyed reading about your trip. Too bad you couldn't get to Syd's. Well, I guess the cat is out of the bag as far as the Rosco's dog goes. Ron the owner usually tells people who ask that his dogs come from Jersey without revealing the brand. I suggested that he give Thumann's a try when he was in the planning stage. He did, and it beat out several other dogs he was considering using including Hummels, Sabrett, Miller's, Grote & Weigel, and Hofmann's. From what I understand, he has exclusive distribution rights to Thumann's in his area. This is a great dog, and it tastes better cooked on a griddle than any other way. I'm not crazy about butter, so I spray my griddle with Pam and then cook the dogs slowly. They are widely available in my area.

The funny thing is that hardly any places use this dog. The Thumann's dog for deep frying is used by Rutt's Hut and a lot of places in North Jersey. Also a great dog, but different than the griller. There was one place in Hackensack that used the griller, but when I went, it was undercooked. The Little League field near my home used this dog until last year (when they switched to Thumann's all beef dog) and prepared them on a griddle. A 6 to a lb dog that they sold for only $1.50. People used to stop by just to buy a dog. But they got tired of grilling them and switched to Thumann's beef dog that they cook in water. So, with the lack of places that use this dog, I just buy my own and have them at home. Rosco's also has a bigger version (4 to a lb) of this dog. Plus his homemade condiments. Can't wait to go there.

Do you know what kind of dog Elvis Dog's used? And how they were prepared?

I went to Flo's a few years back when I was vacationing in Maine. I don't like onions, so I didn't try the special onion relish. I had the dogs with just mustard and found them ordinary. They use Schultz dogs which are made nearby. A beef/pork dog, but it was steamed. This type of dog would be much better grilled in my opinion.

So where are the Connecticut people? Still wondering about which Hummel dogs are used at the Glenwood and Swanky's. All beef, or beef and pork? Swanky's tasted like all beef. Haven't been to the Glenwood yet, but boy do they look good in the picture.
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Rick51NH
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/13 21:51:27 (permalink)
John-

Rosco's was a great place and I think they use that horseradish mustard as well. I will definitely stop there again if I find myself hungry in the Hartford area. The help was very pleasant and the restaurant was clean and neat.

I liked all the dogs I tried but do prefer the griddled dogs to the deep fried ones. All the places I stopped at had prompt friendly service except Flo's which was a bit of a wait probably due to the steaming process. They were friendly enough, though.

I'm going to ask around and see if they can distribute Thumann's dogs up here. Also, I noted that the Schickhaus griddle franks label said they were made by Schickhaus & Van Campen (sp) for Conagra. I was under the impression G&W made them.

One real shocker was that the Rochelle Park Shop Rite store sold the 5 lb Thumann's blue & white pack for $14.95 and the Fair Lawn store sold the same ones for $19.95. That's a $5 difference for stores 1 town apart.

I also saw the store carried Bear Brook brand of dogs (I may have got the name wrong). Having not seen their name that I can remember, I didnt pick up a pack. Have you tried that brand and, if so, how are they?

I think Elvis' grilled their dogs and rolls in butter (at least it tasted like it). They use skinless Old Neighborhood brand dogs which, in my opinion, are very mild unless toppings are used. It looked like they cooked the dogs on the grill ahead of time had a pan on the grill which held the dogs. Then they heated them up on the grill but I dont know if it was to warm them up or to complete cooking. They were tender and juicy so I presume they were slow cooked. Flo's uses the Old Neighborhood brand as well but with natural casings. However, they didn't appear to have too much snap-probably due to the steaming process they use.

The onion's on Flo's dogs tasted more like a relish to me than onions. In addition, the amount of relish they put on the dog was quite small as was the amount of sewwt mayo and the sprinkle of celery salt. Personally, I would have preferred more. It is sweet and quite tasty with just a slight bit of heat. They sell 8 oz jars of it for $7.95 but I didnt buy one. One of them thought it would be good on a pork roast if put on during the last 15 minutes or so during cooking. They are probably right. So-I recommend you try the "house special" the next time you head up that way if you dare. <g>

I also wanted to try the Hummel's dogs in Ct but left NJ late and had to beat the traffic north. I'll make it a point to stop next time.

Finally, can you tell me if G&W sells their dogs by another name in NH, MASS & ME? I can't find their brand up in this area. I thought I read somewhere that Deutschmacher was made by them but I'm not sure. I've heard a lot of good things about G&W dogs and want to give them a try as well.

As for Syd's, I'll get there on my next NJ trip which should be in a month or two. I'll be sure to bring my cooler again too since I know where all the supermarkets are now <g>. I'll let you know how I like the others I bought when I try them.

Thanks & regards,
Rick






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John Fox
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/15 08:54:27 (permalink)
Rick,

I am positive that Schickhaus franks are made by Grote&Weigel. I don't know what the deal is with ConAgra, but I suspect that it has to do with distribution. The Schickhaus name is also used on coldcuts, Schickhaus bologna being very popular in my area. I've spoken with someone from Grote&Weigel recently who confirmed that they make Schickhaus franks. They had been making them up until about 1990 when they lost the contract to another company (Russer, I believe). They started making them again a couple of years ago. The manager of the meat dept. in a local Shop Rite told me about 3 weeks ago that the Schickhaus franks that they sell come in boxes labeled Grote&Weigel.

You mentioned a Shop Rite in Rochelle Park carrying a brand called Bear Brook. What you are referring to is Black Bear. Black Bear is the brand name for a line of products (meats, cheeses, salads, etc.) that are exclusive to Shop Rite. A few years ago I saw their all beef franks for $1.99 per pound. I thought that they were some off the wall cheap brand. That price is a sale price however. After hearing a few radio commercials, I went out and bought a pack. They were surprisingly good. I did some investigating and found out that these franks are supplied to Shop Rite under a private label arrangement. The franks, as well as the entire Black Bear product line is made in Philadelphia by Dietz and Watson. In fact, someone from the company told me that Dietz and Watson New York style beef franks are the exact same dog as the Black Bear beef frank.

This dog was one of my favorite beef hot dogs a few years back. About a year or so ago I stopped buying them. I don't know if they changed their recipe, or if my taste changed. A food critic that I know says that he liked them better than any beef frank, but that he too doesn't like them anymore and suspects that they may have tweaked the recipe. I see in the Shop Rite circular that they are on sale this weekend; $1.99 rather than the usual $4.99. Maybe I'll buy a pack since I haven't had them in a long time.

The Stewart's Root Beer on rt 22 in Clinton serves a footlong Dietz and Watson all beef dog that I remember as being pretty good.

Grote& Weigel may very well sell their hot dogs under a different name in certain places. I seem to recall someone mentioning that they contacted the company and were told that they were called Old Style, Old World, or something similar. I would suggest that you contact the company. I don't believe that they make the Deutschmacher brand which I think comes from Rhode Island, Mass. or Maine. But I may be wrong.
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RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/16 20:22:36 (permalink)
John, I'm not really going to pretend that I know anything about hot dogs, except how I like them, but after following this thread, I found myself in front of the hot dog case at one of the smaller chain markets here in Baltimore. The most intriguing package I noticed was a natural casing all beef 8 to a pound dog from Boars Head. The package was not nice and symetrical, just looked like they took 7 dogs (weight .81#) in a fist and shrink wrapped them. Now you may have mentioned this one eons ago, but I thought I'd ask if you are familiar with this item.

I'm still in for September 4th. It looks like it will be an intimate group.
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