Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/11/16 08:31:24
Yuppicide ,
 
I often thought about making up shirts for  one of our meets at Charlies .
Sounds like a great idea if you put it together
Benzee
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/11/20 19:49:59
Last night I stopped at Charlies in Kenilworth for a double Italian Hot Dog. It was the first time in over a year (see post 1414 page 48) and I was curious to see how they are currently.
 
Charlies was at one time my favorite Italian Hot Dog. When they are on, they still make a great sandwich. The bread was fresh, the potatoes excellent like they used to be, as were the peppers. Charlies always included a ton of peppers and cooked them just right. A substantial sandwich, but I noticed something different. The hot dogs didn't taste the same! When I got a bite of one at the bottom of the sandwich, it tasted different. I took another bite and was pretty sure the dogs I was biting into were Sabrett and not Best. Sabrett is a fine dog; one of my favorite beef franks, but Best is just better in my opinion on an Italian Hot Dog. It's what I prefer and what I'm used to.
 
It was too late to call Charlies and ask, so I waited until today. My suspicion was confirmed. They are using Sabrett. The sandwich was very good, but the hot dog flavor I was looking for was lacking. Some may like it better, but for years Charlies used Best. The old owner switched to Sabrett once, but switched back immediately. Wonder why they switched again. Should have asked, but I don't know whether the young person I spoke with would know.
Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/11/20 20:45:14
John ,
Would you go back again with them using Sabrett ? Do you think it is a cost factor involved ?
Benzee
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/11/21 06:09:28
More than likely due to cost. Best and Sabrett are about the same, but some places or distributors may charge less for one or the other. No other reason for them to switch. I like Sabretts grilled (Papaya King, Jack's, Boulevard Drinks) or dirty water style, but fried in an Italian Hot Dog, Best's just tastes better.
big g in joisey
Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/11/22 20:10:01
Stopped by Donny's Dogs in Newark the other day. This truck was voted as best in class with the original Munch Mobile a few years ago. He has a special of 3 Sabrett hotdogs with any or all toppings  for $4.75, also added to his menu is an Italian Sausage sandwich with peppers and onions for $4.00. He has a list of specialty dogs as well,some are Nj pizza dog,(tomatoe sauce and 2 types of cheese),Idaho dog(homemade sauteed slice potatoes),Carolina dog (chili & Coleslaw),Louisiana dog(homemade hot relish), and the Diablo Dog(homemade hot onions and hot relish). There are 9 specialty dogs, something for just about everyones taste.
Applecheeks
Hamburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/12/04 20:41:29
Big G - I have stopped at Donny's Dogs a few times.  His dogs are pretty good.  I always marvel at how much stuff he has on that truck.  And he is a really nice person.
I notice you are in Kearny.  Have you ever tried Hot Dog Hut in Harrison.  The dogs are Sabrett natural casing/12 to a pound.  His chili, the onions and sloppy joes are all homemade and pretty darn good.  That is my new "go to' place when I'm in the mood for a hot dog.  They are located on harrison Ave, across from the Burger King. 
Ethan21
Junior Burger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/12/13 04:01:52
I gotta say, this was a fantastic, extremely well planned, timed and organized tour, with not a weak dog in the bunch, from Dee's Truck (my personal favorite of the day), to Galloping Hill (who COMPED EVERY PERSON ON THE TOUR A HOT DOG AND DRINK to start off the Tour--that is amazing generosity, and evidence of the high regard in which our tour organizers, John Fox and Benzee were held), to The Windmill, to Jimmy Buff's to Manny's to Bubba's, each and every place was unique in its own way, and each place was distinctively great in their own way, a tremendous achievement by the thoughtful planners of this tour.
The Galloping Hill dog, a custom dog on a custom bun, I enjoyed with mustard and hot relish, and it was dazzling. But nothing, to me, topped the fresh snap of the natural casing Sabrett dog at Dee's, served on a equally fresh bun, simply perfection. The Windmill was also quite good, nicely grilled footlong dog with very good chili, mustard and onions. Manny's is my current favorite chili dog, with a chili sauce that has hints of nutmeg and cinnamon--I thought I was in a Cincinnati chili parlor!---and a nicely grilled dog. Great service staff also, I must say. JImmy Buff's in East Hanover was the best version of the Italian hot dog that I've had in along while, just well sauteed onions, peppers and potatoes, great pizza bread and a very good tasty dog. But Bubba's was also great in its way; I had parts of a plain dog with mustard and relish, as well as a chili dog, and they were both superb. KIller fresh cut fries at Bubba's, too.

But in the end, its the people on a tour that you enjoy the most, and I've gotta say that this tour had some of the NICEST people you'd ever hope to meet; enthusiastic, eccentric, colorful and best of all, funny. 

Truly a great day of fun in the hot dog subculture of New Jersey. I hope I can make it every year from now on. 
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/12/17 15:12:22
I just happened to be passing the Scotch Plains location of Jimmy Buff's on Rt 22. There's a big For Sale sign out front. I don't know if that means they are closing and the building is for sale or if just the business is for sale.  As of now it still appears to be open.
 
Doesn't matter, I'm not a fan of that location, way too greasy for me. And with the new Kenilworth location only aboout 8 minutes away (and which has much better food), maybe they are throwing in the towel.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/12/19 20:53:31
Ken, 
I was surprised myself to see that sign...but then John Fox informed it's been there for quite a while. As I've come to understand it, the owner, who is a relative of the young man doing such a fine job at the Kenilworth location, has been wanting to sell for quite a while.
 
  I think this Route #22 store is a great location, but needs an awful lot of work. Of late, the hours seem to be erratic, and they close quite early. As there is very little light in the place, it's often difficult to see whether or not it's open.
  The Bear
johnlockedema
Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2011/12/22 19:08:28
I walked out of the Rte 22 Jimmy Buff's when the chef was smoking a cigar inside . . .
yuppicide
Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/04 20:07:55
Wegman's by me carries Skyline chili! You know the famous chili from Cincinnati. Freakin $3.99 a can, though. I picked up two anyway and had it like they suggest.. spaghetti, onions, cheese, chili.. I skipped the beans.
 
It's nearly identical to TEXAS WEINER sauce I'd get in New Jersey. So, if I'm ever in a fix and don't want to drive an hour to a Texas Weiner, I know where to go. 10 minutes to Wegman's.
 
Loved it!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 08:19:29
I recently was to three hot dog joints that I haven't been to in awhile. Jerry's Famous Frankfurters in Elizabeth which is one of my very favorite places; Dees in Roselle Park, and Uncle Petey's Weenies in Colonia. I'm familiar with the first 2; I've only been to Uncle Petey's once 5 years ago and I wasn't impressed. Small 12 to a lb natural casing Sabrett's. These dogs were bland and had little snap from being in the water too long.

I decided to stop in again since it's close to my new route and also because I was told that they have a pretty good Italian Hot Dog, which I ordered. From speaking with the owner I found out that they now use 11/1 rather than 12/1. Although I didn't have a regular dog, they looked nice and hot when others ordered them. A definite improvement from 5 years ago. As for the Italian Hot Dog, it was much better than I anticipated. They use real pizza bread and fry the dogs (and other ingredients too) rather than boil them like they do the regular dogs. The bread comes from DiPaola's in Newark, who supplies Dickie Dees. It was excellent and very fresh. The peppers were good; both red and green, and were tangy/vinegary. The potatoes were outstanding. Thick slices that were golden brown and similar to Big Blues in Linden. Right up there with them, Jimmy Buff's, and Tommy's as far as quality potatoes on an Italian Hot Dog. Only thing I didn't care for were the dogs. 11/1 is too small for an Italian Hot Dog. I prefer 8/1 or even 10. And Best's franks are much better on an Italian Hot Dog than Sabrett. Overall a good sandwich. I had a double and it was a little smaller than most places but also less expensive. It was $5.50. Most others charge close to $8.00. I'll definitely stop there again.

Dees was great as usual. She serves a 10/1 natural casing Sabrett. Consistently good every time, her dogs are always piping hot and fresh. I also like that her dogs are bigger than the more common 11/1 and 12/1. In my opinion Dees is the best place for a dirty water Sabrett.

Jerry's may be the place I've gone to more than any other. Even Galloping Hill Inn which is down the street from where I live. Easily one of my favorites. So good I can eat 5 or 6. They serve an 8/1 Best's that is boiled first, then finished off in a steel compartment that is like a grill. It adds flavor and snap. Delicious dogs and a great value at $1.75 for an 8/1. A lot of places charge $2 and up for a tiny 12/1 Sabrett. Galloping Hill Inn serves a dog twice as big (6/1) for $2.50. Another good value My only criticism of Jerry's is that occasionally you will get a bun that is less than fresh.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 10:54:56
Nice writeup John, thanks.  Although I lived in Elizabeth for 10 years in the 80's and early 90's, I think I only went to Jerry's twice, and both times my experience was not that good. Must have been off days for them.
 
I saw an ad on local cable last night for this place, which looks interesting:
 
http://www.2fatguysrestaurant.com/boardwalk.html
 
They've got quite a menu (pizza and subs too, on another page), which makes me wonder how well they can do any one thing.
 
Anyone been?
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 15:58:57
Yeah, I was there a few times. Twice for a regular hot dog. They had an 8/1 skinless Nathan's that was prepared on a griddle. Ok. Another time I had a cold sub that wasn't that good. Other pizzerias in Colonia do better. The pizza wasn't that good either. I think the place is about size and quantity. A few guys at work went and didn't care for the food.
pnwchef
Filet Mignon
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 16:37:05
John, thanks for all the great info in your posts. If anyone reads your posts they will never say " It's only a hot dog, no big deal" I think you could change their mind in a heart beat. I grew up on the East Coast around Hot Dog stands, not Hamburger joints, like we have in the Pacific Northwest. I have fond memories of the great Hot dog stands I have visited in the past. Evey time I read your post, these memories come back. I think the first place I had a Steamed dog was in Shea Stadium, the hot dogs I grew up with were always grilled, or deep fried....................Thanks for bringing back those memories...............pnwc
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 19:13:12
Thanks for the feedback on The Two Fat Guys place, John. Saves me a trip.
JerseyJoe
Junior Burger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/15 20:52:14
I've been getting some conflicting information about Dickie Dee's on Bloomfield Ave in Newark, NJ.
Some have been telling me it's out of business others say it's not. Who should I believe?
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/16 08:34:51
They are still in business. I know of someone going there this past Friday.
JerseyJoe
Junior Burger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/01/16 20:29:24
John Fox

They are still in business. I know of someone going there this past Friday.

Thank you!

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/03 07:57:48
A new place in Philipsburg serving an authentic Italian Hot Dog.
 
http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/food/index.ssf/2012/02/restaurant_profile_marios_ital.html
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/03 08:38:24
 Didn't post about Jimmy Buff's last week. I went to Kenilworth and had a double. Also got a single for the next day as they have coupons every Friday in the Ticket section of the Star Ledger. The single was free.

They made a change in their dogs. Now using a skinless 8/1 Best's, which in my opinion is the perfect dog for this sandwich. There were a ton of peppers which were prepared perfectly and also a lot of potatoes. The potatoes were a little thinner this time and had more oils. Excellent. Don't know if this is a conscious change or just a variation. But with the change to a bigger dog, peppers that are as good as any I've had (including Charlies which was their strong point), and potatoes that are as good or better than anyone's, I'd have to say that this place makes perhaps the best Italian Hot Dog currently. Every ingredient is excellent, the sandwich is now as big as any I've had, it's close to me, and they always have coupons so the value is excellent. I think I'll be returning today to see if my sandwich was the same as last week.
Korkdog
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/12 17:14:51
Hey new to this site...For a great hot dog with ALL the toppings you like come to a Lakewood Blueclaws baseball game and visit THE DOG HOUSE . We have evrything from raw onions, sauerkraut, cole slaw etc.
post edited by Korkdog - 2012/02/16 17:08:20
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/12 17:22:25
What about the dog itself? What brand is it? Skinless or natural casing? Is it grilled, prepared on a roller grill, boiled? All beef or beef and pork? In my opinion the dog and it's preparation are more important and should never play second fiddle to the toppings.
 
leethebard
Sirloin
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/12 18:24:34
We love the Blueclaws and go often, but their hotdogs are at best,below average!!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/13 13:50:07
In a previous thread it was mentioned that Grote & Weigel has gone out of business. The places here in Jersey that used their products still have hot dogs from them but will have to change eventually. Galloping Hill Inn's manager first denied that G&W went out of business (dishonesty typical of many in this business) then told me not to worry; that "everything is taken care of."
 
The owner was more forthcoming and told me that that Gaiser's will be making the hot dogs. They did prior to the change in ownership in 1988. Galloping Hill has the recipe and it will again be made by Gaisers. 
 
Manny's hasn't yet decided on a supplier. I was at Father & Son to buy some chili and the guy working the counter claimed to not know that their supplier has gone out of business. He may not know, but I'm sure the owner does. In the past they've used Sabrett and Best's.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/22 14:35:17
 Well, being off this week I had the chance to visit Gaiser's today. The women working there spoke no English at all. I had them get one of the sausage makers from the back who at least spoke a little English. I asked a bunch of questions that he could not answer. He then took me to his boss who answered my questions and took me to where the sausages and franks are made.

Gaiser's is now making the hot dogs for the Galloping Hill Inn. I saw a whole rack of them that look exactly like those served by GHI and made since 1988 by Grote & Weigel. 6/1 and with the collagen casing. I was given a few to take home. In the front the store sells 3 different kinds that are made on premise. A Russian frank that is all pork, a beef and veal frank, and a German style pork/beef frank. I found out from the guy who took me around that the German frank is the same recipe that is being made for the Galloping Hill Inn. But it has a sheep casing and is approx 9/1. The frank made for GHI has a collagen casing and is 6/1.

I was also given a pack of the German franks that are sold in the store. Same recipe, same flavor, but a different size and casing. The man I spoke with was disappointed that the GHI went with Grote & Weigel when the new owners took over. From what I've heard from others in the industry recently is that G&W undercut their competitors in an effort to get business. Which is why the new owners had the franks made in Conn. rather than the local pork store where they were always made. I also found out that Gaiser's used to ship fresh product every 2 days while G&W had to be shipped in from out of state less frequently and the dogs were frozen and not as fresh.

Looks like a change for the better. I never had a hot dog from the GHI prior to 1988 but those that have said they were better when they were made by Gaiser's despite being from the same recipe. I saw the rack of dogs that will be headed to GHI tomorrow and they look exactly the same. And tomorrow for lunch I will compare them to the packaged version that is the same recipe but smaller in size and with a different casing. I also bought a few franks from the Union Pork Store for the salke of comparison.

Sorry for the long post, but the bottom line is that Gaiser's will now be supplying the GHI as they did in the past and that you can get the same recipe franks at their store for $3 and change for a lb.

I am off tomorrow and have the house to myself. I will be enjoying a few beers and sampling the GHI dog, the smaller Gaiser's dog, and one from the Union Pork Store.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/22 19:00:30
Tex-Max
Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/23 00:09:38
Wow just in the nick of time.  What a story and what a save for the employees!  Thanks for posting JF.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/23 09:01:58
Good news, maybe, about Grote & Weigel. But based on John's excellent research above, it sounds like they have lost the Galloping Hill account, which has to be a huge account. Who knows how many others they have lost that will never come back. The article mentions this. I think only time will tell whether or not the "new" Grote & Weigel succeeds.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/23 09:49:28
I've spoken with a few people who own retaurants that used G&W franks. One in particular contacted me looking for someone who makes a dog as close as possible to the G&W griddle frank. One would be Armour/Eckrich who makes Schickhaus, but they make only the 4/1 size which is why almost all of the Texas Weiner joints that use griddle franks rather than deep fry franks switched from Schickhaus to Grote & Weigel years ago. Schickhaus was originally from N.J. (Kearny) and had their plant here. Many of these places will tell you that they use Schickhaus even though they do not. Some still have the Schickhaus sign on the wall.
 
I have suggested some franks that I consider better than G&W's griddle frank, but people are reluctant to switch to something that is different than what their customers are used to, even if it is higher quality.
 
Galloping Hill Inn made the switch to their old supplier and I don't think they will return to the new G&W. I could be wrong. Because I currently have some time off and have no life, I have been busy speaking with some of these restaurants and hot dog manufacturers including pork stores. They are in touch with each other and it will be interesting to see who ends up using what. I think this is good because it adds variety. As it is, all of the Plainfield area places have been using the same G&W Griddle frank. I would love to see some use maybe a quality frank from a pork store, or a Thumann's griddle frank which I like better than G&W, but you rarely see the Thumann's griddle frank used. And the few that do have problems with the preparation. Geenie Weenis has the dog, the right price, but cannot for the life of them serve it hot. And they grill it first, then throw it in the deep fryer! Stewart's in Rahway also uses this dog but does not prepare it well.
 
I know the one place will be happy that G&W has been resurrected.
Dog Boss
Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/23 15:35:08
who's that Damon ,from  F&S ?  LOL 
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/23 17:09:08
No; he claimed not to know that G&W was out of business. And maybe he didn't as he isn't the owner.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/24 14:04:09
I sampled 4 hot dogs for lunch. One directly from the GHI. One from the Union Pork Store. The new GHI dog made at Gaisers. And finally the smaller dog from Gaiser's that is the same recipe but a different casing.

I was surprised at the results. First of all I took the GHI dog (which is from Grote & Weigel) off their bigger bun and put it in my skillet with the other dogs. When I pulled them all out, I put them in regular hot dog buns. First observation: both of the dogs from Gaiser's had the same flavor as they are from the same recipe.

Second observation. The dog from GHI tasted slightly different despite supposedly being made from the same recipe as the new dog. It was darker in color and packed tighter. The Gaiser's dog(s) were more tender and a wee bit spicier. Although similar, if you sample them side by side you should notice a difference. I can't say which is better because both are high quality and it's a matter of taste. I prefer the Grote & Weigel dog.   
 
Third observation: I liked the Union Pork Store frank better than the others. But you must consume them within a day or 3 of buying them. As of now the GHI is still using franks from Grote & Weigel and they're still good.

Another hot dog establishment that uses the standard Grote & Weigel griddle frank has stocked up on them and told me that they are sealed well (vacuum packed) and stay good for awhile. They have not yet decided what they will do.


kevincad
Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/24 14:44:53
dt917

New Jersey does have an excellent assortment of Hot Dogs, the best and most unique of which come from Rutt's Hut. For whatever reason, no other deep-fried hot dog compares, maybe it's in the grease. Then too there's their superb relish. Three addenda on hot dogs:

1) Providence, RI is the home of the excellent New York System frank, your basic hot dog covered with a watery, all-beef chili, raw chopped onions and curry powder. Unique, and tasty. Chase it with a coffee milk, an indiginous RI drink. Olnyville New York System is where to go.

2) Zweigle's White Hots are the best franks on the market, period -- and not indiginous to New Jersey. I hope that they can get a national distributor someday.

3) Coleslaw as a dog topping is very underrated. Here in Boston, I like to get a deep-fried dog with slaw on top, for the contrast in textures and temperatures -- if only Rutt's had slaw!


White Hots are local to the western NY area, Rochester and south. When I lived in the area, there was a place in Hornell NY that the sign simply said White Hots. My father used to take me there.
johnlockedema
Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/29 16:01:40
I'm waiting for John Fox to comment on today's Star Ledger piece on Don's in Morristown, where the author speaks of the 'exclusive hot dog recipe from Best' used at the restaurant.
 
So exclusive that you can buy them at many supermarkets, as well as direct?  I guess every hot dog manufacturer is 'exclusive' to themselves!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/02/29 19:38:37
Another blatant lie. I have the Ledger, but didn't read it yet. I can tell you that the old Don's used a 4/1 natural casing Best's all beef dog. You can buy these for yourself at Best. The dogs are even labelled the "Don's dogs". I've posted many times that Best's has only ONE recipe. This hasn't stopped people from claiming that they have a special recipe "made just for us."
 
This lie has become so common that I've noticed recently that when it's repeated, the nose of the person perpetuating it grows slightly.
johnlockedema
Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/01 09:06:13
I knew you'd give a good commentary on Facebook!  The whole story wasn't fact checked at all-the new owner picked up the trademark/copyright of Don's when it lapsed.  As for the passed down 'recipes', just how authentic is it when the original Don's ground their own beef daily and char broiled the burgers-instead of buying pre-ground beef and cooking it on a griddle?
 
Having said that, I did enjoy the burger at the new place, but it's smaller that the original Don's and the bun SUCKED, it's a commercial Pepperidge Farms bun.  Don used to bake his own burger buns.
CCinNJ
Sirloin
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/01 09:50:32
The Star Ledger. They should have enough resources to cover hot dogs in NJ. Pete Genovese covered chili in Hoboken last week.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/11 14:33:39
Stopped this past week at Big Blues in Linden to pick up an Italian Hot Dog to bring home. Almost forgot how good theirs is since it's been awhile. Excellent; in my opinion one of the top 2; possibly #1. Fresh pizza bread (America's bakery in Irvington) 8/1 Best's beef dogs, plenty of red and green peppers that are unique and marinated. A great change of pace from the usual. Their potatoes are the best for an Italian Hot Dog along with Uncle Petey's in Colonia. Fried to a golden brown. And a great value for a nice sized Italian Hot Dog. $5.85 tax included. Petey's is $5.95 but a smaller sandwich. Jimmy Buff's East Hanover is $4.95 on Tuesdays.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/11 15:03:31
And last week I finally got to the Jimmy Buff's in Kenilworth for the first time. I came away with a mixed opinion. I went with my son, and we had the "Buy a Double and get a single free" coupon. Since we both wanted doubles I thought it would be a no-brainer to be able to simply "upgrade" to a second double, i.e pay the difference in price between a single and a double. The lady at the counter had no idea what I was asking about. She called the Manager from the back, who agreed to give me a double for the price of a single. Being good at math, I knew this was not as good a deal as simply getting a single for free, or upgrading to a double, but I realized there was no point in arguing. Jeez, even McDonald's understands the concept of an upgrade. I can't believe no one had ever asked for something like this.
 
Anyway, about the dog itself, there was a ton of potatoes but very few onions and peppers. And most of the potatoes were cut way too thick, resulting in some of them being undercooked. The bread and dogs were excellent.
 
In short, Big Blues remains my Italian Dog of choice within a 15 minute drive of home.
 
 
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/11 20:41:34
I don't get onions but every time I go to Kenilworth I get plenty of peppers. Green and soft the way I like them. The potatoes have changed. Instead of dry and crispy, they are less dry with more oils; similar to Tommy's in Elizabeth. I like both types but most of the time I like them drier.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/16 18:36:29
Looks like Brooke Tarabour from the Star Ledger really loves the new Don's:
 
http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dining/index.ssf/2012/03/its_deep_orange_freezing_again.html
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/16 19:13:47
It's different. See a few posts up.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/17 07:41:54
From a post in August:
"Yesterday I was in Perth Amboy. I had heard about a place serving hot dogs called Coney Island something or other, so I looked for it. The place is called the New Coney Island Restaurant. It's actually been around for years and was called the Coney Island Restaurant. New refers to either new owners or renovations that were done. I think it's the latter although the place looks like it's out of the 1940's.
 
It's an old time looking luncheonette with a long counter. When I saw hot dogs on a roller grill, I almost walked out. Since I was there, I figured I would stay for a few dogs. I've heard about this place years ago and from what I read somewhere they have a reputation for good chili.
 
The dogs are 8/1 skinless Thumann's beef/pork grillers. Despite being prepared on the roller grill, they were hot and tasted good. The chili was excellent. Thick, and not as hot  compared to the Plainfield area Texas Weiner joints that grill their dogs and serve a thick, spicy chili. The chili here is in the style of places I've been to in New York in and around Newburgh and the Hudson Valley. I'm sure it is like many in PA as well.
 
It was almost identical to the chili at the Coney Island Restaurant in Middletown, N.Y. which is one of my favorites. Also reminiscent of the chili homemade and given out by John Sagi of the Gourmet Chili Dog site at some of the Hot Dog Tours in the past. I love this chili but Middletown N.Y. is too far to travel to regularly. Now I can enjoy it when I'm up to travelling 15 miles.
 
The New Coney Island Restaurant is located at 192 Smith St. in Perth Amboy. While I would prefer a natural casing frank prepared on a griddle, these dogs were hot and tasted very good. Went well with the chili. The casing and char imparted from a griddle isn't as significant if the dog has toppings. Regular dogs are $1.60. With mustard, chili, and onions (Coney) $2.10 which is good for an 8/1 served on a quality steamed bun. And they are generous with the amount of chili. I think there is a special of 2 Coneys with fries and a soda for $5.99. I'll definitely be back. "
 
 
I went back yesterday and had two chili dogs. I think that this may be my favorite chili. I really like the style. As I mentioned, it's almost identical to the chil from the Coney Island Restauarnt in Middletown, N.Y. Again my hot dogs were hot and delicious. Just wish they would use a natural casing frank and a real grill. But it's not as noticeable when the dog is covered with that excellent chili. They do sell it to go. A little expensive at $6 a container (Hot Grill and Father & Son charge $3 and change) but I bought some to bring home. I believe this type of chili goes best on a German style dog rather than a spicy all beef frank. I will be putting it on some quality natural casing dogs this weekend.
Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/25 21:43:17
Hello all ,
Dog Boss past away last night of a heart attack .
RIP
Benzee
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/26 07:24:21
My condolences to his family. Scott visited many of the hot dog joints in Jersey with his 2 younger children. I happenned to run into him occasionally. He met up with us at some of the stops on the last couple of hot dog tours. He had a unique sense of humor and was larger than life. I'll post details about the viewing when I get them.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/26 09:44:10
Scott's wife sent me an e-mail saying that there will be a service for him at Costello and Grenier Funeral Home 44 Green St. Woodbridge Friday, March 30 from 6-9.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/03/27 22:44:22
 
Gee, it wasn't that long ago, at a mini-meet at Charlie's Pool Room, when I just happened to remark that I hadn't had a Goldenberg's Peanuts Chews in decades, and Dog Boss went over and bought me a pack of 'em. The gesture caught me by surprise. I thought it was so nice of him. I saved them until I went to the movies and thoroughly enjoyed them.  I'll miss his enthusiasm and attendance on the Tour. RIP.
 The Bear
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/04/16 19:18:31
 
I wound up in Long Branch yesterday. Split a hot dog at Max's, and the Windmill. Went to a place called McCloones for lunch. As for the hot dogs, Max's was much better today. Both serve long, thin 4/1 beef/pork dogs that are prepared on a griddle. Max's serves a Schickhaus. Well done and placed on a soft high quality bun that was also heated on the griddle. Excellent preparation and flavor. One of the 3 best places to get a grilled German style beef/pork dog made for you. The others are Galloping Hill Inn and the cart in front of Karl Ehmer's which serves a frank from Kocher's Pork Store.

The Windmill dog is a beef/pork Sabrett. Not done as well as I would have liked. Substantially less flavor than the dog at Max's. The bun was also inferior. A standard supermarket Wonder Bread bun that fell apart.

Max's and the Windmill are on Ocean Ave. less than a mile apart. Each has their own devoted fans. Schickhaus was originally a Jersey dog made in Kearny. The plant closed and the recipe was made by Grote & Weigel of Conn., then Russer Foods, then Grote & Weigel again, and now by Armour Eckrich. You can only get these in Jersey. They are very good if done right.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/04/21 20:15:23
 I went to Goodman's Deli in Berkely Heights yesterday. I limited my intake to hot dogs. I had the Chicago Style Hot Dog and their regular hot dog which is made by Best's.

The Chicago Hot Dog is authentic as far as I'm concerned. Vienna Beef franks and Rosen's poppy seed buns. I'll admit that the Chicago style isn't my favorite style, but since J's Beef (RIP) was 5 miles from my home, I've gone many times and aquired a taste for this type of dog. The Vienna Beef Frank is a quality frank and blends in better with the ingredients than a more well seasoned beef dog like Sabrett's or Nathan's would. These dogs would throw everything out of whack.

I've had 3 Chicago dogs in Jersey that are close to what you would get in Chicago. J's Beef, whose owner is from Chicago and who got a letter of authenticity from the President of Vienna Beef, Out of This World, who gets all the ingredients from Chicago, but doesn't prepare it right, and Goodman's Deli. Out of the 3, Out of This World is ok; but inconsistent. The owner doesn't always have Vienna Beef and for the life of me cannot figure out why she wont heat in water, or chargrill her dogs. They don't griddle fry in Chicago. J's Beef was very good; authentic and the dogs were skinless 6/1.

Goodman's is the best of the three. Don Parkin is from Chicago and knows his dogs. Everything is authentic. He uses a 7/1 natural casing Vienna, which to me is a great size. I prefer natural casing to skinless. I ordered steamed (heated in water with the top closed) rather than chargrilled. While J's was good; Goodman's is better. I prefer natural casing while J's was skinless. Also the tomatoes were too big at J's; at Goodman's they were the right size.

While I like Vienna Beef franks, I prefer other beef franks. But Vienna is the perfect choice for a Chicago Hot Dog. It doesn't overpower the other ingredients like a Hebrew National, Sabrett, or Nathan's would.

I also had a regular hot dog. Which here is a 4/1 Best's natural casing frank. Commonly referred to as the Don's Dog. Here it is chargrilled. And it is the regular Don's dog that was served at Don's years ago. The current Don's is LYING by claiming a special recipe. Don't know why they would do this when the regular Don's dog was so good. I would think that they would want their customers to think that they are upholding a fine tradition.

Goodman's serves their Don's dog on a Pechter's bun that is the same that Galloping Hill Inn uses. Only here it fits better. At GHI I order a double because the bun is too big. At Goodman's, the bun fits the dog perfectly. They use my favorite mustard; Admiration deli mustard. The bun is toasted and the hot dog is prepared perfectly. Unique and easily one of the best hot dogs I ever had. Don Parkin is from Chicago and was brought up eating Vienna Beef franks. But he recognizes the quality of Best's beef franks and serves them at his deli.

I highly recommend Goodman's. They are not primarily a hot dog joint, but the owner knows hot dogs. And serves excellent ones. I will be a regular. As for the pastrami, corned beef, and other food; I didn't have any despite the reputation Goodman's has. Maybe I'll try the pastrami next time. The hot dogs are top notch. And I suggested that Don doesn't go crazy trying to do too many things with the hot dogs. He has an excellent Chicago Dog and a unique Jersey dog. A Best's 4/1 prepared on a charcoal grill and put in a superior toasted bun topped with my favorite mustard.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/04/28 05:05:55
A review I wrote for Marci's Dog House which will open next Friday. They signed a 3 year deal to be back in their same spot on Featherbed Lane in Clark.
 
 
Marci's is a relatively new hot dog establishment serving primarily dirty water Sabretts.  But they also serve sandwiches, subs, and grilled chicken breast with roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and thin sliced garlic w/balsamic vinaigrette. As a hot dog fanatic who has reviewed hot dogs for the Star Ledger and runs the popular New Jersey Hot Dog Tour with my buddy Erwin Benz, I've been to literally hundreds of hot dog joints. Many of them specialize in "dirty water dogs" or hot dogs prepared in water. Let me say that Marci's is my favorite place that serves this type of dog.

There are many factors that distinguish one place from another. Although the brand and method of preparation is the same and the dogs should taste similar from place to place, the serious hot dog lover considers whether the dogs have a casing, how big they are, if they are hot enough, how fresh they are, and if they have been left in the water a sufficient amount of time. Too long in the water and the dogs lose snap and flavor. The bun is also important. Many vendors use cheap supermarket buns that fall apart. Toppings/condiments are important to most people. Not so much for me as I enjoy mustard only most of the time.

Rob Marciano is the owner of Marci's. What sets him apart as an owner is his generosity and willingness to please his customers. He cares about value, offering a bigger sized dog than most of his competitors. Rob serves a 10/1 Sabrett, which in hot dog speak means 10 to a lb. Competitors like Sal's in Clark and Steve's Hut in Linden serve tiny 12/1 franks and charge as much or more. Anything smaller than 10/1 is too small in my opinion. Most of those serving these tiny dogs don't think their customers will know the difference and are extremely thin skinned and defensive when criticized. Rob, although fairly new to the business, is related by marriage to Dee of Dees Hut in Roselle Park, who has been in the business for 50 years and also serves a great 10/1 natural casing dog. His dogs are the same high quality. But his chili is better. I don't usually have sauerkraut on a hot dog (I love it on bratwurst) but the kraut here is the best I've had. It came about because Rob listened to a customer who gave him suggestions about his sauerkraut. Unlike many of his competitors who think people like me should not dare to criticize them "because we don't know what the business involves." That's irrelevant. We are customers who are eating what they make so we have every right to voice our opinions, good or bad.. Sort of like complaining that we can't criticize a ballplayer who doesn't hustle because we never played pro ball. But I digress. Rob added his own touch to a recipe given to him by the above mentioned customer. The result is a sauerkraut that is by far my favorite. When this customer passed away, Rob donated a couple of hundred hot dogs to his son's school for a hot dog luncheon in his honor.

I respect that people who make an excellent product have their recipes and secrets that they don't want to share because it's what makes their product special. I can tell you that the bun used here is better than any hot dog bun I've had. Sabrett stopped making them. Marci's gets theirs from a top notch bakery and they are better than what anyone else is using. His dogs are always fresh, hot, and more substantial than most of his competition. Great with just mustard, but his chili is excellent and the kraut is the best I've had.

Marci's will be introducing an Italian Hot Dog soon. I was told it will be on excellent pizza bread and that the dogs will be Best's, which are better for an Italian Hot Dog than Sabrett. The ingredients will be fried as is proper for an authentic Newark style Italian Hot Dog.  And the size of the dogs will be 6/1 which no one else is doing. Can't wait to sample this one. I don't usually give rave reviews since I've been to so many hot dog joints. But Marci's is exceptionally good.

Marci's will be a welcome addition to this year's Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour.
ken8038
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/04/29 20:00:53
John, thanks for the writeup on Marci's. This is the same Marci's truck that was at Oak Ridge Park a few months ago, right? Is the new location on Featherbed Lane a truck or a storefront?
 
I never did get to thier Oak Ridge Park location, the few times I went for a walk there the truck wasn't there yet when I finished up around Noon or maybe they had moved to the new location already. As I recall from your post about the truck a couple of months ago, you were not as enthusiastic as you are now. I guess things have improved. I'll give them a try at the new location. Thanks again.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/04/30 07:41:19
It was the end of the day and the dogs were left in the water a little too long. I mentioned this to the owner who thanked me for the comments, unlike many who ignore me or make a face. Since the place is so close to my route, I've been back. The dogs are fresh and hot. Plus they are bigger than what most serve. I like that Rob looks for feedback and switched his kraut for one that is better. Also he will be using bigger dogs for his IHD and will be switching to Best for them.
 
His service, attitude, and product put him a cut above others. He also has superior bread. It's funny, but some in the business wouldn't give him the time of day when he started out and asked general questions. Now they are trying to pick his brain as to what ingredients he is using.
David_NYC
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/03 00:19:43
Saw some Schickhaus franks (the world's most carefully pronounced brand of hot dogs) at a ShopRite sporting the plant number of Klement Sausage Company of Milwaukee.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/03 08:04:09
Interesting. Schickhaus had their own plant in Kearny. After it closed Schickhaus was made by Grote & Weigel, Russer Foods, Grote & Weigel again, now Armour Eckrich. That was the name on the package last time I looked. They distribute Schickhaus, and I thought they made them.
 
I'd love to know how you can take the plant # and find the name of the plant.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/03 08:08:15
I went to Barth's Market in New Providence for the first time Tuesday on the way to Goodman's deli. Barth's is another old time pork store/butcher shop that we are fortunate to have in our area as they are a dying breed. You are virtually guaranteed that you will get quality franks at any of these stores as they use quality ingredients and old world recipes.

I bought a few of their franks which are 50% beef, 50% pork. Natural casing and I would guess about 5 to a pound. I had one along with a frank from the Union Pork Store. Union Pork Store's franks are 6/1. Barth's are bigger. I heated one of each in water and then put them in my cast iron skillet. Barth's are a little darker in color while Union Pork's are reddish/pink. They are identical in flavor. The recipes for each have to be similar if not the exact same.

My favorite franks in this style are Thumann's and those you get at a place like Barth's. Namely Barth's, Union Pork Store, and Kocher's. Differences in flavor are very slight, and as I said I can't taste any difference between the 2 I sampled yesterday. One of the guys at Barth's worked at Gaiser's in Union before it was sold to the current owners. These guys seem to know others in the business and they all produce similar excellent franks. Better ingredients and fresh as can be. Consume before they go bad as there are no preservatives

Go to whichever store is closest to you. Or try them all. You can't go wrong. And in my opinion these hot dogs are too good to disguise their great flavor with all the crap that many hot dog joints pile on. Especially those establishments owned by chefs who take a quality frank and ruin it with foie gras, raspberry wasabi sauce, guacamole, sour cream, cream cheese, and on and on. It's overkill. Might as well use a cheap Bar S or Ballpark frank because a quality one like Barth's would be wasted. When you see the term "haute dog" this is pretty much what you can expect.

The website for Barth's is http://www.barthsmarket.com/2011/home_2011.html

I hope to get to Stefan's in Clifton this week. Another European market that I haven't been to but has been highly recommended on several other sites.
bigdog540
Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/03 08:44:17
Someone asked about a method to decode the processing plant on packaged hot dogs. The USDA provides a list
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/MPI_Directory_Establishment_Number.pdf
It's a long list, and it's searchable, you might find what you're looking for.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/04 23:21:08
                                                                  The Spring Mini-Tour
This is a story about a New Jersey hot dog enthusiast known as ScreenBear, ending his hibernation and stretching his limbs in celebration of warm weather’s arrival. It takes us to Newburgh, N.Y., and then back to N.J.
 
Spring has sprung and a Hot Dog Fancier's fancy turns to his favorite franks. Coming out of my winter cave, I had to be sure all was well in the Hot Dog World.
 So, as is my tradition in celebration of Spring, I drove up to Pete's in Newburgh, N.Y., two weeks ago. It is a time of the year when the leaves are just beginning to fill the trees in the Hudson Valley with a very light, virgin green. 
 At Pete's, a storied hot dog hole in the wall that’s been around for decades, I did my frankfurter hat trick (Texas Weiner, Sweetworks {mustard, sauerkraut and sweet relish}, and one with red, sautéed, N.Y. pushcart style onions). All was perfect. Oh...I had half of a mustard and kraut, too, courtesy of a friend who only wanted a half. Oh, and another chili dog...the hotter one they offer, just to try and remember once and for all the difference between the two. I like both...but the Texas Weiner variety is decidedly milder…a bit more classical. It was all great...the atmosphere unchanged, regulars filtering in, and hot dogs served with a serious dedication to the craft...my confidence in mankind unshaken.  
 As a footnote, the dogs served here are Boar's Head, natural casing all beefs...about 7 to a pound, steamed or boiled, I believe. These are the ones with the peerless snap to 'em. Years back, when the legendary, local dog maker, Temple, closed its doors, Pete’s chose Boar’s Head to replace them. An astute choice. My job was done here.
 Following this wonderful episode, in order be sure a similar happy situation existed at another of my five or so favorite dog purveyors in these United States, from there I drove to Hiram's hot dog stand in Fort Lee, N.J., via the glorious Palisades Interstate Parkway...a great scenic ride if ever there were one. I'm happy to report all went swimmingly well here, too. 
 A chili dog, a bit on the hot side as is their style, still constructed of a pork/beef natural casing Thumann's deep-fried, about 7 to the lb., was excellent. Had to have another half here, too, to help out a friend, of course. 
  Oh, did I mention the day of my mini-tour kicked off from Kenilworth, N.J.'s Jimmy Buff's with a Double Italian Hot Dog? Comprised of two deep-fried Best all-beef, skinless dogs ensconced in perfect Pizza Bread, adorned with peppers, onions, crispy sliced potatoes, with mustard at the bottom of the pouch and ketchup atop the potatoes, no amount of money or effort could have made it better. What a trip it was. Hard work, but someone’s gotta do it. I suggest you do the same at your very earliest convenience.
  Now, one would think I would be satiated. But funny thing about being a Bear…I was hungry only a week later and ventured out again..this go round all in N.J. Went to Goodman's, Berkeley Heights; The Garage, Millburn;  The Dog House (in North Plainfield); and Tommy's, Elizabeth.
  Goodman's, getting good buzz of late for its pastrami, corned beef and Chicago hot dogs, had me curious.  A look-see was in order. Happily, their rendition of the Chicago dog was authentic, with a couple slices of cucumber tossed on for good measure…perhaps as a signature touch. It was quite good, right down to the genuine poppy seed bun…and served hot.
   The 5 to a lb Best’s at The Garage was great...but they have got to get a sturdier roll for that dog, and I thought the big, all beef Sabrett prepared on the grill at The Dog House was just OK.
 But back to the Garage. Serving that excellent frankfurter (in my view, the dog of realm) on that puny hot dog roll is shortsighted. I say find a good roll and be proud of it---even if it costs a few cents more. I don't want to eat a hot dog with a knife and fork...but on that skimpy roll, it kills some of the enjoyment, trying to wield it without the condiments going all over the place.
   When I go in there I specify I want it boiled and finished on the grill, and I want it "hot." Happily, they oblige, and, although the roll is small, they do toast it. Yep, they need just the right roll...strong, tasty but not overwhelming. The best long frank roll I ever had was the one that Scott at The Pickle Barrel (RIP) in Pittsburgh employed. However, that was Schwebel’s for a footlong, and it would be a bit much for the 5 to 1 Best, which is 10 inches long.
 Insofar as The Dog House, I found it just ordinary...and would stop in if I happened to be in the neighborhood, but will doubtful make it a destination. 
 Last but certainly not least, I had a double Italian Hot Dog at Tommy's in Elizabeth, which was better than ever. The potatoes were thin like the potatoes in some better Portuguese restaurants in New Jersey. Truly inspired. Fabulous! For my money, Tommy's, Elizabeth, and Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover and Kenilworth continue to run neck and neck in the Great Italian Hot Dog War.
 
  The Bear

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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leethebard
Sirloin
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/05 06:18:44
Thanks Screenbear for again proving Jersey dogs are the best...Come try out some places down south here and see the greatness does spread south....Max's...The windmill(s) .....Boardwalk Hotdogs in Brick etc....all great.....Oh and Yes, the Palisades Parkway is beautiful. Great report!!!
johnlockedema
Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2012/05/05 18:21:25
Nancy and I went to Goodman's today; just an fyi-the Chicago dog (and the regular dog) aren't listed on the menu, but are usually on the specials board and on one of those rotating cubes with ads found on the tables.  Ditto the Italian Beef sandwich.
 
I had the Italian Beef sandwich, and never having one in Chicago I can't comment as to the authenticity but it was very tender and tasty-I did expect more 'au jus', as aren't originals supposed to have the roll dipped in it?  Still good.  Nancy went for a tuna sandwich, so no report on the Chicago or regular Best hot dog on the Pechters roll.  I'm sure we'll go back.
On the way out the owner stopped us and asked us about our meal; I told him we came on the recommendation of John F-the owner joked 'what does he know?'
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