Originally posted by LouisR
Mr. John Fox:
I am another hot dog fanatic from N.J. It was great to read your post. Finally a kindred spirit!
I lived in N.J. in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Now I'm in New Orleans, where it is impossible to get a decent hot dog.
The best I've ever had were served up in middle school in Cranford. Brilliant student that I was (not), I never inquired about them, and they have faded, sadly, into my history.
Second best, however, were enjoyed frequently at Stewart's Root Beer stands in Clark, Plainfield and Roselle. They were deep fried and spectacular. They required no condiments and it would have been an insult to their flavor to add even mustard. I always ate them plain. I was very impressed by your post, and very surprised, also, that you did not mention Stewart's. Some of the outlets have ceased to exist, but I have heard there are still a few around, one in Rahway.
Over the years, I have noticed, several great foods have declined in quality or disappeared altogether. I hope the same old quality I remember and miss so badly can still be found in Rahway and at the other Stewart's, but I don't know since I haven't been in N.J. for decades. I've heard about Ruts Hut, but have not yet tried a ripper! I could not believe you rated Ruts tops for deep fried dogs yet made no mention whatever of Stewart's.
I also miss Taylor Pork Roll (have you tried that?) and have contacted Porkrollexpress.com, a business set up to send TPR to N.J. expatriates like me, who long, on occasion, to be back home there. The gals at Porkrollexpress.com were kind enough to research Stewarts on my behalf. They told me Stewart's used Thumann's, which I could not verify independently. I had them procure and obtain some Thumann's hot dogs, and I deep fried them at home. They were not bad, but were not the dogs I used to get at Stewart's. Perhaps Thumann does indeed produce a different "model" which Stewart's uses. I'd like to find out.
I remember Jimmy Buffs italian hot dogs. Not bad, but I don't consider them to be in a league with Stewart's. They were a taste experience, but it was due to the way they were dressed, on those rolls, and with the potatos and other condiments. Stewart's were superb in and of themselves, just because of the fine hot dogs they were, and perhaps also because of the way they were cooked, and as I mentioned, they required no condiments. I wonder what Jimmy Buffs would taste like if they used Stewart's hot dogs. I don't even want to think about what a JB hot dog would taste like deep fried and on a plain bun without condiments.
If you (or any who read this) have any idea how I can get Stewart's type hot dogs here in New Orleans, or any thoughts about any of the above, I'd like to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your fine post on this service.