he general public knows more about Snookie than they do about hot dogs. Otherwise, manufacturers couldn't get away with the plethora of mediocre brands they sell. Then again, they couldn't survive just selling to the knowledgeable enthusiast. Nope, most folks see hot dogs as a novelty, a funny food you eat on a lark, whereas the serious and educated frank enthusiast looks upon that the way serious drinkers look at revelers on New Year's Eve: Amateurs!
I myself prefer what is often referred to as an Eastern, Jewish-style deli Hot Dog. In order of preference, this includes: Best Provision, of Newark, N.J.; Boar's Head all-beef n/c; Hatfield all-beef n/c made for the Eastern market; Hebrew National, Sabrett and Nathan's (actually, the last three are in a dead heat for 4th).
However, if I'm having a chili dog, I prefer a Thumann's pork beef n/c, preferably served at Hiram's in Ft. Lee, N.J., which, I feel, is one of the top three hot dog places not to miss if you are visiting our hot dog-rich state.
However, I must note, during a summer where I have traveled extensively, I do thoroughly enjoy the Vienna Beef hot dog of Chicago, run through the garden, naturally, and all the more better if it's obtained at Portillo's in that fair city.
And you know, I sure am fond of the Hofmann hot dogs one may avail themselves of at that great Mecca of N. Central N.Y. hot dogs, Heid's of Liverpool, on the fringe of Syracuse.
If it's a red one it's a Frank; if it's the white one, with a large component of veal, it's a Coney. Recently I enjoyed a Frank adorned with mustard, sauerkraut and relish, which was known as a Sweetworks in the Newark, N.J., neighborhood I come from, and on the Coney I had chili, onions and mustard. Both were very good.
These are mild hot dogs with a very delicate spice profile, and I must admit, part of my enthusiasm emanated from finally making it to this tube steak Taj Mahal that I've heard so much about over the years. I even enjoyed waiting in line for 1/2 hour, discussing the merits of different frankfurters with fellow customers.
Interestingly, about half the imbibers I spoke to were regular customers, the other half excited first-timers like myself. But drat, I forgot to get the chocolate milk from Byrnes Dairy that has been so long associated with Heid's. I wasn't enthusiastic enough to get back in line
Of further note, and mildly ironic, while Heid’s is about 100 years old---much older if you calculate its pre-hot dog history---I also visited a hot dog emporium in Geneva, N.Y., just opened a few months ago, but serving the same exact dogs as Heid’s. But while Nick L’s of Geneva’s dogs were good, it was the onion rings that were positively world class.
Nick has a secret recipe and procedure to make the breading stick to the rings and he makes them from scratch. If you’re anywhere near and really like onion rings, try ‘em. Here’s their website. http://nickls.com/menu.html
Dig the great slogan.