brand question

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1bbqboy
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brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 10:20 AM
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I had an odd experience at one of our new hot dog vendors, set up in front of our local grange co-op.
After reading about various dogs on here for years, I strolled up to ask what she serves.
Previous carts around town have been suspect by me because they sell cheap supermarket dogs for $3.00.
This girl tells me she won't tell me the brand, but they are made in NY for them.
She said "everyone asks" as if they were fellow vendors looking to find out inside information.
  I said, "most carts promote their brand." She wasn't amused, so I turned around and walked off.
We have a fine Sausage company here locally, Taylor's, and another guy does advertize that he sells Taylor sausages.
I don't want to pay $3.00 for a $.10 dog.
Weird or normal?
 

bigdog540
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 10:34 AM
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Seems weird to me. I think if they're proud of the food they serve they should be willing to tell you where it comes from. I've found vendors that say they get a special recipe from a specific source, to try and stay exclusive, but they usually tell you what brand they serve.
 
If enough people walk away she might decide to give more info.

wheregreggeats.com
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 10:36 AM
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I encounter stands all the time with "Vienna Beef" signs ... "Chicago Dogs Here" ... etc. that wind up not having poppy seed rolls and I quite certain that they aren't using a real Chicago dog.
 
Buyer beware.
 
 

bigdog540
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 11:10 AM
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wheregreggeats hit the other side of the brand lore. vendors who lead you to believe they serve a certain brand and substitute an inferior product.  I've suspected that happening with some street carts or trucks that are less established places.
Every place that has a solid reputation and history that I've been to has been quite eager to let me know what brand they serve.

joerogo
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 11:38 AM
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bill voss


I had an odd experience at one of our new hot dog vendors, set up in front of our local grange co-op.
After reading about various dogs on here for years, I strolled up to ask what she serves.
Previous carts around town have been suspect by me because they sell cheap supermarket dogs for $3.00.
This girl tells me she won't tell me the brand, but they are made in NY for them.
She said "everyone asks" as if they were fellow vendors looking to find out inside information.
 I said, "most carts promote their brand." She wasn't amused, so I turned around and walked off.
We have a fine Sausage company here locally, Taylor's, and another guy does advertize that he sells Taylor sausages.
I don't want to pay $3.00 for a $.10 dog.
Weird or normal?


 
Hey Bill Voss, usually you are weird.  But this time you are actually quite normal.

When I approach a new vendor I usually ask a couple questions before ordering.  Type of dog?  Chili homemade or canned? 
 
 And not just with hot dogs.  If ordering a burger, I want to know if the meat is fresh or frozen.  If given an evasive answer.....have a nice day.  Life is too short to eat bad food.

David_NYC
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 1:10 PM
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Buy one, overnight just the frank between two containers of blue ice to John Fox, and you will have a definitive answer the next day!
 
Assuming you were not lied to (above the claim the franks were made especially for them,) the usual suspects are:
1. Boar's Head
2. Nathan's
3. Sabrett
All three have a New York address on retail packages, only Sabrett is physically manufactured somewhere in the State of New York. If the franks are not laced with garlic, chances are it is a Boar's Head. I can't see smaller NY brands such as Sahlen's, Hofmann's, Hartmann's, Stahl-Meyer, Karl Ehmer, Schaller and Weber, Golden D, etc. being available at a price attractive to a hot dog vendor in your area. Hebrew National is no longer made in NY and has a Omaha, Nebraska ConAgra office address on the package.
 
Even if the vendor won't tell you the make of the hot dog, you should be assured that it is not a brand that retails for $1 to $1.50 a pound. For  some on this board, it is a sport to reverse engineer what a hot dog vendor is using. The economics of the business along with food safety issues dictates that just about everybody BUYS their hot dogs from a USDA-inspected plant.
 
 
 
<message edited by David_NYC on Fri, 09/17/10 9:45 AM>

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 6:05 PM
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 Indeed, I saw the new cart and turned around because it said "Old Fashioned Gourmet Dogs"
on their sign.  Oh well, I found a great new taco truck today  with fresh fruit drinks and nice mamas working there.
 David, that's why I was excited to think maybe it would be a Sabrett's, but she said they were specially made
in NY for them, and she couldn't reveal the name. 
Joe, she offered a naked dog, no condiments, and Sauerkraut, but no Chilidog. 
 

John Fox
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 6:41 PM
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I've posted extensively on this subject. I've been to many hot dog establishments and can tell you that many owners do not like to reveal the brand of hot dog or where they get it. I don't feel like going into detail and I'm too lazy to look for past posts, though you can probably find many of them in the New Jersey Hot Dog thread.
 
One reason owners refuse to divulge the brand is because they want you to think their dog is unique; one you can't get elsewhere. When someone says they have the dogs made special for them, over 90% of the time they are lying. It does happen, but it's very rare. I know people who make hot dogs, people who distribute them, people who have worked for these establishments, and competitors who have given me a lot of information. It's too labor intensive to make a special recipe hot dog; especially for someone that doesn't do a large volume like a cart or truck. I've always been able to find out where someone gets their dogs and if it's made special for them. Sometimes it's taken me awhile, but I can tell you that many who run hot dog joints stretch the truth going so far as to claim they make their own dogs on premise. I ask to see the sausage making equipment. Then they tell me the dogs are made special elsewhere. Well, they've already been caught in one lie. There is a company that makes one of my favorite hot dogs. I know the plant manager and their top salesman. They tell me that they make only one recipe hot dog. It does come in more than one size, but every hot dog they make is from the same recipe. On quite a few occasions I've had people tell me they get a special recipe frank from this place!
 
Another reason for the secrecy is that a low quality dog may be used. Your taste buds should be able to tell.

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 6:51 PM
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John, it's funny because I have read several of your observations on the subject. 
The deal is, if I was 3000 miles away from NY and NJ, Iwould make a big deal of the fact that my cart had superior dogs from the heart of dogdom; that's why I turned around and left. 
We're awash in taco trucks, hot dog carts are a rarity around these parts.
I'll go sample one for the team and report back.
Bill
PS: she did mention the casing.

John Fox
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 7:25 PM
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Bill, I'm forgetting that you live in Oregon! Ask her if it's a beef dog. Chances are it's Sabrett. The only made in New York beef dog I know of that distributes in many regions. Hebrew National and Nathan's are not made in New York though many consider them New York dogs. Boars Head too, as David NYC mentioned. If the dog has casing, that rules out Hebrew National.
 
I agree, she should make a big deal out of the brand; especially since it would be rare in Oregon. There is a guy in Denver who uses Thumann's out of New Jersey. He is the only one who does, yet he doesn't tell customers the brand, only that they are "imported" from New Jersey.
 
Know what you do? Take a bite out of the hot dog and tell her, "this is Sabrett. I'm from the east and can tell by the unique taste." See what her reaction is.

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 7:30 PM
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They are all beef. She told me that too.
I'll go in in the next couple of days.
Bill
BTW, here is our local Sausage maker Taylor's, based in Cave Junction, Oregon.
 Dogs & Wieners
 Taylors Sausage Home Page
They are really good.
<message edited by bill voss on Wed, 09/15/10 7:36 PM>

chicagostyledog
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 9:34 PM
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Bill,
I've always been proud of the products I've sold. Branding in the hot dog business is important, especially to customers with brand loyalty. Vendors offering "mystery meats" or refusing to disclose product brand, raise a red flag. What's the big secret? If I have to answer that question, it's probably past your bed time.
 
Take care.
Mark

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Wed, 09/15/10 9:53 PM
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Your guidance made me ask. I know Vienna Beef supplies promo stuff.
I wondered why they didn't ask for some boards and umbrellas or whatever.
I'm suspicious in my old age.
This girl didn't seem to have the passion, the fire in the belly, that meant she believed  in her product. 
And I'm a bottom feeder as far as junk food goes. :)
<message edited by bill voss on Wed, 09/15/10 9:54 PM>

MiamiDon
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Re:brand question - Thu, 09/16/10 6:47 AM
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I am always suspicious of the hot dogs from carts around here.  Everybody has a name-brand umbrella, but often the dogs are obviously not what is on the umbrella.
 
I discovered a "new" guy who is occasionally outside the building I frequent, and decided to give his dogs a try.  He had a Sabrett umbrella, and I asked whether they really were Sabrett.  Without hesitation, he pulled a Sabrett package out of the trash sack he had hanging from his cart.  It turned out that he was from Brooklyn, and his name was actually Vinnie!

MellowRoast
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Re:brand question - Thu, 09/16/10 7:58 AM
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I agree with Bill Voss and Joerogo.  I, too, like to know what I'm getting for my money, and most certainly when it comes to the franks used in hot dogs.  I also want to know if certain toppings, like chili, are homemade.  If slaw is on the cart, I always ask if it's homemade.  After all, one can always get cans of tasteless chili or tubs of laboratory-made slaw at the store.  If I'm eating out, I want to pay for freshly prepared foods, not for something I can grab in a food aisle.

BillyB
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Re:brand question - Sat, 09/18/10 7:59 PM
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Hey Bill, have you tried their uncured dogs at Taylors Sausages ??????????

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Sat, 09/18/10 9:56 PM
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I have not. I tried Painted Hills and didn't like them at all. There are too many other
sausages  to choose from.
British Bangers are wonderful. :)
 

BillyB
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Re:brand question - Mon, 09/20/10 11:54 AM
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Hi Bill,The Bangers do look good, I may have to ship some over the Mountain. Have you tried their Italian ??????  Your lucky to have them close, you know good sausage is hard to find in WA and Or..........BillyB

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Mon, 09/20/10 3:21 PM
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Billy, I like em both. The hot is skinless while the mild is in natural casing.
 
    Italian Links
 I must confess to never having seen or tried the Swiss Italian or the Coil, because I've never seen them. But I want to. A trip to CJ is in Order. :)
 

<message edited by bill voss on Mon, 09/20/10 3:31 PM>

BillyB
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Re:brand question - Mon, 09/20/10 6:36 PM
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Bill, Have you ever made it over for Sumpter days near Baker, Or. There is a guy there that has the best Grilled Rope Italian sausage on a bun with grill veggies. I would travel 100 miles just to have one................Sumpter may be a nice trip for you some day, its an old gold mining town................thanks for the info on the italian..............Bill

1bbqboy
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Re:brand question - Mon, 09/20/10 6:40 PM
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No, but I know folks who go over to sell colletcibles/antiques/western stuff.
Thanks for the tip.
    I also love the Boudain Blanc. They make a variety of stuff you don't see up this way,
but they aren't cheap.
<message edited by bill voss on Mon, 09/20/10 6:43 PM>