America's Best Hot Dogs

Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2
Post
Michael Stern
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2004/05/15 05:59:32
We've done what turned out to be perhaps the most challenging Top Ten list for epicurious.com: America's best hot dogs. We lobbied to make it a 12-part feature, with Top-Ten lists for the best hot dogs in New Jersey, Chicago, Rhode Island, etc., but had to limit our choices to 10 from the entire country! What delicious agony those decisions were. Here's a link to the story: http://eat.epicurious.com/restaurant/sterns/index.ssf/?/restaurant/sterns/hotdogs.html
tiki
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/15 07:26:44
Oh Michael----i'm afraid no matter which ten you picked--your bound to leave out so many folks favorites!!But i'm sure we will all remember that you were limited by the restraints of others. This said--i would LOVE to see John Fox's list too!--and im looking forward to watching this forum!
lleechef
Sirloin
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/15 19:33:47
Sorry that Bob's Drive-In, Le Mars, Iowa didn't make the cut.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1255
marberthenad
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/15 21:47:20
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Stern

We've done what turned out to be perhaps the most challenging Top Ten list for epicurious.com: America's best hot dogs. We lobbied to make it a 12-part feature, with Top-Ten lists for the best hot dogs in New Jersey, Chicago, Rhode Island, etc., but had to limit our choices to 10 from the entire country! What delicious agony those decisions were. Here's a link to the story: http://eat.epicurious.com/restaurant/sterns/index.ssf/?/restaurant/sterns/hotdogs.html


There was a hot dog place I went that is just north of New York City -- it was in the Roadfood book. Looking at the top ten list, I don't know whether it was considered for entry, but those dogs were very good.
UncleVic
Sirloin
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/16 15:38:21
Loved reading the story of the top 10... Long live the Chili Dog!
Ort. Carlton.
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/16 17:50:21
Michael,
Dagnabbit - you left out Nu-Way Weiners in beautiful downtown Macon, Georgia!!!!!!!
Well, I really shouldn't fuss... I haven't made it there yet myself. But I will as soon as possible....
Hungrily, Ort. Carlton, Ye Travelling Trencherman, in 30601-land.
Badwaiter
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/17 13:56:55
Chicago could have dominated that list! Anyhow, Hot Doug's in Chicago should be on any top 10 list. As soon as it reopens (recent fire) Chicagoans or visitors can see for themselves. Here's the link to their site. http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm Click on condiments and specials for a better idea of that Doug is selling.

And where are the Detroit Coneys?
tonemonster2
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/17 16:02:29
quote:
There was a hot dog place I went that is just north of New York City -- it was in the Roadfood book. Looking at the top ten list, I don't know whether it was considered for entry, but those dogs were very good.

Would that be Walters in Mamaroneck ? It's about 15 miles from NYC !
DaveM
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/17 16:07:02
I agree with the multiple state idea.
Most of the New England States have 5 or 6 great places of their own.
Penoose
Hamburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/19 01:18:33
>>And where are the Detroit Coneys?<<

Lafayette Coney Island is conspicuously absent.

P.j.
DinoS
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/19 17:12:37
quote:
Originally posted by Penoose

>>And where are the Detroit Coneys?<<

Lafayette Coney Island is conspicuously absent.

P.j.


I agree 100%. All of these lists I see of great hot dog stands never mention the Lafayette Coney Island and other 'Coney stands' in Detroit and Michigan. I've been to Pink's in LA dozens of times and the Lafayette is every bit as good. Sans the movie stars of course.

Rutt's Hutt, Smutt's Butt. Doesn't look good to this hot dog lover. They can keep their deep fried rippers.


Dino
Stewdude
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/24 12:33:21
I know this is an impossible topic...getting the list down to only ten places but hard to imagine that the original Nathan's at Coney Island did not make the cut. Something about the ocean air, the sea salt smells and the long line outside the multitude of windows ratchets the taste of these dogs up a notch or two But I am also sure that just about everyone has that one special dog place that they could not believe did not make it!
mountain traveler
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/25 00:14:02
There is a B/K rootbeer stand down the street from my dad's house in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio that has some of the best coney dogs and kraut dogs. The root beer is excellent. This place has been there for at least 50 years and they still pack'em in during the summer. I remember as a kid growing up there I could get a hot dog for 25 cents. I would bring home a sack of them for me and my mom and a gallon of root beer ice cold in a glass jug.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/28 21:51:13
quote:
Originally posted by tiki

Oh Michael----i'm afraid no matter which ten you picked--your bound to leave out so many folks favorites!!But i'm sure we will all remember that you were limited by the restraints of others. This said--i would LOVE to see John Fox's list too!--and im looking forward to watching this forum!


Picking a top ten list is extremely difficult when there are so many choices. I wish they would have allowed a top ten list from each region. There are different types of dogs (German style beef and pork, all beef, deep fried, dirty water, Texas Weiner, etc.) and I can come up with a top ten for each type. Plus taste is very subjective. I have tasted dogs from many of the places in the eastern part of the U.S. I am familiar with the brands used by many of the places in the central and western U.S. Plus I have friends who have travelled all over including a few who have opened their own places. They know what I like, and have been able to describe the dogs from the parts of the country they have been to. For example, there is a place in Pittsburgh called the Original, or Dirty O. This restaurant was in the Stern's previous top ten a few years back. A friend of mine opened a place nearby. The O did a lot of business due to their proximity to a college, plus they are maybe more famous for their excellent fries than their dogs. My friend said that everyone raved about his dogs (Sabrett from N.Y./N.J. that weren't available anywhere else in Pittsburgh). The owners of the O even came by to check out the new kids in town. The general consensus of hot dog connoisseurs was that the dogs were far superior to the O's. Yet the Original is on many "best of" lists.

Forgive the long post that follows, but I'd like to make a few observations and share my opinions on hot dogs since eating, reading about, and enjoying them is probably my number 1 hobby. In my opinion, you have to start with a quality dog, otherwise it doesn't matter what you do to it. Most of the frankfurters in this country are ok, but average. I like cooking at home, and get my franks from a variety of sources. But I also like going to hot dog joints and seeking out new ones. Plus, half of the fun in my weird hobby is reading the opinions of others. Funny how what some rave about is disgusting to other people. I love Rutt's Hut, but my family thinks their dogs are disgusting. Other people travel far for a dog at Hot Dog Johnny's, but it is one of the few places that I really disliked a lot.

As I said, you have to start with a quality dog. Then you have to choose a cooking method. I like toppings occassionally, but am more of a bare bones guy. I like to try a dog for the first time with just mustard; preferably brown deli mustard. On occassion I'll have the unique relish from Rutt's Hut (which you can get to use at home) or the chili sauce at The Hot Grill. Other than that, it's mustard only. An exception would be an Italian Hot Dog which is 2 deep fried beef dogs put on circular pizza bread with peppers, onions, and thin sliced potatoes. This is more of a sandwich. I like the way the flavors blend together and complement each other without overwhelming the taste of the dog. The ingredients go together better in my opinion than the ingredients in a Chicago Hot Dog which I feel is overwhelmed by everything on it especially the spicy sports peppers.

I think that the best hot dog restaurants are in New Jersey and Conn. New York has some good dogs, but not the overall variety that you get in Jersey and Connecticut. Both of these states use all beef dogs in the kosher style as well as the German style beef and pork. And both also employ grilling, char broiling, deep frying, and combinations of these. While both states make good dogs locally, they are both willing to use franks from different areas. Many Jersey places use Conn. franks, while my top dog from Conn. uses a dog from Jersey.

Before I give my top ten, let me again reiterate that this list represents just one person's opinion. Granted, I've tried a lot of dogs, probably more than most people. But it's my favorites, and includes different types (Italian Hot Dog, grilled all beef, grilled German style, deep fried, Texas Weiner.) It's easy for me to list my favorites within each style. For example, comparing kosher style all beef to a milder German style dog is like comparing apples and oranges. I like both styles. On any given day, I prefer one to another. My 3rd favorite all beef dog may be preferable to my favorite beef and pork dog on that particular day. Plus my tastes and preferences change from time to time. So take that into consideration.

I'd also like to comment on some of the dogs that did not make my list. There are many that are popular, but to me are ordinary. People may like them because of the atmosphere of the particular restaurant (Hot Dog Johnny's comes to mind) or the particular house topping. For example, I've been to Flo's. Nothing special at all. A steamed beef and pork dog from Schultz's, which is a local meat producer. Mild tasting, but I don't like steaming a dog with pork in it. The appeal of this dog is mostly due to the onion relish. I'm not crazy about onions, so I didn't try it. Walter's is another place that I feel is overrated. A very mild tasting (bland even) dog that is 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, 1/3 veal. A good snack, and they have a good mustard, but the dogs are ordinary. For me, the dog has to be able to stand on it's own.

My top ten, keeping in mind that the order can change from time to time according to my taste or mood.

1) Rosco's Big Dog, Hartford, Conn. A great German style dog that is slow cooked on a griddle and served on a split New England style bun. I promised the owner that I wouldn't divulge the brand used on a public forum, but it is from Jersey. I have access to it where I live, but nowhere near me does any hot dog joint use this particular dog. Rosco's dog is a nice big size, 4 or 5 to a lb. As good a dog as you will find anywhere. I know we're talking hot dogs, but this one is as close to deserving of the label "gourmet" as any frankfurter.

2) Syd's, Union, N.J. The best example of a kosher style all beef dog that I've had. A natural casing (as are all of the dogs except Charlies) 5 to a lb footlong with a perfect blend of spices. Just delicious. From Best Provisions in Newark, N.J. This is one of the dogs that I cook at home. I cook it like Syd's; simmerred in water, than charbroiled. The Star Ledger's pick as best in Jersey.

3) Charlies Italian Hot Dogs, Kenilworth, N.J. Probably my favorite thing in the world to eat. It is a meal in itself, but more of a sandwich than a hot dog. Invented in, and unique to Jersey. Deep fried beef dogs (Best's) placed in Pita like bread with peppers, onions, and potatoes. Also called a Newark style dog, after it's town of origin. Charlies makes the best example of this sandwich, better than Jimmy Buff's, Dickiee Dees, and the rest.

4) The Galloping Hill Inn, Union, N.J. A griddle cooked, German style dog. Also considered by many (N.J. Monthly) to be the best in Jersey. My favorite of this style in Jersey. (I like the dog at Rosco's better) They use a Grote & Weigle griddle frank from Conn. It has a different casing than the other Grote & Weigle franks that are used in Jersey and Conn. This results in a different amount of smoke getting through in the smoking process. The end product is slightly different and better than the dogs used by every other restaurant that uses the G&W griddle franks. Also a unique, harder football shaped bun.

5) Papaya King, New York, N.Y. A small (10 to a lb) all beef Sabrett dog slowly cooked on low heat (160 degrees). The quintessential New York dog. Cheap, spicy, and unique. For many people, Sabrett is the standard. Same dog used at Gray's and Katz's but it is fresher and cooked better at Papaya King..

6) Nathan's, Coney Island, N.Y. 8 to a lb all beef dog made for Nathan's by SMG Meats. There are many Nathan's, but none better than the original. Some use the same dog, cook it the same way (griddle) and are as good. Others use the cheaper, skinless version and cook it on the roller grill. Same style as Sabrett, but with a different spicing. Maybe the most venerable hot dog joint in America. Lives up to its reputation.

7) Super Duper Weenie, Fairfield, Conn. A quarter pound beef and pork dog from Miller's Provisions in Stratford. One dog that I will eat with toppings. I love the New Englander with mustard, sweet relish (homemade) and a strip of bacon right in the middle where the dog is split. Also cooked on the griddle, this dog has slightly less flavor than the Rosco's or Galloping Hill Inn dog in order to blend in well with the homemade toppings. But it's also flavorful enough to be enjoyed with just a little bit of mustard. A great dog.

8) Rutt's Hut, Clifton, N.J. This is the best deep fried dog in existence. Pork and beef, and made especially to withstand the high temperature of the heating oil, this dog plumps up and rips; hence the ripper. Great plain, which is how I had it for a few years until I tried their fantastic homemade relish. Sorry I waited. The single best hot dog condiment. This dog used to be my favorite, but now I think I prefer the taste that griddle frying imparts. This dog is one of the most unique in flavor and texture. There seems to be no middle ground here. You either love it or hate it. I, and most others love it.

9) The Hot Grill, Pink's, or Lafayette Coney Island. All three make chili dogs. In Jersey (Hot Grill) it's called a Texas Weiner. In Michigan (Lafayette Coney Island) it's called a Coney. In LA (Pink's) it's called a chili dog. I haven't tried the last 2, but feel that they should be included because of their regional popularity. The Hot Grill uses a mild tasting beef and pork dog made by Sabrett that complements their flavorfull chili sauce. This is the best example of North Jersey Texas Weiner sauce that I've sampled. Thin and spicy with cloves, coriander and other spices, this chili is shipped all over the country and even into other countries. The Hot Grill may sell more hot dogs than any other place in New Jersey.

10) Superdawg, Chicago, Ill. I included a Chicago style dog even though it's not one of my favorite types of hot dogs. I have had an authentic one (according to the Chicago Tribune) in New York at Danny Meyers stand in Madison Park. The Vienna frank was ok, but a little milder than what I like in an all beef dog. I had a Chicago dog and one with just the Vienna frank and mustard. I preferred the one with just mustard. It wasn't buried under all of the toppings. The other ingredients clashed with the dog and overpowered it, especially the sports peppers. But that's just my opinion. Chicagoans and others love this dog. And there's a lot to be said for a town that has more hot dog joints than Burger King, Wendy's, and McDonald's combined. I would go for the char dogs and spicier polish sausages. I picked Superdawg because I prefer the frank they use (Sinai 48) to the more common (and popular) Vienna Frank. Plus, I like the addition of a pickled green tomato (unique to Superdawg) if you're gonna have a lot of toppings.

Thanks for indulging me. I'd love to hear your opinions.
pigface
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/28 22:47:03
Mr. Fox, you have my sincere admiration !
tiki
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/29 11:01:17
quote:
Originally posted by pigface

Mr. Fox, you have my sincere admiration !


Amen to that! John Fox--you are truly a treasure and i count myself lucky to have met you and thankful for this website and the technology that has made that meeting possible! I am saving this list.In the next two yrs i will have occasion to be near everyone of the places on it!
chicagostyledog
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/30 23:47:54
John,

Who really makes America's best hot dog? This is like asking, "Who is the best human being on the face of the earth?" The question should be, "What makes each dog distinctive?" Original Chicago style hot dogs stand shoulder to shoulder with every top quality dog in America! The original Chicago style hot dog was introduced when two young immigrants brought their frankfurter recipe from Austria/Hungary to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. This was the beginning of the Vienna Beef Company where more than 80% of the 1,800 plus hot dog vendors proudly serve their products. When you're ready to review Chicago style hot dogs in Chicago, I'll be happy to be your personal tour guide.

Sincerely,

Mark aka chicagostyledog
Born in Chicago
Raised in Chicago
Selling Vienna Beef Maxwell Street Polish
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 08:17:21
Mark,
Some day I'll make it to Chicago. I've read about the many places there as well as seen pictures of the dogs. And I've had the Vienna frank a few times. As you stated, the question "who makes America's best hot dog" is tough to answer, and as I say all the time, extremely subjective. I give my opinions which reflect my tastes and likes. The Vienna dog is a good one; I just prefer a slightly spicier beef dog. And I'm not fond of all the toppings. But this dog is very popular in Chicago; so much so that practically every hot dog joint there serves a dog in this style. All beef (80% Vienna) with yellow mustard (I prefer spicy brown) pickle, onions, sports peppers. And the dogs are mostly boiled or simmerred in water. Many people prefer their dogs cooked this way. It keeps the juices in and heats the dog nicely. But I like my dogs grilled. Either charbroiled or griddle fried. Again, just my personal preference.

I know people who have moved from Jersey to the Chicago area (at least 2) who now prefer the Chicago style dog to what we have in Jersey, although it took them a little while to get used to the difference. And there are hot dog vendors in other states that attempt to sell Chicago dogs. I do believe that with the right ingredients and the right method of cooking, an authentic Chicago style hot dog can be made anywhere. I'm sure if you moved to Jersey, you can make the same dog.

If/when I ever make it to Chicago, I would try the many places that I've heard of and read about. With an open mind. But I believe that I would prefer a place like Wiener's Circle or one like it where you can get your beef dog charbroiled. Or a place like Gene and Jude's where they keep the toppings to a minimum. And I also believe that I would like the Vienna Beef Maxwell street Polish better than the regular Vienna beef frank.

Here in Jersey, we don't really have a place that makes an authentic Chicago dog. But we do have 6 or 7 other distinct styles. If you make it out this way, you have to try an Italian Hot Dog, or a German style pork based dog. Or a Deep fried ripper. Or chili sauce as a topping. I would love to hear what Chicago hot dog lovers think of these dogs.
chicagostyledog
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 08:52:11
John,

I prefer my hot dogs char broiled and simply dressed too. Until a few years ago, mustard was the only condiment I used. Today, it's mustard, relish, and onions. If I had a pickle, it was on the side and I don't eat sport peppers, tomato, or celery salt. Merkts cheddar cheese is my all time favorite topping. Poochie's in Skokie makes a char cheddar Maxwell Street Polish with well done grilled onions that is to die for.
seadogs
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 18:05:56
Hello hotdog fans, this is my first foray into this site/ forum...got here cause I was trying to find a source for Schickhaus sp? dogs, which I really enjoyed from Quick Corner, in Plainfield NJ where I grew up...now i've live on Nantucket for 29 yrs...don't get back to central jersey, interesting place to live... but when asked by visitors and friends what we miss the most we tell'em one of the major things are the great "hole in the wall places" that invariably serve the best food...99% of restaurants here serve high end food and EXPENSIVE!...the dishes read like a book on the menues...paragraphs to describe steak and potatoes, with vegetable...another differant/fun food thing here that describes the food world here... in order to get Chinese food, we call up the Dragon Lite restaurant in Hyannis Ma. and place an order by 2pm... they take it to the airport and its flown over..we pick it up at 6 if the fog doesn't shut down the airport! it arrives warm and the passengers come off the plane salivating. some of them carrying Mcdonalds and/or Duncan Donuts...we don't have any fastfood chains here either.
saw John Fox's "disertations" on hotdog places, (and I thought I really liked dogs, your a nut!)where you mentioned Schickhaus on the NJ parkway...can't find exact message...are they available online somewhere?...when we first came to the island from NJ I worked for customers who lived in the NJ area and they brought up some Schickaus dogs they got from the restaurant that had them...they also brought up jars of the best garlic dill pickels I've ever had from the Cupboard in Watchung NJ
I'm a mustard and kraut guy, best way to have a dog...mustard and onions work with Stewarts Rootbeer...John saw your comments on mustard...my wife found Westbrae Natural(organic) at local health food store..I like it...does anybody think the Hienz relish dispenser bottle, like ketchup, work? they didn't test it on me!
seadogs
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 18:07:18
Hello hotdog fans, this is my first foray into this site/ forum...got here cause I was trying to find a source for Schickhaus sp? dogs, which I really enjoyed from Quick Corner, in Plainfield NJ where I grew up...now i've live on Nantucket for 29 yrs...don't get back to central jersey, interesting place to live... but when asked by visitors and friends what we miss the most we tell'em one of the major things are the great "hole in the wall places" that invariably serve the best food...99% of restaurants here serve high end food and EXPENSIVE!...the dishes read like a book on the menues...paragraphs to describe steak and potatoes, with vegetable...another differant/fun food thing here that describes the food world here... in order to get Chinese food, we call up the Dragon Lite restaurant in Hyannis Ma. and place an order by 2pm... they take it to the airport and its flown over..we pick it up at 6 if the fog doesn't shut down the airport! it arrives warm and the passengers come off the plane salivating. some of them carrying Mcdonalds and/or Duncan Donuts...we don't have any fastfood chains here either.
saw John Fox's "disertations" on hotdog places, (and I thought I really liked dogs, your a nut!)where you mentioned Schickhaus on the NJ parkway...can't find exact message...are they available online somewhere?...when we first came to the island from NJ I worked for customers who lived in the NJ area and they brought up some Schickaus dogs they got from the restaurant that had them...they also brought up jars of the best garlic dill pickels I've ever had from the Cupboard in Watchung NJ
I'm a mustard and kraut guy, best way to have a dog...mustard and onions work with Stewarts Rootbeer...John saw your comments on mustard...my wife found Westbrae Natural(organic) at local health food store..I like it...does anybody think the Hienz relish dispenser bottle, like ketchup, work? they didn't test it on me!
well now that I done this, I'm getting hungary! I hope I know how to get tyhis in the system.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 18:30:07
Seadogs,

Schickhaus franks are made primarily for the New Jersey market under a private label arrangement by Grote and Weigel of Connecticut. I would contact the company (groteandweigel.com) and request that they ship you some. Their regular Grote and Weigel griddle franks are the exact same recipe as the Schickhaus, but come 6 to a lb rather than 4 like the Schickhaus. They will ship these to you, but I believe that you must order a minimum of 5 lbs. There are many hot dog restaurants in the Plainfield area that use this dog. Contact the company, they may have a distributor near you. I know that they are trying to get into Florida. I like this dog, but Thumann's is my favorite in this style (German style beef and pork). I've sampled them side by side. Thumann's is also expanding their distribution area. Look around in the deli section of gourmet stores and supermarkets.
takats
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/05/31 22:12:53
As John Fox notes, the natural casing is essential. I also like a dog with meats other than beef (pork, veal). I wonder where the idea of all-beef hot dogs came from? Anyway, nothing is more disheartening than the Ballpark/Oscar Mayer style rubber dogs piled up in the average supermarket's "meat" case.

Back to the list:
Walter's in Mamaroneck has a wonderful atmosphere, but their dogs are not particularly noteworthy. They also are not natural casing (or if they are, they certainly had no "snap"). For great dogs in Ann Arbor, try Red Hot Lovers. They use Vienna franks (all-beef, but I'll allow it) and make some delightful combos (like the reuben dog). They also have solved the cheese fry conundrum: how to make cheese fries with real cheese, but not soggify them? Microwave a little bowl of cheese and then dump it on the crispy fries. Excellent...
Route 11
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 13:02:13
I will eat any kind...but prefer New England style rolls. They're not available here in the Sunny South...and of course I gladly left the snow behind, but I still want my toast buns!

AND...Jack and Jill hot dogs in Charlottesville VA rule!
EdSails
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 14:04:39
It's been way too long-------this weekend I'm going to PINK'S!!!!
The place is definitely an experience---and you never know who you'll see with chili dripping down their chin there.....
BTW....they also make a really good burger.
Lucky Bishop
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 16:03:38
As it happens, the best hot dogs in North America can be found in Canada, on any street corner in downtown Toronto. These are foot-long, thick all-beef dogs (usually from the local deli Shopsy's), steamed and then slashed with a lame and char-grilled upon order, placed on a distinctive bright-yellow soft bun and topped with your choice of anywhere up to a dozen different toppings ranging from piccalilli relish (no, it's not just a Chicago thing) and either raw or grilled onions to a sweet corn relish or mixed hot pickled veggies. Average total price: CDN$2, or about $1.35 in US money.
danimal15
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 16:45:13
I'm no hot dog expert despite growing up in Chicago, but I don't think you can go wrong grilling your own Kosher dog on the backyard grill. Had one that way last night and it was wonderful.
Spudnut
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 18:25:44
Surpringly to me, since I'm not especially a hot dog fan, I've eaten at 3 of the 10 places on the list (Ted's, Flo's and Pink's), and am scheduled to visit a fourth this summer(Walter's) with a friend who lives nearby.

I grew up near Ted's, so am partial to it. I like the char-broiled taste very much, and it's probably the only hot dog I've ever really looked forward to. I loved the environment at Flo's, but the hot dog (and special sauce) didn't do it for me. But, again, the environment of the place made the visit well worth it (especially when I went to the nearby donut shop for dessert). And I liked Pink's well enough.
stanpnepa
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/01 19:13:25
It's funny how subjective these lists are. I loved Flo's, Rutt's and Ted's, but didn't like Pink's all that much---that was ten years ago---Roadfood disappointments are rare and that was one of 'em. Also, I have to give props to the unsung hots found in a Nick Tahou Garbage Plate---they certainly would make my Top Ten!!!

Thanks John for your top ten. Sounds like it's time for another Jersey Dog trip!!!
seadogs
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/03 19:41:29
Hey roadfood fans, I posted a message and got alot of responses from it I think, but I'm having trouble getting into the messages...my ignorance with this medium...I've seen the reply from John Fox but for some reason, I can't bring up the others...what do I need to do?...seadogs
jgleduc
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/03 21:04:46
Tuesday I head out for Detroit. My plan is to sample in the next couple of days from George's Coney Island in Worcester and maybe Olneyville NY System in Providence - then when at the Detroit airport, grab a taxi to Lafayette Coney Island and see how they all compare.
colt45
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/05 21:02:32
Can't find a good hot dog, may I suggest you call LOBEL'S Meat Market in NY ( find at Google).

These are the best I have ever had!
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/06 13:24:02
Last year for my birthday, I had my wife buy me a pound of Lobel's franks and a pound of Niman Ranch franks. Both of these brands try to market themselves as "gourmet" hot dogs. Lobel's cost $14.99 per lb (9 to a lb) while Niman Ranch were $9.00 plus and 6 to a lb.

Both are all beef with casings. On 2 occassions I cooked one of each on my griddle after heating in water along with a Nathan's frank ($3.99/lb 8 to a lb, natural casing).

The Niman Ranch dog was good; a little on the mild side for a beef frank. A tough casing; tougher than I prefer. A good beef dog, although indestinguishable from any decent dog in this style. And not worth the high price. Ditto for the Lobel's frank. A better casing; good snap without being too tough. Good beef flavor (they use prime beef) and mildly spiced. I preferred this dog to the Niman Ranch one. But certainly not worth $14.99. These dogs are made for Lobels by an 82 year old Austrian wurstmacher from Brooklyn.

I liked the Nathan's frank better than both of these dogs. Just a better spicing and better overall flavor. The spicing of a dog might be more important than the actual beef used. I know that Best and Sabrett use quality beef. Choice, in fact. But I prefer these dogs to the so called "gourmet dogs" because they have more flavor. Plus they specialize in hot dogs where as Niman Ranch and Lobel's are known for high quality meats and just recently started selling frankfurters.

For those of you that like Lobel's, let me suggest that you try Boar's Head with the natural casing. Almost identical in taste (although I never had them side by side) to Lobel's with the same level of spiciness. If you like one, you'll like the other. Plus Boar's Head is a great deal cheaper, going for around $4.99 to $5.50 near me. In fact, Lobel's and Boar's Head were named as the top two all beef dogs in a tasting by food critic David Rosengarten. These hot dogs, as well as Niman Ranch have just enough spice in my opinion for a beef dog without being considered bland, like say Ballpark or Oscar Mayer beef dogs. Or many that you see in supermarkets.

Best's (N.J.) is a little spicier than the 2 gourmet dogs. This one best fits my taste. I'm sure for some, it may be too spicy. Spicier still are Sabrett and Usinger's. My favorite all beef dogs are Best's, Usinger's, Sabrett, Hummel's, and Boar's Head. Thumann's, Nathan's, and Hebrew National are also good. As are Niman Ranch and Lobel's. But not worth the inflated prices.

For a milder German style frank, my favorite is Thumann's. I also like Hofmann's, Schaller & Weber, Grote & Weigle (the special one used at the Galloping Hill Inn in Union, N.J.) and Miller's.
colt45
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/06 17:39:28
you may be right, but living in AZ getting Lobel;s is a great treat for my family.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 09:40:28
Don't get me wrong, they are quality dogs using probably the highest quality beef available. But at $14.99 much too expensive. If you have the money, and there's nothing good where you live, then what the heck. They don't have Boar's Head, Usinger's, Nathan's, or Sabrett's in AZ?
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 10:29:21
I know they have Boar's Head in the Phoenix area.
howard8
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 15:47:59
John:
As I indicated on another site, I find Schickhaus, (the large ones that stick out of both ends of the bun), to be very tasty. I find they have a slight bacon-y taste which I really like. Any hot dog/roadfood establishments use this dog?
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 16:27:58
howard8,

The most well known place in Jersey that uses this frank is Max's in Long Branch. One of the more popular hot dog joints in Jersey. If you go, check out the wall on the left. Filled with celebrity pictures. More so than Katz's even.

Martell's on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant uses this frank, as does many other hot dog stands at the Jersey Shore. If you happen to look at the boxes, they will either say Schickhaus, or Boardwalk Griddle franks. One and the same.
david6340
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 19:34:41
As far as I'm concerned, this Hot Doug's does not hold a candle to the legendary hot dog spots in the Chicago area. I'm talking Hot Dog Island, Fluky's, Gold Coast Dogs, Byron's, Super Dawg, Wiener's Circle and many more.
quote:
Originally posted by Badwaiter

Chicago could have dominated that list! Anyhow, Hot Doug's in Chicago should be on any top 10 list. As soon as it reopens (recent fire) Chicagoans or visitors can see for themselves. Here's the link to their site. http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm Click on condiments and specials for a better idea of that Doug is selling.

And where are the Detroit Coneys?
Rex Allen
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/07 20:51:45
Last night I found out the "Wienerschnitzel" chain is now serving a "Chicago" style hot dog. It was just as described on this site. Really good, only I did not care for the sport peppers, way too hot. Rex in expensive San Diego.
pwoolever
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 22:08:41
quote:
Originally posted by Rex Allen

Last night I found out the "Wienerschnitzel" chain is now serving a "Chicago" style hot dog. It was just as described on this site. Really good, only I did not care for the sport peppers, way too hot. Rex in expensive San Diego.


Did they use a real Vienna Beef hot dog or the typical Weinerschnitzel-brand hot dog? If they use a Vienna Beef hot dog this could be the answer to this Chicago ex-pat's dreams!
pwoolever
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 22:57:37
I'm a native Chicagoan, living in Orange County, CA that sorely misses my Chicago Dawgs.

It's a real challenge finding a good hot dog in So Cal as So Cal has been deprived of a hot dog heritage by the Dodgers baseball franchise. People in So Cal go to a Dodgers game once a year and have been served abysmal Farmer John hot dogs at the stadium so they think that is what a hot dog tastes like. For that reason the authentic Chicago-style hot dog joints rarely stick around for long (although there are exceptions, Mustards and Champs in Los Alamitos) as they don't have the adoring public that great hot dog cities have.

There used to be a good Chicago-style restaurant in Laguna Niguel, Georgio's, that served authentic Vienna Beef Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches. Same old story, great place, lasted a year or two, and then closed. Other times you find a place that serves Chicago Dogs and unbeknownst to you it's sold to someone that knows nothing about them and the next time you go there you get a toasted bun, or they don't use Vienna Beef, or something else that lets you know the good times are over.

Pink's is OK, but's another whole different bird.

Last year for Christmas I ordered 10 lbs of Vienna Beef hot dogs off the Vienna Beef website. It worked great. You tell them the day you want them delivered and they arrive packed in dry ice. You can order a whole Chicago hot dog kit too containing poppy seed buns, that freaky green relish, etc.

My husband, a native Californian, never appreciated a good hot dog until I took him to Super Dawg on a trip to Chi-town. Now he's a convert.

If anyone's familiar with So Cal, especially Orange County, and can recommend other Chicago Dog places I'd be delighted. Heck, I'd drive to the Valley or San Diego for a good Chicago dog.

Damn, my mouth's watering...
ConeyIslandLou
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 23:14:38
quote:
Originally posted by stanpnepa

It's funny how subjective these lists are. I loved Flo's, Rutt's and Ted's, but didn't like Pink's all that much---that was ten years ago---Roadfood disappointments are rare and that was one of 'em. Also, I have to give props to the unsung hots found in a Nick Tahou Garbage Plate---they certainly would make my Top Ten!!!

Thanks John for your top ten. Sounds like it's time for another Jersey Dog trip!!!


I am assuming that Tahou's uses the Zweigle [red and white] brand for their GPs...
pwoolever
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/14 23:38:17
quote:
Originally posted by david6340

As far as I'm concerned, this Hot Doug's does not hold a candle to the legendary hot dog spots in the Chicago area. I'm talking Hot Dog Island, Fluky's, Gold Coast Dogs, Byron's, Super Dawg, Wiener's Circle and many more.

quote:
Originally posted by Badwaiter

Chicago could have dominated that list! Anyhow, Hot Doug's in Chicago should be on any top 10 list. As soon as it reopens (recent fire) Chicagoans or visitors can see for themselves. Here's the link to their site. http://www.hotdougs.com/menu.htm Click on condiments and specials for a better idea of that Doug is selling.

And where are the Detroit Coneys?



I envy you living so close to Super Dawg...
Renzi
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 13:26:49
I grew up in NY, but have lived in Chicago for14 years. Love it, love it, love it!! However, I can't get used to Chicago style dogs. I live half a block from Hot Dougs, have eaten Superdawgs, Gold Coast, any number of places. Nothing beats a Sabretts or Nathans. The Vienna Dog doen't have much flavor. Maybe that's why they bury it under all that crazy stuff plus the overseeded poppy bun. (You can actually get Nathans at some Treasure Islands, taste close but not the same.)
Just to prove I'm not East Coast biased, I do enjoy an Italian Beef, and Mario's italian Ice on Taylor is outstanding.
NY pizza is still no. 1! I never did like Pizzacake.
berndog
Double Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 13:47:18
quote:
John Fox said:
Don't get me wrong, they are quality dogs using probably the highest quality beef available. But at $14.99 much too expensive. If you have the money, and there's nothing good where you live, then what the heck. They don't have Boar's Head, Usinger's, Nathan's, or Sabrett's in AZ?


I know this is a hot dog post, but at 15 bucks a pound " />,
fuggettaboudit.



I'm buying filet mignon. (especially with fresh Zwiegles available everywhere for about 1/3 that price).
chicagostyledog
Filet Mignon
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/22 19:45:14
Renzi, seek out a Vienna Polish. Have it char grilled with only yellow or Dusseldorf mustard and some well done grilled onions. Skip the relish, raw onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers, and celery salt. This is a Maxwell Street Polish, born and raised on the west side of Chicago, as myself. Poochie's or Hot Dog Island in Skokie, both on Dempster make them all day long. After you try one, give us a comparison review.
www.ronnierice.com/images/HDIskokie/P1010081.jpg
bobt
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 11:20:45
Can anyone tell me where I can purchase a good footlong hot dog in minnesota? I have looked online for someplace that would ship them and cant find anyone...I know hormel makes a excellant footlong..but the public cant purchase it through hormel...and even if I got a distributor to order it the minimum is 16 cases...way too many..So if anyone knows of a place I can order a good quality natural casing coarse ground foot long let me know!

Thanks
Bob
garykg6
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 12:37:05
I may have stumbled on to one of the better hot dog brands EVER!!. I went to my local(Tampa) Italian market,Castellano and Pizza and picked up a dozen of the dogs they sell which are made in Dubuque,Iowa by a company named after the city name.....fantastic flavor(natural casing) with real 'snap' and just the right size(slightly larger than ,say Boars Head).....I boiled mine and the Frau liked hers grilled,either way,a great dog
John Fox,are you listening? You must know about these
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/24 21:08:19
Nope. I did hear somewhere about a good dog made in Iowa; it's probably this one. Is it all beef, or beef and pork?
bobt
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/25 11:10:03
The Dubuque meats company was bought out by hormel...I have never seen a natural casing dog with the Dubuque brand name on it.
Rick F.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/25 11:53:42
quote:
Originally posted by bobt

The Dubuque meats company was bought out by hormel...I have never seen a natural casing dog with the Dubuque brand name on it.
I went through the Hormel site. On a full site search "Dubuque" was not even to be found.
jjen0926
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 08:33:05
The best hotdog locally is on the East Bay of RI - not too many folks
get to this side of the bay, but they find a gem when they are here:
Rods Grill in Warren! They are good weiners and the locals eat them by threes or sixes!
garykg6
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 10:11:09
John,it is not all-beef, contains some pork but it is indeed a natural casing. the guy who sold them(whom I just called) says he orders them from his distributer who handles all of his meats, "Castellano and Pizza on Henderson Blvd in Tampa".....I would compare them to a boars head only difference being the Dubuque is thicker and the spices are somewhat more aggressive
jm3amdg
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 11:37:17
I am a relatively new resident of Southwest Michigan and am looking for a great hot dog and a better hamburger, specifically in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek/Marshall/Coldwater area. Can any one offer some suggestions?
Tisnothing
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 13:55:55
My hat's off to you Mr. Fox- you are a hot dog guru! I love the 'Jersey hot dog places & just recently got to Rutt's Hut, which was pretty tasty (as was the amazing relish). There are some really good 'Italian' hot dogs (with potato (w/ketchup), onions, peppers, mustard on the dog- all in a pita looking 'pizza bread'). You mentioned most of the better known places, but have you ever been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs on Route 1 (& Grandview Ave) in Edison NJ? Really, really delicious and certainly in league with the better known Italian dog places (e.g., Dicky Dees, Jimmy Buffs...). Frank's is a bizarre looking shelter/stand type building standing all alone on the side of Route 1. Quite an amazing Italian hot dog... I'd love to hear your opinion if you get to this place!
Bogeyman
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/29 17:20:42
Ort,
Nu-Way Weiners are in Macon, Warner Robins & Fort valley. Being from the
middle Georgia area I've eaten at all locations & don't find anything special
about them. They were cheap, fast & filled us up. Thats not to say I'm an
expert. I do prefer them to the Varsity. Try the "Scrambled dogs" or the
"Mega-Burger" too.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 06:53:31
quote:
Originally posted by Tisnothing

My hat's off to you Mr. Fox- you are a hot dog guru! I love the 'Jersey hot dog places & just recently got to Rutt's Hut, which was pretty tasty (as was the amazing relish). There are some really good 'Italian' hot dogs (with potato (w/ketchup), onions, peppers, mustard on the dog- all in a pita looking 'pizza bread'). You mentioned most of the better known places, but have you ever been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs on Route 1 (& Grandview Ave) in Edison NJ? Really, really delicious and certainly in league with the better known Italian dog places (e.g., Dicky Dees, Jimmy Buffs...). Frank's is a bizarre looking shelter/stand type building standing all alone on the side of Route 1. Quite an amazing Italian hot dog... I'd love to hear your opinion if you get to this place!


I've been to Frank's Newark Style Hot Dogs. It is an authentic Italian Hot Dog, not the bastardized version sold at the shore or at some pizzerias that have a sub roll rather than round pizza bread, and french fries rather than thin sliced potatoes. Frank's is good, but there are 2 things that I don't like about it. First off, I hate onions, so I get my dog without it. At Frank's, they have the peppers and onions already mixed together, so you have to get both or neither. Secondly, they use Sabrett, which is a good dog, but Best is better for this type of sandwich. It just fries up better and has a better flavor. 90% or more places use Best, which is from Newark, where this sandwich originated. The best Italian Hot Dog is Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth. Bigger sandwich, more vegetables, better potatoes, and tastier peppers, both red and green, and plenty of them. Overall, just a great tasting sandwich. Tommy's in Elizabeth runs a close second. Jimmy Buff's, Dickie Dee's, and Frank's is a notch or 2 below.
Tisnothing
Junior Burger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 15:04:25
Thanks John! I'm off to Charlie's Famous Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth and Tommy's in Elizabeth this weekend for a taste test- you're amazing!
DinoS
Cheeseburger
RE: America's Best Hot Dogs 2004/06/30 18:00:12
quote:
Originally posted by jm3amdg

I am a relatively new resident of Southwest Michigan and am looking for a great hot dog and a better hamburger, specifically in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek/Marshall/Coldwater area. Can any one offer some suggestions?


In Kzoo there is (c.1987 at least) a good Coney Island joint on Main Street downtown. Also on E. Main was a good burger joint called Green's, I think. It's under the RR viaduct east of downtown, in back of the old Penn Central roundhouse (or what's left of it).

Battle Creek has (also c. 1987) a decent Coney Island place on W. Michigan at the edge of downtown. Also I remember Speed's Coffee Shops (several locations) in Battle Creek served up a pretty good burger. I always prefered the one in the Fort Custer area - in the City of Springfield, if I remember correctly.


Dino
Page: 12 > Showing page 1 of 2