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 Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox

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  • Total Posts: 6083
  • Joined: 8/16/2007
  • Location: brick, NJ
Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Fri, 07/17/09 2:31 PM (permalink)
Today's Star Ledger has the latest installment of the Munchmobile roadfood tour: Jersey hot dog places less than 5 years old. What brings some credibility to the report is one of the munchers is our own John Fox...interesting report...and John really looks like he was in his realm. John, what places didn't they get to that you would have included on the tour??

    • Total Posts: 6083
    • Joined: 8/16/2007
    • Location: brick, NJ
    Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Fri, 07/17/09 2:36 PM (permalink)
    By the way, check out the video at the end of the article....and get hungry!!!! Jersey and dogs: Perfect together!!!
      John Fox

      • Total Posts: 2313
      • Joined: 12/3/2000
      • Location: Union, NJ
      Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Fri, 07/17/09 3:09 PM (permalink)
      I would have definitely included Frankly Burgers and More in Freehold. I suggested this place to Pete before the trip. It was on the itinerary along with a few others. We didn't have time to get to them all in one day. We were going to go out again, but unfortunately did not. It was difficult with all that Pete has to do including the Pizza Patrol.

      When I get a chance, I'll post my opinions on the places that we visited.
        ann peeples

        • Total Posts: 8317
        • Joined: 5/21/2006
        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
        Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Fri, 07/17/09 11:30 PM (permalink)
        No offense, Mr.Fox, but you are one good looking man!
          John Fox

          • Total Posts: 2313
          • Joined: 12/3/2000
          • Location: Union, NJ
          Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sat, 07/18/09 6:51 AM (permalink)

            Dog Boss

            • Total Posts: 206
            • Joined: 6/5/2009
            • Location: Central Jersey, NJ
            Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sat, 07/18/09 9:52 AM (permalink)
            just read the report, my wife say's, no body tried geenies italian hot dog ?
            I sold hot dogs over 15 year's ago, looking to get back into it, and this is what we find, we go looking at hot dog places across the state.  chili that misses, buns that are to big or to small, then give a  place another ride, and it either disapoint or give you hope.
            we find, like all forms of food ventures, there's no consistency..........make's you wonder if people really care what there serving you.
            went to five hot dog stands , did our own tour, and found 5 below average hot dog's, nothing to say hey, they my be on to something.  sorry, i'm venting, cheaper here then a doctor , lol

              • Total Posts: 1872
              • Joined: 7/26/2004
              • Location: Bullville , NY
              Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sat, 07/18/09 11:30 AM (permalink)
              Hello all ,
              I love reading the reports  because they are very honest . John does a great job and I think Screenbear is onboard that also .
              I love the van they have , what I wouldn't do to take a spin in that around town

                John Sagi

                • Total Posts: 146
                • Joined: 4/9/2008
                • Location: Toms River, NJ
                Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sat, 07/18/09 7:40 PM (permalink)

                In a couple months you'll be retired, build one and I'll drive around with you.


                Again nice job

                Dog Boss

                I agree with you completely, but the sad thing is, some of the great places doing it right had to close. The public is trained, that if they are told its good you must like it.

                There are a few placesin NJ that I would rate between 10th to 20th place on my list. They don't have a good hot dog, bad chili, etc. and they are raved about and do a tremendous business. 

                I went to a place today in north jersey and a few people list it in there top five best hot dog joints in NJ.

                The chili was not bad but to spicy for me. I believe the hot dog was 14/1 and cost around $2.00 each.

                Sometimes a place is doing well due to many years at same place when they used to offered quality products.

                Location!!! Location!!! Location!!!

                Enjoy the quality places while we have them.


                  • Total Posts: 1560
                  • Joined: 2/4/2004
                  • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                  Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sat, 07/18/09 10:21 PM (permalink)
                  I read the report, and to tell the truth none of the places really jumped out at me as a place that need to visit right away. I'll stick with the old standbys (Rutt's, Father & Son, Galloping Hill etc etc etc).
                    John Fox

                    • Total Posts: 2313
                    • Joined: 12/3/2000
                    • Location: Union, NJ
                    Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sun, 07/19/09 7:51 AM (permalink)
                    My comments on the 6 places that we visited on the hot dog outing.

                    1) Wally's Hot Diggity Dog.  2 dogs there. Boiled Boars Head all beef natural casing, which is one of the 4 or 5 best all beef dogs I've sampled out of dozens. Not good here. Cold; although that might have been due to them being left out to be photographed. But they were bland as well, This dog (and I had a Boars Head at home 3 weeks ago) lost flavor from either being in the water too long or being old.  2nd dog: Boars Head beef/pork skinless. An average to slightly better than average dog in this style, it was prepared well on the grill and was hot. Would have been better with casing. Decent, if unspectacular dog. Good bun, canned chili. Not a place I would return to.

                    2) Valentina's. I had to know the brand and convinced the owner to tell me. I promised him I wouldn't reveal it. I had guessed it although he initially said I was wrong. A quality dog, but it was skinless. I did like the flavor, but it was a little greasy and had a slightly sweet taste that distracted from the overall quality of the dog. The roll, which was a potato roll I think from a nearby bakery was too big and bready for this dog. I did not like the chili. This dog would have been better with a casing and a different bun. 

                    3) Geenie's Weenies. A big disappointment. The dog they use, Thumann's natural casing griller, 6 to a lb (not their special deep fryer served at Rutt's, Hiram's, Libby's, and a slew of others) is served a weird way here; griddled, then deep fried. I special ordered mine griddled only. First time I was there (2 weeks after they opened) I had it both ways, so I know what it's like the way they usually serve it. Better griddled. I actually buy the Thumann's griller they use to prepare at home, as it is my favorite beef/pork dog. I grill it and it's great. Here, on both occasions, it wasn't hot enough even after being handed to me right off the griddle. Service is bad here. I gave them the benefit of the doubt the first time since they had just opened, but the service was still bad, even with them knowing who we were. For whatever reason, they couldn't comprehend "mustard on the whole dog, chili on half". Both times they got my order wrong. Too bad because I really wanted to like this place. I like the dog they use and their prices are very reasonable. The chili was very good the first time, but they changed it, and for the worse. Bottom line, they take a great quality dog (at a great price) and prepare it all wrong, serve it less than hot, and screw up your order. I'd rather stay home and make this dog right.

                    4) Curbside Cafe. 8 to a lb natural casing Hatfield's New York style dog. Not to be confused with Hatfield's regular beef dog (not good), and their beef/pork dog (really bad) and their beef/pork/turkey dog (even worse). This dog is made to compete with Best and Sabrett and only sold in our area, not PA where it's made, and where they like milder pork based dogs. A very good dog, beefy, spicy, and smokey with a good snap and good tight casing. Prepared perfectly in water, this dog was hot, fresh, and tasty. Good chili. In my opinion, the best dog and chili of the day.

                    5) RT's Dawghouse. 8 to a lb Thumann's natural casing beef/pork deep fryer. Used at many places that serve a deep fried dog (Rutt's, Hiram's, Libby's, Johnny & Hanges, etc.) Many places don't leave the dog in the oil long enough. This place does. A good, but mild dog, this one is usually served with a chili or other condiment (Rutt's relish). A decent dog with a decent homemade chili. Ok place that I would return to if I'm in the area. Other places similar that are much closer. RT's Doghouse is good for what it is. Excellent fries.

                    6) Mazzi Dogz. Same exact dog as Curbside Cafe. See above. Prepared the same way (dirty water style) but with a mixture of water, beer, and some other things. Vinny the owner doesn't remember telling me this on the phone a few weeks ago and thought one of his employee told me. The beer and other ingredients that the dogs were heated in didn't make a difference. These things are overrated and I would never waste a perfectly good beer. Tough choosing betwen here and Curbside Cafe as top dog. My dog was prepared well, was hot and tasted good. Chili was good too and similar to Curbside's. I think I would give the nod to Curbside ever so slightly regarding the dog and chili. One thing I didn't like about Mazzi Dogz. I ask a lot of questions and one was "how long do you leave the dogs in the liquid if it's slow and there aren't many customers?" I was told up to 4 hours! This is a recipe for disaster! Remember Petrides? Bland and flavorless due to too much time in the water. Vinny thinks that the tough casing will prevent the dogs from losing flavor. This is not so. I happen to be a scientist as well, so I know. We were lucky that our dogs were not sitting in the water too long. I also saw dogs in the refrigerator that were exposed to air and risk being dried out. Curbside Grill doesn't leave the dogs in the water too long (I asked), so I'm sure they will be consistently good. Which is why I would go here rather than Mazzi Dogs if I was in the mood for this particular Hatfield dog.

                    Compared to all places I've been to, I would consider Wally's to be mediocre, Valentina's to be run of the mill. Decent, but skinless dog, wrong roll. Geenies as ruining a good dog with bad preparation and service (what is so hard about mustard on the whole dog, chili on half?), RT's Dawghouse as being solid if unspectactular, and Curbside Cafe and Mazzi's as serving very good, above average dogs, though I see the possibilty of getting a bad dog from Mazzi's. I would consider some places I've been to as being better than these two simply because I may like the brand and method of preparation a little better. Jerry's, Boulevard Drinks, Bubba's, Jimmy Buff's (footlong), Papaya King, Frankly Burgers all serve, in my opinion, a better beef dog. 

                    Though I didn't have an Italian Hot Dog, I did see and/or ask about them. I wouldn't recommend any of them because they either use the wrong type of dog or prepare it wrong.


                      • Total Posts: 1560
                      • Joined: 2/4/2004
                      • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                      Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sun, 07/19/09 4:00 PM (permalink)
                      John, thanks for the detailed review of each place. Now that I've got a better sense of what these places are like, I think I will try out Curbside cafe next time I am in that area.
                      Is their Hatfield Frank the same one served at the Rahway Grill in Downtown Rahway? I liked that one a lot. (although if I remember correctly it's cooked on a griddle there, but I haven't been there in a couple of years)
                      Thanks again.
                        John Fox

                        • Total Posts: 2313
                        • Joined: 12/3/2000
                        • Location: Union, NJ
                        Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sun, 07/19/09 6:42 PM (permalink)
                        Yes, Ken, it's the same dog as the one served at the Rahway Grill. You don't see it too much, but on this day it was at 2 places. The Curbside Grill, in my opinon is better than Mazzi Dogz, simply because you have a better chance of getting them fresher. I spoke with one of the owners who told me that the dogs are prepared to order instead of sitting in the water up to 4 hours like Mazzi's. The chili is also better at Curbside Cafe.

                        The dogs we had at Mazzi's were fairly fresh because it was a busy day. They also have more topping combinations than Curbside, although I don't care about most of the toppings. Many of the combinations are what you would find on dogs popular in Mexico and areas of the U.S. like Arizona (Sonoran dog). There are many ethnic Spanish speaking people in the area who request these dogs. Located in Orange, Mazzi Dogz draws a lot of people from Union County for the specialty dogs.

                        The Hatfield New York Style dog is particularly good griddled and in water. Not so much fried like at Jimmy's on the Delaware in Philipsburg, which is now gone. Very good at Curbside and Mazzi's, better at Rahway Grill.

                          • Total Posts: 400
                          • Joined: 1/11/2006
                          • Location: Birmingham, AL
                          Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sun, 07/19/09 7:54 PM (permalink)
                          I agree, Ann.....good looking man!  And good looking hotdogs!

                            • Total Posts: 1560
                            • Joined: 2/4/2004
                            • Location: scotch plains, NJ
                            Re:Munchmobile:New NJ Hotdog Places & John Fox Sun, 07/19/09 9:26 PM (permalink)
                            John: Thanks for the info on the Hatfield franks, and I'm with you, I'm not big on toppings, other than chili or sauerkraut.
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