Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

The eGullet NJ Hot Dog Run (pictures!)


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
84 replies to this topic

#1 finker99

finker99
  • participating member
  • 158 posts
  • Location:River Edge, NJ

Posted 03 December 2004 - 09:28 AM

HI,

I think it would be a great idea to go on an outing and try a bunch of local hot dog legends and some newbies. We could meet somewhere and car pool or just meet at the first place we decide on and go from there. I think mid January would be far enough away that we can pick a date that works for most and I offer up my parking lot as a meeting place. A few ideas of places to go: Rutt's, The Hot Grill, Hank's Franks, The Station (new place in hackensack), Hot Dog Heaven, and any others we can think of. I do think we should try and cap it at a 4 hour expedition and I think a weekend would be best. Well if you are interested post and please, any suggestions for more places to go are most welcome.


Fink
The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

#2 Andrew Fenton

Andrew Fenton
  • participating member
  • 3,352 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 03 December 2004 - 10:19 AM

Sounds fantastic. I've been wanting to try some of these legendary NJ hot dog spots for a while now.

#3 rooftop1000

rooftop1000
  • participating member
  • 2,839 posts
  • Location:hills of north jersey

Posted 03 December 2004 - 10:57 AM

Oh come on guys
I havent fully recovered from yesterdays sushi lunch....count me in...there is Clixes too...


tracey
The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers
Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage
garden state motorcyle association

#4 Holly Moore

Holly Moore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,573 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 03 December 2004 - 03:54 PM

Strikes me as a Saturday well spent.
Holly Moore
"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com
Twitter

#5 richl2214

richl2214
  • participating member
  • 390 posts
  • Location:Northeastern US

Posted 03 December 2004 - 05:25 PM

I heard there is a Hotdog place that sells "Peanut Butter and Jelly" dogs. I just can't rmember the name or the location. Maybe Teaneck?
"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

#6 joiei

joiei
  • participating member
  • 1,817 posts
  • Location:midtown - Indian Territory

Posted 03 December 2004 - 06:10 PM

Just know that I will be jealous. Finding a decent hot dog here is hard to do. Something that is not one of those little pathetic coney things.
It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

#7 John

John
  • participating member
  • 743 posts

Posted 03 December 2004 - 06:10 PM

This is a great idea. I've done it in New Jersey in Sept. (even got tee shirts made up) and Connecticut in October. Anywhere from 4 to 6 places would be about right, although we did 7 for Connecticut. It helps to have a variety of styles and to plan the travelling wisely.

The Jersey places I picked for our hot dog tour were Galloping Hill Inn, Union (German style beef and pork dog, grilled) Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs, Kenilworth, Syd's, Union (charbroiled all beef frank), Rutt's Hut, Clifton (deep fried dog with special relish), and The Hot Grill (North Jersey style Texas Weiner.

It was convenient in that the first place we met was right off the Parkway. The first 3 places were within 4 miles of each other, and the final 2 stops in Clifton were about 15 miles away. Each hot dog joint represented a different style, and , in my opinion, is the best in each style. About 30 people went, coming from N.J., N.Y., Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and one guy from Baltimore. Also attending was Steve Keiner, the last American Champion (1999) in the Nathan's hot dog eating contest.

This outing was mentioned a few months back on this site with an invitation to anyone wishing to attend. Unfortunately, no one from E-Gullet came, although one or 2 people intended to but had to cancel. I'd love for an E-Gullet hot dog outing to happen. A bunch of us did get together a couple of years ago at Rutt's Hut for dogs and beer and had a great time.

We had a vote for best hot dog, and it was a tie between Syd's and the Galloping Hill Inn. Jersey has so many great hot dog restaurants; it would be great for everyone to sample some of the finest. And you don't have to have a full hot dog at each stop, although some of us can ( and did) easily down 7 hot dogs.
John the hot dog guy

#8 finker99

finker99
  • participating member
  • 158 posts
  • Location:River Edge, NJ

Posted 03 December 2004 - 07:37 PM

Some great ideas John, I really only now a few around hackensack and clifton, but I definately would like to try some new places. A saturday should be good for most. I think that January 15th sounds like a good day (beware the ides of january) unless there is major conflict. As far as picking places to go to I think we could reach a consensus by new years. I would like to see us go to Karl Ehmer's in Hillsdale (actually a butcher but has a hot dog stand out front.

Fink
The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

#9 tommy

tommy
  • participating member
  • 15,396 posts

Posted 03 December 2004 - 08:14 PM

this sounds like fun. john's run (it was a roadfood thing iirc) sounded most excellent.

if we don't want to travel all that much btwn dogs, there are certainly enough places in bergen and essex alone to make a full day. off the top of my head:
clixes
johnny and hanges
hot grill
rutts
the one or two places in hackensack whose names i can't remember
hot dog house on 17 (am i the only one who goes here)?

#10 NJ2FLA

NJ2FLA
  • participating member
  • 371 posts
  • Location:Verona, NJ & Boynton Beach, FL

Posted 03 December 2004 - 08:22 PM

OOo.. I'd love to join in. I was going to join John a few months back but wasn't around that weekend. I travel a lot and I never know much when I am going to be around. During the winter I try to spend as much time in FL as possible! I know one of the weekends in January is a 3 day weekend for some people.

#11 rlibkind

rlibkind
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,971 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 03 December 2004 - 10:59 PM

Tommy suggests Bergen and Essex counties. I say, you can find as many good dogs in Union County alone as you can in Bergen and Essex together (but this Elizabeth native is just a tad biased):

Tommy's, Elizabeth
Jerry's, Elizabeth
Majestic Lunch, Elizabeth
Father and Son, Linden
Charlie's, Kenilworth
Galloping Hill Inn, Union
Syd's, Union (although it's in the Millburn Mall, it's in Union)

And it can be organized to meet at the Elizabeth NJ Transit rail station, a 26 minute ride from NYC's Penn Station. I'm in any Saturday in January except the 22nd and I'll be driving up from Phila.
Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

#12 hillbill

hillbill
  • participating member
  • 402 posts
  • Location:Staten Island, NYC

Posted 04 December 2004 - 07:58 AM

I'd also really like to join the posse if I'm available!
Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

#13 Holly Moore

Holly Moore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,573 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 04 December 2004 - 08:49 AM

A day of North Jersey dog eating, especially for the uninitiated, is incomplete without a Rutt's Ripper.
Holly Moore
"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com
Twitter

#14 hillbill

hillbill
  • participating member
  • 402 posts
  • Location:Staten Island, NYC

Posted 04 December 2004 - 09:26 AM

A day of North Jersey dog eating, especially for the uninitiated, is incomplete without a Rutt's Ripper.

View Post



That place really stands out as a must in my mind from all I've read in this and other forums about NJ Dogs.
Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

#15 rlibkind

rlibkind
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,971 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 04 December 2004 - 05:32 PM

I may be an Elizabeth boy at heart, but, hey, I'll renew my passport to try a ripper!
Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

#16 NJ2FLA

NJ2FLA
  • participating member
  • 371 posts
  • Location:Verona, NJ & Boynton Beach, FL

Posted 04 December 2004 - 09:29 PM

Rutts Hut & The Hot Grill are a must.

#17 John

John
  • participating member
  • 743 posts

Posted 05 December 2004 - 05:41 AM

In addition to the places mentioned in Union County by rlibkind, there is Frank & Fries in Rahway, the Windmill in Westfield, Jimmy Buff's in Scotch Plains, and others. New Jersey is a great state for hot dogs and Union County is probably the County with the best, or the greatest concentration of hot dog joints. Pete Genovese of the Star Ledger told me that when he asks readers for hot dog recommendations, 75% of them are for places in Union County. But the better places are close to each other and only about 15 miles away (a short ride up the Parkway) from Rutt's and the Hot Grill, which are minutes from each other.

There's a couple of ways of looking at the selection of places. I, myself have been to most of the ones named many times and never tire of them. It would be nice to visit a new place. But for most people, it would be better to go to some of the tried and true places that give Jersey it's reputation for a great place to have a variety of different styles of hot dogs. I would agree with Holly that Rutt's is a place that must be experienced. They serve a unique dog cooked a different way (deep fried) than most people are used to. I would say Syd's also shouldn't be missed. A different type of dog (kosher style all beef) than Rutt's, it is, in my opinion, the best all beef dog in this section of the country. And this includes Nathan's, Papaya King, and Katz's in New York. Galloping Hill Inn serves a great German style beef and pork dog that they griddle and put in a harder, better quality bun. This place drew raves from people on the last tour. I would suggest though, that if you come here, that you try the dog with just mustard. I don't like the chili or other toppings.

Other styles worth sampling are the Italian Hot Dog and the Texas Weiner. Charlies Famous, Tommy's, and Jimmy Buff's make excellent Italian Hot Dogs. The Hot Grill, Libby's, Johnny and Hanges, Texas Weiner ll, and others make great Texas Weiners.

I'm up for anything. These trips are a lot of fun, and for me, a lot of the enjoyment comes from hearing people's opinions about the different dogs sampled. I would just ask for us to agree on a date soon because I work Saturdays, and would need time to arrange for a day off.
John the hot dog guy

#18 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 05 December 2004 - 07:00 AM

Though I can't quite justify driving down to NJ for a day of hot dogs, being a weiner-fiend I considered it (see my post on Pink's in LA recently). So I will be very happy if you report back, with pix if possible; slanderous arguments concerning both the quality of the dogs' "snap" and eaters' application of proper condiments would be particularly appreciated. :wink:

If successful, perhaps your jaunt can produce other similar tours around the U.S. I've always felt that a definitive NY system weiner review was in order for these parts....
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#19 richl2214

richl2214
  • participating member
  • 390 posts
  • Location:Northeastern US

Posted 05 December 2004 - 07:41 AM

Cool discussion on Roadfood.com. May give some ideas:

http://www.roadfood....asp?TOPIC_ID=40

Edited by richl2214, 05 December 2004 - 07:42 AM.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

#20 Curlz

Curlz
  • participating member
  • 2,686 posts
  • Location:northern NJ

Posted 07 December 2004 - 07:41 AM

I must sheepishly admit that although I probably live 1.5 miles from Rutt's, I've never been there! If my schedule allows, I could be convinced to go along on this one...sure is a novel idea!
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

#21 waves2ya

waves2ya
  • participating member
  • 176 posts

Posted 07 December 2004 - 07:58 AM

I must sheepishly admit that although I probably live 1.5 miles from Rutt's

View Post


... then their relish, alone, makes a trip worth it!
~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

#22 finker99

finker99
  • participating member
  • 158 posts
  • Location:River Edge, NJ

Posted 07 December 2004 - 11:38 AM

So Rutt's seems like a choice we all agree on, and I definately think that we should hit a some in Union County. I think that we can pull off a couple in each county(Bergen, Passaic, and Union) in an afternoon. John's galloping grill description sound's really good. How does Syd's do their dogs?

Fink
The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

#23 John

John
  • participating member
  • 743 posts

Posted 07 December 2004 - 05:30 PM

Syd's takes a special long (5 to a lb) natural casing all beef dog and simmers in water, then charbroils on a gas grill. You have a choice of getting it this way (95% do) or boiled. The only beef dog that comes close to Syd's is one from Usinger's, which, unfortunately is not available around here.
John the hot dog guy

#24 rlibkind

rlibkind
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,971 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 07 December 2004 - 09:20 PM

The only beef dog that comes close to Syd's is one from Usinger's, which, unfortunately is not available around here.

View Post

Usingers can be mail-ordered. And I think Best Provision (purveyor to Syd's) will sell you a box (10 pounds, I think) of the 5 to a pound dog if you show up at their door in Newark; I think they'll even ship to you.
Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

#25 menton1

menton1
  • legacy participant
  • 3,077 posts
  • Location:New Jersey

Posted 08 December 2004 - 09:02 AM

How come nobody has mentioned Boulevard Drinks, Journal Square, Jersey City. Great place, something like Papaya King in NYC.

#26 John

John
  • participating member
  • 743 posts

Posted 08 December 2004 - 06:23 PM

Boulevard Drinks is a great place. I think I've mentioned it in past posts. I know that Holly has been there recently. I'm awaiting his review and pictures. Very good observation about it being like Papaya King. They both use Sabrett natural casing beef franks and slow cook them on a griddle. Papaya King uses a 10 to a lb dog while the one at Boulevard Drinks is very small (12 to a lb). I'm not crazy about the location; it's a pain in the ass to park there. I usually end up parking in a garage, even on Sundays.

Interesting point; I had always assumed that Sabrett was a New York dog. Although Marathon Enterprises (who bought out and owns Sabrett) is in Jersey, the dogs are produced in the Bronx. But the Sabrett company was born on Henderson St. in Jersey City and the factory was there for many years.

Rlibkind,

I go to the Best factory all the time to buy the same 5 to a lb dogs that are served at Syd's. They will sell as little as a 2 lb package to you. They are sold in 2, 3, 5, and 10 pound packages. Up until a few years ago you could even buy one pound (5 dogs) that they would throw in a brown paper bag. This was stopped when a few people died of Lysteria poisoning from eating tainted Sabrett hot dogs. Now they have to sell their dogs sealed in cryovac packages. You can also get their dogs in a variety of sizes.
John the hot dog guy

#27 Curlz

Curlz
  • participating member
  • 2,686 posts
  • Location:northern NJ

Posted 08 December 2004 - 08:18 PM

Just curious...is there a difference between the Best's hot dogs that you can buy in the supermarket and the ones you buy directly from them? I remember my dad going to buy them directly to stock the snack bar that was run by the Little League parents about a zillion years ago. Okay, maybe it was only 30--but still...! :raz:
"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

#28 finker99

finker99
  • participating member
  • 158 posts
  • Location:River Edge, NJ

Posted 09 December 2004 - 09:56 AM

Ok,

So it looks like Rutt's, the Galloping Hill Inn, and Syd's are the list so far. I would like to try Clixes or Johnny and Hanges cuz I've never tried them and I wasn't so Hot on the Hot Grill, although I enjoyed their goofy commercials.

Fink
The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

#29 tommy

tommy
  • participating member
  • 15,396 posts

Posted 09 December 2004 - 10:08 AM

Ok,

    So it looks like Rutt's, the Galloping Hill Inn, and Syd's are the list so far.  I would like to try Clixes or Johnny and Hanges cuz I've never tried them and I wasn't so Hot on the Hot Grill, although I enjoyed their goofy commercials.

Fink

View Post

again, clixes, J&H, and Goffle Grill, which are all notable and unique, are literally minutes from each other. GG and clixes are practically next to each other. it's a quick ride up from rutt's as well up 21/20.

#30 John

John
  • participating member
  • 743 posts

Posted 10 December 2004 - 04:56 AM

Just curious...is there a difference between the Best's hot dogs that you can buy in the supermarket and the ones you buy directly from them?  I remember my dad going to buy them directly to stock the snack bar that was run by the Little League parents about a zillion years ago.  Okay, maybe it was only 30--but still...! :raz:

View Post



The Best's hot dogs that you see in supermarkets are skinless. They come 8 or 10 to a lb. There is also a low sodium dog. At the plant in Newark there are a variety of shapes and sizes. You can also get the natural casing franks, which I prefer. All dogs are made from the same recipe, but the natural casing adds something. I usually get the 5 to a lb and prepare them like Syd's does. The dogs are also cheaper at the plant and you can get quality roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, hamburgers, and other beef products.
John the hot dog guy