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Rich Pawlak

Report: 5th Annual NJ Hot Dog Tour

15 posts in this topic

I gotta say, this was a fantastic, extremely well planned, timed and organized tour, with not a weak dog in the bunch, from Dee's Truck (my personal favorite of the day), to Galloping Hill (who COMPED EVERY PERSON ON THE TOUR A HOT DOG AND DRINK to start off the Tour--that is amazing generosity, and evidence of the high regard in which our tour organizers, John Fox and Benzee were held), to The Windmill, to Jimmy Buff's to Manny's to Bubba's, each and every place was unique in its own way, and each place was distinctively great in their own way, a tremendous achievement by the thoughtful planners of this tour.

The Galloping Hill dog, a custom dog on a custom bun, I enjoyed with mustard and hot relish, and it was dazzling. But nothing, to me, topped the fresh snap of the natural casing Sabrett dog at Dee's, served on a equally fresh bun, simply perfection. The Windmill was also quite good, nicely grilled footlong dog with very good chili, mustard and onions. Manny's is my current favorite chili dog, with a chili sauce that has hints of nutmeg and cinnamon--I thought I was in a Cincinnati chili parlor!---and a nicely grilled dog. Great service staff also, I must say. JImmy Buff's in East Hanover was the best version of the Italian hot dog that I've had in along while, just well sauteed onions, peppers and potatoes, great pizza bread and a very good tasty dog. But Bubba's was also great in its way; I had parts of a plain dog with mustard and relish, as well as a chili dog, and they were both superb. KIller fresh cut fries at Bubba's, too.

But in the end, its the people on a tour that you enjoy the most, and I've gotta say that this tour had some of the NICEST people you'd ever hope to meet; enthusiastic, eccentric, colorful and best of all, funny.

Truly a great day of fun in the hot dog subculture of New Jersey. I hope I can make it every year from now on.


Edited by Rich Pawlak (log)

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Rich,

I'm glad that you enjoyed the Tour and I hope to see you every year. In fact, we are planning some smaller get togethers. I'll keep you updated. We're looking to make a trip to Charlies Pool Room, a unique and fun place, as well as a trip including Amazing Hot Dog in Bound Brook, Middlesex Texas Weiners in Middlesex, and possibly Lutz's Pork Store in Union. Last year we got Charlies to open for us exclusively.

You're right in stating that every place was unique in it's own way. I love reading the opinions of people who have attended because they are so varied as far as what type of chili they liked, what kind of dog (all beef or beef and pork), and the other toppings as well as methods of preparation. Although everyone had their own opinions, all agreed that each place served a good dog. You can read more about it on Roadfood; both the Hot Dog Forum (NJ Hot Dog Tour) and also on the Miscellaneous and Food Related Forum. There are plenty of pictures too.

I enjoyed all of the dogs and went into detail on Roadfood. What sets Dees apart from the many hot dog trucks, carts, and restaurants serving "dirty water Sabretts" are a few things. She uses a 10 to a lb frank which is bigger than many places that use miniscule 11 and 12 to a lb dogs. JJ's in Newark switched to a skinless 12 to a lb dog 2 yeas ago. Dee's also uses a natural casing frank which is much better than the skinless dogs used by many. Perhaps the biggest difference in Dees dogs are that they are served hot and fresh. Too many establishments serve their dogs lukewarm. Dee never leaves her dogs in the water too long. When I sampled 87 hot dog joints 2 years ago, I had plenty of dirty water dogs. Many were in the water too long. They lose flavor and snap. Dee will throw out dogs rather than serve them if they're in the water longer than a few minutes. And although I get my dogs there with mustard only, she is known for her homemade chili and onion sauce.

I'll post here about our future trips in case some want to attend.


John the hot dog guy

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I've put on annual Beer Tours in Philly for over 10 years, and I've always strived to visit places that had different brews on tap, so as to avoid overlap and repitition, never an easy task, and ultimately not totally achievable. But what you and Benzee achieved, John , was to give our enormous crowd six different and distinctive hot dog experiences, and that is an amazing feat. Add to that fact that each hot dog was terrific unto itself, and you have a stunning accomplishment.


Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Guys... I am so jealous! John, please keep me in the loop about future dog trips. I am in NJ a bit more now.

I didn't know that JJ's swithed to skinless about 2 years ago. I like his onions that are spicy.

John - do you recall a hot dog wagon that used to be off of St. Georges avenue in Linden years ago. I used to go there with my friend bob when we were kids so this would be the late, late 80's - early 90's. I think the truck was yellow and he was near where the train tracks are (were) and he made all different types of strange toppings on the dogs. For some reason I just thought of him. I think he made one with Peanut Butter and bananas. We would always go there late in the evening.

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Scott,

Not sure about a wagon in Linden. There was (and still is) a truck on St . Georges Ave. in Rahway close to the Linden border. It's called Munce's. It was sold recently but they always had a big selection of toppings.

I'll let you know about our next get together.


John the hot dog guy

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Rich, it was a pleasure to meet you this year! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself, and so did we (except for the chanting of my name, but that's not for this thread). It's funny, but both Brian and I also voted Dee's our favorite of the day, for a few reasons. Manny's Texas Weiners was for the overall experience and atmosphere, but Dee's was our favorite dog of the day. I enjoyed Jimmy Buff's more last year than this year, but it's not for me to nitpick when he's been so generous to us. We did not eat anything but those fantastic fries at Bubba's, and did not have anything at Galloping Hill. I didn't find out until the first trip report about the free food there that day! Nobody said a word about it...it's OK, though. I still have yet to eat a hot dog there. I enjoyed the WindMill's hot dog; Brian did not like the casing.

Please email me for the links to my two flickr photo sets from the Tour if you wish to see them.

Take care!

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Even though it's only March, it's never too early to start thinking about the Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. This year's, our sixth, will be held on Saturday, September 26th. I have a few good things planned that I hope come off. One stop that was planned was Amazing Hot Dog in Bound Brook. We had been to their Verona location in 2006. It proved a popular stop. Was looking forward to visiting their Bound Brook location which was bigger and better. Unfortunately, they closed yesterday.

This is the place to post if you want to attend. Also post your comments and suggestions as to where you want to go. This is your Tour and I want to include places that you would like to visit. As always, Benzee will handle the travel arrangements. This year we will have only one bus, so reserve your place early.


John the hot dog guy

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I am interested in attending - how do I sign up? What is the cost, where is the meeting point, etc, etc.?????

Thanks!

DonnaMarieNJ

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Hi Donna MarieNJ,

This year's Tour will be Saturday, September 26th. The cost has not been determined yet, but in the past it has been $20.00 to $25.00 for the bus and refreshments on the bus. You pay for what you eat at each stop. I'm working on the itinerary currently, and it will be a good mix of places as in the past.

Each year we meet in the parking lot of the Galloping Hill Inn in Union right off exit 138 of the Garden State Parkway. We are not collecting money yet, but you can reserve a spot on the bus. Last year we had 2 buses, but this year we will limit it to one. There will be a waiting list so reserve your spot early. Once we finalize everything, we ask for a check or money order by a certain date. If we don't receive it, we go to the waiting list.

To reserve your spot, e-mail my friend Benzee who will handling the travel arrangements. benzee95@hotmail.com.


John the hot dog guy

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Even though it's only March, it's never too early to start thinking about the Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. This year's, our sixth, will be held on Saturday, September 26th. I have a few good things planned that I hope come off. One stop that was planned was Amazing Hot Dog in Bound Brook. We had been to their Verona location in 2006. It proved a popular stop. Was looking forward to visiting their Bound Brook location which was bigger and better. Unfortunately, they closed yesterday.

This is the place to post if you want to attend. Also post your comments and suggestions as to where you want to go. This is your Tour and I want to include places that you would like to visit. As always, Benzee will handle the travel arrangements. This year we will have only one bus, so reserve your place early.

amazing Hot Dog closed their other location? What happened?

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Video page isn't working for me. :sad: I wanna see!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie,

Go to http://www.localsource.com. Click on Union (on the left where the towns are) and then click on the story. At the end is a link to the video.


John the hot dog guy

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Still doesn't work. I get a big title "Hot Dog Tour Movie" and then a big blank spot underneath that with a tiny little picture in the upper left corner like a photo that won't appear. Tried right clicking it, everything. It just doesn't seem to want to cooperate with my browser.

edited to add:

I tried a different browser, having inadvertently answered my own question and it worked. Very cool! Looks like some seriously good dog eating happening there. Sorry I missed it!!


Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie, the NJ Hot Dog Tour is one wacked-out,hot dog geek's-dream-come-true of a day, and this year's Tour also included a stop at a great German butcher shop. Like any Tour, if you pace yourself, you can really experience some terrific eating. This year's Tour was my third, and I hope I never ever miss one.


Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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