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Looks like this weekend, or maybe next, I'll be heading to Coney Island and Nathan's to plug one of the two major gaps on my hot dog page (the other being Chicago).

But man doesn't have to live by hot dogs alone. Looking for recommends of other grease-stain worthy places in the area.

Thanks.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Nathan's currently doesn't even qualify as a pale shadow of the Nathan's that used to be. In fact 'pale shadow' is giving it far too much praise.

Its only worth is for people to see how truly far the once mighty can actually fall. If you have memories of the Nathan's of yore then go only if you wish to become suicidally depressed. A waste of gas, time and money.

Brighton Beach is a few blocks east. A thriving Russian community, you may be better served seeking out some of the places in that neighborhood. There are those here much more qualified than I to direct you.

Nick

edit: north = east

Edited by ngatti (log)
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One of the other great Nathan's locations used to be in Yonkers, on Central Avenue (they actually served Corned Beef!) :biggrin:

But some time in the last few years it got converted into a big food court with the same crappy combination approach as many of the Nathan's in Manhattan, along with a Pizza Hut and a couple of other crappy mall-food counters.

As for other food in the Coney Island area, hasn't a lot of that part of Brooklyn been Russian forever? I also seem to recall that there might be some good Polish food (yay, Pierogies!) out that way somewhere.

EDIT - Actually, I've looked it up. Nearby Brighton Beach is the place to go. Russian since the 1970s.

Edited by jhlurie (log)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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But man doesn't have to live by hot dogs alone.

Ah, but wouldn't it be great to try? :laugh:

The one time we tried to go to Gargiulo's (W. 15th Street & Mermaid Ave.), they wouldn't let us in because we weren't "appropriately dressed." But I'd still try it; after all, how many restaurants last 96 years?

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Holly, Nathan's is a sad state of affairs, especially when the weather is nasthy like its suppose to be this weekend. Go the 10 blocks east on Brighton Beach Ave (between Coney Island Ave and Ocean AVE under the EL). There is a amazing amount of eastern european food stores selling all types of smoked fish, cheese and cured meats (take a cooler). There's also Mrs Stahls Knishs ( take it home and heat it up they nuke it now). There's plenty to eat in the food markets, I can't remember names of rest. that I would recommend. How are you going to Bklyn, from Staten Is or from Man? There are stops on the way worth doing depending on how you're going.

I'm a NYC expat. Since coming to the darkside, as many of my freinds have said, I've found that most good things in NYC are made in NJ.

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I'm hoping the sun bursts forth this weekend. And I appreciate the advice, but Nathan's is Nathan's and I've at least got to give them a taste. I was there 5 or 6 years ago and went away quite full and quite happy. I'm hoping the place hasn't gone totally to pot.

I'll be coming through Staten Island. It's at least a two hour trek from Philly so I welcome some suggestions for nourishment along the way.

How far off the path is Finks?

Other than Mrs. Stahl and her Knishs any other suggestions for Brighton Beach, not that I have a problem blundering and eating about on my own?

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Tototonno's Pizza is a must -- in my opinion the best in NYC. I guess part of it may be the atmosphere, the cold Rheingold beers but, apart from a soggy (dead) center of the pie, their pizza is worth the trip out there alone.

EDIT: I can't spell.

Edited by bpearis (log)

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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I'll be coming through Staten Island.  It's at least a two hour trek from Philly so I welcome some suggestions for nourishment along the way.

How far off the path is Finks?

It sounds as though you will be taking the NJ Turnpike to 440, then over the Outerbridge, etc.? What kind of eats are you looking for -- snacks, full meals? There might be some places in NJ, but suggestions would depend on which day and the hour you will be passing through. (And would this then belong on the NJ board?)

Re: Finks. I have not been there, but it's in northern NJ, a bit of a trek, I think, from your intended (?) route.

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Best advice, Holly:

Stay away from Nathan's, just a hot-dog version of McDonalds now; Go to the lower east side to Katz's, alot like the original Nathans hot dogs. If, after 2 or 3 dogs there, and a serious pastrami sandwich, you are still hungry, within 2 blocks are a great belgian fries place, a Turkish fast food stand for great Doner kebobs, Russ & Daughters for awesome smoked fish, and Yonah Shimmels for the best knishes on the planet.

You'll save a 1/2 hour driving as well.

N.B. They have Nathan's hot dog stands on the Pa. Turnpike now-- you don't need to drive 2 1/2 hours for it!!

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I disagree with all of the anti-Nathan's sentiment here. Go to Nathan's. It still has a place in my heart. And it's only a damn hotdog, not a porterhouse. I always order a dark one if that helps. Tastier in my opinion. If you agree that Nathan's has lost it, then you can cross it off of your things to do list. If you don't, you'll never know.

And there's something to eating a Nathan's on the boardwalk, rain or shine.

Edited by elyse (log)
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One thing Nathan's has over McDonalds is heaps of freshly opened oysters and clams. I'll always go there for that (and eat a hotdog as an afterthought :wink: ). I am not saying they're the greatest oysters and clams in the world, but it's fun to eat a pile of them off a paper plate in the sunshine.

As for sunshine... :sad:

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Holly--

A check on the Nathans Famous website located a Nathans in the Franklin Mills Mall, and also in Whitehall, Pa. if that is near you. Same hot dogs as in Coney Island. Save on gasoline.

I stick by my recommendation for Katzs, then moving on to Turkish Doner Kebob, Russ & Daughters Smoked Salmon and Herring, and Yonah Shimmels knishes for a nightcap!! (All on Houston Street between Chrystie & Essex)

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Go to the lower east side to Katz's, alot like the original Nathans hot dogs.

I think Holly is quite familiar with Katz's now. We pestered him into going last year. :wink:

As for Fink's, how close it is depends on your route. If you are going over the George Washington Bridge, then you'll be near Fink's. Route 80 passes nearby, and he's on the part of Kinderkamack Road that's only about 2 minutes off of Route 4, if you know that road. Mapquest will probably describe it better than I could...

Obviously you're obliged to try the dogs at his place, but also save room for a cheesesteak.

As for Nathan's itself... well, good luck. I'm sure its no WORSE than any of the franchised locations.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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One thing Nathan's has over McDonalds is heaps of freshly opened oysters and clams.

Another thing that Nathans has over McD's is great french fries.

Made from real potatoes.

As Elyse mentioned.... enough Nathan's bashing. It's a decent dog always eaten standing up in Coney Island.

As for Finks in River Edge NJ...Holly you have to go there but I estimate that it would take approximately 1-1/4 - 1-1/2 hours to get there from the depths of Brooklyn.

A closer excursion might be to DiFaras pizza on Avenue J in Brooklyn.

IMHO worth at least 5 EVOO grease stains.

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One thing Nathan's has over McDonalds is heaps of freshly opened oysters and clams.

Another thing that Nathans has over McD's is great french fries.

Made from real potatoes.

True enough. I always get mine with the cheese sauce.

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Plus, I wasn't under the impression that Holly was looking for a unique hotdog. More THE Nathan's experience which you certainly can not get at X, Y, or Z mall no matter where you go.

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Holly--

A check on the Nathans Famous website located a Nathans in the Franklin Mills Mall, and also in Whitehall, Pa. if that is near you.  Same hot dogs as in Coney Island.  Save on gasoline.

I stick by my recommendation for Katzs, then moving on to Turkish Doner Kebob, Russ & Daughters Smoked Salmon and Herring, and Yonah Shimmels knishes for a nightcap!!  (All on Houston Street between Chrystie & Essex)

I've been to the Nathan's at Franklin Mills and like the dogs and really like the fries. But for the site I prefer to go to the original instead of a local franchise or company owned store.

Katz's I know and love and pray every night at bedtime that a similar place opens in Philly.

But it sounds like I should take another trip down Houston Street.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Hear hear! Nathan's may not be the ne plus ultra of hot dogs anymore, but how can you NOT go there?? (Especially after a visit to the Aquarium.) Of course, as always the key is to ask for WELL-DONE. And yes, the french fries are excellent by comparison to what you get most places.

The last time I got Mrs. Stahl's knishes (last October), the potato was a total disappointment: tasted as though it was made from dehydrated potato powder. :angry: On the other hand, the cheese (with onion, I think?) was manna from heaven. Rich, creamy, a hint of tanginess, a hint of sweetness. :wub:

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And there's something to eating a Nathan's on the boardwalk, rain or shine.

There is also a Nathans on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City now.

And, on the Nathans website, there is a coupon for 3 hot dogs for $1. each!

Nathans Website

Better, but still doesn't do it for me.

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Holly, if you DO visit Fink's neighborhood, there's also a place (which I admit I haven't tried) in Hackensack (next town over from River Edge) called "Dog House Grille". Its not far from White Manna, a place I know you know.

Dog House Grille

60 River St

Hackensack, NJ 07601-7020

Phone: (201) 646-0200

Again, this isn't a recommendation. I know nothing other than the fact that its there. Cubby's--a place I seem to remember that Mr. Perlow liked before Fink's opened--is also in that part of town.

Oh, going back to your Jersey Dog page for a second... on your page for Callahan's you might want to mention that there's another location (actually, Callahan's used to be a medium sized franchise... there's probably a book in the story about how the franchise failed and several of the locations were "saved" by the original owners buying them back)

The one you haven't been to is at:

Callahan's Hot Dogs

146 US Hwy 46

Little Ferry, NJ 07643-1407

Phone: (201) 440-8516

Relatively the same dog you ate though. Probably not worth visiting.

Edited by jhlurie (log)

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Don't forget the Cyclone! You might to take a ride prior to dining. :biggrin: No visit to Coney Island was complete without a game of skeeball and a ride, or two, on the world famous Cyclone! You can't miss it - it's right across the street from Nathans. Enjoy!

KathyM

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I think the Cyclone will still be closed.

There's an ancient candy store under the el, if you're interested in that sort of thing. I can't give you any information, but any beat walking cop will be able to tell you about it.

There's also an Italian place nearby. It's called Carolina's and the food's alright, but it's got an amazing keyboard player in the evenings. Just like those krazi movies about the 70's.

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