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John

An authentic Chicago Style Dog

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I had overheard a conversation a while ago when someone mentioned a new place was to be opening that would be serving Chicago style hot dogs. I didn't give it much thought because there are places that attempt to serve what they call a Chicago dog. But they use pork hot dogs and throw a mixture of junk that hardly resembles what is made in Chicago.

Today I happenned to be driving on St. Georges Ave. in Linden and passed by a place called J's Beef, Chicago Style Italian Beef & Sausage. I turned around and went back. When I went in, I found a large Vienna Beef sign. I had a chance to speak with Jack, the owner, and found out that he is serving an authentic Chicago style hot dog complete with Vienna beef hot dogs, onions, neon relish, yellow mustard, tomato wedges, sport peppers, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. The dogs (skinlkess and 6 to a lb) relish, sport peppers, and celery salt are all from Chicago. Dogs, poppy seed buns, and relish are directly from Vienna Beef. I forget if the sports peppers and celery salt are.

Italian Beef is also served, but it is made on premise rather than shipped in from Vienna. Soon J's will be selling Vienna Beef Dogs to the public. This is the same Vienna Beef Dogs sold in Chicago and not the different recipe dog sold at Targets.

Jack was kind enough to give me a few Viennas to sample at home. While I was there, I had a Chicago dog and a plain Vienna with just mustard. The dogs come steamed or char grilled. I got mine steamed. The Chicago dog was minus onions as I hate them. I don't really like relish (except for Rutt's Hut unique relish) but I had it on the dog. I still am not crazy about so many toppings on a dog, but I liked the contrast between hot meat and cool vegetables. The bun was excellent; hot and steamed also. Sports peppers were very hot. Yellow mustard, a few small tomato wedges and the neon green relish. According to Jack, this is the only authentic Chicago dog in the area including Shake Shack in N.Y. For me it may be an aquired taste, but I think many will like it. He has only been open for 2 1/2 weeks but business has been great so far. The Vienna beef dog with mustard was ok, but a little mild. It had a sort of subtle spicing with a mild spice which lingered in the background that I couldn't identify. I know this dog is made from bull meat and brisket.

Jack is from Chicago and grew up with Vienna. It's all he eats although he has sampled other dogs from Jersey. He thinks Sabrett is too spicy while Thumann's (mostly pork) is too bland.

J's Beef 902 W. St. Georges Ave. Linden, N.J. 908-587-0105


John the hot dog guy

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I had overheard a conversation a while ago when someone mentioned a new place was to be opening that would be serving Chicago style hot dogs. I didn't give it much thought because there are places that attempt to serve what they call a Chicago dog. But they use pork hot dogs and throw a mixture of junk that hardly resembles what is made in Chicago.

Today I happenned to be driving on St. Georges Ave. in Linden and passed by a place called J's Beef, Chicago Style Italian Beef & Sausage. I turned around and went back. When I went in, I found a large Vienna Beef sign. I had a chance to speak with Jack, the owner, and found out that he is serving an authentic Chicago style hot dog complete with Vienna beef hot dogs, onions, neon relish, yellow mustard, tomato wedges, sport peppers, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. The dogs (skinlkess and 6 to a lb) relish, sport peppers, and celery salt are all from Chicago. Dogs, poppy seed buns, and relish are directly from Vienna Beef. I forget if the sports peppers and celery salt are.

Italian Beef is also served, but it is made on premise rather than shipped in from Vienna. Soon J's will be selling Vienna Beef Dogs to the public. This is the same Vienna Beef Dogs sold in Chicago and not the different recipe dog sold at Targets.

Jack was kind enough to give me a few Viennas to sample at home. While I was there, I had a Chicago dog and a plain Vienna with just mustard. The dogs come steamed or char grilled. I got mine steamed. The Chicago dog was minus onions as I hate them. I don't really like relish (except for Rutt's Hut unique relish) but I had it on the dog. I still am not crazy about so many toppings on a dog, but I liked the contrast between hot meat and cool vegetables. The bun was excellent; hot and steamed also. Sports peppers were very hot. Yellow mustard, a few small tomato wedges and the neon green relish. According to Jack, this is the only authentic Chicago dog in the area including Shake Shack in N.Y. For me it may be an aquired taste, but I think many will like it. He has only been open for 2 1/2 weeks but business has been great so far. The Vienna beef dog with mustard was ok, but a little mild. It had a sort of subtle spicing with a mild spice which lingered in the background that I couldn't identify. I know this dog is made from bull meat and brisket.

Jack is from Chicago and grew up with Vienna. It's all he eats although he has sampled other dogs from Jersey. He thinks Sabrett is too spicy while Thumann's (mostly pork) is too bland.

J's Beef 902 W. St. Georges Ave. Linden, N.J. 908-587-0105

K John, your assignment is to tell Jack to open another place in Bucks County PA. Tell him I will be his marketing department if these dogs are truly Chicago Red Hots. I miss them big time from the late 60's early 70's being in Illinois at college.

I remember it taking some time to get used to, but that poppy seed bun split in the middle like they do in New England along with the mustard you described, pickle, raw onion, nuff said just get it done :biggrin:

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something tells me at least 5 egulleters will be hitting this place within the next, oh, i'm guessing 3 days. :D

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something tells me at least 5 egulleters will be hitting this place within the next, oh, i'm guessing 3 days. :D

Tommy, 5? Do you realize the exposure this site has? At least 15 I'd say and I'd be one of them if it weren't so damned far!

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something tells me at least 5 egulleters will be hitting this place within the next, oh, i'm guessing 3 days. :D

Tommy, 5? Do you realize the exposure this site has? At least 15 I'd say and I'd be one of them if it weren't so damned far!

5 people who post. a very small percentage of members post on egullet, and even less of that number are from NJ/NY/PA.

since egullet is extremely "googe-able", it's certainly not going to hurt to have the place mentioned here. dollars to donuts people will start googling when they drive past it or hear about it, and they'll be reading these words right here.

but yes, i was being a bit conservative with 5. but the 3 day limit is pretty tight, you must admit. over the next few weeks, we'll be seeing, i'm thinking, me, jason and rachel perlow, holly, hitmanoo, curlz, nuge, dbroc, ejebud and beth, all heading down. damn, that's way over 5 already. :biggrin:

john the hot dog guy, any word on the giardiniera? it's my understanding that this is a very important part of the beef experience, and can make or break the thing. i suppose it's not hard to "source" this from wherever they get it in chicago, though.

by the way, the website.


Edited by tommy (log)

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something tells me at least 5 egulleters will be hitting this place within the next, oh, i'm guessing 3 days. :D

Tommy, 5? Do you realize the exposure this site has? At least 15 I'd say and I'd be one of them if it weren't so damned far!

5 people who post. a very small percentage of members post on egullet, and even less of that number are from NJ/NY/PA.

since egullet is extremely "googe-able", it's certainly not going to hurt to have the place mentioned here. dollars to donuts people will start googling when they drive past it or hear about it, and they'll be reading these words right here.

but yes, i was being a bit conservative with 5. but the 3 day limit is pretty tight, you must admit. over the next few weeks, we'll be seeing, i'm thinking, me, jason and rachel perlow, holly, hitmanoo, curlz, nuge, dbroc, ejebud and beth, all heading down. damn, that's way over 5 already. :biggrin:

john the hot dog guy, any word on the giardiniera? it's my understanding that this is a very important part of the beef experience, and can make or break the thing. i suppose it's not hard to "source" this from wherever they get it in chicago, though.

by the way, the website.

Sorry, didn't ask about the giardiniera. I also forgot to add that there are pickles on the Chicago dog. From Vienna Beef.


John the hot dog guy

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This is pretty useless information, but fwiw, for a couple of years in the early 1960s, an outpost of Syd's was located on St. George's Avenue just a couple of blocks east of the J's Beef location, but on the Roselle side of the street. It was operated by a former employee of the Syd's in Newark, and prior to the opening of the Millburn Mall location. Didn't work out and closed after just a few years. But they were good dogs, as good as the original and current Syd's.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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but yes, i was being a bit conservative with 5.  but the 3 day limit is pretty tight, you must admit.  over the next few weeks, we'll be seeing, i'm thinking, me, jason and rachel perlow, holly, hitmanoo, curlz, nuge, dbroc, ejebud and beth, all heading down.  damn, that's way over 5 already. :biggrin:

Welp, looks like I know where I'll be eating lunch tomorrow! It'll be nice to "meat" another newbie in the hot dog biz. Now, do I wear an Amazing Hot Dog shirt or not? Oh heck, I guess I'll wear one and maybe bring one to trade. John, what size do you reckon the guy wears?

Eric


President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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Extra large, which is coincidentally the same size I wear.


John the hot dog guy

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It's a rare thing when I hear a food term for the first time at this point in my life. What is a "sport pepper"?


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Welp, looks like I know where I'll be eating lunch tomorrow!  It'll be nice to "meat" another newbie in the hot dog biz.  Now, do I wear an Amazing Hot Dog shirt or not?  Oh heck, I guess I'll wear one and maybe bring one to trade.  John, what size do you reckon the guy wears? 

Eric

Of course, I was wondering if John told him about AHD... :biggrin: Go to it, Eric! You can start the owners' club, trading shirts and stories. :laugh:

When I was in Chicago last fall (first trip), I passed on the dogs b/c I don't like half of the stuff they put on them, but I did have an EYEtalian (that's how they pronounced it) beef sandwich--the whole of which, bread and all, was dunked in au jus after being piled with onions and peppers--and that was a VERY good (albeit messy) thing. Would be cool to have them in the area!


"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."

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It's a rare thing when I hear a food term for the first time at this point in my life.  What is a "sport pepper"?

Here is a picture of the pepper (about half way down) http://www.tomatogrowers.com/hot5.htm

This Capsicum annum type of pepper is popular for its use as a pickled pepper to go on hot dogs and other sandwiches. It is especially well known as an essential condiment in a Chicago-style hot dog. Peppers resemble Tabasco peppers, but the Sport pepper is larger, about 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. They are medium-hot and produced in great abundance on sturdy plants; 75 days.

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Folks,

Just back from J's Chicago Style Beef and Sausage. I welcomed Jack to the NJ hot dog scene with an AHD t-shirt, he was profusely appologetic that he didn't have a t-shirt in which to reciprocate the gesture. He is a nice man and a fine addition to the hot dog culture in NJ. One taste of the Vienna Beef dog and you know it is of high quality. I'm with John as far as the Chicago style being an aquired taste. It was good, but I can't see myself craving one when my next hot dog jones hits which usually is every hour on the half hour! I went because I wanted to experience an authentic Chicago Style hot dog. I believe his dog is spot on because as John mentioned, 98% of the ingredients come from Chicago and alot of items from Vienna Beef directly. i assured Jack that we won't be serving a Chicago dog at AHD for the same reason we don't sell an Italian Hot Dog. We leave them to the professional Italian hot dog guys, and I'm happy to say that I now have a fine establishment to recommend to those folks looking for a true Chicago Style Hot Dog experience. I hope Jack comes to AHD someday soon. It'll be my pleasure to serve him.

Eric


President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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I was thinking the same thing.. Dipped Italian Beef.. Oh baby..

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I was thinking the same thing.. Dipped Italian Beef.. Oh baby..

Oh, did I mention that I had an Italian beef served "wet" also? It was nice and (black) peppery. I really enjoyed it.


President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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The Chicago-style hot dog is, indeed, a beautiful thing. I enjoy them occasionally. But, for my money, the Italian Beef is really where it's at!

And actually, most of the time I end up going with a combo. That's Italian beef AND sausage.

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The Chicago-style hot dog is, indeed, a beautiful thing. I enjoy them occasionally. But, for my money, the Italian Beef is really where it's at!

And actually, most of the time I end up going with a combo. That's Italian beef AND sausage.

Sounds to me like a ready market exists for hot italian beef sammies. They really are good when done right with a little horseradish cream sauce on top of the au jus, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

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The Chicago-style hot dog is, indeed, a beautiful thing. I enjoy them occasionally. But, for my money, the Italian Beef is really where it's at!

And actually, most of the time I end up going with a combo. That's Italian beef AND sausage.

Sounds to me like a ready market exists for hot italian beef sammies. They really are good when done right with a little horseradish cream sauce on top of the au jus, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

i agree. the hot dog may very well not even make a dent, given they're making a go of it in what might very well be the hot dog capital of the world. but a beef sandwich is unlike anything NJ has to offer. hopefully people other than crazed foodies will enjoy it as well. it's a tough sell though, i'd think.

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Aren't you just dipping it in the jus, sans the "au"?

Anyway, thanks for the responses on sport peppers. Yes I could have googled it after work, but I don't think I'd have gotten such great links. Google may give you millions of hits but it's still no match for an eGulleter!


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Aren't you just dipping it in the jus, sans the "au"?

it's probably a french thing, as in: not everyone speaks it. :raz:

anyone know if this is Jack's first foree into the restaurant business, speaking of butchering french?

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Aren't you just dipping it in the jus, sans the "au"?

anyone know if this is Jack's first foree into the restaurant business, speaking of butchering french?

He's been doing catering for a long time, but I think this is his 1st resto.


President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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You asked for them:

gallery_2_3015_16205.jpg

Storefront

gallery_2_3015_238554.jpg

Interior

gallery_2_3015_58199.jpg

Jack buys Vienna Beef sausages, buns, and genuine Chicago relish and pickles and sport peppers to serve on the hot dogs.

gallery_2_3015_76024.jpg

Condiment mise en place

gallery_2_3015_270585.jpg

gallery_2_3015_274591.jpg

In addition to the Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef, J's will soon be smoking various BBQ items, using a pellet-based smoker.

gallery_2_3015_76141.jpg

Italian Beef. Jack will only say that it's choice cut Angus beef. His cooking procedure, method, recipe, et cetera are all top secret.

gallery_2_3015_191880.jpg

With Giardinera

gallery_2_3015_124276.jpg

Kielbasy, with brown mustard and kraut.

gallery_2_3015_282427.jpg

Vienna Beef Chicago Dog, with Neon Green relish, Chicago pickles, Sport Peppers, Tomato, Chicago yellow mustard and Celery Salt on a Vienna Beef poppy seed roll.

gallery_2_3015_50585.jpg

gallery_2_3015_33765.jpg


Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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but yes, i was being a bit conservative with 5.  but the 3 day limit is pretty tight, you must admit.  over the next few weeks, we'll be seeing, i'm thinking, me, jason and rachel perlow, holly, hitmanoo, curlz, nuge, dbroc, ejebud and beth, all heading down.  damn, that's way over 5 already. :biggrin:

john the hot dog guy, any word on the giardiniera?  it's my understanding that this is a very important part of the beef experience, and can make or break the thing.  i suppose it's not hard to "source" this from wherever they get it in chicago, though.

I hadn't even read this thread before we went today, got a laugh from seeing what tommy posted, 2 days ago. We're so predictable! :raz:

Anyway, I got home from work this afternoon, a cold rainy day, and told Jason I wanted a hot sandwich for lunch, thinking we'd go get a meatball parm sub or something. He says, "how's about an Italian Beef or a Chicago Dog?" and I knew he was referring to this thread (I had read the title at some point). I've seen Italian Beef sandwiches somewhere before, probably on one of those travel oriented food network shows. "Yes! Italian Beef sounds perfect!"

The sandwich is dipped in its entirety, and is very drippy, eat it over the tray. The giardinara is served on the side, I put the peppers on Jason's side and I took the pickled carrots and cauliflower, as seen in the picture above. The Chicago Dog looked cool, and the frank itself is very good, but I'm with the "that's too much stuff on a hot dog" group. Pickles or relish, both is just too much, imo.

The kielbasa is locally made, and is excellent with the brown mustard (I think that's also from Chicago), but I didn't like that the sourkraut is served cold. Jack says that's the way they do it in Chicago, but I like my sourkraut warmed.

The fries are OK, but frozen and not handcut. An excellent drink selection, I think they serve every flavor of Boylan's.

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