Never been to Luigi's. I'm from North Jersey and just visit Wildwood occasionally.
I'm from North Jersey where we have the best hot dogs. I love cheesesteaks, even the ones up here that are inferior to south Jersey and Philly. I prefer it to a roast pork and like it almost as much as a Newark style Italian Hot Dog. I prefer chopped beef, wiz, no onions. I'm used to harder Newark style bread, but loved the chewier Amoroso roll that is used at Russo's in Wildwood, N.J., my favorite cheesesteak. I haven't been to Chick's in Cherry Hill, N.J. which many claim is the best. Any opinions on Chick's?
I like both all beef and mixed meat dogs; like comparing apples and oranges. Eastern style all beef are more well seasoned with garlic and paprika. In no way bland. In New Jersey where I live, we have Best's which in my opinion is the best beef dog; even better than Usinger's. Sabrett is also a Jersey dog. For a beef/pork frank, none is better than Thumann's. We also have Schickhaus and numerous European butcher shops and pork stores that make excellent hot dogs. I prefer natural casing franks. It's not a crime to have juices escape. If I don't want that to happen, I prepare my dog in water. Ted's actually pokes holes in their Sahlen's dogs as they're grilling. I like to heat dogs in water first, then grill them. They cook more evenly. And ketchup doesn't belong on a hot dog. If you add it, then you just made the cooking method totally irrelevant.
Did you go anywhere in New Jersey?
It's a matter of taste. I prefer Sabrett although Vienna Beef is better on a Chicago style dog. It's milder and blends in better with the other ingredients while a Sabrett or Nathan's would overpower everything. I like Best's from N.J. and Usinger's from Milwaukee better than Sabrett or Vienna. Romanian Kosher Sausage Co.in Chicago makes in my opinion the best hot dog in Chicago.
Sabrett 10/1 have a sheep casing. Sabrett's beef/pork franks are served at a number of places in Jersey including the Windmill, Hot Grill, Hot Dog House, Lantern, Callahan's truck, and several others.
To compare an eastern style well seasoned beef dog to a milder German style beef/pork dog is like comparing apples and oranges. Two completely different flavor profiles.
While NYC is known for street carts, the rest of the state has much more variety. You have grilled dogs as well as a good selection of mixed meat franks such as Sahlen's, Hartmann's, Zweigle's, and Hofmann's. It is a better hot dog state overall than Illinois (Chicago). A lot more variety. Most places in Chicago serve the same style of dog with Vienna being used in over 80% of hot dog stands. Connecticut is right behind New York as a great hot dog state. But New Jersey is #1. Most variety as well as highest quality dogs. You can get dogs prepared every way; in water, grilled, griddled, deep fried, pan fried, and combinations of these. Beef as well as mixed meat dogs. Texas Weiners as well as Newark style Italian Hot Dogs. You can't get an authentic Italian Hot Dog anywhere else. Thumann's (blue and white package) is the best beef and pork frank I've had, even surpassing the butcher shop and pork store's products. We also have Schickhaus, which is a great dog. Best's 5/1 nc frank is a fantastic beef dog. Sabrett is actually a New Jersey dog. Made in Jersey City originally until the company was sold to Marathon Enterprises. Headquarters still in Jersey.
While most of the country has decent franks, some regions are more known for hot dogs. The best places in my opinion and experience are New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Chicago, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
In North Jersey where Italian Hot Dogs are popular, many pizzerias serve them. Although I prefer to get my IHD at a place that specializes in them, some pizzerias make an excellent one. And if I'm confined to a certain area (like work) I'll get one at a pizzeria.Dickie Dees in Newark is a pizzeria but they are known for, and serve more Italian Hot Dogs.
A pizzeria called Pizza Time in Avenel, N.J. makes the best subs I have eaten. Even though I moved away from the area, I still travel a little distance when I'm in the mood for a great sub.
How lazy can you get?
Hiram's is a favorite of mine although I don't get there as often as I like. They use the Thumann's dog for deep frying. This is the same recipe frank that Rutt's Hut uses as well as the many North Jersey Texas Weiner joints like Libby's, Goffle Grill, Pappy's, Johnny & Hanges, and Falls Grill.The Hot Grill uses a different frank.
Hiram's uses a 7/1 or 7 to a lb while Rutt's uses an 8/1.There is nothing special about the oil at Hiram's; they use vegetable oil. It's the particular frank that contains soy protein concentrate and semolina which causes it to withstand the high temperatures of deep frying as well as puff up and expand. Rutt's uses beef tallow although they will say they use vegetable oil if you ask.
Rutt's and Hiram's are my 2 favorite places for a deep fried Jersey dog. They use the same recipe dog as I mentioned, but there are slight differences. Hiram's dog is slightly bigger, they toast their buns, (Rutt's does not), Hiram's is known for their chili which is spicy and from what I hear is a commercial brand that is doctored up. Rutt's is known for their relish. Both places opened in 1928 and both are great places not just for the dogs, but for their atmosphere. These are old school places that stick with what made them what they are. They don't need gimmicks or fancy toppings. You won't find a "haute dog" at either place. They have been the same for years and I hope they never change.
I understand why many like these creations, but I don't. I believe the focus should be on the frank itself; the type (all beef; beef/pork, veal, etc.), method of preparation, casing, spicing. To me that is all the variety you need. That said, occasionally I enjoy a N.J. Texas Weiner where the dog is a holder for the unique chili. Or a Newark style Italian Hot Dog which is really more of a sandwich than a hot dog.
90% of the time I prefer to enjoy a hot dog with mustard only. I find this "haute dog" trend pretentious for the most part. And most of these creations include ingredients that mask the flavor of a quality frank. The frank should never play second fiddle to the toppings.
In New Jersey where I live, there are many European butcher shops and pork stores that make delicious high quality franks from expensive cuts of beef and pork. These dogs cost anywhere from $7 to $10 per pound depending on the place. The people I know who own these establishments and make the sausages are offended when they hear of people adding all kinds of toppings to their craftsmanship.
As for the last sentence in the article where you ask if we know of other hot dogs you need to try, let me suggest the dogs from the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company. These are the best, or at least my favorite hot dog from Chicago. Best enjoyed with mustard only.
I disagree. Despite the great chili, Fat Mike's servrd dirty water Sabrett's, which are fine, but can't come close to the charbroiled 5/1 Best's served at the late great Syd's.
For me, the most important thing is taste. I look for quality, and preferably a casing. Health issues are not a concern as hot dogs are not health food anyway. If a frank, such as Gilbert's is billed as healthy and does not compromise quality and flavor, I'll buy it. Many butcher shops in N.J. serve hot dogs that do not contain preservatives and are as fresh as possible. I also love Usinger's beef dogs. As for casings, most are not considered kosher, which is why most kosher franks are skinless. Collagen casings are allowed, and occasionally you will see them on Hebrew Nationals. Look for them in Wegmans and kosher delis.
What about Jordans? A brand I had in Maine. Personally, I prefer the flavor and spicing of Kayem's to the dogs I've had in Maine.
I've never been, but heard the same thing from people I know and who know me and my tastes. They use an all beef Hoffy dog that I can assure you is NOT a special recipe. I've heard it is a rather mild beef dog. Many have told me Pink's is highly overrated. Having never been there, I cannot pass judgement, but I wouldn't wait in those long lines unless the hot dogs were exceptional.
17 minutes ago ·
Yeah, but how does the actual Hoffy's frankfurter taste without all that crap piled on it? Unless it complements the dog, all that stuff is unneccesary and masks the flavor of the actual frank. If you are going to pile everything on including the kitchen sink, you might as well save money and use a cheap Bar S hot dog. No one would know the difference anyway.
I'm a regular at the Union Pork Store and can vouch for their quality. One of my 3 favorite German style dogs along with Kocher's Pork Store and Thumann's. Jabi is one of the butchers who is always coming out from the back, and who can answer any questions you may have. The bratwurst is excellent there as well as everything I've had.
Great article; thanks for the information. The owner of Kocher's never got back to me but I think the ones mentioned are from Kocher's. Gaiser's is in my town. The German franks were served at the Galloping Hill Inn years ago (before 1988) and again earlier this year when Grote & Weigel went out of business for a month or so.
The oldest push cart in the world? Can you tell us if the dogs have a casing, what size, and the brand?
You mentioned the high quality beef hot dog. Do you like it better than Vienna Beef franks? I live in New Jersey but I've had Vienna Beef franks which are very good. But I liked those from a butcher shop (Romanian Kosher Sausage Co.) in Chicago that someone was kind enough to send me better than the Viennas.
The best sandwich I've ever eaten is the Newark Style Italian Hot Dog found in New Jersey. The best example of this sandwich can be found at Marci's Dog House in Clark.
See how good a hot dog can be? Not surprised it was the best thing you ate all day. It looks like a good one. I can tell it has a natural casing which is rare for hot dogs in North Carolina.
If I wasn't so old and married, I'd stalk Chichi.
The Swiss Pork Store is another Jersey butcher shop where you can get the highest quality franks. Union Pork Store, Kocher's, Lutz, Gaiser's, Pulaski are just some of the many. Great with just mustard which is how I prefer them. But if you like toppings, these dogs are mild enough to go well with some (not most) of the toppings shown here and elsewhere that may complement but not overpower the frank.
If you visit Tommy's or Jerry's, there is a bench across the street in a little park where you can eat. But watch out for the pigeons! Last time there one of them tried to take a bite out of my hot dog!
Tommy's is great; one of the 3 or so best. Potatoes vary from one place to another as far as thickness, grease content, and degree of doneness.