• Favorite foods: hot dogs

The Best Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

Never been to Luigi's. I'm from North Jersey and just visit Wildwood occasionally.

The Best Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

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?

The Best Way to Grill Hot Dogs

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.

The 11 Best Things I Ate During My Cross-Country Road Trip

Did you go anywhere in New Jersey?

Hot Dog Taste Test: Chicago's Vienna Beef vs. New York's Sabrett

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 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.

Poll: Do You Order Non-Pizza Items at Slice Joints?

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.

Video: Hands-Free Whopper Holder from Burger King Puerto Rico

How lazy can you get?

New Jersey: Classic Fried Dogs, Burgers, and Yoo-Hoo at Hiram's Roadstand in Fort Lee

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.

Beyond the Chicago Dog: 8 Haute Hot Dogs We Love in Chicago

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.

new jersey hot dog chili recipe. Hanks Franks Hot Grill ect..?

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.

Hot Dog Of The Week: David's Kosher Taste Test

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.

Hot Dog of the Week: Kayem Old Tyme Reds (and Moxie) in New England

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.

We Eat Every Hot Dog at Pink's in Hollywood

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 ·

We Eat Every Hot Dog at Pink's in Hollywood

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.

My Favorite Hot Dogs of 2012

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.

Hot Dog Lovers: Get Yourself to Net Cost Market

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 Hot Dog Hall of Fame: 20 Hot Dogs We Love in America

The oldest push cart in the world? Can you tell us if the dogs have a casing, what size, and the brand?

The Rachael Ray Hot Dog Bracket: Our Search for the Best Hot Dog in the U.S.

The oldest push cart in the world? Can you tell us if the dogs have a casing, what size, and the brand?

Sausage City: Gepperth's Meat Market in Lincoln Park

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.

Staff Picks: What's the Best Sandwich You've Ever Eaten?

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.

North Carolina: 10 Tasty Bites at the Carrboro Farmer's Market

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.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

If I wasn't so old and married, I'd stalk Chichi.

8 Great NYC Haute Dogs Worth The Extra Dough

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.

Hot Dog of the Week: Italian Hot Dog from Tommy's in Elizabeth, NJ

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!

Hot Dog of the Week: Italian Hot Dog from Tommy's in Elizabeth, NJ

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.

Ninth Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour.

The 9th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour will be on Saturday, Sept. 22nd. It's been mentioned here before, but I'd like to remind everyone. Those who want to attend, contact Benzee (Erwin Benz) who handles the travel arrangements and reservations. He does the lion's share of the work. Send a message here or email him at I'm responsible for the itinerary and contacting the establishments and making sure they can handle our group. I try to get discounts, and freebies but will not add a place unless they put out a good product regardless of what they are willing to do for us. Different styles of hot dogs are featured.Old favorites are rotated while new places are added. I also try to get media coverage. I'd love to have television coverage for once.

The final itinerary is not set yet, but I do have a few places picked out which will be revealed at a future time. There will be at least 2 places that have not previously been on the Tour. And probably 3. Two are fairly new. There will be a nice surprise waiting for us at some of the stops. There is also a great chance that a local television station will do a short piece on the Tour. I'll know for sure soon. Hopefully one of the newspapers will be there.

Since we've expanded to 2 buses in the last few years, time is an issue. It takes longer at each stop with one extra bus. We were almost charged a couple of hundred dollars for exceeding the time alloted or agreed on. We do not make money on this Tour. What's left over gets spent on refreshments on the bus and goes to supplement the driver's tip. For this reason we will have to have the stops closer together than in the past. This may mean not having a stop I'd like to have included. Another place making a product in the same style (and of the same quality) could replace this one. Fortunately the stops I have in mind are fairly close together, including the newer ones.

It's shaping up to be the best Tour yet. Reserve early to be a part of it.

The Dog House

I went to the Dog House on Route 22 in North Plainfield yesterday to sample one of their dogs. I had called previously for information and had trouble understanding the person on the phone who didn't seem to know the brand of dog, only saying it was beef.

The 2 guys working there who I presume were owners look like they are Middle Eastern or perhaps from Israel. I didn't ask. As mentioned they offer deli sandwiches such as corned beef and pastrami and also breakfast sandwiches. I was there for a hot dog, so I ordered one with mustard. The dog is a natural casing all beef Sabrett, either 5/1 or 4/1. My guess is 4/1. They also serve spicy Sabrett sausages and smaller hot dogs. Don't know the size as I saw the package from afar and the guys were hard to understand.

You have a choice of boiled or grilled (griddled). They will deep fry if you request. If you don't specify, you will get a grilled dog. Basic toppings like chili, cheese, relish, etc. are offered. There is an Italian Hot Dog and Chicago dog on the menu. The IHD is the same dog on a regular roll topped with peppers, potatoes, and onions. The Chicago dog also uses the same big Sabrett, but tops it with mustard, relish, and peppers. No pickle, tomato, onions, or celery salt. And no Vienna frank. Not really authentic; but like most places that throw some stuff on a dog and call it a Chicago dog. Ditto for the Italian Hot Dog. Their Texas Weiner has mustard, onions, and chili. What they call a Coney has mustard and your choice of relish or sauerkraut. Never heard a Coney described this way before.

As for my dog, it was prepared well. Definitely hot enough and fresh. Good sturdy Pechters/Rockland Bakery bun. The mustard was yellow but very spicy. Too spicy for my taste and too much was applied. The dog tasted good, but a little mild for a Sabrett. Probably because the mustard was so spicy.

Hot Dogs in Rhode Island

I was to Rhode Island last weekend to visit my daughter who recently moved there. Although I wasn't there to sample hot dogs, I managed to get to 2 places. There were 2 more on my list that were close to one of the 2 that I visited, but unfortunately one was closed for the weekend for renovations (Moonlight House of Weiners), while the other one (Main Street 2000 Restaurant) is now an Indian restaurant.

I went to New York Lunch first on Main Street in Woonsocket. They call hot dogs weiners or "gaggers", even "gaggahs". Most in this region consider a hot dog to be an all beef frank while a wiener is beef and pork. The product at New York Lunch is the same as what is served at New York System Restaurants. A tiny frank prepared on a griddle and topped with mustard, onions, meat sauce, celery salt and placed in a steamed bun. Coffee milk is unique to Rhode Island and is the preferred drink. I forgot to order one. New York Lunch is an old school diner that has been around for decades. The grill faces the window in this tiny storefront like many older places.

The frank was the tiniest I ever saw. Maybe 2 inches. I can't even guess how many to the pound. It was $1.13 with tax. The frank was a skinless beef and pork dog from Grote & Weigel of Connecticut. I got mine with mustard, meat sauce and celery salt but left off the onions. The frank was warm, not hot, and somewhat mild but good. The bun was steamed nicely and slightly bigger than the dog. There was plenty of meat sauce. It, along with the celery salt provided a unique flavor; different than the Texas Weiners I'm used to in New Jersey. While I prefer a good Texas Weiner, I enjoyed the New York Lunch wiener and would return. I only had one because I wanted to make room for the 2 other places that I didn't get to (see above), another place that I did get to, and the family barbecue planned for later.

Green Village Packing Co.

The Green Village Packing Co. of Green Village, N.J. provides meats and provisions to many restaurants in the area. Located in Green Village, which I believe is a section of Chatam, they have a slaughterhouse on the premises and butcher and process all their meats.

While I have not been there yet, someone sent me a package of their German franks. As good a German frank as I've had and that includes Kocher's and Thumann's. I happenned to have a frank from the Union Pork Store (one of my favorites) and some Berks from Reading PA. I sampled all three and preferred the frank from Green Village. Long and thin at 8 to a lb, it had an excellent snap, texture, and most of all flavor. I wish I had a Kocher's and Thumann's to compare.

I spoke with Bill Kleemeyer whose family owns Green Village. He told me that the franks are pork/beef with a little more pork than beef. While these franks are purchased by delis most of their business is supplying meats to restaurants and other customers. In fact they supply Kocher's with the meats they use.

Green Village franks are top of the line and go for $4.19 a lb which is reasonable. Thumann's and Kocher's are about $5.99 per lb. The animals are slaughtered there, the meat is butchered, processed, and made into hot dogs. Can't get any fresher.

Someone from Serious Eats should check out this place. I'd love to see their franks featured as "Hot Dog of the Week"

Munchmobile Hot Dog and Burger Showdown at Monmouth Park

First off let me say that anyone could have entered this competition but few chose to. Some didn't want to pay the entry fee, some did not (or claimed to) not have employees to spare. Some wanted to enjoy the weekend and not work. And there were other reasons. Last year I actually contacted owners of hot dog restaurants to let them know about this event but no one I spoke with was interested.

Out of the 5 places serving hot dogs only 2 are actually hot dog establishments. The Windmill and Jersey Johnny's. Two others are BBQ joints that overpowered their dogs with spicy sauces, brown sugar, and other ingredients that masked the flavor of the frank, and in my opinion do not belong.

As far as the people's choice, the Windmill has won the last couple of years. But only in part because of the quality of their dog. Most people walking around are not aware that barbecue joints serve hot dogs. Or if they stop by the barbecue stands it is to sample barbecue. Six judges got to sample everything that was entered.

The hamburgers were not really good. I liked the meatball hamburger with cheese and sauce, but that is not what I really consider a burger. More like a Meatball sandwich shaped like a burger on a burger bun. The Windmill was the only offering resembling a true burger. It was dried out and no better than the prepackaged burgers that people get from the supermarket, throw on the grill, and invariably overcook.

It was fun, but there are much better burgers throughout New Jersey. The judges choice (and mine) for best dog was a standout and up there among the best that Jersey has in terms of a beef/pork frank. Precious few use the Thumann's griller and prepare it right. Mamma Marci's did and was the winner with the Windmill coming in 2nd among the judges. Jersey Johnny's made a mistake frying the griller and topping it with slaw, pickles, and pulled pork stuffed in

8th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour

This year's Tour is set for Saturday, September 24th 2011. If you want to attend, please contact my partner Erwin Benz, at This Tour gets more popular every year. Even though we can fill 4 or 5 busues, we will limit it to 2 buses with 100 attendees. Anything more is overkill and will take too long for us to be served. For years we kept it to one bus.

This Tour represents the different styles of hot dogs that are available in New Jersey, arguably the best state for variety and quality of hot dogs. I pick the itinerary which includes new stops every year. We also rotate some of the old favorites. So far this year we have people coming from Florida, Alabama, and Ireland! In the past we've had attendees from 6 states, Washington D.C., and Canada.

My partner Benzee handles the travel arrangements and reservations. I pick the itinerary. There is fierce competition among hot dog establishments to be included on this Tour. I only pick what I consider to be the best examples of a particular style (Eastern kosher style beef, German style beef/pork, dirty water, deep fried, Texas Weiner, Newark Italian Style, etc.) of hot dog. Many of the stops offer extras such as free hot dogs, chili, tee shirts. Last year there were plenty of people from Serious Eats who attended including our own Hawk Krall.

Please e-mail Benzee now in order to reserve a seat on the 8th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. It's always covered by various media. This year we hope to get it televised. The Travel Channel and Food Network have expressed some interest. This Tour always sells out, and as I've said it will be limited to 100 people. I know the people who are members of Serious Eats are serious about food. Even the lowly hot dog which to my surprise has become trendy. Reserve now. I hope to see those of you who attended last year as well as some new faces.

Gilbert's Craft Sausages; a great hot dog part 2

The texture of the casing is excellent as is the texture of the meat. The meat is nice and firm and juicy. As for flavor, this dog has plenty of it. Very nicely balanced without being overpowering in the spice department. I would say that this dog has more in common with the Chicago style than the New York style of beef frank. But it's better than any Chicago brand I've had although Romanian Kosher franks are close. The spices are more paprika than garlic. Sometimes I might be in the mood for a very spicy Nathan's, Usinger's or Sabrett. Other times a less spicier beef dog like Best's or Gilbert's. And there are times that I prefer a milder German frank with no garlic and easy on the spices. That's why it's so hard to pick an absolute "best" hot dog. There are different dogs for different moods. But I will say that I haven't had a higher quality frank than the Gilbert's "Fromans" all beef dog. Made from whole cuts (not trimmings) of all beef sirloin, this dog is a winner. It's as good or better than any beef frank I've had. And that includes Best's and Usinger's

I ran to Best's this morning to get some of their natural casing 8's to compare with the Froman's. I heated both in water and then put them in a hot skillet for a minute or 2. Both tasted great. Best's a little spicier, Gilbert's a little more tender and milder. Two of the best beef dogs I've had along with Usinger's, Sabrett, and Boars Head. Again it depends on the type and level of spicing you prefer and the mood you are in. No beef dog fries up better than Best. I have yet to grill the Froman. But Best's makes the Syd's dog which is excellent chargrilled. Heated in water and/or lightly grilled in a skillet, both are excellent. Gilbert's beef dog tastes exceptionally good prepared this way as the casing is nice and light and keeps the juices in.

I will definitely be ordering this frank in the future. Franks this good remind me of the care and quality that goes in to hand crafted beer. I highly recom

Gilbert's Craft Sausages; a great hot dog Part 1

Gilbert's Craft Sausages is a new company in Sheboygan County Wisconsin that opened late last year. You can check their site here for info about them:

Thanks to one of the co owners, Eric Romberg for posting about his company and specifically about their beef frank called the Froman. I've never heard about Gilbert's before but their hot dog sounded good. Described as a quality craft sausage with a unique collagen casing and made from whole cuts (not trimmings) of beef sirloin. Wisconsin may be the best state for sausages. It's up there with New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut when it comes to hot dogs alone. Usinger's is one of the finest hot dogs available.

I had their beef dog (called the Froman) last night and again tonight. Last night my son and I compared the Froman with a Nathan's (natural casing), Vienna Beef (natural casing), and a skinless Hebrew National. All were heated (not boiled) in water. The Vienna frank was good, but not as good as the other 3 in both of our opinions. We both liked the Nathan's and Hebrew National a lot, but we preferred the Froman. It is just as it's described on the site. Individually wrapped and cooked in the wrapping so that it can stay in the fridge for a long time (6 months) without having to be frozen. The frank itself is between 7 and 8 to a lb; closer to 7. It has a nice soft collagen casing that differs from a regular collagen casing. It's called a collagen co-extrusion casing, which is basically a collagen casing that they are able to dial the thickness up and down in minute increments to get the snap they want. The result is a casing that has the snap of a natural casing dog, but doesn't leave the chewy, rubbery bits behind like a natural casing.

The Twinkie Hot Dog

In the last few years hot dogs have gotten out of control. By this I mean that hot dog restaurants are offering all kinds of toppings and combinations, most of which are just plain weird. Truffles, foie gras, raspberry wasabi sauce, cranberry, salsa, are just some of the things you may find on the current trendy "haute dog". And it's getting worse and worse. Those of us who place the emphasis on the actual quality of the frankfurter and focus on it's brand, how it's prepared and whether or not it has a casing (and if it's sheep, lamb, pig, or collagen) despise this trend. But there are a lot of people who seek these dogs out. If there weren't, places serving them would go out of business.

Is this just a passing trend or is it here to stay? Time will tell. In the Serious Eats article 2010: The Year in Hot Dogs, Hawk asked for 2011 Hot Dog Trend Predictions.

I made a few mentioning the use of higher quality frankfurters and predicting more places serving authentic Chicago style hot dogs. My last prediction was meant to be funny and not taken seriously. "Another prediction: Someone somewhere will stuff a hot dog inside a deep fried twinkie. You heard it here first."

I just found out that this is being done! A place in Portland Oregon makes an abomination called the Gristle Missile which is a hot dog shoved inside a twinkie, wrapped in bacon, and deep fried. I sure as hell hope that they didn't get this insane idea from my post.

I am reluctant to give the name of the establishment responsible for this disaster for fear that it may be featured in a future Hot Dog of the Week column. Just kidding Hawk.

Portland, like Seattle (home of salmon and cream cheese dogs) ought to stick with what they do best; craft beer. Leave hot dogs to people on the East Coast and the Midwest who take them seriously.

Out of this World.....

is the name of a new hot dog restaurant that will be opening on Galloping Hill Rd. and Westfield Ave. in Elizabeth. This is the site of the former Philadelphia Grille. I spoke with the owner and got some information about the hot dogs that will be offered. They will be serving two types. A Thumann's deep fryer and a Vienna Beef hot dog. The place will specialize in a variety of toppings including a Texas Weiner chili. The Vienna beef dog will be served separately or in a Chicago style hot dog. From talking with the owner who will be running the restaurant with her son, I can tell they know what they are doing. I havehave high hopes for Out of this World. The ingredients will be shipped in from Chicago including the special neon green relish. The dogs will be heated (not boiled) in water. If you just order a beef dog (Vienna) and not a Chicago style, you can have it prepared the way you want. The dogs will be natural casing and 6 to a lb.

There will also be Polish Sausage sandwiches and a special dog of the month which will be made of an exotic sausage such as alligator. Similar to Hot Doug's out of Chicago.

I'm looking forward to their opening which will be February 1st. The only other place in New Jersey that I know of where you can get a Vienna Beef frank is a place in Matawan called the Cheesesteak Factory. I was there and the dogs weren't prepared well at all. They were a sickening greenish gray. The owners of Out of this World have done a lot of research regarding New Jersey and Chicago Hot Dogs and are looking forward to opening and serving the first authentic Chicago style hot dog since J's Beef in Linden closed 4 years ago.

Big Blues Italian Hot Dogs im Linden, Mew Jersey

A coworker told me about this place recently. It is the quintessential hole in the wall. Basically a sandwich shop specializing in subs. Or hoagies for those of you in South Jersey. There are 4 tiny booths with most people ordering food to go. The Italian Hot Dog was suggested to me because my coworker knows I love hot dogs. Let me tell you, this may be the best Italian Hot Dog I've ever had and I've had plenty of them. Excellent pizza bread, good sized franks from Best Provisions (THE frank for Italian Hot Dogs), green and red peppers that have been marinated and have a nice tangy flavor, and potatoes cut in thick slices that have been fried to a golden brown color.

What sets Big Blues apart from other places serving this sandwich is the quality of the ingredients, the quantity, and the value. The ingredients are prepared in a deep fryer except for the peppers which are put on a grill. The potatoes are so plentiful that most of them have to be taken off the sandwich and put on the side. A double is $5.75 with tax. The going rate is $7.50 with some places charging $8.00. I've posted about Big Blues on other forums. Those who have gone say it's the best Italian Hot Dog they've had. A place that has been open for about 50 years and apparently only known by the locals. I'm surprised that somewhere serving an Italian Hot Dog this good has been flying under the radar for so long.

Coverage for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour

I'm delighted that there will be a good number of people from Serious Eats who will be attending the Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. We filled one bus so we added another. That is filled as well. Another would be too many. If you want to be added to the waiting list e-mail Benzee at There are always a few people who cancel and/or do not pay.

This Tour will be covered by the Newark Star Ledger, News 12 New Jersey, possibly a New York newspaper, and possibly another newspaper. Rumor has it that our own Hawk Krall will be there as well!

I look forward to meeting all of you. Saturday, Sept. 25th at the Galloping Hill Inn between 11:30 and noon.

Extra bus added for Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour

We have been able to secure a second Motorcoach for the tour
A 49 pass to go along with our 56 passenger .
My partner Benzee will be emailing those on the waiting list today and tonite .
Should you not get an email from him and are interested please let us know .


Papaya King and Getty Grill in Clifton

Yesterday I visited 2 places that will be on the upcoming New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. Papaya King, located in the Corrado Shopping Center on Getty Ave in Clifton, and the Getty Grill, which specializes in Texas Weiners, right across the street.

I enjoyed the dogs I had at both places, but wanted to comment on what great values they both are. Under Frank, the new owner of Papaya King, the dogs went from $1.99 to $1.49. And weekdays from 4-6:30, they are 99 cents. Excellent for a very high quality natural casing all beef dog that's been prepared well on a griddle. The dogs are 10/1. Contrast this to the dirty water carts that charge $2 for a tiny 12/1 boiled dog.

At the Getty Grill they normally charge $1.69 for a Hot Texas Weiner. This is great compared to similar places. The Hot Grill is over 2 bucks now, which isn't bad, but the Getty Grill pays 60 plus cents more a lb for their Thumann's dogs.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Getty Grill, so they have been having a special. 3 Texas weiners for $3! And 3 quarter pound hamburgers for $3. This is almost unheard of. This special will go on past the Tour although the owner doesn't know how long he can sell 3 quarter pound burgers for $3, and may be ending the burger special soon.

I suggest trying either or both of these places. The Getty Grill is also open 24 hours and has a typical diner menu, but they are known for their Texas weiners. A real old time roadside hole in the wall.

Itinerary for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour, Part 4

That's six stops. This year we will add a seventh since some of the others are fairly close and the travelling distance will be shorter. The seventh will be Rutt's Hut. Perhaps the most well known hot dog joint in Jersey, Rutt's has been on the Tour before, but not for a few years. They serve a dog (Thumann's) made especially for deep frying, and prepare it perfectly. You can get yours cooked to different degrees of doneness. In-N-Outer, Ripper, Weller, Cremator. They are known for their relish, which is like no other. It's the only relish I will eat.

We will try to get all of the stops in by not lingering too long at any one place. One year we had two places left, but only time for one. We voted on which stop to go to.

If 7 hot dogs are too much too eat, I suggest sharing, not eating a whole dog, or not eating at a place you may not like. We have a good mix of styles on this Tour. Grilled boardwalk style beef/pork, deep fried, grilled kosher style beef dogs, Italian Hot Dogs, and Texas Weiners. One style of dog that we will not have is the trendy new "haute dog". It's not representative of a true Jersey dog.

I've spoken to some people in the media and it looks like there will be some coverage once again, so make sure you all look nice for the camera.

Those on the waiting list will be contacted this week. Less than 2 months to go and I'm excited. Once again we have someone from Canada making the trip. And someone from Maryland. Such is the allure of New Jersey hot dogs.

Itinerary for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour, Part 3

Papaya King in Clifton will be on the Tour this year. They were on once before and proved to be a popular stop. We were all given free tee shirts when we went. A great grilled all beef dog. It is a natural casing Sabrett. In my opinion the best beef hot dog in New York and certainly one of the best in New Jersey now. A great spicy frank. The Garage, Rahway Grill, and Papaya King all serve the finest beef franks in the area; each with their own unique spicing. I will be interested to see what everyone likes best. These dogs are best enjoyed with mustard only or a minimum of toppings. If you want to sample chili, let me suggest that you put it on half the dog. Or move some over so that you can taste the actual flavor and seasoning of the frank and compare it to the others. Papaya King may have something special in store for us.

The Getty Grill will be another new stop. Located across the street from Papaya King. They specialize in Texas Weiners and they serve an outstanding one. I've eaten there while visiting Papaya King and was surprised at how much I liked their Texas Weiners because it's not a place that gets the attention that Libby's and the Hot Grill does and you don't see very much written or posted about them. They use the Thumann's frank for deep fring and top it with a chili sauce that is typical for the style. Thin, spicy, and with the slight cinnamon/clove flavor. This chili tastes exactly like the Hot Grill's by way of comparison. But the actual frank is better than theirs. And would you believe this hot dog joint is open 24 hours! Only in New Jersey.

Itinerary for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour, Part 2

Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover will be another stop. They have been on the Tour the last couple of years. As most of you know, they are the originators of the Newark style Italian Hot Dog. Jimmy the owner is always there and takes great care of us. They offer regular hot dogs as well and their bolognese style chili is one of my 3 favorite chili's and is a great complement to their regular beef dogs from Best Provisions. Jimmy also serves a Schickhaus beef/pork quarter pounder that is excellent.

The Garage in Millburn will be a new stop on this year's Tour. They were supposed to be on last year, but they didn't open in time. They serve the old Syd's dog (5 to a lb natural casing Best's) and the Don's dog (1/4 lb Best), dogs from two legendary places that are no longer around. They are the only place (out of about 5) that serves the Syd's dog the EXACT same way Syd's did; boiled, than charbroiled. To many people (myself included) there was no better beef dog anywhere in the country. It will be interesting to see what beef dog is prefered by attendees this year; the Garage's Syd's dog, The Rahway Grill's beef dog, or the beef dog that will be described next. I consider these 3 the best in the area. See here for a more in depth description of the Garage.

The Garage also serves a top notch burger. The dogs and burgers are expensive for a hot dog joint, but we will get the Hot Dog Tour discount.

Itinerary for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour, Part 1

This is a continuation of my post regarding the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour:

The itinerary for the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour is finally set. We try to add some new stops, keep a few favorites, and rotate some of the old favorites. It will be the same this year. We also try to arrange the stops so that they are a reasonable distance apart. Unfortunately we haven't been to some good spots to the far north like Hiram's and Karl Ehmer's, or to the Central/Southern part of the state such as Max's and Frankly Burgers. Perhaps we will change that up next year. But for now....

Our first stop will once again be the Galloping Hill Inn in Union. The only place that's been on the Tour every year. It's convenient (1/2 mile off the Parkway) to get to and we can all park there. We will be met by our bus coming from New York. The Galloping Hill Inn is in the top 3 hot dog establishments in terms of hot dogs sold. A couple thousand a day. And for good reason. They make an excellent German style beef and pork dog on a griddle, boardwalk style. Good snap and placed on a unique sturdy roll.

Other stops (not necessarily in order) will include The Rahway Grill. This is a repeat stop from last year because it proved to be the most popular stop (by show of hands) by a wide margin. And this includes places from the past like Syd's. They serve a special dog from Hatfield that is better than any of their others. Not even known in Philly. This is the dog I tried to get served at Citizens Bank Park rather than the cheap low quality dog that is there now. The Rahway Grill cooks this dog on a hot griddle and has a very good chili that was also well received. The dog itself has a rich beefy, smoky flavor. I've always liked it, but was surprised at how many people raved about it.

Max's After Dark

Max's in Long Branch is one of the most popular and well known hot dog joints in New Jersey. To many, they serve the best hot dog in a state known for hot dogs. From what I know, they sell more dogs than any place except the Galloping Hill Inn and the Hot Grill despite only being open May to Sept. The place is a block from the Boardwalk and has a full service bar. They serve food other than hot dogs as well. There are about as many celebrity pictures on the wall as there are at Katz's deli in New York and Pink's in LA. Bruce Springsteen goes to Max's when he wants a hot dog.

The hot dog they serve could be considered New Jersey Boardwalk style. Which is a footlong natural casing beef and pork dog prepared on a griddle. They use Shickhaus brand franks, a quality dog that originated in N.J.

This Friday, and possibly every Friday to come, Max's will have live music, no cover, cheap beer, and food specials. Not to mention their famous hot dogs. Looks like a good night out.!/event.php?eid=147268665288306&ref=mf

The $69 hot dog

When I see the term "haute dog" the hair on the back my neck stands up and all kinds of warning flags appear. Add to this the involvement of a chef and you are looking at a recipe for disaster. Pretzel dough? Maybe for a change of pace, but I prefer a quality food service individually baked hot dog bun. White truffle butter, duck foie gras, black truffles, ketchup (gasp!), vidalia onions, and black truffle dijon mustard?!! Is there a frankfurter in there? I call this a witness protection hot dog. The frank is hidden and/or buried under all that garbage.

Let me give you some advice. If you're in the area, go to Papaya King, order a hot dog (which I guarantee is better than this abomination) and save yourself $67 and change. Unless of course the woman pictured is included in the $69. She should be for that price.


I'm begging you, please leave the hot dog alone. Don't desecrate it with your crazy inventions. It's not broke, don't fix it. Stick with what you do best, high end food.

7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour

Saturday, September 25th is the date of the 7th Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour. This event sells out every year. There will be a limited amount of tickets available. People who have attended the Tour previously get first shot. Then we go to a list. Those who put in a request first are given priority. Past attendees are given a deadline to respond and if they don't respond, or say they will not attend, we go to the list. We also go to the list a second time if payment isn't received by the deadline.

If you are interested in attendding this Tour, please contact Erwin Benz who handles travel arrangements and reservations. He is at :

I pick the itinerary and organize the stops. I also make sure that the people who own the hot dog establishments serve a quality product and have enough staff on hand to handle our large group. I include places that serve hot dogs in the six or so styles that are popular in New Jersey. They would be Italian style, grilled beef, grilled German style (beef/pork blend), Dirty water, deep fried, and Texas Weiner.

We've visited a variety of great places and always add a new stop or 2. The Tour has been covered by a radio station, several websites, and numerous newspapers. This year the Travel Channel has expressed some interest and may tape it to be aired.

At this point I am considering adding another bus. We've had more than one bus in the past, but I prefer to limit the Tour to one big 55 seat bus. Although the multi bus Tour went well, 100 plus people is a lot to be descending on a hot dog joint.

Last year we visited a German Pork Store that was named Reserve Grand Champion in a nationwide competition. They provided us not only with their award winning franks, but bratwurst and other sausages and meats as well. The full itinerary isn't finalized yet, but we may be returning there.

I hope to see some of you. We've had people from 6 states, Washington DC, and Canada attend this Tour.

Hot Dogs: traditional or trendy?

This topic has been discussed at least twice on Serious Eats. I've included links. Here is a more recent discussion from another site:

So, do you prefer a hot dog with little or no toppings? Or do you like one of the trendy new "haute dogs"?

Food Wars: Jimmy Buff's vs. Dickie Dees

An upcoming episode of the Travel Channel's Food Wars will feature the 2 most well known makers of the signature Newark style Italian Hot Dog, Jimmy Buff's and Dickie Dees. This popular sandwich was invented by James Raccioppi who later founded Jimmy Buff's in Newark, N.J. in 1932. It consists of one or two beef hot dogs (a single or double) topped with mustard, peppers, onions, and potatoes. The ingredients are fried in oil and put in pizza bread, which is Italian bread baked in a pizza oven that resembles a pita. The result is a delicious sandwich that is to North Jersey what the Cheesesteak is to South Philly.

The popularity of this sandwich grew and others began making it. Dickie Dees and Ting-A-Ling's became the most well known of Buff's competitors. Ting-A-Ling's is gone, but Dickie Dees is still going strong. Today there are around a dozen or so places that specialize in Italian Hot Dogs. Many pizzerias also make them.

I've sampled many Italian Hot Dogs. Jimmy Buff's makes the best. Not only the original, but the best as well. I am happy to have been picked as a "superfan". I will be on the program and will compare the 2 sandwiches blindfolded. Then I will pick the best one. I am most confident that it will be Jimmy Buff's. Dickie Dees will have their "superfan". There will also be 3 impartial judges. The five of us will pick the best Italian Hot Dog.

The episode will be aired sometime in June. Should be fun. See here for a little history of the Italian Hot Dog.

The Italian Hot Dog comes to Florida

Ex New Jersey resident Joe Berardi equipped a small trailer with a kitchen and opened Gramp's Italian Kitchen in Cape Coral. He serves an authentic Italian Hot Dog on pizza bread delivered from New Jersey. So now there's at least one place in Florida where you can get this treat.

There are places throughout the country that serve what they call an Italian Hot Dog but it's not the same as what we have here in Jersey where this sandwich originated. Wrong bread, wrong type of hot dog, wrong method of preparation. This is the real deal. Pizza bread is unknown for the most part outside of New Jersey. I don't even know if you can make good pizza bread in Florida because the water is different. There is a place somewhere in Florida that makes bagels with water delivered from New York.

Being from New Jersey where the Italian Hot Dog originated combined with the right ingredients and cooking method adds up to a sandwich that I'm sure is just like what we get here. Those of you living in Florida that have never had a real Italian Hot Dog should check this place out. And those living there that are from New Jersey can enjoy a taste of home.

Hot Dog Of The Week: The Froman from Gilbert's Craft Sausages

We're back in the hot dog test kitchen this week with a unique dog from Gilbert's Craft Sausages, a new hot dog and sausage company out of Wisconsin. Their products are made with high quality cuts of meat (think sirloin) and no artificial ingredients, preserving the dogs with natural cherry powder and celery juice rather than the standard nitrates. The natural casings are made with beef collagen. The Froman is an all-beef frank named after Abe Froman, the fictional Sausage King Of Chicago from Ferris Beuller's Day Off. Flavored with coriander, mustard, cloves and paprika, it's similar in flavor to a Chicago Vienna Beef frank or a New York "kosher-style" dog. More

Hot Dog of the Week: 24-Hour Dog

"While many folks wouldn't touch a gas station hot dog with a ten-foot pole, it inspires a cult-like following for others." Past Weeks' Dogs Slaw DogPuka DogThe Philly ComboTijuana DogsTexas WeinersFlo's Hot Dogs Over the last few weeks we've highlighted some fascinating regional hot dogs. But for most of us, eating a hot dog does not mean traveling halfway across the country to a roadside stand in a half-abandoned coal mining town. This week's dog is a style that many will be familiar with, possibly more so than we'd like to admit. While the object of much ridicule--the term "gas station hot dog" being a common euphemism for anything on the bottom of the culinary barrel--the 24-Hour Dog can be... More

Hot Dog Hootenanny Report

I attended the Hot Dog Hootenanny yesterday and had a great time. Ed Levine of Serious Eats, Bruce Kraig, hot dog historian and author of Hot Dog: A Global History, and the people at the Astor Center did a great... More