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.