Hot!New Jersey Hot Dogs

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John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
2003/02/27 21:20:45
I am a hot dog fanatic from N.J. I believe that we have the best and widest variety of hot dogs in the country. Everything from Italian Hot Dogs and Texas Weiners (both originated in North Jersey) to kosher style all beef dogs, German style pork and beef, deep fried rippers, dirty water dogs; N.J. has it all.

Connecticut runs a close second. Hummel and Grote & Weigel make excellent all beef dogs in the kosher style. Grote & Weigel makes great beef and pork franks; many of which are served in Jersey hot dog joints. My favorite Conn. frank is the deep fried dog at S****y Franks. A tasty Hummel dog. I've tried Super Duper Weenie. A beef/pork mix that is good; but I prefer the Grote & Weigel beef/pork frank and Thumann's (the best beef/pork frank in my opinion). Rawley's was ok; I prefer the other 2 Conn. places. If you like a pork based deep fried dog, nowhere beats Rutt's Hut. They use a Thumann's dog that is specially made for deep frying. It rips open when cooked long enough. Their relish is the best hot dog condiment there is. See the Sterns reviews of these places elsewhere on Roadfood.

My favorite dogs of each type, which I highly reccomend are:

1) Italain Hot Dog: Charlies Famous in Kenilworth, N.J. An Italian Hot Dog is 1 or 2 deep fried all beef dogs (usually Best's from Newark, N.J.) in circular Italian pizza bread topped with deep fried peppers, potatoes, and onions. Charlies has better peppers and gives you more vegetables and bigger dogs than Jimmy Buff's which is the originator of this type of sandwich. Jimmy Buff's (many locations) and Tommy's in Elizabeth are also good.

2) Kosher style grilled all beef dog: Syd's in Union, N.J. A big (5 to a lb) Best's all beef dog simmerred in water than charbroiled. Best all beef dog I've had. Father & Son in Linden (Grote & Weigel all beef) slow cooked on a griddle, and Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City (Sabrett) griddled, are good too.

3) German Style Pork/Beef: Galloping Hill Inn in Union (Grote & Weigel) has a flavorfull but subtle flavor. Made specially for them by G&W, it is different than other G&W dogs. A big, sturdy football shaped bun makes this a unique dog. Max's (Schickhaus) and the Windmill (Sabrett beef and pork) are also good.

4) Texas Weiner. This is a dog covered with chili sauce, mustard and onions. The "Hot" Texas Weiner is a deep fried dog with thinner and spicier chili. The "Plainfield area" Texas Weiner is griddled and served with thicker chili sauce. The best "hot" Texas Weiner is from the Hot Grill in Clifton. Libby's and the Goffle Grill are good also. For a great "Plainfield area" Texas Weiner, go to Texas Weiner ll on rt 22 in Greenbrook.

5) Deep Fried: Rutt's Hut. Cooked to different degrees of doneness. In and out (cooked just enough to eat) Ripper (cooked till the skin rips) Weller (more well done) and cremator (black). The best homemade relish. Hiram's (same Thumann's dog) and Callahan's (Sabrett beef and pork) are also good.

6) Dirty Water: Jerry's in Elizabeth. A best brand dog boiled and then finished off on a grill for extra crunchiness. Dees truck in Roselle Park is good also.

If you need directions to any of these places, feel free to cntact me. Oh, and for cooking at home, Usinger's from Milwaukee ( and Best's from Newark, N.J. make the best all beef dogs. Sabrett, Grote & Weigle, and Hummel are very good too. For beef and pork, Thumann's makes the best dog. Schickhaus and Grote & Weigel are also very good. The Union Pork Store makes good home made German Franks and the best bratwurst you will ever taste. Forgive the long post, but hot dogs are one of my passions.
Michael Stern
Fire Safety Admin
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/02 12:25:04
Originally posted by scenicrec

I recently tried a ripper at Rutts Hut and it ruined me for hotdogs almost anywhere else! On your hotdog hunt you should check out Blackie's in Cheshire, CT. The dogs are decent, and the relish is outta sight- spicy and unusual, almost...cinnamon-y?

I was at Blackie's yesterday. Started with two. Got two more. Then two more for the road. Each, of course, heaped with that relish. You think cinnamon, really? Those people would die before they gave out the recipe.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/10 16:45:23
New Jersey does have an excellent assortment of Hot Dogs, the best and most unique of which come from Rutt's Hut. For whatever reason, no other deep-fried hot dog compares, maybe it's in the grease. Then too there's their superb relish. Three addenda on hot dogs:

1) Providence, RI is the home of the excellent New York System frank, your basic hot dog covered with a watery, all-beef chili, raw chopped onions and curry powder. Unique, and tasty. Chase it with a coffee milk, an indiginous RI drink. Olnyville New York System is where to go.

2) Zweigle's White Hots are the best franks on the market, period -- and not indiginous to New Jersey. I hope that they can get a national distributor someday.

3) Coleslaw as a dog topping is very underrated. Here in Boston, I like to get a deep-fried dog with slaw on top, for the contrast in textures and temperatures -- if only Rutt's had slaw!
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/13 09:57:45
I'll be on my way to Rutt's Hut after my next trip to Jersey Gardens what's a few more exits along the NJ Turnpike?).

In the meantime, has anyone been to that green "Italian/Newark-style" dog shack on the east side of Route 1 about halfway between I-287 and the Woodbridge Mall - it's really just south of the Menlo Park Mall.

I have been passing the place for years and never stopped. There are usually a few cars in the lot, so it looks fairly popular, but I always seem to be in the wrong lane for a quick frank-fix. Checker's is OK; Flamer's is gone(what a great name for a snack place in the NY metro area - maybe we'll see one in the Village)and I sometimes need a dog on my way to or from Pearl Paint.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/13 18:16:55
I've been to that place on rt 1. It's called Frank's Newark Style Italian Hot Dogs. Pretty good too, although I prefer Charlies Famous on Michigan Ave. in Kenilworth. Real easy to get to. Parkway (doesn't matter north or southbound) to exit 138, left of the exit, 2 or 3 lights to Michigan Ave, make a left and you are right there. They give you more potatoes and vegetables, and the hot dogs are bigger. Almost all of the places use Best brand franks which taste great and contain soy proyein which aids in frying. Frank's uses Sabrett, which, in my opinion, aren't as flavorfull as Best. Plus the onions are mixed in with the peppers, so if you hate onions like I do; you can't get the peppers either. But a good place to stop if you are in the area. Charlies, Jimmy Buff's, and Tommy's (in Elizabeth) make the best Italian Hot Dogs. Dickie Dees and Frank's are just behind them and better than any Italian Hot Dog you will get in a regular pizzeria.

You really think that Zweigle's are the best dogs on the market? I haven't had one, so I don't have an opinion on them. But I did hear that they are made of pork or pork and veal. Is this true? Sounds sort of like a bratwurst.
Double Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/27 14:05:06
I grew up in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA. They call 'em hot dogs in Wilkes-Barre and serve 'em with chili (often spicy). My favorites are at the Central Lunch in Pittston (it's smoky in there, so order take out). In Scranton, they call 'em "Texas Weiners" and they serve 'em with a brown mustard. I've never been all that fond of the TW's, and I think the mustard is the reason why. Brown mustard on a hot dog?

However, I have found a great Texas Weiner---even if I had to go all the way to Jersey to get one---those at Libby's Lunch in Paterson. Great dogs...and an excellent chili sauce too!! I guess they don't use the brown mustard???
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/29 22:15:55
Unfortunately, the best, or almost all of the best hot dog joints in the state are in North Jersey. I know Holly, and gave him the names and adressess of most of the places in Jersey. That said, there are a few in the southern part of the state. Max's is near the beach in Long Branch. It is a big quarter lb Schickhaus beef/pork dog slow cooked on a griddle. Delicious and one of the best beef and pork dogs in the state. In fact, I would put Max's right up there with the Galloping Hill Inn in Union as the best of this type. About a block away in Long Branch is the Windmill. They also have about a dozen other locations spread out across the state. I know they have one in Hazlet. A good dog with a very tough casing. I prefer Max's. A little more flavor than the Windmill. They (Windmill) use a special beef/pork dog made by Sabrett.
A very good all beef dog is served at the Old Heidelburg on the Keansburg Boardwalk. This is a big Haydu brand dog cooked on a griddle. There are many places on the various boardwalks down the shore that serve very good dogs. The brand that many of them use is Boardwalk Griddle Franks which are made by Grote & Weigle of Bloomfield Conn. This is a beef and pork dog very similar to the Schickhaus dog used by Max's. Some of the places use the same dog Max's does. One that comes to mind is Martell's in Point Pleasant. Jo-Jo's in Toms River makes a pretty good Italian Hot Dog.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/03/30 15:19:11
Mom --

It's a bit of a hike, but if you're in the Wildwood area, Maui's Dog House is excellent. We were on an extended family jaunt last summer and ate there. We told the rest of the group about it and all ended up for lunch at Maui's with great reviews.They make their own dogs and serve fresh cut fries. Worth the trip!

Read the review on Holly's Hot Dog page.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/05/10 22:50:16
For you shore aficionados "Old Heidelburg" on the Keansburg blacktop, amusement park takes my top vote. Premium All Beef Franks in natural casing and a buttered and toasted bun makes them absolutely delicious. "Old Heidelburg" has been is existence for better that forty years. You can't beat their tomato & onion based cart sauce.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/05/11 20:30:51
I went to the Old Heidelburg for the first time last summer, and it is a great dog. They cook it on a griddle which has a lot of cooking oil thrown on it. Makes for a delicious all beef dog. Up there with Syd's, Boulevard Drinks, and Father & Son as the best all beef dogs in Jersey. Rutt's Hut is pork based. They didn't want to divulge the brand of dog used, but I found out that it is Haydu's Boardwalk Beef Griddle Franks. They are available at the Foodtown in Colonia from May to August or Sept.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/05/19 11:06:28
You have identified the best of the best hot dog eateries and products.
I have appreciated 95 percent of the places and hot dogs which you and others have commented on. I enjoyed the eating and the reading about them. As a boy of eleven, I used to enjoy going to Cohen's on Hawthorne avenue in Newark, NJ for a couple of hot works. They were boiled kosher or kosher style hot dogs with mustard, hot relish and saurkraut. I also enjoyed what was called a potato dog. This was a hot dog encased in a potatoe knishe filling and deep fried. Great memories.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/05/19 20:37:02
Never heard of the potato dog. Sounds pretty good though. Growing up in Newark, I'm sure you've had your share of Italian Hot Dogs. Dickee Dees is still in Newark. Jimmy Buff's moved awhile ago, but the place that was there is called Lou's and makes Italian Hot Dogs.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/07/21 19:07:40
I'm a new member here; thank you everyone for your contributions. Got my mouth watering.
I would like to offer one more great Texas Weiner joint that I don't know if was mentioned previously. It's called J & G's Texas Weiners and is located on Rt. 28 in Dunellen NJ, just about a 2 miles from Texas Weiner II. I've been going there for over 35 years (3 or 4 different owners, but the same great chili). The chili is of the same granular type, like that of Texas Weiner I in Plainfield (Watchung Ave.) and Texas Weiner II in Greenbrook (Rt. 22 W) only the quality is much better, with a much greater ground beef to minced onion ingredient ratio. Ya gotta try these -- can't eat just one. If you get there, try one with their mustard, chili, and cooked onions -- just shout out, "one up", cooked onions......or with raw onions, it's just "one up".

Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/07/29 13:06:46
Originally posted by Puff-Boyardi

This is what the place on Route 1 is like. Another great burger place is near Rutger's it was called The White Rose System. I forgot the highway it was on but the line was always out the door. One of the best burgers I have ever had.

The White Rose System is still up and running on Woodbridge Ave in Highland Park (take the right-hand side of the fork coming from New Brunswick on RT27). Best California Cheeseburgers around, and they also had a formidable porkroll/egg/cheese sandwich.
White Rose was a required stop after a night of drinking. My brothers and I can still look at each other, shout 'Ketchup on your fries?!?" and know it's a White Rose reference.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/08/02 17:00:33
Callahan's in Fort Lee was our family favorite. It was located a stone's throw from the old Palisades Amusement Park. Back in the 60's & 70's before they remodeled, you ordered your food at the takeout window & ate in the car. Your "dogs to travel" were presented in small paper trays with a piece of wax paper covering them. The fries were pure heaven. How I miss those days... deep fried hot dogs - yummm...
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/09/09 18:09:22
A few weeks ago, we went to Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ) with my son's soccer team. I bought him a hot dog, he took one bite, and declared it to be "delicious." I looked back at the stand & realized they served Sabrett dogs--no wonder he loved it! He must have a very sophisticated 11-year old pallette
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2003/12/12 15:08:01
Found myself in Cranford around lunch time so I decided to take a little detour and check out Galloping Hill for the first time. Rutt's Hut will always be my favorite but the chili dog at Galloping Hill is excellent.The nice roll they serve it in handles the generous portions of onions and chili well. As far as Italian hot dogs go I tried the Jimmy Buff's on Rte. 22 many years ago....too greasy for my stomach....Frank's on Rte. 1 is good but not great....I've been going there for years and the main draw is Frank's wife Pat who runs the place....she's a trip.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/05/21 20:10:13
Originally posted by LouisR

Mr. John Fox:

I am another hot dog fanatic from N.J. It was great to read your post. Finally a kindred spirit!

I lived in N.J. in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's. Now I'm in New Orleans, where it is impossible to get a decent hot dog.

The best I've ever had were served up in middle school in Cranford. Brilliant student that I was (not), I never inquired about them, and they have faded, sadly, into my history.

Second best, however, were enjoyed frequently at Stewart's Root Beer stands in Clark, Plainfield and Roselle. They were deep fried and spectacular. They required no condiments and it would have been an insult to their flavor to add even mustard. I always ate them plain. I was very impressed by your post, and very surprised, also, that you did not mention Stewart's. Some of the outlets have ceased to exist, but I have heard there are still a few around, one in Rahway.

Over the years, I have noticed, several great foods have declined in quality or disappeared altogether. I hope the same old quality I remember and miss so badly can still be found in Rahway and at the other Stewart's, but I don't know since I haven't been in N.J. for decades. I've heard about Ruts Hut, but have not yet tried a ripper! I could not believe you rated Ruts tops for deep fried dogs yet made no mention whatever of Stewart's.

I also miss Taylor Pork Roll (have you tried that?) and have contacted, a business set up to send TPR to N.J. expatriates like me, who long, on occasion, to be back home there. The gals at were kind enough to research Stewarts on my behalf. They told me Stewart's used Thumann's, which I could not verify independently. I had them procure and obtain some Thumann's hot dogs, and I deep fried them at home. They were not bad, but were not the dogs I used to get at Stewart's. Perhaps Thumann does indeed produce a different "model" which Stewart's uses. I'd like to find out.

I remember Jimmy Buffs italian hot dogs. Not bad, but I don't consider them to be in a league with Stewart's. They were a taste experience, but it was due to the way they were dressed, on those rolls, and with the potatos and other condiments. Stewart's were superb in and of themselves, just because of the fine hot dogs they were, and perhaps also because of the way they were cooked, and as I mentioned, they required no condiments. I wonder what Jimmy Buffs would taste like if they used Stewart's hot dogs. I don't even want to think about what a JB hot dog would taste like deep fried and on a plain bun without condiments.

If you (or any who read this) have any idea how I can get Stewart's type hot dogs here in New Orleans, or any thoughts about any of the above, I'd like to hear from you at

Thanks for your fine post on this service.



I work in Clark and Rahway. I was unaware that Clark had a Stewart's. Rahway currently has 2. One on St. Georges Ave. and one on Randolph Rd. I've been to these as well as the Stewart's on rt 22 in Clinton, which is western N.J. I've spoken to one of the owners, and as far as hot dogs go, it is up to the owner of the individual Stewart's as to the brand of hot dog used and the method of cooking. Many seem to use Thumann's. The place on Randolph rd. used at least 3 brands. Sabrett's and Nathan's are used interchangeably; or at least were the last time I went there about 3 or 4 years ago. They are beef dogs and were deep fried. Skinless; the same that you can get in the supermarket. They had a bigger dog, maybe 1/4 pound that they served. This dog was a skinless Haydu brand. Also all beef. These dogs were all pretty good; but not great. The thing that stood out to me was that they were very inexpensive. A great value. I'll have to go back to see if anything has changed.

The other Stewart's on St. Georges Ave. uses Thumann's. Now the thing to remember about Thumann's is that they have 3 different recipes. An all beef, a beef/pork blend for grilling, and a special beef/pork blend that is for deep frying. This is the dog that is used at Rutt's and other places that I've mentioned. And it might be the dog that was used at the Stewart's that you've been to. It is different than the one for grilling (that you find in the blue and white package in stores) and the all beef dog. I'm almost certain that the one you fried was the one for grilling. The only way you can get the deep fry dog is through a Thumann's distributor. Fortunately, I have access to one. Now the Stewart's on St. Georges uses the Thumann's griller. And untill about a year or 2 ago, they cooked it on a griddle. An excellent dog. But recently they changed their cooking method to deep frying. But still use the regular dog for grilling. It's okay, but the one for deep frying is better for deep frying. The only way to know what each Stewart's uses is to ask or poke around in the trash for empty boxes. Many of the employees don't even know. One of them (Randolph Rd.) had to ask the owner.

The Stewart's in Clinton on rt 22 uses a Dietz and Watson all beef frank. It is skinless and cooked on one of those roller grills. It's pretty good. Again nothing special. I would like a beef dog grilled or charbroiled with a natural casing. It's a good bet that many of the Stewart's in the South Jersey/West Jersey area use the Dietz and Watson dog because it's a Philly product.

I eat Taylor Pork Roll about once a week. I've had Jimmy Buff's Italian Hot Dogs. I consider Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs to be the best example of this style. An Italian Hot Dog would not be good if they used a frank like the Thumann's for grilling or deep frying. An Italian Hot Dog must be an all beef dog. Almost all the Italian Hot Dog joints use Best brand all beef dogs. This type of sandwich has spices in it that favor an all beef dog (with paprika and garlic) rather than the milder German style dog (like Thumann's). Of course, a Thumann's beef dog would be good for an Italian Hot Dog. Sabrett or Nathan's also, though I prefer Best's. And this particular dog does taste good deep fried, with just a little bit of mustard. Remember, the Stewart's on Randolph Rd. uses an all beef dog deep fried.

I can't tell you how to get Stewart's hot dogs in New Orleans since each one chooses their own brand and cooking. Maybe you can try and find out from anyone you know who frequented these places way back when. Because new owners come and go and always change things. As I said, the Stewart's on St Georges changed cooking methods. And years ago, they might have used a different brand. I don't know what's available in New Orleans, but Thumann's is expanding and may be available down there. Look for it. And if you come in contact with a Thumann's distributor, ask for the deep fry dogs. Good luck.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/05/23 11:06:09
The White Diamond is alive and well! I'm there every day as it's on my route. It was renovated 3 or 4 years ago. The White Rose in Roselle is even better. Same exact food, but their burgers have much more meat.

When I cook dogs at home, most of the time it's either a 5 to a lb Best dog that's used at Syd's, or the Thumann's griller. I simmer the Best's dog in water, then char broil it like Syd's. The Thumann's griller is slow cooked on my griddle. Sometimes I top this dog with Rutt's relish or the Hot Grill's chili.

I get the deep fry dogs (used at Rutt's) from a pizzeria whose owner I know well. He gets his meats from Thumann's. I have him order the franks (5 lb minimum) from the Thumann's distributor and then buy them from the pizzeria. The distributor will not sell them directly to me. I just pay the pizzeria what he pays for them. I buy them maybe once or twice a year. I would suggest that you try to find a place near you that uses Thumann's products (if there are any in New Orleans) and ask them to order the dogs from the distributor. If you can't find anyone, you might want to e-mail Thumanns at If that doesn't work, then try to find a German butcher or deli that makes their own franks. These are almost always high quality.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/02 06:49:30
I've been to Hiram's and Callahan's. I prefer Hiram's. The dog is a little tastier and you can get beer. Just a great atmosphere. Callahan's uses a beef and pork dog made by Sabrett, the same dog used by the Windmill and the Hot Grill, although the Windmill grills rather than deep fries their dogs. Did you know that Hiram's uses the same dog as Rutt's Hut? It is a Thumann's frank especially made for deep frying (as opposed to their griller). If you love Hiram's, you'll love Rutt's. Same dog cooked the same way. The reason that I prefer Rutt's to the other places that use this same dog is because at Rutt's you can get the dog cooked to different degrees of doneness. There is the in and outer, which is deep fried until cooked just enough, then there is the ripper (most dogs served at Rutt's are rippers) cooked until the skin rips, the weller, which is well done; cooked more than the ripper (my preference) and the cremator, cooked till it's almost black (I don't like it burnt like this). The dogs are already in the oil when you walk in, so when you order, they just pluck the appropriate dog out of the oil. No waiting at all. Most of the places like Hiram's, Libby's, Johnny and Hanges, and the others that serve the Special Thumann's deep fryer serve a dog somewhere between an in and outer and a ripper. I'm sure that if you went to Hiram's you could ask for a dog cooked more and they would accomodate you. But the other reason I prefer Rutt's is their unique homemade relish. Try Rutt's. And get the relish. If you get one plain, ask for an in and outer. You'll see that it is the exact same dog that you get at Hiram's.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/12 14:24:02
I checked out Charlie's in Kenilworth today for the first time and have to agree with Mr. Fox. The best Italian style dog I've had so far.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/14 20:05:56
Originally posted by WindMillHotDog

John Fox---

I am sad to hear what you have to say about the WindMill HotDogs. The WIndMill is far superior in taste to the plain schickhaus griddler that Max's serves.

WindMill Hot dogs are also available in Area Foodtowns, Markets and coming soon to Wegmans.

John- please email me and I will send you a complimentary meal ticket at the WindMill Restaurants.

I've compared The Windmill to Max's several times. They are less than a mile from each other. I've gone to the Windmill, bought 2 dogs, then got 2 at Max's and ate them in the parking lot at Max's. Usually shared them with my family. It seems to me that the Schickhaus frank (actually made by Grote & Weigel of Conn.)served at Max's has slightly more flavor. The Windmill frank made by Sabrett has a tougher casing. This type of dog, a German style pork/beef blend is actually considered bland by people who prefer a spicier, kosher style all beef dog. I, myself, like both styles. The beef/pork dogs have a less agressive spicing, but their own unique flavor due to the addition of pork. I will say that the last time I compared Max's and the Windmill a few weeks ago, I noticed little difference.

The Windmill-Max's debate seems split right down the middle. Talk to a hundred people, 50 will prefer one, 50 the other. If you look at one of my original posts on the first page of this thread, I listed the Galloping Hill Inn, Max's, and the Windmill as the three best dogs in this style (Germman style beef and pork). I didn't say anything negative about the Windmill except that I found it slightly less flavorful than the dog at Max's. But as I said, last time I compared them, they were very close. If anything, I would hope that the Windmill dog would do better in comparisons, since the dog comes from a N.J. based company, rather than Conn. like the Max's dog and so many other Jersey doghouses that use Conn. products. I'm sure that you are affiliated with the Windmill, so I don't know how objective you can be. Of course you're gonna say you prefer your product. I am glad to hear that the Windmill dogs will be available at Supermarkets. I would very much like to take a Windmill dog and a Schickhaus dog, both purchased fresh the same day, cook them in the same place (my home) on the same surface (my griddle)at the same temperature and then get a true indication of how each dog measures up. I suspect that the Max's dog at Long Branch may be cooked longer (my preference) than the Windmill dog. This may account in some part to my preferring the Max's dog. See He too rates Max's higher.

Maybe if you can get me some dogs, I can conduct an informal taste test. I'm not affiliated with any hot dog restaurant or manufacturer, so the results would be totally unbiased. Taste is subjective and what I list as my favorites reflect my personal tastes and opinions. Plus I do blind taste tests. Ironically I spoke with someone at Wegmans a few weeks ago about getting Usinger's beef franks from Milwaukee, one of the best, if not the best beef frank in the country. This man mentioned to me that he worked for the Windmill setting up new restaurants before coming to Wegmans! He didn't say anything about Wegmans getting the Windmill dogs. But I hope it comes to pass. I'm looking forward to comparing the 2 franks blindfolded under controlled conditions with an open mind.

Thanks for your offer of a complimentary meal ticket. I love the food at the Windmill. Everything is great, not just the hot dogs.
long dog
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/16 23:52:56
John -

If you're serious about conducting a northern Joisey hot dog tour a la the CheeseWiz cheesesteak tour - count me in.

I'll be happy to drive down from CT to join you.
You make the schedule to coincide with your weekend off.

Then, you and the Mayor can come up here and I'll take you to Rosco's, Blackie's, Capitol Lunch, Glenwood, SDW, Mr. Mac's, Cricket, Danny's, Chick's, Rawley's - wherever you want to go.

(anybody hungry yet?)

Who else is up for giving the legendary John Fox a taste of CT dogs ?
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/17 19:07:46
Long Dog,

I've been meaning to return to Conn. for some time now. I will get up there before the end of summer. The few times I've been there, I've tried Super Duper Weenie, Rawley's, and Swanky Frank's. I've also had the dog served at Rosco's which is made in Jersey and available here. Unfortunately none of the hot dog joints near me serve this particular dog. I can buy it in stores (and do) to cook at home. Our local little league field used to serve this dog.

Connecticut has a great reputation for hot dogs. In my opinion, they are a close second to New Jersey. They might even have more hot dog places than Jersey. And they have more locally made hot dogs. Conn. has Hummel's, Mucke's, Miller's, Roessler (which has moved out of state), Grote & Weigle, and Rosol's. And probably more than what I've named. Jersey has Best's, Thumann's, Schickhaus (which is actually made for the Jersey market by Grote & Weigel of Conn.) Schmalz's, Kohler's (now also made out of state, I believe) Sabrett, and several high quality franks made in German-Polish butcher shops like Gaiser's, Union Pork Store, Fritz's, and Lutz's. Plus we have access to Nathan's, Boar's Head, Schaller & WEber, Hofmann's, and other brands made nearby.

What's interesting is that one of the best hot dogs in the country is from the Galloping Hill Inn in Jersey. Their dog is made in Conn. by Grote & Weigel, but the particular dog is not available in Connecticut or anywhere else. It was made originally by a small butcher shop in Union (Gaiser's). Galloping Hill sold so many hot dogs that they were afraid that Gaiser's wouldn't be able to handle the demand or that they might go out of business or be sold. They were sold eventually, but before this happenned, the current owners of the Galloping Hill Inn took the recipe for the franks and went looking for a larger company that would be able to make these hot dogs to their specifications. They chose Grote & Weigel. What's also interesting is that the best German style (beef and pork dog) in Connecticut is a Jersey dog. It's Rosco's, and as I said, this particular dog is not served in any restaurants near me.

Jersey has a little more variety than Conn. You can't get an Italian Hot Dog in Conn. and there are only one or two dirty water hot dog stands there. On the other hand, Conn. serves a lot of good, deep fried all beef natural casing dogs, like Swanky Franks. In Jersey, I've only come across one place that serves a deep fried all beef dog with casing. Of course, Italian Hot Dogs contain deep fried beef dogs, but they are skinless and I was referring to plain hot dogs.

The 2 states make for a great comparison. I think Conn. might have more hot dog joints, but Jersey has slightly more variety, and may actually sell more dogs. Some of the places serve thousands of dogs a day, and some are open till 1 in the morning and open at 9 am.the next day. I originally went to Conn. to have a dog at Rawley's. My nephew told me they served a great deep fried dog that was famous. They always won best of awards. Martha Stewart ate there as did David Letterman. Martha Stewart grew up near Rutt's and ate there also. I had to see how Rawley's compared to Rutt's. I went and liked the dog, but no comparison to Rutt's. Not even close. I liked Swanky's (even though it is a different style) and Super Duper Weenie much better. In fact, SDW's New Englander is one of the best dogs in the country. I like the Galloping Hill Inn's dog better than SDW, but not as much as Rosco's in Hartford.

In Jersey, for an all beef dog, none is better than Syd's. A big 5 to a lb charbroiled dog. I think the dog at the Glenwood in Hamden Ct. would be similar, as it is an all beef dog about the same size cooked the same way. I've had the Hummel dog numerous times and it is one of my top 5 favorite all beef dogs. It has a unique tanginess that some dogs (Miller's also) from Conn. seem to have. But I think the Best's dog served at Syd's is the best beef dog around. I'm looking forward to going to the Glenwood, as well as Rosco's next trip to Conn.

Maybe we ought to consider a Jersey and Conn. hot dog run.
long dog
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/18 00:53:33
Rawley's = Roessler's
Mr. Mac's = Hummel's (fried, then grilled)
Blackie's = Hummel's (fried only - not a lot of snap)
Cricket = Hummel's (fried & grilled)
Doogie's = Grote & Weigel

SDW - Miller's recipe made by a shop in Manchester CT.

The owner of Miller's in Stratford retired and left the business to his son who closed up shop within a year. SDW contacted the father, got the recipe for the dog from him, and is getting the Miller recipe dog from a different shop.

What do you think of Deutschmacher dogs ?

Personally, I like them better than Grote & Weigel and Hummel's.
They're pretty popular in the deli cases and in 3 lb. boxes up here.

We can get Best's and Sabrett's in 1 lb. packages, but I don't particularly care for pre-packaged dogs. I'd much rather get them loose from the deli counter.

Thumann's is available in the 5 lb. package from BJ's Wholesale Club in North Haven. Great dog if you like the smoky flavor. I haven't found them at a deli counter, although the Shaw's in Stratford has a large line of Thumann's cold cuts.

Roessler's is still available if you know where to find them.

I did a 5 dog side by side comparison (on my own little Char-Broil camping grill) with a couple of friends on 4th of July weekend where I was the only one who knew which dog was which.
Each person had half a dog (on 1/2 a bun) of each variety.
Deutschmacher did very well in the contest - finishing above both Hummel's and Grote & Weigel in the voting.

As for the hot dog run - I say "Let's do it."

I've only been to Rutt's for Jersey dogs, and love them as does everybody that I've brought there.

You and I both have the same employer, so I know that your schedule is hectic this time of the year. I've had fixed Sa/Su off for the last 11 yrs., but would gladly burn a day of AL mid-week to go dogging with you.

long dog
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/18 10:55:17
Wish I could make it for the Cheesesteak tour.

Getting through Jersey on a summer weekend is brutal traffic-wise with everybody heading to the shore.

A three hour drive can easily turn into five.

I've only done the 9th & Passyunk tour in Philly.

If the hot dog tours come to fruition, we'll start a new topic so everybody that's interested will see it.

Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/18 11:46:35
John Fox,

I hope you will be able to join the Cheesesteak Tour on the 31st. It would be the perfect time to lay the groundwork for the Northern Jersey Hot Dog Tour.

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/18 12:36:36
I regret that I can't make the Cheesesteak Tour either as I'm working that day.

long dog,

I've had the Deutschmacher dog. Last summer we had to drop my daughter off at school in Conn. I stopped at a Supermarket and bought a Hummel's beef and pork (all beef wasn't available), Grote & Weigel, Deutscmacher's (from Rhode Island I think), Mucke's and Kayem's (from Maine or Mass.) In N.J. the only supermarket near me that sells loose franks in the deli dept is Wegmans. I was just there earlier to buy a Thumann's and Hofmann's for lunch later. Be careful buying them loose. Once I bought some loose franks from Wegmans in Bridgewater and they had a different color, slightly green. It was a Thumann's. The plant manager at Thumann's who I correspond with from time to time told me that the dogs stay fresher if they are sealed in the package. The lights in the deli dept. plus the open air cause them to deteriorate faster and to turn color.

Out of the franks that I sampled from the store in Conn., I didn't like the Hummels beef and pork (bad maybe?). I know their beef dog is a quality frank. The Grote & Weigel dog was definitely spoiled and I threw it out. The Deutschmacher, Kayem's, and Mucke's were very similar; in fact Deutschmacher and Kayem's were identical in taste; both quality franks similar in flavor to Hofmann's from Syracuse. I think I liked the Mucke's a little bit better.

The Best's and Sabrett's that you get there are good, but they are the skinless versions. The natural casing ones are much better.

I'm up for a hot dog run; late August looks good for me; I'll be off of work for 2 weeks.
long dog
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/18 22:27:22
so I guess we're looking at August 21-22 and August 28-29 depending on Saturday/Sunday.
Some places up here, like Rosco's, are closed on Sunday, so I'd prefer doing a Saturday for the CT portion of the tour.

RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/19 12:02:05
long dog, John Fox & whoever else. Count me in for an August tour. Any day or time would be fine. I work in Hartford and recently tried Rosco's and I have to say it is one of my favorite places in CT along with SDW and Glenwood. I don't know if I mentioned it in a previous thread or not but I am a good friend of Gary's at SDW. We grew up together and I have somehow stayed in touch with him over the years. I would love to introduce him to all of you (if you don't already know him). Keep me posted on the dates.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/19 12:55:20
I eagerly await your hot dog tour John. Count me in with a couple of other hot dog fans.
Too bad you can't make the cheesesteak tour. Look forward to meeting you.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/19 19:24:55
I'll be on vacation from 8/22 to 9/7. Let me check with my family to see if we will be doing anything. Saturday would probably be the best day as most people work during the week and many of the places (Syd's included) are closed on Sunday's. Unfortunately, I work 5 out of 6 Saturday's when I'm not on vacation. Meantime, let's try to get an idea of who wants to go. And which do you want to do first?. I've been to all the Jersey places and some of the Conn. ones. Really looking forward to going to Rosco's and the Glenwood at the very least.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 06:31:38
My vacation starts on Sunday 8/22. I assume most people who want to do the hot dog tour would want to do it on a Saturday, although I would be up for a weekday between 8/22 and 9/7. I am scheduled to work 5 out of every 6 Saturdays as I have a rotating day off that changes every week. I will be off the following Saturday's: 8/28, 9/4, 9/18, and 10/30. And my daughter is supposed to move back to school on 8/28, so that day might not be good for me. She is seeking permission from the school to move in a day earlier. I'll know later in the week if that day will be open for me for a hot dog run. That would be ideal, because 9/4 is the start of Labor Day Weekend. I would be up for that day, but I know other people may not be. What I was thinking was that we could do one state either 8/28 or 9/4 and the other on 9/18 or 10/30. You people are lucky who have every Saturday off.

I think it would be good to get an idea of how many people might be interested in doing a hot dog tour in Jersey and Connecticut. If interested, post on the forum or e-mail me. If it's only going to be a few people, we can be more flexible with the days; perhaps doing it on a weekday that is convenient or at night. The Jersey places with the exception of Syd's are all open Sunday's and stay open till late at night during the week. They are also clustered closely together. We could hit 10 great ones if we wanted to within 17 miles. So, who's interested?
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 19:40:42
9/4 and 10/30 are good for me. John, you put together a rough schedule and we'll all try to help it come to fruition.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 20:29:45
I should know by the end of the week if 8/28 is open. 9/18 is also a day that would be good. We'll see what's good for everyone who's interested in going.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 20:59:03
Originally posted by bxfinest

Well I give Jersey it's due on good pizza, sandwiches and Hot Dogs, however NYC is the Hot Dog capital. Not just because the term 'Hot Dog' was coined in the early 1900's in NYC by a reporter of the NY Times, But there's not a Hot Dog any where that can touch Nathan's Famous(Coney Islands own), Papaya or Sabrett(based in NY and imported all over the Nation).

I disagree. If you're talking solely in terms of most hot dog joints or hot dogs eaten, then Chicago would be the hot dog capital. If you're talking about best hot dogs and biggest variety, then it would be New Jersey and then Connecticut before New York. Granted, New York has Nathan's and Sabrett (Papaya King, Gray's, and Katz's use Sabrett beef dogs). But Sabrett is owned by Marathon Enterprises in East Rutherford, N.J. Their dogs are made in the Bronx and also in a plant in Jersey, I believe. Windmill uses a Sabrett beef and pork dog (different than the all beef dog used by most other places)and their website states that it comes from Jersey. Either way, many Jersey places use the Sabrett dog. There are many pushcarts serving the dirty water dogs as well as places such as Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City that use the smaller Sabrett and griddle cooks it like Papaya King.

As for Nathan's, they are considered a New York dog, but they are actually made by a company called SMG in Chicago. They haven't been made in New York for sometime. And there is a dog in Jersey that is better than Nathan's and Sabrett. Have you been to Syd's in Union? They use a Best brand dog from Newark, N.J. that is charbroiled and absolutely delicious. Better than any all beef dog I've had from any hot dog joint. Father & Son in Linden uses a smaller version of this dog and cooks it on a griddle. Better than Papaya King and Nathan's. In fact Father & Son used Sabrett for years before switching to Best. Jerry's in Elizabeth also uses this dog and cooks it a unique way, boiled than grilled.

New York dogs are very good, but they lack the variety of New Jersey and Conn. I know of nowhere in N.Y. where you can get a grilled German style beef and pork dog. There are no Texas Weiner or chili dog places that I know of in New York. And until recently, you couldn't get a deep fried dog either. Now they have Crif Dog's, which is a blatant rip off of Rutt's Hut. Come with us on the hot dog tour of Jersey and Conn. for some truly great and different dogs. Texas Weiners, Italian Hot Dogs, ripper's, grilled Germans style dogs on buttered New England style buns.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/20 23:40:11
My vote would be for 9/4. Second choice Oct. 2-3. 8/28 and 9/18 not as good but possible.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 02:21:59
OK J. Fox:

I can understand your argument that Jersey has more of a variety of Hot dogs. However, Sabretts are truly a NY frank. Even if the cooperate office is in East Rutherford. The Recipe and taste are truly NY with manufactures in Medford NY. Even the Website states "Experience a taste of NY sidewalks" It makes no references to Jersey other than the cooperate office. And I'm sure there is a high consumption of Sabretts in Jersey. But it's truly a staple to the NY taste in hot dogs.

"Ask any New Yorker what is a Sabrett" is the first sentence.

And Nathan's is no question a NY Frank no matter where it's manufactured, the ingredient that made the Frank so popular started in Brooklyn NY in 1916 and it never changed. Still the best beef frank ever. But that's just my opinion..

Lastly, Chicagians claim that they are the Hot Dog capital but that's not official. They also feel they have the best pizza. But a national battle showed more people chose NY thin crust over Chicago deep dish. And I can't see how they can accurately state that Chicago has more Hot dog outlets than NY. Maybe indoor spots, but NY has push carts all over the city in every borough. In Manhattan alone you can get a Hot Dog on almost any corner. Definately gotta disagree with that!!!

BTW thanks for inviting me to the Hot Dog tour. Must check my schedule. But sounds very interesting.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 06:51:54

Maybe we're getting too involved in semantics here. I'll grant you that Sabrett is considered a New York hot dog. Like Nathan's, they originated and are still being made in New York even if their headquarters is N.J. and some of their franks may be made there according to the Windmill's site. Schickhaus is considered a New Jersey dog, even though it is made by a Connecticut company. There are countless numbers of people who leave Jersey and crave Schickhaus hot dogs. They can't find them anywhere including Conn.

I grew up eating Sabrett hot dogs from puschcarts and hot dog trucks. One of my 3 favorite all beef dogs, the other 2 being Best's and Usinger's. Sabrett has a unique flavor that you can identify blindfolded if you've eaten enough of them. Great cooked in water, better cooked on a griddle. I prefer the smaller ones on the griddle, as the bigger 8 to a lb that you can get in some supermarkets here are a little mushy an the skin isn't as tight as on the smaller ones. As you said, it is a matter of taste. I prefer Best because I like their unique taste and blend of spices even though they are a little less spicy than both Sabrett and Nathan's. I like Nathan's also, if you can find one of their locations that uses the natural casing dog and cooks it long enough. One particular Nathan's on the Turnpike makes them perfect. And I agree, even the skinless version is very good. I had one at Yankee Stadium and it was the best dog I've had at a ballpark (although that might not be saying a lot). I spoke with someone from Nathans headquarters and was told that their dogs are still being made according to the 1916 recipe. I just don't understand why the ingredients list includes corn and wheat gluten. I wrote back and asked if these ingredients were part of the original recipe, but didn't get a reply.

I stand by my statement that New Jersey and Conn. are the best states for hot dogs because of what you can get from their hot dog restaurants. In Jersey and a few places in Conn, you can get a Sabrett dirty water dog. In Jersey City, Boulevard Drinks uses the same dog as Papaya King and is every bit as good. Jersey also has a few places that serve the Nathan's dog and make it as good as the Coney Island location (atmosphere not withstanding). We have Syd's which serves the best (in my opinion) beef dog around as well as the aforementioned German style dogs, Italian Hot Dogs, Texas Weiners, and deep fried rippers.

You make an excellent point about New York vs. Chicago hot dogs. Chicago does have more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King combined. But New York has all those puschcarts and in all probability serves as many or more hot dogs than Chicago. Chicago dogs have their devotees, but they have hardly any variety at all. The dogs sold are almost all the same brand (Vienna Beef) which is much milder in flavor than a Sabrett or Best's.

Hope you can make the tour.
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/21 10:36:55
J. Fox:

Thanks you for at least considering my point. And excuse my emotional reply. It's just that I'm a Hot Dog fanatic like yourself. And I take a great deal of pride in NYs contribution to the Hot Dog nation along with other foods. Like I said I'll always had a great deal of respect for Jersey and it's great tasting pizza, hot dogs(all varieties)and subs(I call em heros).

On the Chicago issue, I actually did see a show I beleive it was on Bravo, A&E or the food channel where they talked about hot dogs from all over the nation and how different region cook and load up their dogs. From Nathan's on Coney Island, to the place in Jersey(forgot the name) that deep fries hot dogs, to Atlanta where they showed a place serving Dogs that's been around as long as Nathan's, to a place on Pittsburgs University where they serve hot dogs with an order of fries that can feed five people to Chicago where they load up their dogs like burgers with lettuce, tomatoes ,onions, ketchup and mustard. The host did declare Chicago as the Hot Dog capital(over NY) based on the fact that they have more hot dog restaurants. However, I didn't agree with that since I find it hard to beleive that they can accuartely state that their restaurants out number the amount of Pushcarts in NYC.

Good debating with you. And if you get a chance please hit me with the info on the Hot Dog tour.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/25 10:05:03
Have you tried The Hot Dog House on Rt. 17 South in Carlstadt? I love their Darrel Dawkins with cheese!
My husband swears by Hank's Franks on Rt. 46 in Lodi though.
We always get the rippers at Rutt's Hutt (smothered in their heavenly relish ), we recently went there for our last one before moving to NC! I'll also miss Hyram's.
Do you check out the hot dog articles in Weird NJ? It seems like they are always on an endless quest for the best dog.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/25 10:54:33
The Hot Dog House and Hank's Franks both served boiled Sabrett's. These places are known for their hot dog toppings. Just got the current Weird N.J. and there are a few articles about Jersey hot dog places including a letter from me about Charlies Pool Room in Alpha. There was also an article in last Thursday's Star Ledger about hot dog places in western Jersey (Warren County). There aren't many restaurants in that part of the state, even fast food places like McDonalds. Hot Dog Johnny's is actually the most popular eating establishment. The gist of the article is that hot dogs are real popular in Warren County as compared to other types of food. There aren't as many hot dog places as in the north eastern part of the state, but there is a cluster of them in the Philipsburg-Lopatcong area. There may be a higher hot dog stand to people ratio than in other parts of the state because Warren County is a rural, less populated area.

I spoke to the reporter for the article and was mentioned briefly in it. But I told him that while popular in Warren County, hot dogs are much better in the northeast. There is a bigger variety of dogs including Italian Hot Dogs and Texas Weiners, which I'm sure many of the people in Warren County have never heard of, much less eaten. Most of the dogs served there are a mild (even bland) beef-pork dog that is usually steamed or cooked on one of those roller grills. You would be hard pressed to find a beef dog out there, although I think Eddie's in Philipsburg serves one if you request one of their special dogs. Bottom line is that while hot dogs are popular in Warren County, they are quite ordinary. I think Toby's Cup might be the best of the bunch. I don't like Hot Dog Johnny's. I feel that they are vastly overrated. Much of the attraction here is the atmosphere and nostalgia which I totally discount when judging hot dogs.

The reporter was limited to Warren County for this article, to the exclusion of hot dog places elsewhere in the state. I contacted him and tried to convince him to do a followup article on hot dogs in the rest of the state. Hopefully, that will be coming.

I've been asked to review hot dogs for an upcoming piece to be shown on television. It will be filmed in a few weeks. I'll give the details as to when it will be shown as soon as I know. We'll be going to some of Jersey's best hot dog joints. Sort of like a hot dog tour. In fact, we'll probably be hitting some of the same ones that will be included in The Hot Dog Tour.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/28 20:53:08
Hi John-
With my mouth watering at this site for several weeks now, I just heard I'm going to Paramus on business in a week or so. Please let me know where the best hot dog joint is which is close to the intersection of Rt 17 and Rt 4. I've never had a Thumann's or a G&W either so this will be a real treat. If I play my cards right, I may even get out early and buy a few boxes to bring home while I'm down there. Can you recommend a supermarket chain in the area which would carry them? I appreciate your help as always!

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/28 23:17:03

I'm not sure exactly where, but near Rt 4, which is much farther north than Union, is the Goffle Grill, which makes an authentic North Jersey Texas Weiner. Clixes is about 1/4 mile down the street. Johnny & Hanges is close by in Fairfield. If you get on the Parkway, go south for a few miles and get off at exit 153a. Take 3east to 21 north. Get off at the first exit (10A I think) make a left off the exit ramp, go over the bridge, and make a left onto River Rd. Rutt's Hut is about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile down on the left hand side.

Go to any Shop Rite in the area. Buy a package of Thumann's Frankfurters (in the blue and white package) and a package of Schickhaus (made by Grote & Weigel for the Jersey market). Let me know what you think of them.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 02:04:07
Bxfinest must be dreaming.
My late father worked for Sabrett for 41 years. For the entire existence of the company, from the creation of their formula to the sale of the company by the son-in-law of the founder Julius Frankel (no joke) to Marathon Company, it was in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The manufacturing plant was at the corner of Henderson Street and Coles Street, near Colden Street, in Jersey City. I had to laugh when someone wrote about "corporate offices." When my Dad used to drive me to work with him (his truck routed from JC to Harlem to Hunts Point and then to New Rochelle) the "corporate offices" were two wood-paneled rooms off the loading dock where the rolls and meat were loaded onto the trucks.

The owners of Sabrett lived in New Jersey. The truckers all lived in New Jersey (I grew up playing outside their union meetings at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel) The late chief baker, Caspar, is the father of the Jersey City Police Chief.

Sabrett was widely distributed in New York and New Jersey, but don't be deceived: The umbrellas you saw FOR YEARS denoting a Sabrett product on pushcarts in New York were given to vendors as a premium and a promotion. Quite often, the dogs they sold were NOT Sabrett, but the cheaper House o' Weenies, Concourse, or other brands. There was no one policing the use of those pushcart umbrellas, which caused my late father great consternation.

I spent many hours in that factory, over the years. They made a great product, and the best onion sauce in the world. It was a New Jersey company, through and through.

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 06:16:21
Great post Rick. I remember in the past you mentioned your father delivering Sabrett Franks to Papaya King and Gray's. Do you know where Marathon now has Sabrett's produced? I believe there is a plant in the Bronx. Do you know where in Jersey? Also, have you heard of the Golden D brand? Last time I was in Manhatten I saw this brand being sold from a few carts. I was so full from eating hot dogs elsewhere that I couldn't even eat another one.
long dog
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/07/29 19:56:00
Rick -

Hit Rosco's Big Dog in Hartford on your way home after Blackie's.
394 Franklin Ave
Exit 27 off I-91

You can even hit Capitol Lunch in New Britain in between for three different brand dogs.

LMK when you do the southern route.
If I'm able to, I'll meet you at Glenwood and lead you to SDW.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/01 15:40:50
poundpod -

Of all the websites I visit on the web, those run by food manufacturers seem to have the most shoddy scholarship, politically correct hot air, falsehoods, and outright lies. The advertising copy I read about Nathan's doesn't square with what I was told by a woman who I took a lab class in college with who happened to be Nathan Handwerker's niece.

I was fascinated to read your remarks about Sabrett. One day in 1989, as the people in my departmnet were waiting to be laid off, we took the PATH subway line from the World Trade Center to Jersey City and walked to the address shown in the phone book for Sabrett to see where the hot dogs we bought from the push carts actually (or who we thought) came from. I clearly remember that trip. There was a two building complex. A single story plant was obviously producing smoked meat products, for you could smell the exhaust from the smoke house. Next door was a very old multi-story (but unused) plant that had painted on it the old Sabrett slogan of "World's Largest Exclusive Frankfurter-Hamburger Manufacturer" or something like that. There was litter on the streets, including a pack of about 100 frankfurter labels meant to be inserted inside shrink-wrapped packages. The USDA plant number was 850. There was a Sabrett distributor across the street that would sell at retail to anyone with cash. At least he sold to us.

I remember at the 1964-1965 World's Fair that Marathon had a pavilion called "House'O'Weenies" that sold frankfurters. So, they were separate companies at that point.

Could you perhaps give us a bit more history about Sabrett up to the time of the buyout?

RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/02 12:16:00
Nah poundpod, never dreaming. If I was mistaken on where Sabrett franks started then pardon me... I'm just going by what I seen growing up in NYC(Sabrett and Hebrew National umbrellas). Not to mention that the websites regards Sabrett franks as the taste of NY sidewalks. Anyway very interesting story.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 12:07:51
I found this really neat tool for determining who actually manufactures meat products:

There is some interest in finding out where Sabrett's second plant is. I just purchased a package of Sabrett natural casing frankfurters in a Western Beef supermarket. The package used to have USDA plant number 850 of the above-mentioned Jersey City, NJ plant. Now the number is 7879. If you go to the Small HACCP Plants section of the USDA's website, and click on the District 65, Albany, NY button, you will find that plant number (with a leading 0, 07879) listed as belonging to Marathon. Now, all we need to know is where is it, and if it was used by someone else in the past. (The USDA doesn't list street addresses anymore. Who wants a terrorist dropping a pound of LSD in the frank mixture?) District 65 is very large. You will see plants from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts on that list.

Poundpod's remarks brought back some memories about the history of the Sabrett plant in the Bronx. I remember that at the time Marathon bought Sabrett, it was reported by the New York City media as big news. Marathon was selling their skinless frankfurters in supermarkets under their House O' Weenies brand. Sometime later, the franks from the Bronx plant (USDA plant number 8854) started to be sold under the Sabrett label. Now take a look at this page:

Note this is a 1986 photograph. It was faded already at that time. I remember seeing this painted building sign when I worked up in that area. Click on the "capital stock" link and as of 1969, Marathon was a New Jersey Corporation with the address being that of the frankfurter plant in the Bronx. This plant now has "Sabrett" painted on it in big letters.

The taste and sensory experience of the products from the two plants is different. I believe the products now bearing the 7879 plant number are superior. This should answer the question of the people all around the country who probably bought the skinless variety and who wondered why many people here were raving about Sabrett franks.

With the original Jersey City plant number no longer showing up on the FDA's list (I don't know what happened to that site), a discussion of whether Sabrett is a New York dog or a New Jersey dog becomes very interesting.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 14:18:00
Wow. So many good folks interested in Sabrett. Let's see:
Sabrett began after a failed business venture in Egypt. One of the founders decided in the 1930's to build drycleaning stores in Egypt, and quickly found out there was REASON the largest producer of fine cotton in the world didn't have many dry-cleaners. They didn't want any. With little of his cash left, he re-entered the United States, and went into the food business. Sabrett was a name picked basically out of the imagination. It was not a family name, no Yiddish translation---just an attractive and memorable tag-name for the Company. By the late 1940's, the plant, located on Coles/Henderson St near Colden Street in Jersey City, was producing hot dogs, hamburgers, and rolls. The baker for most of the life of the company was Caspar Buonocore, who fathered the current Jersey City Police Chief, Ron Buonocore. Ron's son starred in a short-lived MTV show a few years back.
The owners of Sabrett were relatives, Mack Katz and Julius Frankel. My Dad came back from World War II, having learned how to drive a truck an very little else, in Europe. He took a job through the Bakery Drivers Local 108, and worked for Sabrett for 41 years. My brothers and I did shifts on his route, which led from JC to Spanish Harlem to Hunt's Point, up to New Rochelle, back home. My dad started loading his truck at 2 am, and came home from work in the afternoon. It was back-breaking work. He always brought home a bundle of franks and a box of burgers. We never went hungry. When he broke his legs in an accident at work, the drivers visited us with bundles of meat and bread. I recall my dad bartering with other purveyors in those days---The United Pickle Company in the Bronx stacked up bottles of pickles and kraut in our garage. I can still remember the taste of those sour tomatoes and red peppers, the best in the Bronx.
Sabrett maintained very high standards of cleanliness and secrecy about the spice formulas. My dad knew the secret: Lots of garlic and paprika. The company made a product called 'hot sausage' which was basically a skinless knockwurst with some cayenne pepper. Delicious. They made knockwurst, all beef hot dogs, hamburgers without any filler, and sold tons of chop meat. My Dad used to sell chopmeat to the Brasserie in NYC, a fine restaurant, and many of the diners that lined the route uptown from the Holland Tunnel. If you ate a burger at the Brasserie from 1960-1980, chances are it was Sabrett meat. In those days, Sabrett made a casing and skinless all beef franks, pork/beef "Country Girl" franks, and burgers, meat, and buns. Onion sauce came later.
One of the bonuses in those days was getting the meat that didn't make into the grinder. Sabrett used to throw skirt steaks in with the chuck and round, back in the days when NO ONE wanted skirts. My Dad would always bring them home in time for 4th of July. Yum.
All good things come to an end. Julius Frankel passed away, and his son in law, Boyd, took over the business. A lawyer, he took the business in a different direction, attempting to use the name for national distribution. My Dad retired and moved to Houston, where my parents opened up a New York style Deli, shipping Sabrett dogs to Houston, along with National Deli pastrami and corned beef. They made it into the New York Times in 1986, when they tried to put pushcarts out on the streets in downtown Houston, and battled the city.
In the early 90's, if I recall, Sabrett was sold to Concourse Provisions, a competitor. They had never really hit it big on the supermarket shelf, as the previous owner hoped. It's a very spicy dog, with lots of flavor. Outside the East Coast and Chicago, I think a milder product held sway. Me, I only eat kosher now, but I have very, very fond memories of Sabrett casing franks, 8 to the pound, with mustard, red onion sauce, and kraut.
Need more details? Ask away.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 22:09:32
The Sabrett Jersey City, NJ complex, A/K/A USDA plant number 850, is no more. I was out there today and find the streets around the old site have been closed to create a superblock for the construction of an educational institution. One sign said it was the property of Jersey City Public Schools. I could not find a project name, but some job site signs from school construction authorities leave no doubt this will be a school. Right now, it looks like all demolition has been completed, and they are erecting building steel. Brick laying has begun in one wing. I know I was in the right place, because I found the shopping center with the Pathmark Supermarket in it just where I remember it. Some of the street names have changed as well. The Light Rail is about two blocks away.

Right across the street from the construction site is a deli at the corner of Bright and Varick Streets selling bulk Sabrett products, such as might be bought by push cart owners.

I'd like to thank poundpod for his insightful essay about the origins of the Sabrett frankfurter, and the other products Sabrett produced in Jersey City.

Now, I'm interested in finding out about the Marathon roll plant that used to be in East Rutherford, NJ and about the facility in Fair Lawn, NJ (Marathon Baking Corp) that is listed on bags of Sabrett hot dog buns right now.
John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/03 23:25:42
A few years ago I spoke with the person in charge of private label at Marathon in East Rutherford. I asked him about purchasing franks that were similar to Papaya King in New York, at the time believing that they were made by Marathon specially for Papaya King. I had spoken to at least 2 Sabrett distributors who told me that Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Katz's all use the same basic Sabrett all beef frank, although the one for Katz's might be a little bigger. I was under the impression that Marathon made a different frank for each customer and didn't know whether to believe the distributors.

The person at Marathon, believing I represented a business, told me that they only make 2 recpies, all beef and beef/pork, which poundpod refers to as "Country Girl". There are different sizes, and natural casing or skinless, but 2 basic recipes. I was shocked, especially since Papaya King implies that they have a special dog made for just them. The three places that I mentioned all serve similar tasting dogs, but I always liked Papaya King because they were cooked more and seemed fresher. Katz's usually undercooks them. Make sure you ask for well done there. I was also angry because I had paid something like $37.00 a few years ago for 5 pounds of Papaya King dogs to take home, when I could have gotten the same 10 to a lb dogs at a Sabrett distributor for $17.50.

When it comes to natural casing Sabrett's, a woman who has a hot dog truck says that the 10's are the best as far as the casing goes. I agree. I've bought the 8 to a lb at the supermarket and they are a tad mushy. Some places (JJ's in Newark and Munce's in Rahway) serve the 11 to a lb dogs. The casing is too tight. Plus the dog is too small. Would you believe that Best's and Sabrett also have dogs that come 12 to a lb? Boulevard Drink's in Jersey City uses the 12's while Dickie Dees in Newark uses the Best's 12 for their Italian Hot Dogs.

You can also get the "Country Girl" beef and pork franks from a Sabrett distributor. These are the franks used at the Windmill, Hot Grill, and Callahan's. And for much less than you would pay for them at the restaurants that serve them.

The guy I spoke to told me that while Marathon has corporate offices in East Rutherford, they do not make franks there. They are produced in a plant in the Bronx. I don't know where else. I should have asked. According to the Windmill's website, they get their franks from a North Jersey plant. Maybe WindmillHotDog can confirm this.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/04 21:16:36
To bxfinest -

I have a mystery for you. I work with people who live all over the New York Metropolitan area. One man, who lives in the Seaview section of the Bronx, tells me there is a plant on Oak Point Avenue in the Hunts Point Section, going all the way through the block between Casanova and Barretto Streets. He says there is a large parking lot in front, and he often sees large refrigerated trailers parked in there with Sabrett painted on them. He also sees polyethylene barrels in the lot, like the ones imported bulk spices are packed in. He says there are a number of signs on the building, but he never paid attention to them. He also says a "nice smell" comes from that building.

Could this be the second Sabrett plant 7879? Could all the Sabrett franks now be produced in the Bronx?

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/08 13:31:55
Just read an article about Connecticut hot dogs on Go there and click on dining then click on hot dogs revisited. The reporter visits Super Duper Weenie, Rawley's and Swanky Franks. He talks to Gary Zemola of SDW and mentions Jimmy's of Savin Rock. Gary laments the people that come in and try to tell him how to run his business. Suggesting poultry franks, veggie franks, and even all beef franks. Gary's attitude is that only a beef and pork dog is a true hot dog. I personally disagree. The beef and pork German style frank may be the more traditional hot dog, but the kosher style all beef dog sure has it's place. I like both types. Depends on what I'm in the mood for.

Which leads me to ask longdog and our Connecticut friends about some of their dogs. I've been to Swanky Franks twice and know that they use a Hummel brand dog. I've always been under the impression that they use the all beef Hummels. Is this so? And what about the Glenwood? They too use Hummels, but which type? I had heard of Jimmy's and knew that they switched from Roesslers a long time ago to Hummels. I didn't know that they used the beef/pork blend until reading the article, but this would make sense since they would more likely switch to a similar style dog than one that is drastically different. I've had the Hummels all beef dog at home and it is one of my favorite all beef dogs. I only had their beef/pork dog once when I bought a few different dogs loose at a supermarket deli counter in Storrs or Mansfield. This dog didn't taste good, but I think it may have been too old. Probably was since Hummels has a good reputation. The dog I had I didn't even finish which is unheard of for me.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/12 21:24:09
I really enjoyed the posts regarding the history of Sabrett's.

I'm back from by NJ trip and was able to stop at several hot dog joints in NJ, MA & CT. Unfortunately, I did not get to try a NJ Texas weiner due to time constraints. I also missed Callahan's which I found was very close by (Lodi?) and will try that on my next trip (I thought it was in or near Fort Lee). I want to go to Syd's as well.

My order of preference for taste were (favorites first) Rosco's in Hartford, Elvis' Dogs, Lunenberg, MA, Rutt's Hut, Clifton, NJ and Blackie's in Cheshire, Ct. My cost for the hot dogs, highest to lowest, was coincidentally in the same order.

What made the difference is that I personally prefer both the dogs and rolls grilled in butter. The first 2 places did just that. Rosco's used a Thumann's dog and mustard. What a treat!

Long Dog-You were right about Rosco's!

You were right about the Thumann's. Great dogs! I brought back both the Schickhaus grilling franks and Thumann's blue & white (5 lb) packs both of which will grill up nicely for our block party in a few weeks. I also brought back some Sabretts & Nathans with casings which they dont sell up here along with some Nathan's & Thumann's mustard. I'll cook up the Schickhaus' over the weekend and let you know.

As a side note, I had the occasion to also go to Flo's in Cape Neddick, ME. The house special had some (sweet) mayo and some home made hot relish which was very tasty. We also had a good time talking with Flo while waiting for our food. It's quite a nostalgic place and not a bad place to stop if you're not in a hurry and dont mind waiting a bit.


John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/13 19:42:21

I enjoyed reading about your trip. Too bad you couldn't get to Syd's. Well, I guess the cat is out of the bag as far as the Rosco's dog goes. Ron the owner usually tells people who ask that his dogs come from Jersey without revealing the brand. I suggested that he give Thumann's a try when he was in the planning stage. He did, and it beat out several other dogs he was considering using including Hummels, Sabrett, Miller's, Grote & Weigel, and Hofmann's. From what I understand, he has exclusive distribution rights to Thumann's in his area. This is a great dog, and it tastes better cooked on a griddle than any other way. I'm not crazy about butter, so I spray my griddle with Pam and then cook the dogs slowly. They are widely available in my area.

The funny thing is that hardly any places use this dog. The Thumann's dog for deep frying is used by Rutt's Hut and a lot of places in North Jersey. Also a great dog, but different than the griller. There was one place in Hackensack that used the griller, but when I went, it was undercooked. The Little League field near my home used this dog until last year (when they switched to Thumann's all beef dog) and prepared them on a griddle. A 6 to a lb dog that they sold for only $1.50. People used to stop by just to buy a dog. But they got tired of grilling them and switched to Thumann's beef dog that they cook in water. So, with the lack of places that use this dog, I just buy my own and have them at home. Rosco's also has a bigger version (4 to a lb) of this dog. Plus his homemade condiments. Can't wait to go there.

Do you know what kind of dog Elvis Dog's used? And how they were prepared?

I went to Flo's a few years back when I was vacationing in Maine. I don't like onions, so I didn't try the special onion relish. I had the dogs with just mustard and found them ordinary. They use Schultz dogs which are made nearby. A beef/pork dog, but it was steamed. This type of dog would be much better grilled in my opinion.

So where are the Connecticut people? Still wondering about which Hummel dogs are used at the Glenwood and Swanky's. All beef, or beef and pork? Swanky's tasted like all beef. Haven't been to the Glenwood yet, but boy do they look good in the picture.
Junior Burger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/13 21:51:27

Rosco's was a great place and I think they use that horseradish mustard as well. I will definitely stop there again if I find myself hungry in the Hartford area. The help was very pleasant and the restaurant was clean and neat.

I liked all the dogs I tried but do prefer the griddled dogs to the deep fried ones. All the places I stopped at had prompt friendly service except Flo's which was a bit of a wait probably due to the steaming process. They were friendly enough, though.

I'm going to ask around and see if they can distribute Thumann's dogs up here. Also, I noted that the Schickhaus griddle franks label said they were made by Schickhaus & Van Campen (sp) for Conagra. I was under the impression G&W made them.

One real shocker was that the Rochelle Park Shop Rite store sold the 5 lb Thumann's blue & white pack for $14.95 and the Fair Lawn store sold the same ones for $19.95. That's a $5 difference for stores 1 town apart.

I also saw the store carried Bear Brook brand of dogs (I may have got the name wrong). Having not seen their name that I can remember, I didnt pick up a pack. Have you tried that brand and, if so, how are they?

I think Elvis' grilled their dogs and rolls in butter (at least it tasted like it). They use skinless Old Neighborhood brand dogs which, in my opinion, are very mild unless toppings are used. It looked like they cooked the dogs on the grill ahead of time had a pan on the grill which held the dogs. Then they heated them up on the grill but I dont know if it was to warm them up or to complete cooking. They were tender and juicy so I presume they were slow cooked. Flo's uses the Old Neighborhood brand as well but with natural casings. However, they didn't appear to have too much snap-probably due to the steaming process they use.

The onion's on Flo's dogs tasted more like a relish to me than onions. In addition, the amount of relish they put on the dog was quite small as was the amount of sewwt mayo and the sprinkle of celery salt. Personally, I would have preferred more. It is sweet and quite tasty with just a slight bit of heat. They sell 8 oz jars of it for $7.95 but I didnt buy one. One of them thought it would be good on a pork roast if put on during the last 15 minutes or so during cooking. They are probably right. So-I recommend you try the "house special" the next time you head up that way if you dare. <g>

I also wanted to try the Hummel's dogs in Ct but left NJ late and had to beat the traffic north. I'll make it a point to stop next time.

Finally, can you tell me if G&W sells their dogs by another name in NH, MASS & ME? I can't find their brand up in this area. I thought I read somewhere that Deutschmacher was made by them but I'm not sure. I've heard a lot of good things about G&W dogs and want to give them a try as well.

As for Syd's, I'll get there on my next NJ trip which should be in a month or two. I'll be sure to bring my cooler again too since I know where all the supermarkets are now <g>. I'll let you know how I like the others I bought when I try them.

Thanks & regards,

John Fox
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/15 08:54:27

I am positive that Schickhaus franks are made by Grote&Weigel. I don't know what the deal is with ConAgra, but I suspect that it has to do with distribution. The Schickhaus name is also used on coldcuts, Schickhaus bologna being very popular in my area. I've spoken with someone from Grote&Weigel recently who confirmed that they make Schickhaus franks. They had been making them up until about 1990 when they lost the contract to another company (Russer, I believe). They started making them again a couple of years ago. The manager of the meat dept. in a local Shop Rite told me about 3 weeks ago that the Schickhaus franks that they sell come in boxes labeled Grote&Weigel.

You mentioned a Shop Rite in Rochelle Park carrying a brand called Bear Brook. What you are referring to is Black Bear. Black Bear is the brand name for a line of products (meats, cheeses, salads, etc.) that are exclusive to Shop Rite. A few years ago I saw their all beef franks for $1.99 per pound. I thought that they were some off the wall cheap brand. That price is a sale price however. After hearing a few radio commercials, I went out and bought a pack. They were surprisingly good. I did some investigating and found out that these franks are supplied to Shop Rite under a private label arrangement. The franks, as well as the entire Black Bear product line is made in Philadelphia by Dietz and Watson. In fact, someone from the company told me that Dietz and Watson New York style beef franks are the exact same dog as the Black Bear beef frank.

This dog was one of my favorite beef hot dogs a few years back. About a year or so ago I stopped buying them. I don't know if they changed their recipe, or if my taste changed. A food critic that I know says that he liked them better than any beef frank, but that he too doesn't like them anymore and suspects that they may have tweaked the recipe. I see in the Shop Rite circular that they are on sale this weekend; $1.99 rather than the usual $4.99. Maybe I'll buy a pack since I haven't had them in a long time.

The Stewart's Root Beer on rt 22 in Clinton serves a footlong Dietz and Watson all beef dog that I remember as being pretty good.

Grote& Weigel may very well sell their hot dogs under a different name in certain places. I seem to recall someone mentioning that they contacted the company and were told that they were called Old Style, Old World, or something similar. I would suggest that you contact the company. I don't believe that they make the Deutschmacher brand which I think comes from Rhode Island, Mass. or Maine. But I may be wrong.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: New Jersey Hot Dogs 2004/08/16 20:22:36
John, I'm not really going to pretend that I know anything about hot dogs, except how I like them, but after following this thread, I found myself in front of the hot dog case at one of the smaller chain markets here in Baltimore. The most intriguing package I noticed was a natural casing all beef 8 to a pound dog from Boars Head. The package was not nice and symetrical, just looked like they took 7 dogs (weight .81#) in a fist and shrink wrapped them. Now you may have mentioned this one eons ago, but I thought I'd ask if you are familiar with this item.

I'm still in for September 4th. It looks like it will be an intimate group.
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