RE: Rutt's Hut
Never been to the River View. I believe it is a place serving Texas Weiners. When I'm up that way, I like to go the Hot Grill. Great chili.
Also have not had a Paley dog. Is there a link to this article by Ed Levine? I can tell you with absolute certainty that ALL Sabrett beef franks are made to the same special garlicky formula. I've spoken about this at length in other forums, but let me attempt to go over it again. Bear with me, this may be long.
A couple of years ago, I went to Manhatten to sample hot dogs. Papaya King, Gray's, Katz's, and F&B. While at Papaya King, I bought some of their dogs to take home. $37.50 for 5 lbs. The manager told me that they are made for them by Marathon Enterprises (Sabrett) under a private label agreement. With a secret unique recipe for only Papaya King. A friendly employee at Katz's also told me that Sabrett made their franks. Katz's tries to say that their dogs are made at the store, but this is not true.
I assumed that each place had a special dog made just for them. Papaya King's website even insinuates this. Anyway, I called a Sabrett distributor in an attempt to purchase some of the dogs that they make for Papaya King for cheaper. He told me that he was pretty sure that all these places use the basic Sabrett dog. I didn't believe this, so I called another distributor. This guy told me the same thing, and was insulted that I doubted him. He said he was in the business for years and knew that Sabrett made one recipe for beef dogs and one for pork and beef. At this point, I didn't know what to believe. Then I called the person in charge of private label at Sabrett. I told him that I wanted to purchase a quantity of franks similar to what they sold to Papaya King. He must of assumed that I was going to be opening my own place, but by quantity, I meant 5 lbs; the minimum order sold by a distributor. He told me that I could have the same frank that is sold to Papaya King.
He went on to explain that indeed they only make franks according to 2 recipes. An all beef frank and a beef and pork frank. There are different sizes, and skinless or casing dogs, but only 2 recipes. It would be very complicated, he explained, to have a different recipe for each client. Especially those that do a lot of volume. He explained that a lot of the mystique surrounding places like Papaya King and Katz's is due to marketing hype. Papaya King and Gray's Papaya use the EXACT same 10 to a lb Sabrett beef dog. The id or case numbers on the boxes are the same. I even have them written down somewhere. Katz's are the same Sabrett dog, but slightly larger, about 8 to a lb rather than 10. Any differences in the taste of these dogs are imagined or due to how they are cooked at the different places, or how they are handled, etc.
The beef and pork dog produced by Sabrett is the one used at the Windmill, Callahan's, and the Hot Grill. Some time later, I came in contact with someone whose father delivered franks to Papaya King, Gray's, Katz's, and others. He confirmed what I just said. I was contacted by someone about the possibility of going on a news show and mentioning this. I agreed to do it because I believe it is true and am not afraid of being sued. However the station decided not to do the story. But that is their nasty little secret. Once in awhile you can get someone who works at one of these places to admit that they use Sabrett. People I know have even seen the boxes. I'm sure what Papaya King puts on their site is legally protected double talk. When they say that you can't get a Papaya King dog anywhere else but Papaya King, they aren't saying it isn't Sabrett, only implying that. You can't get a Papaya King dog anywhere else because no one is allowed to call their product Papaya King. And when they say that they have a special spice blend and a casing that comes from Germany, they are correct. Sabrett's casing comes from Germany.
That's not to say that some hot dog manufacturers don't make special dogs for certain places. They do. I know of some. But Sabrett has only 2 recipes. One for beef and one for their beef/pork blend. I know this from impeccable sources.
So, for $17.50, you can go to A Sabrett distributor and get 5 lbs of 10/lb natural casing dogs. And if you have a cheap griddle at home, you can reproduce a Papaya King or Gray's hot dog. Or go into a supermarket where they have the slightly bigger dogs, approximately 6 in a package of .75 lbs which comes out to 8 to a lb. Near me a package of 6 is $3.50 to $3.75. for what is used at Katz's deli. There, they charge $7.99 a lb. All hype, marketing, and mystique. I was fooled too, until I found out.