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Apr 24, 2001 10:01 AM

Texas Weiners

  • l

I am doing a study of the Texas Weiner phenomenon in New Jersey. Please post your thoughts on best/original/unusual/relatives of the Texas Weiner. Also anything on the unusual spelling would help.

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  1. Used to get great Texas weiners at the Crystal Restaurant on Smith st. in Perth Amboy . Later one of the people from the Crystal had the Park Sweet shop in Woodbridge with the same great weiners. Interestingly there is still a place on Smith st. called the Texas weiner luncheonette. Its been there since the stone age but I don't know if its any good anymore.

    1. Sounds interesting--an unknown phenomenon to this midwesterner. Can you give a little detail on what a Texas wiener is or the story behind it?

      3 Replies
      1. re: berkleybabe

        The Texas weiners in the Perth Amboy area were franks on a bun with mustard/onions and a dry meat sauce that looked like coffee grounds. I don't know what was in the sauce but it tasted great.

        1. re: Gene

          Kind of like a coney island -only dry?

          1. re: berkleybabe

            Same animal different name - but greasy tasty and terrific

      2. There was just such a study about maybe 3 years ago in the Star Ledger. I didn't save the article, but as I recall the Tx. weiner originated in Paterson, but exactly where is in dispute. Paterson still probably has more Tx Weiner places than anywhere else.
        My own personal favorite is the Texas Weiner II on Rt 22 in North Plainfield. --Ken

        9 Replies
        1. re: Ken K

          Is that the one that used to be the Tower of Pizza? complete with leaning tower

          1. re: Gene

            No it's on the corner of 22 and Washington Ave...

            1. re: Gene

              Tower of Pizza has been a Hibachi restaurant.

            2. re: Ken K

              Agreed - Texas Weiner II on Rt 22 in North Plainfield is great. Family owned and operated. They serve a great frank.

              Texas Weiner
              100 Watchung Ave, Plainfield, NJ 07060

              1. re: picc818

                Here is a recent picture of the one in Watchung Avenue in Plainfield.

                1. re: spend1us

                  Nice!, had my first one with everything in the late 50s. I think they were 20 cents.

              2. re: Ken K

                In my own opinion the ones on Rt22 do not compare with the ones in Plainfield or J&G's in Dunellen.

                1. re: spend1us

                  i prefer the one in Dunellen... but also go to the one 22 here and there when i come up to NJ

                2. re: Ken K

                  Just a quick late note...a Google search revealed 3 Tx Weiner spots in Plainfield now, all within blocks of each other.

                3. Libby's in Paterson, Hot Grill in Clifton, Johnny and Hanges in Fair Lawn (formerly of Paterson). My all-time favorite was Falls View in Paterson, which closed after someone was murdered in the parking lot. Someone bought the name, but when I tried the one in Pequannock a couple years ago, it wasn't very good. Haven't tried the one on 46 yet and probably won't.

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: craig

                    What nostalgia! Is Johnny & Hanges still there?

                    1. re: Donna

                      Johnny and Hanges has moved to Fair Lawn under new owners. Tastes the same, but the restaurant looks cleaner.

                    2. re: craig

                      You are absolutely right - Falls View in Paterson WAS the best. I spent a good amount of my teen-years there. They used to peel fresh potatoes for their fries and had the best Texas weiner sauce I've ever tasted. One of the former owners of the View opened a Falls View West in Vegas for a time. The one on Rt. 46 doesn't even come close to the original. And they don't yell out "two away two, frenchie one". They have computerized registers that print out the orders in the kitchen. Soooo disappointing. With the demise of the Rascal House on Rt. 46, which also served a respectible weiner, I now have to travel to Clifton to the Hot Grill (same owners as Rascal) for the next best thing. If you're into nostalgia, you've gotta read "Murder at the Falls" for a glimpse of the old place. To the best of my knowledge, though, it's all fiction. Long live the Jersey Texas weiner!!! (Which has no roots at all in Texas.)

                      1. re: raven

                        I am an old fan of Falls View, Hot Grill and Rascals so I really appreciated this post when I came across it. I've been searching for a recipe for Texas Weiners ala Falls View style for a while now but to no avail.

                        Have you ever tried to make your own?

                        Thank you,


                        1. re: Steve Dunst

                          There is a Rascal's in Wanaque. I don't know if it is related to Rascal House or not.

                      2. re: craig

                        Well Craig, you've mentioned all of my favorites in NJ. I've been in Florida over 30 years and you guys have my mouth watering for some good ole' (real) Texas Weiners! Many years ago I went to Jersey for a family wedding and carried home (on the plane) 2 containers of Falls View Texas Weiner Sauce. No such thing here in Florida, they only have what they call chili dogs-no comparison though.

                        1. re: craig

                          I probably go back further than you, and my father went back ever further yet. There was a railroad car diner on Ellison Street in Paterson that was owned by Jimmy the Greek, who it was said, invented the Texas Weiner. That was the first one I ever went to, because I lived on Lower Main Street, which was only 3 blocks away. I guess I was about 3 when my old man first took me there. My favorite grease pit, however, was Harry's on West Broadway in the Port Arthur building. Unfortunately, for this message board, Harry only did hamburgers, which he molded himself with the hairiest hands I've ever seen. As far as Texas weiner joints, there was Johnny and Hanges, Johnny and Norms in Hawthorne, Clixie's in Wyckoff, The 3 Vets on rte. 23 in Wayne, and some joint of Crooks Ave. on the border of Clifton and Paterson. And lest I forget, Fat Mike's in Hasbrouck Heights. As far as the dog itself, my father was partial to Hague's white dogs that didn't have any rat meat mixed in, like Sabrett's, or according to the delivery guy for Sabrett who claimed to have heard the rats squealing when the meat was being cut into dogs at the factory. Sabrett also put too much bread in their dogs. Incidentally, we were in the business briefly, just before my Dad passed away in 1967, so I do know a little bit about the business end of the texas weiner industry. The Hot Grill wasn't on our radar until much later when I was dating my wife, who grew up in Clifton. but I was very familiar with Libby's back in the late 40s when the line stretched past Pennington Park to buy dogs. Falls View couldn't get arrested back then.

                          1. re: ryunkin

                            Ryunkin, very interesting thoughts. As someone who was born in Paterson and grew up in Totowa, I love to hear stories about that area from the past.

                            1. re: GuinnyfromJersey

                              Ever hear of a bar in that area called, The Widows? Just curious.

                            2. re: ryunkin

                              Fat Mike' dogs cooked in beer if not mistaken. I remember getting the BBQ Beef on a Bun there.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                I'm not quite sure of the beer, because I had given up eating hot dogs when i bought a business in Hasbrouck Heights and noticed his stand next to the high school football field. My mother-in-law, however, was from Jersey City and had apparently known him when he lived there. Incidentally, I almost went into a partnership with Fat Mike Jr. after his father died and the stand was torn down. Jr. had built a commercial building on rte 17 down the block from the stand and wanted me to move in with a card shop. I declined the offer since I considered that highways were better for food joints than greeting card shops.

                                1. re: ryunkin

                                  To ryunkin,

                                  It was refreshing to read your post about all the places in Paterson. All the places you mentioned, I can proudly say, I hit every one of them. I don't know about anywhere else in the country, but in my opinion, New Jersey has the best hot dogs. There's a few other places I remember. Right off Market Street was a tiny place called, "The Fat Man." He served some good food. Port Arthur Chinese Restaurant, Grady's Ribs, and so many more too numerous to mention. Here's another of my favorite places, Taylor's Mutton Pies on Union Avenue.

                              2. Is this not just a chili dog? That's what they're called in Texas and Oklahoma. I'd never heard of a "Texas Wiener".

                                I don't think it's close enough to call it a relative, but I'm wondering if the delicacy known as Frito Chili Pie is eaten outside of the TX/OK region.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                  Chimayo Joe, you can get a Frito Pie just south of Chimayo in Sante Fe. Very popular in New Mexico, but not in NJ or Maine either forthat matter.
                                  Anyone old enough to remember the Greek's chile dogs on Ferry Street in South River? The start of a long addiction...

                                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                                    My husband's family owned a "Texas Weinies" in New Jersey in the late 1940's early 1950's. Think this was the original, not sure