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good hot dogs in nj

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Hi everyone! I am the youngest chowhound in a long line of chowhounds.. I was just wondering if anyone knows of any really GOOD hot dog places in northern nj. I already frequent the Hot Grill and Rutts Hutt in Clifton, but I was wondering if there are any others that I am missing.. Please let me know... thanks!

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  1. word has it that in No. Jersey area, Hawthorne for example, try the Goffle Grill, on Goffle Road in Hawthorne or Johnny and Hanges(very famous)on Maple Ave., Fair Lawn(formerly of Paterson fame). Never forget Libby's on McBride Ave., Paterson, too, not to be missed. Thanks!!!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Kimmy

      Hank's Franks in Lodi on rt 46e is one of my favorites.

      1. re: David

        Syd's in Union makes the best dog in Jersey in my opinion. A big, all beef charbroiled dog. I've had most of those listed, and Syd's is the tastiest. Was named the best dog in the state by the Star Ledger in 98 when they went to the 12 most popular places. E-mail me for directions. I also like Jerry's in Elizabeth and Father & Son in Linden

        1. re: John Fox
          Elliot Popper

          The Hot Dog Grill on River Street in Hackensack is a relativly new place that makes a variety-steamed Sabretts, grilled and deep fried "ripper" Thuman's (or Best's)-of dogs with pretty good Texas sauce and excellent homemade fries. My only peeve with this place is they charge extra for every condiment.

          Amazingly , they also serve a southern breakfast with biscuits and grits.

          1. re: Elliot Popper

            The best hot dogs in NJ are at Max's in Long Branch. Foot long, crackly skin & sauerkraut & relish are self serve.

            1. re: Victoria

              I think the best dogs at the shore are to be found at The Windmill in Long Branch. Also, Max's is only open for the summer. See my post on the Midatlantic Board "Max's Hot Dogs v. Windmill" for details.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. re: John Fox

            hey john i have heard a lot of great things about you and your knowledge of hot dogs im reopening a hot dog place and need your help thanks

            1. re: jamshed

              Hey jamshed,
              were you able to get a hold of john somehow??

      2. Libby's Lunch in Paterson (near the falls) serves a great Texas Weiner, as does River View East in Elmwood Park and Johny & Hanges in Fairlawn.
        Further west, you can't beat Hot Dog Johnnie's in Buttzville on Route 46 (and make sure you try their buttermilk),

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hugh DeMann
          Frank De Marco

          O! And you have to include the MIDTOWN GRILL on Main St. in Clifton! And Pappy's Diner in Totowa with their very mild sauce.

        2. g
          George Feldan

          I have come across this request three months after it was posted and cannot believe that no one has mentioned Dickie Dee's on Bloomfield Avenue at Sixth steet in North Newark (the stretch between the Garden State Parkway and Branch Brook Park.) They are the torch bearers of a hundred year tradition in Newark of the "Italian Hotdog." The hotdog is deep fried in vegetable oil and served on a bun of Italian Bread with deep fried potatoes and deep fried peppers and onions. You can tell that this is a concoction that predates modern medical science and it is not advisable to have more than one a month; but it is unique and delicious. Why it has never been exported far from North Newark escapes me, although the other purveyors around the area (Jimmy Buff's) are just not as good and maybe that's the reason. My suggestion is to have a double (two franks on one roll) with extra veggies and mustard only. But however you have it you won't be sorry.

          6 Replies
          1. re: George Feldan

            Have you ever tried Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth? The best Italian Hot Dog in North Jersey, which also makes it the best in the universe. I've been to all of the places I know of that make this unique sandwich. Jimmy Buff's is the original going back to the 1920's. The original, but not the best. Too greasy. Everything sits in a stainless steel pit forever and is plucked out as needed. Dickie Dees is better, but Charlies Famous is the best. Bigger sandwich, more vegetables, thinner sliced potatoes, a unique mustard and the tastiest peppers. Tommy's in Elizabeth is a close second. If you like Dickie Dees, you'll love these 2 places

            1. re: John Fox

              An old thread I just stumbled on...but thanks for validating what I've always thought...Jimmy Buff's Italian Hot Dog is a grease laden, unapealling mess! I'm no fat-o-phobe, but rancid, limp, grease soaked potatoes hold no appeal for me.
              I don't understand the appeal of this place, but glad for them they have a fanbase.

              1. re: The Professor

                I believe HDL's opinion now of Jimmy Buff's, is not quite the same as as from NINE years ago......

                1. re: fourunder

                  LOL...you're right.
                  To each his own, of course...but I still think it would be hard to find a worse Italian Hot Dog. I'm glad they're successful, and that they're still hanging in there because they certainly do have a firecly loyal following.
                  But as Bob Dylan once said, "it ain't my cup of meat."

                  1. re: fourunder

                    When I went nine years ago, it was to the Scotch Plains location. This one is owned by the uncle of the guy who owns East Hanover and West Orange Jimmy Buffs. The sandwiches are dryer at these two. A few weeks ago I went back to Scotch Plains and the sandwich was much better then 9 years ago. It still has more oils than the other 2 locations, but they either cut down on the grease. Or my tastes have changed. Or both.

                    1. re: hotdoglover

                      I visited the Scotch Plains location this summer. I walked in to see the grill guy smoking a cigar inside the restaurant. The cigar smell was really rank in a place that serves food, and the vegetables were a greasy mess. I left without ordering.

            2. Texas Lunch....Watchung Ave. Plainfield NJ....order the Texas wiener with the works

              1. Try Jimmy Buff in West Orange.

                Does anyone have the recipe for Johnie and Hanges gravy/rou?

                1 Reply
                1. re: bill_clinton

                  they will just sell it to you and freeze it
                  it cannot be duplicated
                  regardless the texas weiner is a minor art form to their slaw dog
                  listen good and listen tight
                  go on a wed or sun nite
                  buy one dog get one free
                  slaw dog with sweet relish, mustard on the dog itself and then on top
                  get your fries slightly underdone anda boylans cherry or birch beer
                  this is truly heaven on earth
                  also go to the next strip mall and go to
                  Hot Bagels
                  lox and scallion cream cheese woth thin sliced red onions and sliced hot peppers is truly heaven on earth
                  great bialys
                  do not misssthis place

                2. Try Bubbas Dawg House in Lyndhurst. They offer all styles of Hot Dogs and the
                  will prepare them exactly how you want them (just ask). They also make freshcut french fries from scratch. Their grilled dog is my favorite.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: FreeWally

                    Papaya King in the Corrado's complex in Clifton/Paterson. Great dog, and it's GRILLED, the way I like it! $1.50 each, they've lowered the price to the same as in the city.

                    1. re: menton1

                      Yes, Papaya King has lowered their prices since the new owner took over. They have a "happy hour" starting at 4 or 4:30 and running to 6 where the dogs are 99 cents! Bubba's also offers a very good grilled dog. It is a 5 to a lb natural casing Best's dog prepared on a charcoal grill. The same dog that was served for years at Syd's.

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        I'm just a little suspicious of a place that cooks dogs all different ways. Isn't specialization in ONE way of cooking dogs the way to go, John? And besides, doesn't that mean a long wait for a grilled dog?

                        1. re: menton1

                          Just give Bubbas a try. There is nothing suspicious about anything they offer.
                          These people truley understand the art of preparing hot dogs. Just ask Hotdoglover I think he would agree.

                          1. re: menton1

                            I've posted about Bubba's (and Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover) being an exception. Places like the New England Hot Dog Company prepare many different dogs with a ton of different toppings. I don't know how everything can be fresh and prepared well. If you ask for a regular dog you get one off a roller grill. These things are for 7-11's, movie theatres, and gas stations.

                            It's only a few minutes for a grilled dog but well worth the wait.

                          2. re: hotdoglover

                            i have never been to syd's but best's in newark sells to the public
                            they sell two different dogs one of which they call syd's
                            they slive the meats are fri and sat
                            6.75 a pound for pastraimi and corned beef salami and bologna cheaper
                            about 3 50 a pound for the dogs
                            cheap and good but not great
                            good for the super bowl tho

                            1. re: foodismylife

                              Best's sells more than 2 different dogs. They have all different sizes and you can choose skinless or natural casing. They have 2 dogs that they have names for. The Syd's dog, which is a 5 to a lb natural casing dog, and the Don's dog. The Don's dog is a shorter, thicker 4 to a lb dog that was served at Don's in Livingston.

                              In my opinion these dogs are great, not good. My favorite beef dog, it is made from high quality bull meat and has an excellent blend of spices.

                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                Don's dogs are the standard for everyone else....never beaten, in jfood's opinion.

                          3. re: menton1

                            Another very good Grilled dog is from Boulevard Drinks located in Jersey City. They
                            have been around over 50 years. I am lucky enough to work just a block away and
                            their dog is alot like Papaya Kings.

                        2. I heard from another person that Bubba's does char-broiled, not grilled. I like the dogs cooked dry on a flat hot grill. Papaya King, Boulevard Drinks, that ilk.

                          I also miss Syds, they did some razz-matazz cooking trick with the dogs it was grilled but cooked another way first. (Like a bagel? ) Those were awesome. I know John remembers...

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: menton1

                            Syd's boiled their dogs first, then charbroiled. Boulevard Drinks and Papaya King use the same recipe Sabrett dog. I love both but go to Papaya King because parking is horrible at Boulevard Drinks.

                            1. re: hotdoglover

                              I wonder what happened to all the kitschy wall art at Syd's.

                            2. re: menton1

                              char-broiled meaning grilled over charcoal? or just grilled over gas.

                              1. re: tommy

                                "char-broiled" seems to be the all-encompassing word used to describe open flame grilling in a restaurant. But, you already knew this, right?

                                You're not nit-picking, are you? :)

                                1. re: menton1

                                  i really didn't. i've seen the 'char-broiler' at Bubba's, and it looks like a grill.

                                  so a regular weber gas grill is a char-broiler, as well as a weber kettle, right? assuming they are in a restaurant.

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    Syd's grilled their dogs (after boiling) on a gas grill. Bubba's and Jimmy Buff's grill theirs on a charcoal grill.

                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                      john, you've been back there and saw it with your own two eyes, so i'll take your word for it when you say that they (Bubba's) are loading that thing up with charcoal. but i'd still like to confirm that for myself.

                                      but i still question whether or not this makes one lick of difference for heating up an already cooked/smoked hot dog.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I don't know if it makes a big difference if you are comparing a charcoal to a gas grill. Bubba's uses charcoal, Syd's used gas. They tasted virtually the same although Syd's boiled theirs first.

                                        Overall the cooking method does make a difference. While hot dogs are already cooked (you can eat one cold out of the package), and the good ones like Best are smoked in a smokehouse rather than using lliquid smoke, there is a difference in taste and texture between a dog heated in water as compared to another in the same package being griddled, deep fried, or grilled on a gas or charcoal grill.

                                        1. re: hotdoglover

                                          The charcoal vs gas argument is alive and well, especially on FN and with Bobby Flay. (I think he's on the gas side). And that's in your backyard, anyway.

                                          But that discussion aside, seems to be a plain old logistics problem to maintain a hot grill continuously at a restaurant with charcoal. Lots of work, lots of soot, and... I dunno, seems that they should just use gas.

                                          I personally can't tell the difference betwen charcoal vs gas, but open flame dogs are a nice way to cook them, although my preferred method is on a flat steel grill.

                                          1. re: hotdoglover

                                            Hi John,
                                            Is there anyway I could get your e-mail address?

                                            1. re: topgun1056

                                              My e-mail adress is salempost1@aol.com. Feel free to e-mail me.

                                1. re: grampart

                                  wow...gonna have to pay these guys a visit!
                                  Looks like my kind of place.
                                  I have an old family recipe (also Hungarian) that strongly resembles the description of the sauce that's described...I'll have to check it out and see if theirs is similar.

                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                      hotdoglover... your review in the blog was very eloquent and has made me even hungrier to visit this place.
                                      Looks like a road trip cometh, and right soon...

                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        Thanks. I'm sure that you will enjoy Charlies Pool Room. I always consider everything about a place (except the dogs) to be secondary and not important. For me it's always been about the dog. It's taste, how it's prepared, the casing, if it's hot enough. All other things either add to or detract from the experience. Charlies would be the one place, or the exception to this. It would be worth visiting even if they had an average or mediocre hot dog. But they don't. Theirs is very good; excellent if like most people you like or can tolerate onions.

                                        By all means, go. And report back. They are closed Sundays and Mondays.

                                2. Nobody mentioned the Dilly Dog at Dilly's Corner (ok, so it's not IN NJ, but it's literally RIGHT over the bridge)

                                  or Maui Dog in North WIldwood?

                                  1. Mmmm, Lunch! Mrs. Rooney has been pushing Sabrett Dogs in the same location in Sea Bright since 1977!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: equal_Mark

                                      How are they cooked? I like my hot dogs grilled...

                                      1. re: menton1

                                        It;s a Sabrett dirty water dog Cart. She makes her own sauteed onions...

                                        1. re: equal_Mark

                                          Any grilled hot dog vendors in that area?

                                          1. re: menton1

                                            i'm sure there are, but when I want a snappy crusty dog I go to Windmill which griddles them.