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What's the skinny on Walter's Hot Dogs?

c
Chuck Jul 4, 2003 12:59 PM

Just saw a FoodTV show on this place - Supposed to be famous. Especially made for them. From the looks of the hot dog, it seemed to be of the skinless variety. Seemed like they place it the griddle and eventually split it down the middle to crisp it up on all sides?

Any Hounds with information on this place?

  1. t
    The Rogue Jul 4, 2003 04:26 PM

    The dog is a very bland dog fried on both sides on a griddle in oil. Well done is the way to go. Only fixin's are mustard, ketchup, or their mustard relish which is mustard with some relish mixed in. They are ok but nothing spectacular. The sweet potato puffs are interesting the first time. Yhey make very good shakes and malts, especially peach. Most of the time there are long lines. It's more of an institution than really good dogs. Go ahead and try the place, then report back what you think.

    5 Replies
    1. re: The Rogue
      j
      john farago Jul 4, 2003 05:09 PM

      i agree; it's not about the hot dogs or the food (utterly mediocre and the mustard relish is just bad in my book tho others love it); it's about the institution and milieu, both of which are sort of special; milk shakes are pretty good as i recall (extra thick, black and white, malted is the proper set of options)

      there's something great about the fact that a ritzy burb like mamaroneck can spawn a genuinely idiosyncratic joint like this, and that aging boomers can keep crawling back to it for some vestigal memories of high school romance a la Grease when their reality had actually been more Bye Bye Birdie

      it's cool; the food's an also-ran

      1. re: john farago
        RickTheClamBellyFan Aug 18, 2009 08:37 AM

        Sorry....after hearing you guys talk about Walter's I figured it had to at least be a normal, decent dog even if it wasn't the "institution" it was being cracked up to be. Sorry again. What a waste of gas...and gas. Walter's is utterly underwhelming on every level, though I didn't have a shake. The curly fries and regular fries are just fries...nothing at all special. The hot dog is a total joke. A double, single or a puppy dog, which is half a friggin' hot dog. Gimme a break. Anything you want on these nearly tasteless, flat, split open drab tubes as long as it's mustard or ketchup. Wow...what a signature! The splitting open of the dog just lets whatever juices there were in these puppies at one time flow out to the cosmos. It's as bad as when a grill jockey takes a perfectly good hamburger that is charring away and leans on the spatula 10 times, squeezing all the juice out of it. The wait for this absolute joke of a hot dog can be interminable. Here's the flat truth: EVERY hot dog place I've ever been to is Walter's superior. From the fancy "Umbrella Room" on every corner in Manhattan to the best Katz's has to offer. But forget that. I can take a kosher hot dog or a Nathan's out of the freezer, wrap it in a paper towel and nuke it for 1:38, which is where I like it on my lousy nuke, and it will be so FAR better than what I had at Walter's it's not funny...oh, and I have stuff to put ON it if I want to. Sheesh...I've never seen branding without substance in greater display in my life. The skinny is that Walter's finds itself in a landmark building--a pagoda-shaped, copper clad structure that looks as if it belongs in the Forbidden City or at the Citadel in Hue, Vietnam. The building is the star. The food and service should be in the Forbidden City or at least just forbidden.

        1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
          h
          hotdoglover Aug 21, 2009 06:38 AM

          Rick,

          Well said and very funny. Two other places that people rave about that are even more overrated than Walter's are Hot Dog Johnny's in N.J. and Flo's in Maine. Believe it or not Walter's is much better than these two. Both very bland. Flo's is a steamed pork based dog with practically no flavor on a steamed New England bun. This type of bun is ok (I prefer a regular hot dog roll) if toasted, but steamed it tastes like white bread. They have a weird (but popular) sauce they put on the dogs that contains mayonaise (yuck) and onions. The dogs at the 7-11 are better than Flo's.

      2. re: The Rogue
        c
        Chuck Jul 4, 2003 08:46 PM

        Thanks Rogue - Do you think its worth a 1200 mile trip? I'm a transplanted NY'er. Just wondered because I love hot dogs as much as I love "Q" and the place peaked my interest.

        In Florida, I have to fend for myself - Nathan's natural casing dogs and Sabrette brown mustard - Fortunately I can get both products at our local supermarkets.

        1. re: Chuck
          t
          The Rogue Jul 5, 2003 04:20 AM

          NO... Unless a publisher is covering the cost.

      3. j
        John Fox Jul 4, 2003 07:51 PM

        Hi Chuck! I agree with John and the Rogue on this one. Funny, most people rave about Walter's. I was just on another forum and everyone spoke well of Walter's. I went last fall. The dogs are specially made for Walter's by Boar's Head, but they are a blend of 1/3 beef, 1/3 pork, and 1/3 veal. Very bland. Good mustard though. The way to have them is well done. A decent snack, but the dogs themselves are very ordinary. By the way, pick up (or read online) Sunday's New York Times (Jersey section). There will be an article on some nut from N.J. and his passion for hot dogs. Word has it that Chowhound may be mentioned.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John Fox
          c
          Chuck Jul 4, 2003 08:42 PM

          John - that's great news and you deserve it - There is nobody who knows more about dogs that you! Boy, I had some battle on the Chicago website a few weeks ago. Those Chitown Hounds so sooooo sensitive and trying to defend that salad dog gets them very, very angry. I baited them and boy they let me have it!

          I called out for you, but alas you were no place to be found. Perhaps you were on the set of some new movie about hot dogs?

          You know, just looking at Walter's dog on FoodTV...it sure didn't look like a Nathan's natural casing dog or anything made by Marathon. Doesn't mean its not good, but it looked very different. I did not read the other post yet.

          But, veal, pork and beef is a nice combination. Very mild indeed, but with a great brown mustard and a good roll, I'm sure its good. You know in France, they use a real crusty french roll with their hot dogs and their famous mustard - they are great.

          There is a pork store in Ridgefield, NJ called Kosars and that's what they use to make - Beef and pork and veal. The place was incredible - they made everything from scratch. I have no idea if it is still there - you could eat of their floor. A true German pork store. their hot dogs tasted very much like bologna.

          Congrats. I am looking forward to reading the article.

          1. re: John Fox
            t
            The Rogue Jul 5, 2003 04:22 AM

            Cool Beans... couldn't have happened to a hotter dog... lookin' forward to the read.
            Jonathan

          2. a
            Ang Jul 29, 2003 03:18 PM

            My husband took me to Walter's raving about it. We waited on a much too long line and finally when we received our hotdogs, it was nothing special. The dirty water dogs in Manhattan are better. Maybe it was the attitude of the individuals on line and the ones working on the griddle. But I wasn't impressed.

            1. w
              wincountrygirl Aug 18, 2009 09:04 AM

              Where is it?

              3 Replies
              1. re: wincountrygirl
                r
                roro1831 Aug 18, 2009 09:52 AM

                http://www.waltershotdogs.com/ Google is your friend.

                This thread is 6 years old by the way

                1. re: roro1831
                  j
                  Jon1856 Aug 18, 2009 10:36 AM

                  And Walter's is in many threads on CH:
                  http://search.chow.com/search?query=W...

                  1. re: roro1831
                    RickTheClamBellyFan Aug 31, 2009 01:39 PM

                    Yeah, I hear ya but so what? Hot dogs are still hot dogs and are still a hot topic on here. I figure someone will read it and respond. In fact...you did.

                2. b
                  BlueSoup Aug 18, 2009 01:22 PM

                  The only feeling a mention of Walter's elicits from me is that of how much I miss Cook's.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BlueSoup
                    r
                    rich51 Aug 18, 2009 04:32 PM

                    have to agree,i managed to photograph cooks before they tore it down, although it was converted long before. when i was young cooks was THE place. i even liked their mustard before any other and tried to find out where it was from.

                    1. re: BlueSoup
                      RickTheClamBellyFan Aug 20, 2009 10:07 AM

                      Oh, yeah! BlueSoup...I'm glad someone other than me remembers Cook's. SOOOOOO far superior to everything else of its ilk. Shame it's gone, 'eh?

                    2. baldwinwood Sep 1, 2009 04:54 AM

                      I grew up a 12 minute drive from Walters. 20 years ago, i never understood Walters, about 5 or 6 years ago, i went back. The line was still snaked down the street, waited 20 minutes for another weak bland dog. The best thing at Walters is the homemade mustard. Not worth your time.

                      1. Jeffsayyes Sep 1, 2009 10:47 PM

                        I disagree with all of you. I don't care if I'm the only one in 6 years that likes Walters, but I do! They were my first experience with split hot dogs and I cherish them for that. True, they aren't spiced up, but I don't want a kielbasa, I want a hot dog. If I am passing through, I would definitely check them out. and get their special mustard!

                        1. b
                          biga290 Sep 2, 2009 06:05 AM

                          i live nearby and go a couple ot times a year. they may be relatively bland skinless dogs but when you take them to your car in view of the pagoda and eat them immediately right out of the sack (very hot) the total experience is very satisfying.

                          1. d
                            dhammer53 Sep 19, 2009 04:28 PM

                            If Walters sold Hebrew Nationals split, then they'd have the perfect hotdog. Until then, eaters at Walters are there for 'old times sake'. It's a pass.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dhammer53
                              c
                              chloe4ever Sep 19, 2009 04:42 PM

                              Ummm....I really strongly dislike when a person speaks for every single person who visits a restaurant......and talks like they know why they are there.......I do not not go to Walters for "old times sake" I go because I LOVE the hotdogs. They are unique and I have never tasted a dog like them. I love the way they are cooked and the way that there are light and do not leave you with that heavy "hot dog taste" that many other hot dogs leave you with. So before you assume that all the people that you see at Walters's are not really there for the food; try asking the people who you see eating there. I try not to make it a habit to eat at places because, "Gee, this building sure is old! And the food was good in the 70's! Cool!"

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