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good hot dogs around maplewood new jersey

I just moved from Chicago to Maplewood,NJ.Can a good Chicago style hot dog be found anywhere?

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  1. If Linden is not too far for you, try J's Beef.

    Here's their website...


    1 Reply
    1. J's Beef is the only place in the tri state area where you can get a truly authentic Chicago Hot Dog. I would also suggest that you try Syd's on Morris Ave. in Springfield for the best regular hot dog.

      1. As hotdoglover tells it, Syds is the last of the big three in M'wood area. They used to be in the Millburn Mall (Vauxhall) along side one of the other Big 3, Tabatchnicks. The last and I think the best of the Big 3 was Don's on South Orange Ave, but they closed years ago.

        Has anyone tried Syd's new location?

        How long has J's been there? I grew up in Elizabeth on the Roselle/Linden borders and do not remember.

        1. jfood,

          I've been to Syd's new location once. They are sharing Tony's Place on Morris Ave. Called Syd's at Tony's Place, or Tony's Place Featuring Syd's, the place is set up similar to Syd's. Long and very narrow. Same great dogs. When I went a few weeks ago, the only Syd's items on the menu were hamburgers and hot dogs. I was disapointed with Tony's fries. Frozen rather than handcut like Syd's. I've since heard that Syd's fries are available along with their steak sandwiches, kookamungas, and a few other items.

          J's opened earlier this year. Around April or May. Right near the Linden/Rahway border. I believe the location was a pizzeria before it was J's.

          Unfortunately, I've never been to Don's, but I know it was very popular. They used a Best Provision dog (like Syd's) but theirs was a thick quarter pounder that was prepared on a griddle. Amazing Hot Dog in Verona uses this same dog, but they deep fry it. Syd's uses a longer, thinner 5 to a lb dog. You can get it boiled or grilled. Grilled is actually boiled first, then charbroiled. Tabatchnick's used a monster sized 1/3 lb dog from Empire National. It was a kosher dog with a collagen casing that was prepared on a griddle. Good, but I preferred Syd's.

          1. Id like to big up Syds as well! I didnt realize they moved, I was there about 3 or 4 months ago, unless im confused.
            I have great childhood memories of eating footlong dogs, and spinning on their barstools.
            Shame about Tzbatniks.
            If dons is still in business, which im not sure about, they served a dog called the "pearl dog" I know this because my parents also serve it at their restaraunt, and my dad is addicted to them. Personally i like a thinner snappier dog, like Syds.

              1. Don's is no longer in business, but their dogs are still sold at Best Provisions. In fact, they have Don's and Syd's posted on a blackboard for walk in customers. I don't know what the "pearl dog" was. There is a company in Boston that makes Pearl brand hot dogs; perhaps Don's used these for awhile when they had different owners?

                Another place that I remember hearing about which served a great hot dog was the Old Homestead on Stuyvesant Ave. in Irvington just past the Union border. According to the plant manager at Best Provisions, the Old Homestead used the same dog that Don's did, prepared it the same way (on a griddle) but served it in a Portuguese roll with mustard and a delicious homemade sauerkraut. Even though he can get all of the dogs he wants, this guy used to go to the Homestead and buy one of these dogs whenever he got the urge. Although he's never been to Syd's, I believe he has been to Don's and Tabatchnick's. He preferred the Old Homestead.

                4 Replies
                1. re: hotdoglover

                  Dons did go through several owners,so they probably switched from pearl dogs (of boston as you said)

                  1. re: gastrognome

                    Nope. I went through the several owners along with Don. They never lasted very long. The one thing each of them were smart enough to keep were the dogs and burgers. They were Best's from at least 1980 through 1995 as I ate them every week.

                    1. re: jfood

                      is it possible that they had Pearl dogs for sale in the little shop /deli , but never served them in the restaraunt?
                      Ill have to reconfirm with dad if my story is accurate.

                      1. re: gastrognome

                        Hmmm. Come to think of it they might have sold two type of dogs in the deli. I was so in love with the Biggies, I never thought to buy the Skinnies. It is not good to do this right before dinner when DW out to the movies with her girlfriends and the kids are at the Library.

                2. gastrognome,

                  Where is your parent's restaurant? I've never tried a Pearl dog, but would love to. In your opinion, how does it compare to Best?

                  1. My parents restaraunt is on Little Cranberry Island, Maine. Near to Bar Harbor. Its located on a dock, set amongst a fleet of lobster boats.

                    The Pearl Dog is big! its like a 1/4 pound all beef job, its got a real beefy flavour. I like them split open and grilled with bacon and cheese. But overall I prefer smaller dogs with more of a snap.
                    There is a place in Bar Harbor that specializes in Hot dogs and has like 50 varietys, when my pops goes there he just orders a pearl dog cooked well done(burnt), like he does every single day at his restaraunt.
                    Have you tried maine's bright red hot dogs? They are a little scary at first, but the red somehow is just to denote it has a natural casing

                    1. Since you mentioned Syd's, I thought maybe your parents restaurant was in Jersey. I have had Jordan's from Maine. I don't remember what they tasted like, but I do remember the color. It has nothing to do with flavor; it's just a red dye that has been added for color. There are other dogs with the bright red coloring. One that I had recently was Glazier from New York.

                      1. Jessarah,

                        If NYC isn't too far (and as an engineer for NJ Transit I would be remiss if I didn't get in a plug for our convenient, efficient MidTown Direct service from Maplewood to Penn Station!) the Shake Shack has Chicago style dogs on their menu.

                        I never had a Chicago dog in Chicago, so I have no idea on the authenticity, but I remember what SS serves had a whole bunch of veggies, sport peppers, and (I think) celery salt.

                        FYI Shake Shack is an easy to find kiosk in a small park. There is only outdoor seating. The line on a nice day at peak times can be ridiculously long.

                        A search on Chowhound of Shake Shack will turn up plenty of threads, lots of passion either way on this place, some hype, some indifference too. They have a website of their own, www.shakeshack.com.

                        Good luck.

                        PS Maybe you can help me out... when the train stops in Maplewood, I sometimes smell smoke. Is there a BBQ joint by the station? Or a wood burning pizzaria? Or- dare I dream?- a butcher who smokes his own meats?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: The Engineer

                          Im pretty sure there is a wood fired pizza joint by the station

                          1. re: The Engineer

                            The smell from Maplewood train station no doubt is the wood burning oven at Arturo's pizza, just down the street (maplewood ave., corner of Baker street). Best pizza by far in the area. Makes killer calzones (big enough for two or more to share) and he is starting to make nice pasta dishes as well.

                          2. I've been to both Shake Shack and J's Beef. J's Beef is far better and far more authentic. Most Chicago dogs don't have lettuce and cucumbers on them like Shake Shack. At J's,the rolls, dogs, relish, sports peppers, and pickles are all imported from Chicago. I've heard that Shake Shack doesn't always use Vienna Beef either. The product at J's is always hot, fresh, and tasty. Last time at the Shack, the dogs were almost cold.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hotdoglover

                              I defer to hotdoglover on all matters hotdog! Thanks for the details on why J's is better...

                            2. J's Beef, eh? Do they happen to make a Chicago-style Italian Beef sandwich? If so, I will without hesitation find my way there from Brooklyn to try it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: PAL

                                They do make a Chicago style Italian Beef sandwich (wet or dry) and it's pretty damn good. Everything I've ever tried from J's is been very good. It's worth checking out.

                              2. I second what aladdnzane said. Everything is good. I've had the Italian Beef and enjoyed it. But it is very peppery. First time for me, and I've never had one anywhere else, so I don't know how it would compare to others, but I've heard from people who are from Chicago that it is authentic. J's also has barbecue, which is very good. I had a brisket sandwich that I enjoyed more than the one from Front Street Smokehouse in Elizabeth.

                                1. I finally made it to J's Beef. It was great! A true Chicago style hot dog. The owner told me that the hot dogs (Vienna)and neon relish are imported from Chicago. The buns were fresh and the dogs had a nice bite to them. I highly recommend this place. Next time I'll try the italian beef.Thanks for the suggestion.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jessarah

                                    Glad you liked it! I was impressed with the food, too!

                                  2. do they have meatsauce for them dogs or dothey use chili?