HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
What's your latest food quest? Get great advice
TELL US

Best Italian Hot Dogs in NJ??

t
turfguy Apr 28, 2007 05:04 AM

I grew up eating Jimmy Buffs and was wondering if they are still made the same way. Also I remember a very special deep fryer they used. I have never seen one like it anywhere in my travels. Does anyone know who the supplier of that deep fryer might be or where one could be purchased ? Is it totally custom or can they be bought as I remember them?
Ahhhhhhh the grease!! lol

  1. h
    HillJ Apr 28, 2007 07:05 AM

    Kenilworth-small neighborhood place makes the *best* italian hot dogs wit or wit-out thick cut potoes/onions/fried peppers...oh man, what is the NAME of this joint!!

    5 Replies
    1. re: HillJ
      val ann c Apr 28, 2007 02:41 PM

      HillJ,
      I believe you are thinking of Charlies in Kenilworth.

      In northern Monmouth County, I like Jersey Joe's in Port Monmouth. And Ricci D's in Keyport.

      1. re: val ann c
        h
        HillJ Apr 28, 2007 02:57 PM

        good show, val ann c-Greasy Charlies is the Kenilworth hang of my youth!
        have yet to find one in this area that comes even close...

        1. re: val ann c
          h
          Herm Apr 29, 2007 06:42 AM

          I was going to post that sadly Ricci D's is no more. After reading a little lower someone else has already posted it. I tried to delete this but, I can only edit it. Sorry for wasting your time by posting this much about nothing - by the way Have a great day!

          1. re: val ann c
            b
            bigdaddy1 Apr 23, 2009 12:04 PM

            Try Hot Dog Bob's in Keyport.. You' le think your back in the old neighborhood up north.. the best italian hot dog in this area..The real deal..

            1. re: bigdaddy1
              dani0622 Apr 23, 2009 01:07 PM

              I just tried out Hot Dog Bob's a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty darn good.

        2. h
          hotdoglover Apr 28, 2007 06:21 PM

          Ahhh! A subject near and dear to my heart. And stomach. I love hot dogs and nothing beats an authentic north Jersey Italian Hot Dog. Turfguy, which Jimmy Buffs location did you eat at? Because the sandwiches are different depending on which location you visit. Currently there are 4 locations: Scotch Plains, Irvington, West Orange, and East Hanover. West Orange and East Hanover are owned by Jim Raccioppi who is the grandson of the founder of Jimmy Buffs. The other 2 locations are owned by Jim's uncle Mike, nephew of the founder. Mike is not in good health and is looking to sell the Scotch Plains and Irvington locations.

          The sandwiches at Scotch Plains and Irvington have more oils than the locations owned by Jim Racioppi. Many consider the sandwiches here to be too greasy while others actually prefer the extra grease. I prefer the Italian Hot Dogs made at the restaurants owned by Jim the grandson, especially East Hanover. The Italian Hot Dog made here is one of the 3 best in N.J. therefore the world. Pizza bread from a local bakery that is fresh, sturdy, chewy and delicious. Hot Dogs that are fried in soybean oil and topped with good peppers, onions (which I omit) and potatoes sliced thin rather than in chunks like Dickie Dees and the late Frank's Newark Style. You will not find a better Italian Hot Dog anywhere. This location also serves regular hot dogs. The footlong is the best hot dog I've ever had. It is a natural casing 5 to a lb Best's all beef dog. This same dog was served at Syd's and considered the finest dog in the state by many people. It is better here. Heated in the oil, it is then charbroiled on a real charcoal grill (Syd's used a gas grill) to produce a dog with just the right snap and a delicious taste. It's put on a toasted bun and topped with delicious deli mustard. You can also get chili here, which is unique. Meaty, sweet, and with a hint of green peppers, this is not a thin north Jersey Texas Weiner sauce, but a real chili described by some as bolognese style. They also serve a quarter pound Schickhaus dog similar to Max's. This dog is prepared on a griddle, but unlike Max's, it is finished off on the charcoal grill. Excellent.

          The fryer used at all Jimmy Buffs locations is a tilted stainless steel pan. I don't know who supplies it, but other places use it. PeeDeeVee in Bloomfield and Jersey Joe's in Port Monmouth are two others. It can be purchased. By the way, Ricci D's in Keyport closed for good a few weeks ago. They made one of the better Italian Hot Dogs.

          In addition to Jimmy Buffs East Hanover location, 2 other places that make a great Italian Hot Dog are Tommy's in Elizabeth and Attilio's Kitchen in Denville. Tommy's uses extra long, thin 8 to a lb dogs from Best's that are longer than the regular 8's used by others. Their potatoes are sliced very thin and so good they are sold by the cup. Attilio's Kitchen is actually one of the better Italian restaurants in the state. The owners are from Newark and grew up on Dickie Dees Italian Hot Dogs. Their version is better. Bigger dogs (8 to a lb while Dees uses tiny 12 to a lb dogs), good sturdy pizza bread that is similar to what Jimmy Buffs East Hanover uses, plenty of peppers, and tasty potatoes cut in chunks like Dees. Although I prefer them cut thinner like Buffs and Tommy's, these are good.

          I would consider Jimmy Buffs East Hanover, Tommy's, and Attilio's Kitchen the Holy Trinity of Italian Hot Dogs. Then there are others that are good, but a cut below these. Jersey Joes, World's First Italian Hot Dogs (the original Jimmy Buffs location in Newark), Dickie Dees, Joe's Pizzeria in Union, PeeDeeVee, and Mijo's in Colonia are some that come to mind. Concerning Charlies Famous in Kenilworth, they used to be one of the 2 or 3 best but have gone downhill drastically in recent years. And this is coming from someone whose daughter used to work there all throughout high school. The owner is looking to sell the place and is rarely there. Service has sufferred as well as the product. The bread is often frozen and not as good as it used to be. The potatoes are inconsistent and often come out almost black and overdone. They have switched brands of hot dogs at least twice. We (the Star Ledger Munchmobile) went last summer and waited an eternity to be served. What was once one of the better Italian Hot Dogs in Jersey is now one of the worst. I would stay away from Charlies and check out one of the other places named that are close to where you live.

          29 Replies
          1. re: hotdoglover
            h
            HillJ Apr 28, 2007 06:26 PM

            hotdoglover, that is the most comprehensive personal account of NJ hot dog dining I have ever read. Bravo!

            1. re: hotdoglover
              val ann c Apr 28, 2007 07:01 PM

              John, thanks for posting. I'm sorry to hear that Ricci D's closed.
              By the way, I believe Jim's Burger Haven on Rt 36 in Hazlet serve Best brand dogs. I don't think they make an Italian dog. I love to get their hot dog with just mustard and relish. I think they make a chili dog.

              1. re: hotdoglover
                t
                turfguy Apr 28, 2007 07:27 PM

                WOW HDL, thanks so much for such a great response. I use to eat as a kid at the Jimmy Buffs Newark location across from the Newark Resevoir. Then later I lived in Union and went to the Kenilworth location. They had opened it there first. Sounds like they sold it later to Charlies? I am thinking about trying to open a place here but it wont be easy to get the bread or the deep fryer. Thanks again

                1. re: turfguy
                  h
                  hotdoglover Apr 29, 2007 06:42 AM

                  Turfguy, I live in Union. Jimmy Buffs opened a location in Kenilworth in 1962. A few years later it was sold to Charlie Fiorenza. It became Charlies Famous as Jimmy Buffs has sole rights to the Jimmy Buffs name. Charlie later opened a place in Union right off rt 22 and named it Charlies Sons. The Union location was sold (but the name was kept) to one of the employees, and then later sold to a guy who turned it into a car lot. Charlies Famous in Kenilworth was sold to the father of the current owner and is still in business. The current owner is looking to sell it. You mentioned that you are thinking about opening a place here. Where is here? I know several places that sell pizza bread. I can probably find out where to get the tilted stainless steel pan. In fact, you really don't need the special pan. You can make an excellent Italian Hot Dog using a regular commercial deep fryer. That is what Charlies used (and still uses) when they made a great hot dog. Attilio's Kitchen fries everything in a deep fryer as well. So do other places that serve an Italian Hot Dog. Occasionally I make an Italian Hot Dog at home. I have a Waring Pro deep fryer. I get top quality pizza bread from a local bakery, Best's beef franks, peppers, and potatoes. I don't like onions so I don't use them. I use an instrument called a mandoline to slice the potatoes thin like I prefer. I fry the ingredients in stages in my deep fryer and the result is a custom made Italian Hot Dog that is even better than what I can buy. And much less expensive as well. I've also had good results using a cast iron skillet. I've gotten lazy so I don't make them at home too often, prefering to just run out and buy one, but you can make an excellent Italian Hot Dog at home. Or commercially without the use of the tilted stainless steel pan.

                  1. re: hotdoglover
                    t
                    turfguy Apr 29, 2007 05:22 PM

                    Thanks again for all the info HDL. I grew up in Union. I lived on Colonial Ave for all of my youth. As a side note I was best of friends with the Grandson of the owners of the Galloping Hill Inn. They also made great dogs and understand they still do.
                    I currently live in GA outside of Atlanta and think the population here would just llove the Italian Hot Dogs done the old fashioned way. Thats kinda why I wanted the slanted stainless steel pan deep fryer. I remembered watching the guys make them and putting the potatoes and onions on the side of the pan. It was like watching one of those Japanese chefs cooking at your table. Its part theater which is fun and gives it charasima. Now add a great tasting dog and you really have an experience. I would greatly appreciated if you could give me a lead to find those pans or deep fryers with them, I was also wondering if you had a number to contact the owner of Ricci D's? He might be willing to sell his now that he is out of business? Just a thought. Anyone that can help in my information search is guarenteed free dogs when passing thry Georgia for life!! :)) Thanks one and all. This is a great board with people that know whats good to eat!!

                    1. re: turfguy
                      h
                      hotdoglover Apr 30, 2007 02:56 AM

                      I only spoke to the owner of Ricci D's once and don't have a number to contact him. I will try to find out from Jimmy Buffs.

                      Jfood,
                      I think I heard somewhere that Kartzmann's closed a while ago.

                      1. re: hotdoglover
                        t
                        turfguy Apr 30, 2007 02:57 PM

                        I look forward for any help HDL. I did try to call Ricci D's but the number was disconnected and no other information :((. Its a shame cause I bet he would love to sell some of his kitchen equipment. I will keep checking the board here.
                        Thanks again,

                        1. re: turfguy
                          h
                          HillJ Apr 30, 2007 03:29 PM

                          Keyport has a Business Alliance -KBA. If you want to track down Ricci D's give the borough hall a call and ask for his present biz information.

                          1. re: HillJ
                            t
                            turfguy May 1, 2007 04:42 PM

                            I did try the KBA today to no avail. I also called the tax office several times but didnt get a live person :(( Hopefully HDL will come up with something from his connections. Thanks again all,
                            turf

                            1. re: turfguy
                              h
                              hotdoglover May 1, 2007 05:41 PM

                              Turfguy,

                              I e-mailed the owner of Jimmy Buffs and asked about the tilted steel pan. He said that it was custom made for him by a sheet metal guy. I believe I heard the same thing from the owner of Jersey Joes.

                              1. re: hotdoglover
                                t
                                turfguy May 2, 2007 02:48 PM

                                Thank you HDL. That is exactly what I was thinking of having done too. Any ideas on the size of the deep fryers? Width, depth, ? My memory seems to say they are pretty wide, but honestly cant remember too well. Guess old age setting in on my mind. lol I have maybe located a few bread sources. Still checking it all out. Will let you know how I make out.
                                Thanks again,
                                turf

                                1. re: turfguy
                                  h
                                  hotdoglover May 2, 2007 04:23 PM

                                  Good luck! Keep me updated

                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                    t
                                    turfguy May 3, 2007 12:43 PM

                                    HDL and others, what is your opinion of making the Italian Hot Dogs and serving them on a sub roll, piece of Italian bread, etc as opposed to the traditional Pizza Bread???
                                    Just wondering, thanks

                                    1. re: turfguy
                                      jfood May 3, 2007 01:34 PM

                                      There are good sub rolls and bad sub rolls for this. The softer "Subway" style would be horrible IMHO. If you have a good bakery that make "harder" sub rolls, it should work fine.

                                      1. re: turfguy
                                        h
                                        hotdoglover May 6, 2007 04:38 AM

                                        Although I prefer an Italian Hot Dog on pizza bread, you can make a good one on a quality sub roll. In fact, some prefer it on a roll because it is easier to eat. You can take a bite and get bread, vegetables, potatoes, and meat in the same mouthfull. Most pizzerias use sub rolls because they have plenty on hand for their other sandwiches. Plus they don't always know how many Italian Hot Dogs they will sell since they serve mostly pizza and other food items, so the pizza bread may sit for awhile and the owners will have to order a fresh batch not knowing if that will sit around. Mijo's Pizzeria in Colonia makes a very good Italian Hot Dog using a sub roll. Two big 6 to a lb dogs topped with plenty of peppers and potatoes that are cut in tiny pieces. Everything is sauteed in a frying pan. A big sandwich for only $4.50. I eat a lot of them since this place is fairly close to where I work. Another place making a good Italian Hot Dog using a sub roll is Bruno's on Morris Ave. in Elizabeth. For years it went by the name of Junior's, which is still on the building along with Bruno's. This place also serves french fries instead of the usual potato slices or chunks. But the fries are much better than average. Some pizzerias and other restaurants (Attilio's Kitchen for example) that sell a lot of Italian Hot Dogs usually go with pizza bread since it is traditional and what most people who grew up eating these dogs are used to and prefer. I remember speaking with the owner of Ricci D's. He was located in Keyport, which is south of where the Italian Hot Dog originated and is popular. But since many people from Essex, Union, and Bergen counties moved to this area, they are familiar with it and seek it out. I was told that many people entering Ricci D's for the first time asked what kind of bread was used. After being told pizza bread, they replied that if a sub roll was used, they would have left. These people were looking for an authentic Italian Hot Dog like they enjoyed in North Jersey rather than the kind with the sub roll which is more common in pizzerias and South Jersey.

                                        1. re: hotdoglover
                                          b
                                          bigdaddy1 Apr 23, 2009 12:30 PM

                                          Someone told me about a place in keyport called Hot Dog Bob's which i knew of but didn't think made Italian hot dog's, Boy was i wrong..
                                          They make a wicked Newark style Italian hot dog the same way they do up north. ... pizza bread and all..The wife is italian and probably had relatives in the business,cause they're on the money.and delicious.. .It's a real nice place that you can watch the boats on the water when you eat..

                                          1. re: bigdaddy1
                                            h
                                            hotdoglover Apr 23, 2009 04:34 PM

                                            Haven't been there yet, but there was a place called Hot Dog Bob's in that same location before Ricci Dees. And it wasn't that good. Is it the same people? Are you affiliated with this place?

                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                              b
                                              bigdaddy1 Apr 26, 2009 03:58 PM

                                              I Dont know about prior owners but I know it was a hamburger joint after ricci dees, cause i been there.
                                              it was the best italian hot dog we ever had over the bridge.... we been there a dozen times already.. you just can't get them like this except up north .

                                          2. re: hotdoglover
                                            r
                                            ribmeister Jun 22, 2009 05:42 PM

                                            I am confused. Can you describe for me what an Italian Hot Dog is and how it's made? I'm getting bits and pieces from you guys, but not the whole picture.

                        2. re: hotdoglover
                          jfood Apr 29, 2007 05:31 PM

                          OK three Unionites. Stuyvesant Village until i was 5.

                          HDL. Is Kartzmann's deli still around? They made a great SLoppy Joe. Not exactly a hot dog but is on the "A" list of NJ food.

                          TIA

                          1. re: jfood
                            Barbarella May 3, 2007 12:46 PM

                            Kartzmann's Deli closed years ago. what a shame, they had such good pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Sure do miss it.

                            1. re: Barbarella
                              jfood May 3, 2007 01:33 PM

                              :-(((. Another childhood memory closed. Great sloppy joes as well. BTW I voted for you on Idol.:-))

                              1. re: jfood
                                t
                                turfguy May 4, 2007 05:41 PM

                                Hows this for another idea???? Muffaletta bread, it just might work?? Opinions?

                                1. re: turfguy
                                  jfood May 4, 2007 06:49 PM

                                  Touchdown.

                                  Think about saving some olive salad for the dog, might be nice.

                      2. re: hotdoglover
                        m
                        maristuff Dec 13, 2007 09:00 AM

                        I came across this blog quite by accident but the comments rekindled memories of our local Jimmy Buffs on South Orange Ave. in Vailsburg. (Circa 1969) Does anybody remember that one.
                        So its "best hot dogs, custom made stainless steele grill, soy oil for sure but who supplies their italian sausage and what variety of potatos do they use.

                        Copy and paste the link below. I hope it will be interesting for you
                        http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic....

                        1. re: hotdoglover
                          t
                          tpshoulders Apr 27, 2009 09:27 AM

                          I was just wondering you say in here you can purchase that tilt Jimmy Buff fryer would you know where i can get it ? Please let me know . Thanks

                          1. re: tpshoulders
                            h
                            hotdoglover Apr 27, 2009 10:16 AM

                            You have to go to someone who specializes in sheet metal. There is no one place to get the tilted fryer. This is what I've been told by the people who use one.

                            1. re: hotdoglover
                              jfood Apr 27, 2009 10:23 AM

                              HDL,

                              GREAT NEWS!!!

                              jfood just called Best provisions in Newark and yes they sell the Don's HD. They told jfood just walk into the store and ask for the Don's Hot Dogs (about 3-4 to the pound). They sell them all the time. :-))

                              When jfood asked if they ship they old him of course but it is 1,000 order. Even jfood would have a tough weekend with 3,500 dogs.

                              Thank you so much. Can't wait to show these people up in CT what a real hot dog tastes like.

                              Thanks Buddy.

                              1. re: jfood
                                h
                                hotdoglover Apr 27, 2009 05:01 PM

                                jfood,

                                You can get any of the hot dogs sold at Best. I live only 4 1/2 miles from the plant and go there frequently. I happen to prefer the longer 5 to a lb natural casing frank (Syd's) to the Don's, but they are all available. And you can buy them for much cheaper than you would get them from a distributor. Years ago I could ask for a pound and they would throw loose dogs in a bag. Since 3 people died from eating Sabrett franks that had lysteria, franks must now be sold at the factory in cryovac packages. The smallest package you can buy is 2 lbs. You can also buy in larger quantities.

                                I have friends in other states that have requested franks from Best, but as you said they will not ship unless you have a real large order. I speak with owners of hot dog establishments who have to buy their natural casing Best franks from distributors because Best will not ship directly to them.

                        2. Passadumkeg May 6, 2007 04:56 AM

                          Holy Hot Dog! Try Italian Dogs oin Rt. 1 N in Woodbridge across from the Menlo Mall. Been there forever. Used to be great.
                          Man I'm blown away! Ten minutes and 30 replies! I'm a Jersey transplant in Maine. I posted a request for good Itanian food, hot dogs or hamburgers in Bangor, the second largest city in Maine 4 days ago and got no, I mean no, response. Enjoy the dogs ,look at Hollyeats.com, a whole section on N. Jersey dogs. A great site. I keep a copy in my glove box for the drive to Jersey. Go eat a Taylor pork rolll w/ fried egg on a Kaiser for me.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                            t
                            turfguy May 6, 2007 06:09 AM

                            Man I just got up and looked at your reply Pass and gosh you made me laugh. Its the same here in the Atlanta area. I just asked for good Italian bread and got very little response too. But your Taylor pork roll made my mouth water and I told my gf we need to take a trip to Jersey and just eat!!! Whats your opinion on using a Muffaletta bread instead of a pizza bread for the Italian Hot Dogs??

                            1. re: turfguy
                              Passadumkeg May 8, 2007 05:37 AM

                              Turfguy and Hotdoglover, I'm an old fart traditionalist. I grew up w/ It. dogs nestled ever so gently, in the cut off end of a gorgious hunk of crusty It. bread, gently covered with the patriotic Italian colors of GREEN peppers, RED tomatoes and WHITE onions and spuds. I got the chile dog addiction at a great place in South River called The Greeks as child. My uncle lived in Union and we used to walk to a great hot dog place at the intersection of several roads. At Muhlenberg College, I ate my way through at Yaccos hot dogs on Liberty Street, still there and still great. The closest place for a ripped dog for me is a 2 hr. drive to a small roadside shack in Winthrop, Me, just W. of Augusta. My wife and I turn the 500 mi drive down to Jersey as a quest for the holy dog, often stopping 3 or 4 times. Worked overseas for a long time and loved the dogs and other sausages in all countries. Norway, a polser on a bun smothered w/ shrimp salad; Finland 2 nakki stuffed in a deep fried meat and rice filled pirraka; Bolivia, panchitos topped w/ chicharones(pork cracklin's) and now Korea, an oyster sausage wrapped in a pankake. And it all began at the Greeks in So. River, NJ, 50 years ago!

                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                j
                                JerseyGuy62 Jul 23, 2007 01:32 PM

                                ... ever try a coleslaw dog? Very nice.

                            2. re: Passadumkeg
                              JessKidden May 6, 2007 08:04 AM

                              "Try Italian Dogs on Rt. 1 N in Woodbridge across from the Menlo Mall. Been there forever."

                              Forever ended. Tore the place down a few months ago (altho' it'd been closed for awhile), for widening that 2 lane bottleneck between Edison and Woodbridge.

                              1. re: JessKidden
                                Passadumkeg May 8, 2007 05:42 AM

                                Bummer, where do you suggest in Middlesex county?

                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                  JessKidden May 8, 2007 06:46 AM

                                  I wish I knew. Tommy's opened a branch on Rt. 130 in No. Brunswick (on the old site of the Liberty Diner)- I worked nearby and the "Coming Soon" sign was still up when I left last year and by the time I got up that way again, the place had closed already.

                                  One rec, tho'- DON'T go to the North Brunswick Pub for one! I stopped in once at lunch time and it was on their lunch special menu (and since the "Tommy's - Coming Soon" sign was on my mind), I ordered it. Served on a long hard roll with peppers, onions and TOMATO SAUCE! Ugh...

                            3. h
                              HillJ May 6, 2007 06:03 AM

                              I'll probably get blasted BUT...any hot dog startups reading...I'd love to see a bun-less hotdog offered to those of us who prefer a quality dog without bread. Crazy at it may seem, I rarely eat the bread (in any form).

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: HillJ
                                val ann c May 6, 2007 08:14 AM

                                HillJ, I'd like that too. I find bread and fried potatoes to be too much for one meal.
                                It may be as simple as requesting the hot dog on a plate with the fried peppers, potatoes and mustard on the side, and eat with a fork. I'm going to try that next time I stop at Jersey Joes.
                                NJ sacrilege? Perhaps. But delicious. And maybe we have room left for ice cream :-)

                                1. re: val ann c
                                  h
                                  HillJ May 6, 2007 08:26 AM

                                  val ann, you're one step ahead of me...but I'm in delicious agreement!

                                2. re: HillJ
                                  jfood May 6, 2007 09:18 AM

                                  Guys,

                                  Live in CT now and Swanky Franks does just that. You can order a couple of bunless dogs any way you want with all the extras on a plate. Have not found a good italian dog up here yet but the bunless has arrived.

                                  1. re: jfood
                                    j
                                    JerseyGuy62 Jul 23, 2007 01:25 PM

                                    Hey… you's guy's:

                                    Does this bring back memories or what...wow! I remember when I was a kid living down the Shore and going to Vinnie's Italian Hot Dogs on Ocean Avenue in Long Branch. Vinnie’s is long, long, gone now as are most of the things I remember as a Jersey youth. Hey, you gotta make room for million dollar condo’s somewhere, but I digress. As I recall one of the best hot dogs ever made were Schickhaus Franks which are still sold today. Mr. G’s Place located on West End Court in Long Branch, makes a very good Italian Hot Dog. If you ever go there, order it with hot peppers…. They’re H-O-T!!! The owner was my Freshman Football Coach in the mid-70’s.

                                    1. re: JerseyGuy62
                                      j
                                      JimmyC Apr 24, 2009 06:21 AM

                                      i live in so cal and wish i could find pizza rolls people have no clue here . or even a recipe

                                3. f
                                  fpatrick Apr 24, 2009 12:14 PM

                                  Can't say that I'm a current connoisseur of Italian Hot Dogs, given my struggles with cholesterol and diabetes, but the last time I had one at Hoagie Hut in Bridgewater, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

                                  -----
                                  Hoagie Hut
                                  357 Union Ave, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

                                  1. shabbystorm Apr 26, 2009 12:56 PM

                                    Had the opportunity to have my first ever Italian Hot Dog from Jimmy Buff's

                                    It was amazing!

                                    They have been around for 75 years!!
                                    Everyone in NJ should try this at least once in their life!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: shabbystorm
                                      l
                                      LThaw Aug 4, 2009 06:29 PM

                                      Wow, you just brought back so many memories, and heartburn. Grew up in Hillside, near the Newark border. I went to the Jimmy Buff's in Irvington. I live in Fountain Hills, AZ. I am planning on starting a hot dog cart in Oct.

                                      1. re: LThaw
                                        j
                                        Jerzeegirl Aug 5, 2009 07:15 AM

                                        LThaw: You brought up some memories for me also, as I grew up in Irvington & would get Jimmy Buff's all the time, especially after school, since it was a few blocks away. Then, after I got married, we lived a block away & that was Saturday night dinner. Now I go to Hot Dog Bob's in Keyport. It's the closest I could find to Jimmy Buff's.

                                        1. re: Jerzeegirl
                                          Tapas52 Aug 5, 2009 07:48 AM

                                          Dicki D's on Bloomfield Ave in Newark was always my favorite.

                                    2. equal_Mark Aug 5, 2009 10:26 AM

                                      Wouldn't a hot dog with potatoes on it be an Irish Hot Dog? :-)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: equal_Mark
                                        Passadumkeg Aug 6, 2009 03:03 AM

                                        No it would be a a Peruvian dog (The real home of the potato.) or a Panchito. In Peru and Bolivia one gets French fries w/ chunks of deep fried hot dogs, topped w/ mayo; it is called Silpancho.
                                        Growing up in NJ has made me a hot dog junkie; I seek them out where ever I've lived around the world. Polser in Norway (topped w/ shrimp salad), Nakki in Finland (2 dogs thrown inside a meat filled pirraka pastry and here in Maine, the red snapper.

                                      2. l
                                        LEOFONT Jan 23, 2010 04:59 PM

                                        I just came back from Tommy's Italian hot dogs in Elizabeth, and they were excellent,
                                        the sausage is still homemade with the sausage grinder in plain sight, and I especially like the red pepper strips.......I like my potatos (slices, btw) crisp and thats how they made them, all in all, a positive eating experience.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: LEOFONT
                                          c
                                          cwdonald Jan 19, 2014 11:35 PM

                                          I got the hot sausage too, and took it home. I took the filling out of the bread, and reheated it in the pan. The potatoes were all stuck together and not all evenly cooked. Peppers were good, though not enough of them and the onions were very nice and caramelized. I also threw the bread in the toaster oven and crisped it up. Having grown up with Pizza bread as a youngster from a bakery in Yonkers, NY (but not IHDs), I really appreciate fresh bread, and crisping it up in the oven really revived the bread. I also took out about half the filling and ate it on the side. The sausage was great, had heat but still got the spice and fennel taste you get from a sweet italian sausage. All in all a good sandwich. I honestly think that I will be disappointed with every IHD because the bread is not crisp, and I will always prefer Italian sausage over a hot dog no matter whether they use a Best, or any other hot dog. Italian sausage just has much more flavor.

                                        2. l
                                          LEOFONT Feb 5, 2010 07:14 PM

                                          Went to Charlies Italian Hot Dogs in Kenilworth after a several years absence, they cleaned up the place and I found the dog very acceptable, the potatoes were nicely browned, the way I like them, and the peppers and onions also good, ...I stayed away for a long time, because of negative quality and preparation, but now it's worth a return, they also have their "own" brand of root beer soda which is good

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: LEOFONT
                                            menton1 Feb 8, 2010 07:20 AM

                                            The things that make Charlie's the BEST are the potatoes and the bread. Blows away the competitors! Too bad I don't live closer to the place!

                                            1. re: menton1
                                              l
                                              LEOFONT Feb 10, 2010 07:58 PM

                                              Jimmy Buff's and Tommy's in Elizabeth make excellent Italians......I also make my own to my specs...., I buy the fresh roasted potatos at Kings, slice and crisp them up in hot oil with the onions and red peppers, combine the Best dogs and Carmines Italian round hot dog rolls for a great meal.

                                              1. re: LEOFONT
                                                h
                                                hotdoglover Feb 12, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                I also make my own occasionally. I used to use a deep fryer, but don't like cleaning it, so now I just heat everything in a skillet. I get pizza bread from Carmen's. If they're closed, DiPaola's, also in Union, makes decent pizza bread. Best's hot dogs, peppers, and potatoes sliced thin. Made like I like it.

                                                1. re: LEOFONT
                                                  s
                                                  santam Aug 1, 2010 02:44 PM

                                                  Jimmy Buffs is ok but Dickie Dees in Newark is the best. I've been going there for 55 years and they are as good now as they were then.

                                                  -----
                                                  Dickie Dee's
                                                  380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                            2. f
                                              freshfigs Feb 12, 2010 06:53 AM

                                              Gotta agree with everyone who has cited Jimmy Buff's and Tommy's.

                                              I'd also like to mention Bubba's Dog House, which is a newer place on Valley Brook Ave in Lyndhurst. I thought Bubba's Italian hot dog was very good; easily the best I've had in Bergen County, and definitely a top 5 version statewide.

                                              The difference for me is the texture of the pizza bread (fresh, soft, and chewy yet slightly crispy on the outside) and the potatoes (chunks (rather than discs) that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside). A pet peeve of mine at some of the lesser Italian hot dog places out there is when the potatoes get soggy/mushy from being completely overwhelmed by the other ingredients, resulting in a sandwich that loses an important element of its texture. By contrast, Bubba's does a great job with the potatoes; the peppers, onions, and hot dog are all prepared carefully as well.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: freshfigs
                                                j
                                                jgarrity Sep 16, 2010 07:50 AM

                                                Back in the 70's, I lived for the italian hot dogs made at Laggy's in Cedar Grove! He would open the pizza bread, squirt in a bit of mustard, fork in two dogs, fill up the pocket with small cubed golden fried potatoes and then cover it all with onions fried just so they were soft and translucent! (right: no peppers!) I'm drooling just thinking about them again!
                                                I remember spending a week in the hospital way back when. My parents, when they took me out of there, told me they would take me out to eat wherever I wished. Well, we went to Laggy's for a double dog and a single sausage.
                                                Unfortunately, Laggy retired (I understand) and took himself and his recipe to Florida. I have not since been able to find an italian hot dog that even comes close!

                                                1. re: jgarrity
                                                  h
                                                  Harrison Jack Oct 7, 2010 12:56 PM

                                                  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but PEE VEE DEE is gone too. I agree if you like thin potatoes its Jimmy Buffs in East Hanover, i still like Dickie Dee's thick better.
                                                  The best i've ever had was a place in Newark, I thinks its new street, right off of broad by bell telephone. It use to be 2 older greek ladies. We ate there almost every day on breaks from Rutgers. This was back in the early '80s

                                                  -----
                                                  Dickie Dee's
                                                  380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                              2. a
                                                Applecheeks Oct 7, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                I found a place in Belleville that makes a decent Italian Hot Dog. It is Park Side Philly Cheese Steaks on Belleville Ave. in Belleville. The do a decent IHD, sausage and Philly Cheesesteaks (both beef and chicken).
                                                Everyhing I have had there is very fresh and tasty. The pizza bread they us

                                                1. b
                                                  bifpocaroba Mar 30, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                  Dicky Dee's

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: bifpocaroba
                                                    c
                                                    coldsolderjoint Mar 30, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                    i know this thread has dragged on forever.. but I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned Jersey Joe's in Port Monmouth.

                                                    It's really out of the way in the terms of where restaurants are usually located.. but I've tried many of the places you guys are talking about and still think Joe's Itailian hotdogs are the best I've had.

                                                    Real homestyle kind of place.. he knows all the locals, and the place looks the same as it probably did 30 years ago.

                                                    I like the combo (one hotdog, one sausage) with the works.

                                                    -----
                                                    Jersey Joe's
                                                    712 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

                                                    1. re: bifpocaroba
                                                      Tapas52 Jul 3, 2011 05:47 AM

                                                      +1 for Dicky Dee's

                                                      1. re: Tapas52
                                                        Passadumkeg Jul 3, 2011 06:07 AM

                                                        Where's DD"s?

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                          Tapas52 Jul 3, 2011 06:46 PM

                                                          Dickie Dee's
                                                          380 Bloomfield Ave., Newark, NJ - (973) 483-9396

                                                          -----
                                                          Dickie Dee's
                                                          380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                                           
                                                          1. re: Tapas52
                                                            Passadumkeg Jul 7, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                            Oh, Nork, thanks.

                                                    2. w
                                                      win10mil Mar 31, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                      Amazing, this discussion has been going on for 4 years and I just found it. I too grew up in Union, Peterson's, now the Galloping Hill Inn, Jimmy Buffs, Katzmans and the later on The Homestead wit my Uncle Frank were my favorites. My Pop was a builder and built the Jimmy Buffs location on Springfield Ave. in Irvington. My mouth is watering, if tomorrow wasn' Friday I know where i'd be going for lunch!

                                                      1. latefordinner Jul 3, 2011 04:30 AM

                                                        Your not gonna believe this one but I love Newark style dogs and I'm not steering you guys wrong with this one!Uncle Pete's Hot dog truck on saint George ave,it's on the other side of Italian touch pizza parlor in a driveway of a car shop,Near Iselin.Very Clean and great dogs,Also if your down the shore Jo Jo's Italian Hot dogs on rt 37,heading into seaside NJ before the bridge right side.

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: latefordinner
                                                          t
                                                          taurus30 Jul 3, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                          I live nearby and see this truck all the time. I want to stop and try it. Thanks for the info!

                                                          1. re: latefordinner
                                                            h
                                                            hotdoglover Jul 3, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                            I was there once for regular hot dogs. I was uninpressed. The dogs are tiny; 12 to a lb. Most hot dog carts and trucks use bigger dogs. Petey's Weenies is the name and the dogs were served lukewarm rather than hot. They were bland from spending too much time in the water and had lost flavor and snap. Munce's down the street and Soup or Dogs on rt 27 are much better. Never had an Italian Hot Dog there but it's not authentic if they don't use pizza bread. I'd stay away.

                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                              t
                                                              taurus30 Jul 3, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                              Is Soup & Dog on 27 also a truck, as I see another truck, I believe it's blue on 27. Not sure where Munces's is?????

                                                              1. re: taurus30
                                                                t
                                                                taurus30 Jul 3, 2011 05:01 PM

                                                                I got it from another thread, Munce's is the truck by Rahway Park, there for years!!!!

                                                                1. re: taurus30
                                                                  h
                                                                  hotdoglover Jul 4, 2011 05:43 AM

                                                                  Yes, Soup Or Dogs is a truck on Rt 27 right near Oak Tree Rd./Green Street.

                                                                2. re: hotdoglover
                                                                  latefordinner Jul 3, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                                  Pete's uses Pizza bread,my Italian dog was hot everytime I went,never got a regular dog there.

                                                                3. re: latefordinner
                                                                  t
                                                                  taurus30 Jan 3, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                                  I just had a hot dog from Pete's hot dog truck on St Georges Ave in Colonia. It was very good but cost $5.95 for a double, wow. I grew up in Newark near where the original Jimmy Buff was on 9 st and 14th ave.

                                                                4. t
                                                                  taurus30 Jul 3, 2011 08:45 PM

                                                                  I was wondering about the Italian "Pizza" Bread that Italian style hot dogs come on. I bake homemade breads and cannot find anything for a recipe on making this bread. I do believe it originated in Newark as the Italian style hot dog did.

                                                                  Does anyone have a recipe for this "Pizza" style bread to share?

                                                                  1. e
                                                                    ELA Jul 3, 2011 11:47 PM

                                                                    Dickie Dee's in Newark.

                                                                    1. b
                                                                      bifpocaroba Jul 5, 2011 12:16 PM

                                                                      Agreed, Dickie Dee's in Newark.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Dickie Dee's
                                                                      380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: bifpocaroba
                                                                        MishyPoo Aug 22, 2011 10:08 AM

                                                                        Frankly Burgers & More in Freehold Township has an EXCELLENT Italian hot dog,

                                                                        dare I say....I liked it better than Jimmy Buff's whose potatoes were a bit too large and undercooked for my liking. Although, the pizza bread at JBs was better. This does not mean that the pizza bread at Frankly is bad, I just liked JBs bread better. Everything else on the Frankly Burgers & More Italian Hot Dog was more to my liking, the onions, potatoes & peppers. They use the Syds dog there, so the dog is the same as JBs. mho!

                                                                        Michelle

                                                                        1. re: MishyPoo
                                                                          a
                                                                          Applecheeks Aug 23, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                          Michelle
                                                                          Do they use the Syd's dog in the iHD?

                                                                          1. re: Applecheeks
                                                                            h
                                                                            hotdoglover Aug 24, 2011 01:36 AM

                                                                            I'm not Michelle, but can tell you that they do not use the Syd's dog in the Italian Hot Dog. They use 2 smaller Best's dogs; 8/1 natural casing. A very good Italian Hot Dog, Freehold is a bit of a ride for me, but I ought to get there more often. I did get to Big Blues in Linden yesterday, partly after reading your review on Hot Dog Nation's Facebook page and also because I was in the area. A great Italian Hot Dog; maybe my favorite because of the quality, quantity, and value. $5.85 tax included while most places charge around $8 for a double. A substantial sandwich, and the potatoes may be the best I've had on an Italian Hot Dog. Right up there with Tommy's as far as potatoes.

                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                              s
                                                                              scrappyone Aug 24, 2011 08:19 AM

                                                                              Best I've had is Charlie's Hot Dogs in Kenilworth. Don't try to eat it in the car while driving down the GSP.

                                                                              http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=...

                                                                              1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                r
                                                                                ribmeister Aug 25, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                Alas, Best's Kosher, my favorite frank, is no longer being made. The company was bought by Sara Lee, and they eventually shut down the brand. Sigh.

                                                                                1. re: ribmeister
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  hotdoglover Aug 25, 2011 05:21 PM

                                                                                  The Best's we're talking about here in regards to an Italian Hot Dog is Best Provisions in Newark, N.J. Not at all afiliated with Best's Kosher out of Chicago.

                                                                        2. e
                                                                          ELA Aug 24, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                          Is Bubba's in Lyndhurst still open? Reopening after the summer? I wasn't sure if they just go to the shore for the summer and then come back. Thanks.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ELA
                                                                            h
                                                                            hotdoglover Aug 25, 2011 03:18 AM

                                                                            Bubba's is no longer in Lyndhurst. They are at Seaside for the summer and work out of their truck when the summer is over. I don't think they have a permanent location.

                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                              e
                                                                              ELA Aug 25, 2011 05:41 AM

                                                                              Thanks. I knew they were at Seaside for the summer, but I wasn't sure if the Lyndhurst location was closed permanently. I had heard they were looking for another location in town, but I didn't know if that was true.

                                                                              So where is the truck after the summer? Thanks again.

                                                                              1. re: ELA
                                                                                h
                                                                                hotdoglover Aug 25, 2011 05:19 PM

                                                                                I'm not sure where the truck will be. I'm not even sure the owners know. I think they move all around. Last year they spent some time in Newark.

                                                                          2. a
                                                                            Applecheeks Aug 30, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                            Big Blue's on Wood Ave. in Linden is the BEST. It is worth the trip from anywhere to have one of their IHD's.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Applecheeks
                                                                              e
                                                                              ELA Aug 30, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                              Good to know -- thanks.

                                                                            2. d
                                                                              darkdouble Oct 22, 2011 01:22 PM

                                                                              Monmouth/Ocean report: Best down this way, IMHO:
                                                                              1. Frankly Burgers & More, W. Main St. (Raintree Ctr), Freehold Twp
                                                                              2. Geno D's, Rte. 70 near Whitesville Rd., Manchester
                                                                              3. Jersey Joe's, Port Monmouth
                                                                              4. Joe Joes, Rte. 37E, Toms River

                                                                              Got my baseline at Dickie Dees and I think Jersey Joe's and Joe Joe's are very much like that. Geno D's most unique w/ sauteed potatoes and Bermuda onions. NB: a "whole" at Geno D's means 1 whole pizza bread loaf = 4 HDs!

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Jersey Joe's
                                                                              712 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

                                                                              Dickie Dee's
                                                                              380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: darkdouble
                                                                                h
                                                                                hotdoglover Oct 23, 2011 03:00 PM

                                                                                I don't think Jersey Joe's and Jo Jo's are like Dickie Dees. They use thin sliced potatoes while Dees cuts theirs in chunks. DD's also serves hard peppers. Most other places cook them until limp like I prefer.

                                                                                I haven't been to Geno's yet. In my opinion Dickiee Dees is ok, but not one of my favorites. I don't like Jo Jo's. Very tiny dogs. Jersey Joe's is solid and good. Only criticism is the potatoes are cut too small. And the sandwich is $8 plus.

                                                                                My favorites are Jimmy Buff's, Tommy's, and Big Blues.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Jersey Joe's
                                                                                712 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

                                                                                Dickie Dee's
                                                                                380 Bloomfield Ave, Newark, NJ 07107

                                                                                1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  darkdouble Oct 23, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                                                  My observations clearly are not as nuanced as yours. I am a relative beginner on the subject. I group DD and the 2 JJs together based on my impression that the ratio of potatoes to vegetables is skewed heavily toward potatoes, a ratio I do not favor.

                                                                                  I have been to DDs and Joe Joe's only a few times and Jersey Joe's once. Looks like I'll have to do more research. My, my - what a dilemma, being faced with the necessity to eat more Idogs!

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Jersey Joe's
                                                                                  712 Port Monmouth Rd, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

                                                                                  1. re: darkdouble
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    hotdoglover Oct 24, 2011 04:20 AM

                                                                                    I've had literally hundreds of these. My daughter worked at Charlies in Kenilworth for 4 years and she would bring one home once a week for me; sometimes more. Used to be my favorite. Not always consistent but when they're on, they make one of the best. Again, it depends on individual taste. Some like more oils, some less; some prefer bigger potatoes, etc. When I say one is better than another, most of the time what I mean is I prefer it; doesn't mean it's better from a quality standpoint.

                                                                                    I know some of the people who own and run these places and I've heard that peppers have gotten really expensive. That is why many places are skimpy with them.

                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                      h
                                                                                      hotdoglover May 13, 2012 04:17 AM

                                                                                      I've recently had an Italian Hot Dog from a truck called Marci's Dog House that in my opinion is the best I've had. I wrote a review here, but did not comment on the Italian Hot Dog until later in the thread, so scroll down. The owner will be making these on Saturdays and Sundays only. It is a specialty item involving a lot of prep work. He uses bigger dogs and better ingredients than anyone else making this sandwich.

                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/846519

                                                                                      1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                        t
                                                                                        taurus30 May 20, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                                                        Where is Big Blues in Linden? Is it a building? Is it right on Wood Ave? I know the area a little. but by the map, it shows it being near the train tracks. I drive Linden Ave and pass Wood all the time.

                                                                                        1. re: taurus30
                                                                                          h
                                                                                          hotdoglover May 21, 2012 03:12 AM

                                                                                          It's a small building in a small strip mall. It's on Wood right next to a Carvel just before the train tracks. Easy to miss.

                                                                                          1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                            t
                                                                                            taurus30 Aug 24, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                                                            HDL, you really know your hot dogs from reading these threads. Do you know anything about the pizza bread and what kind of dough is used? I bake bread at home and I tried making this bread and came very close. I might think it's pizza dough as it seems slightly enriched, and may be close to a white bread dough.

                                                                                            1. re: taurus30
                                                                                              h
                                                                                              hotdoglover Aug 25, 2012 08:02 AM

                                                                                              Sorry. Not really
                                                                                              sure what kind of ingredients are used or if it's dough or not. I know what's good, where to get it, and who uses what.

                                                                                2. re: darkdouble
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  darkdouble Aug 24, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                  8/24/12 I have to put Geno D's rating on hold. They are having trouble with their bread supplier who either cannot or will not make proper pizza bread. Last 2 trips there were disappointing. Fixins are good, but bread is not.

                                                                                3. c
                                                                                  cke25 Apr 12, 2013 04:32 PM

                                                                                  Caught on interesting show on one of the cable networks this week that pitted Charlies Italian Hot Dogs against Jimmy Buffs in a competition for the "best" italian hot dog in NJ. Two local food critics and the host of the show were the three judges. By a vote of 3-0, Charlies of Kenilworth was crowned the winner. Thoughts?

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: cke25
                                                                                    h
                                                                                    hotdoglover Apr 14, 2013 04:17 AM

                                                                                    I was there and was going to be a "guest taster" until they changed the format from the previous season. I was contacted to be on the show between season1 and 2. I did speak briefly 3 times during the show. I believe the producers wanted Charlies (the upstart) to win because it would be a David vs. Goliath type of thing. Everyone knew what they were eating when previously it was a blind tasting. It should have been a blind tasting here. Also, 2 of the three judges never had an Italian Hot Dog before, so they really didn't know what to expect.

                                                                                    Whether it was the owner of Charlies or the Food Wars producers, everyone was told that Charlies franks were natural casing when they were not. The owner would not tell me why he told the host he was using natural casing franks when she asked him. I spoke to all of the judges after the results and they admitted that they focused more on the dogs than the sandwich as a whole. All three admitted Buffs had the best bread, but they liked the dogs from Charlies because they were under the impression that they were natural casing, and they were done more; being deep fried rather than sauteed. Both used Best franks, so the brand was the same.

                                                                                    If you were to do a comparison today you would be comparing 2 different products. First of all the Jimmy Buff's that was featured on the show is gone. And Charlies switched brands of franks. Previously the East Hanover location used smaller dogs and prepared their sandwich a little different than the other locations. Now there are only 2 Jimmy Buff's left. West Orange and Kenilworth. The Kenilworth location opened a few years ago a couple of blocks away from Charlies. It is much better than West Orange. Bigger dogs, better bread, and a much more substantial sandwich. West Orange gives precious few peppers. They are mixed in with the onions and it's about 95% onions, 5% peppers. I hate onions, so they have to pick the peppers out of the mix. Kenilworth has them separated and gives you a lot more.

                                                                                    Charlies was always my favorite Italian Hot Dog until the old owner stopped caring when he was looking to get out of the business. They've changed owners and a few other things. Until the last 2 years you could still geat a great sandwich, but they were inconsistent. Then they switched brands of hot dogs. While I look at the sandwich as a whole and consider all of the ingredients; the actual frank is still the most important as far as I'm concerned. I prefer Best for this sandwich. I like the flavor, spicing, and how it fries up. Charlies switched to Sabrett. A great dog, but in my opinion Best's is best for this sandwich. It makes a big difference to me.

                                                                                    To compare the 2 currently, I would say Jimmy Buff's is more consistent. The sandwiches are consistently great. Charlies; despite switching franks uses very good ingredients; better than most places making Italian Hot Dogs. But that's if you get yours prepared well. They are inconsistent. Sometimes the potatoes are burnt, sometimes undercooked. The bread is good, but sometimes falls apart because they freeze unused bread. Charlies has good bread. Buff's is a little better. They found a better bread source from when they first opened. Remember, this is the Kenilworth location I'm talking about. Both Charlies and Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth have better bread than Jimmy Buff's West Orange.

                                                                                    Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth uses Best; Charlies uses Sabrett. Both places are generous with the ingredients. Peppers are great at both places. Potatoes and bread better at Buff's. These places are a few blocks away from each other. I suggest trying a single at each place and judge for yourself. I can tell you that both are different than anything that was served at Food Wars.

                                                                                    I didn't think it was a good idea for Jimmy Buff's to open a restaurant so close to Charlies. But in my opinion, the owner is doing a great job. A consistently great sandwich, immaculate place, excellent staff, and great service. People seem to prefer Buff's. In my opinion this particular Jimmy Buff's restaurant makes the best Italian Hot Dogs out of all of the Jimmy Buff's I've been to previously. In fact this one is thriving despite being 2 blocks away from a competitor, while the other Jimmy Buff's restaurants have all closed down. Now there are only 2 left. But as I mentioned, this one is doing well while Charlies is for sale. They advertised the place was for sale in the Star Ledger. I don't know if anyone bought the place yet or what will happen if/when it is sold.

                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      cke25 Apr 14, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                                                      Thanks for the excellent comment hotdoglover. I knew I could count on you for the truth because I could not find out when that TV show was originally taped. Was wondering if it was new or dated. I, too, was disappointed it was not a blind taste test.
                                                                                      Since my home base is Monmouth County, I go to Jersey Joe's when I want an Italian Hot Dog. Jersey Joe's dogs are prepared in a fashion similar to Jimmy Buff's (all ingredients sauteed together in oil on same pitched grill). How do you think Jersey Joe's stacks up against Jimmy Buffs?

                                                                                      1. re: cke25
                                                                                        h
                                                                                        hotdoglover Apr 16, 2013 05:21 AM

                                                                                        Jersey Joe's is the best place south of the area (Union and Essex Counties) where this sandwich is popular, and one of the 5 or so best overall. Jersey Joe's is better than Jimmy Buff's in West Orange, but not Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth. I've eaten at practically all of the places that specialize in Italian Hot Dogs as well as pizzerias and other hot dog joints that serve them. The places I consider the best or the top tier would be Marci's in Clark/Edison (at the border), Jimmy Buff's Kenilworth, Tommy's, Big Blues, and Jersey Joe's. Some places have an ingredient or 2 that may be outstanding, but others that are not. Or use tiny dogs. The better places prepare the sandwich well and there are is no ingredient that isn't very good. I hope this makes sense. Some have great potatoes but lousy bread. Some have excellent vegetables but use tiny dogs. Anything smaller than an 8/1 for an Italian Hot Dog is too small. Jimmy Buff's West Orange uses a small 10/1 while Kenilworth uses a bigger dog and gives you more vegetables. Uncle Petey's has excellent bread and potatoes, but uses tiny 11/1 dogs and canned peppers. Jersey Joe's uses bigger dogs, and every ingredient (bread, frank, peppers, potatoes) are high quality and fresh. Only thing I don't like are the potatoes are cut too small for my liking, but this is a minor point. I heard that they suffered damage in the hurricane and were closed. Hopefully they are open again.

                                                                                        1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          cke25 Apr 20, 2013 10:56 AM

                                                                                          Unfortunately, Jersey Joes has been closed since Hurricane Sandy and it looks like the business is For Sale.

                                                                                  2. e
                                                                                    earle310 Apr 14, 2013 11:53 AM

                                                                                    are you talking about the self contained fryer? It has its own ansul system in it, and the fryer is not out in the open. If so it is made by a company called perfect fry, and it is a self contained ventless fryolater.

                                                                                    1. r
                                                                                      rizzo11 Apr 19, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                                      Joe Joes on rt 37 very good

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: rizzo11
                                                                                        Tapas52 1 day ago

                                                                                        Cant agree on Jo Jos......to greasy and no taste.

                                                                                        1. re: rizzo11
                                                                                          jrvedivici about 19 hours ago

                                                                                          20 years ago they were very good, but we stopped going there for some reason, don't recall the exact reason why though.

                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                            Tapas52 about 18 hours ago

                                                                                            We used to live 2 blocks away years ago and went there every day almost....sooooo good!

                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                          ChinMusic Apr 2, 2014 05:30 AM

                                                                                          Best Italian Hot Dogs, IMO, in NJ right now is def Big Blue's in Linden....Jimmy Buff's just isn't the same as it was. There used to be a place on Rt.1, northbound, across from the Edison Diner that had GREAT IHD's..not sure what happened to them, disappeared some 5 years back or so. I have to give a +1 for Munce's as far as regular HD's go... been in the same spot since the early 80's...there is an even better cart, IMO, going into Carteret (from the Rahway side on Randolph Ave) on Roosevelt Ave right before you hit Blair Rd. called Joannes... she is very nice and her hot dogs are always fresh and hot.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ChinMusic
                                                                                            jrvedivici Apr 2, 2014 02:04 PM

                                                                                            Regarding the place in Rt. 1 in Edison, it was a small stand alone building painted the colors of the Italian flag. That place was there from when I moved to Edison in the early 70's and always served great Italian hot dogs.

                                                                                            I'm sure the town pulled some eminent domain BS to force them out. They widened that stretch of Rt 1 for the entrance ramp/ bridge into Menlo Mall.

                                                                                            Speaking of Menlo there use to be a hot dog stand in the original Menlo Mall when I was a kid. I believe it was owned by Danny Lomardi if memory serves me correct.

                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici
                                                                                              c
                                                                                              ChinMusic Apr 2, 2014 02:31 PM

                                                                                              Yes, that was the place....very small, painted in the italian flag colors and the interior had a real blue collar feel to it. I think I made a goof too...it's across from the Menlo Diner not the Edison one correct? I always mix the two up. Didn't know it was that old either..(born in 77). My dad used to take me there in the 80's often.

                                                                                              1. re: ChinMusic
                                                                                                jrvedivici Apr 2, 2014 03:01 PM

                                                                                                You are correct I didn't catch your mistake either, it is the Menlo Diner, the Edison is further South near the Rt 1/18 bridge.

                                                                                          2. d
                                                                                            darkdouble Apr 14, 2014 12:43 PM

                                                                                            Monmouth/Ocean Report
                                                                                            Rocco G's Italian Kitchen
                                                                                            2114 New Jersey 70, Manchester Township, NJ 08759

                                                                                            The double was excellent: perfect pizza bread (Calandra's), red, green and yellow peppers ... and the owner has the experience of Newark, Belleville, Dickie Dees, Buffs, et al. She knows the deal.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: darkdouble
                                                                                              Tapas52 1 day ago

                                                                                              Diki Dees always my favorite for Italian Hot Dogs I always get a large Combo with everything!

                                                                                            2. d
                                                                                              Deantown 1 day ago

                                                                                              Joe's Drive-In Pizza in Vauxhall has always done me right. The pony-tailed owner does indeed have an attitude but the dog, bread, potato, onion and pepper stand up for me. Always have.

                                                                                              On the other hand, the most recent I had was Buff's in Kenilworth (the double was gargantuan) and it was excellent. I haven't had one from Joe's in maybe 12-18 months, but I've had hundreds in my life (no doubt curtailing my life expectancy in the process). The problem at Joe's might be if they're no longer selling enough IHDs to make them well. I can't speak to that, although I'm willing to go for a test soon.

                                                                                              Show Hidden Posts