HOME > Chowhound > General Tristate Archive >


Great hotdogs on LI?

Any ideas? Thinking of places that do more than dirty-water dogs or reheated stupidmarket stuff. Something like Walter's in Mamaroneck.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I always wondered about this, all those RV's by the side of the road. After seeing all the places in NJ listed with some interesting choices. I wonder if there are any hidden gems there (some guy making his own chili and onions or something like that)

    Are they all just dirty-water dogs or reheated stupidmarket stuff.

    1. I know a few on the East End that up til last year had lots of interesting items (lobster rolls, mesclun salad with goat cheese, virgin pina coladas and daquiris) in addition to the usual Sabrett franks. The lady by Westhampton Airport used to deep fry her dogs and knishes, and I know a few others that have deep fryers too, legit or not (they have to have an Ansel system).
      All food on the wagons is supposed to be pre-cooked and factory sealed per Health Dept rules, nothing homemade,and the inspector has been enforcing things a lot more stringently this year. Although homemade quesadillas still seem to be big.
      There's a new restaurant opening in Montauk that talked about doing Kobe hotdogs, but I don't know if that's for sure. I can't think of anyplace out this way that specializes in hot dogs besides the trucks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: coll

        Isn't a Kobe hotdog sort of silly? (even, as I'd have to assume, it's the American version, not true Kobe)

        How can you appreciate such high quality beef in a hot dog? By all of the accounts I've read, it's a waste as a hamburger, let along a hot dog.

        There's a place like Flo's in Bluepoint:
        (is that the stupidest website or what? Why bother if you're not going to put anything there?
        )They do burgers and dogs, but I don't know if there's anything to recommend the latter.

      2. the closest thing is the kings supermarket in garden city where you could buy thumanns (the pride of nj) jumbos, pushcart style, and natural casings (both beef and pork). take them home and do them up any way your heart desires. they also carry pepperidge farms new england split top buns.

        3 Replies
        1. re: byrd

          Wouldn't bother (esp. since I never replaced my grill when it rusted away), but didn't Kings close in Merrick? Thought it was a Rite Aid now or something.

          1. re: Scott_R

            your right, see correction. time to go to riteaid and get one of those $5.99 lasts twice grills.

            1. re: Scott_R

              I think this Kings only has the GC location outside of NJ (where there must be 15 or so).

          2. Found something interesting (and promising):

            Says: "Charlie's Hot Dogs was voted Long Island's best hot dog, and was featured on the Food Network as Boomer Esiason's favorite place to eat in New York."

            Don't see much about the how/why of the dogs, though.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Scott_R

              Went to look for Charlie's, but couldn't find it. Mentioned it to a friend who thought he knew where it was, so I'll try again, maybe next week. Wish I knew if there was more to it than it just having been there a long time (i.e., why are the dogs the "best"?).

              1. re: Scott_R

                Found it, and it was OK. I don't see why it would win "best hot dogs" unless it's a testament to the quality of HD on Long Island. Nothing bad, just boiled dogs that seemed relatively generic. They do a "three hot dog hero" which might account for it: quantity wins people over more than does quality.

                The stand was pretty crowded, though.

                1. re: Scott_R

                  Sadly, I think this is the case. After doing the roadfood hot dog tour last year and seeing the wide variety of choices in northern NJ, I was hoping there might be something on LI.

                  1. re: Scott_R

                    Unfortunately I would have to agree. I just stopped by there and picked up two chili dogs. Bland would be the best way to describe them. Sad to say that I would prefer Nathans.


              2. AOL City Guide has a ranking of the best hot dogs on LI for 2007, and the results are both laughable and pitiful. In order, Johnny Rockets, Citibank Park, The Pit Stop, Nick's Pizza Clam Bar, Classic American, and The Laundry.

                You have GOT to be kidding me.

                1. But again, is this anything more than a boiled Sabrett's or Boar's Head?

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: Scott_R

                    How gourmet do you really want to go with hot dogs? And what exactly are you looking for, home made? (Which the health dept would never allow on a truck unfortunately) Sorry, but you're not going to find anything better than Hebrew National or Sabretts, at least not on a Long Island truck.

                    1. re: coll

                      As the topic starter, I never specified a truck--I'm looking for *any* location that sells great hot dogs; in fact I gave Walter's in Mamaroneck as an example, and that's definitely not a truck.
                      I'd asked for "places that do more than dirty-water dogs or reheated stupidmarket stuff." I can buy a package of Hebrew National in the store and grill it, which equals or (more liklely) beats everything I can get locally. NJ and CT have tons of places that have great hot dogs; is LI totally devoid of anything like that?

                      1. re: Scott_R

                        I think so, never heard of a restaurant specializing in just hot dogs.

                        1. re: coll

                          Actually there use to be one. Years ago way our east near Calverton was Grace's Hot Dogs. It started as truck and was so popular she opened a place nearby. It was the only thing close to Walters or a standard NJ place. Here is a link to her place (closed in 2002) and an article from the times.



                          1. re: MrPhil

                            How quickly I forget!!!! I think her daughter still has a truck on the side of the road just south of the old location, I think they used to use Sabretts but do something special like cook them in beer?

                          2. re: coll

                            It doesn't have to specialize *just* in hot dogs, just go above the norm with those dogs. Google, though, places like:
                            Al's Hot Dog Stand in Naugatuck
                            Bethel Hot Dog Palace (Bethel)
                            Blackie's (Cheshire)
                            Botsford Drive-In (Newtown)
                            Capitol Lunch (New Britain)
                            Guida's (Middlefield)
                            Swanky Frank's (Norwalk)

                            -- and that's just a sampling from CT! Even places where the dogs themselves aren't anything custom, there's something that distinguished them: e.g., Blackie's, where the Hummels are deep fried (plain, not battered) 'til they explode.
                            I've never tasted a boiled dog, whatever the boiling solution was, that tasted anything special.

                            1. re: Scott_R


                              In the above link for another thread last year titled "Long Island Hot Dogs". I had mentioned a place in Syosset. Unfortunatly I have not been able to get there yet. It is called J.R. Gourmet Hot Dogs or J.B. Gourmet Hot Dogs. Has anyone been there? Would love to see what they serve. Its within a stones throw from Mim's Restaurants in Syosset.

                              1. re: jpf1980

                                I live pretty close, can't get there for a week or two, but I'll give a report once I stop by.

                                1. re: MrPhil

                                  Look what i found, i really should use google more often, it didn't come up in a yahoo search which is what i normally use. It looks like they use Sabretts, but have some interesting choices including Chicago style and a buffalo style. Also on their ice cream menu they have egg creams. This is something i've wanted to try for a long time.


                                  1. re: jpf1980

                                    "steamed on a steamed bun"
                                    Not impressed. If you're just going to use Sabretts, at least split and grill them.

                                    I'm thinking I'm going to have to start making my own hot dogs from scratch. The only time I get really good hot dogs is when I drive down from New England or upstate. NJ supposedly has really good dogs, too, but haven't had a chance to sample them.

                                    I don't eat out if I can easily make what the place serves. Grill a Hebrew National (I prefer the knockwurst over the regular), put on my homemade sauerkraut, hot brown mustard, and that (for me) beats anything I've found on LI.

                                    1. re: Scott_R

                                      I agree, when at home though i like to keep it simple, just the dog and mustard. I actually buy Boars Head with the natural casing. In my opinion they are the best taking hot dogs i have found at the supermarkets around here. Whenever I am upstate I always stock up on some Hoffmans. Those are my favs. I still plan on trying jbdawgs, curious what some of these hotdogs loaded with stuff on them taste like. Where do i get a good Homemade Sauerkraut recipe, that is something i gotta try doing myself.

                                      1. re: jpf1980

                                        Sauerkraut is a no-brainer; you can Google specific instructions, but the basics are:
                                        Core good heads of cabbage, loose leaves removed. Shred to basically the fineness of sauerkraut. Put into either a glass or food-safe plastic container.
                                        Pour on 2.25 to 2.5 percent salt by weight--that is, if you have 10 pounds of cabbage (post-prep), add 3.6-4 ounces salt; mix thoroughly (I much prefer going by weight, but 3 tablespoons salt per 5 pounds cabbage should works. Use pickling salt if you can--the flow agents in table salt will make the brine cloudy, and iodine also causes discoloration).
                                        Tamp it down hard. I use a 4x4 with a food-grade plastic bag wrapped over the end (this starts to get the moisture out). Tamping also helps ensure even fermentation and avoid spoilage due to air bubbles.

                                        You want to weight it down. Best way: a large plastic bag (food-grade, of course), filled with brine (6 tablespoons salt/gallon). Fermentation requires anaerobic conditions, so make sure the cabbage is covered. Salt will draw liquid from the cabbage pretty quickly, aiding this.

                                        Keep in a cool (not cold) place 3-4 weeks--at a pleasant room temp. Check regularly, skimming off discoloration (could be mold or yeast).

                                        On the original topic, my preference for hot dogs is KISS. A little bit of good spicy brown mustard (never anything like that French's yellow mustard abomination), maybe sauerkraut. That's it. The fancy toppings don't impress me. Thus my search for a place with good hot dogs, not one that boils tasteless tubes from the stupidmarket and then uses a load of toppings to hide the weiner's utter lack of character.

                                        1. re: Scott_R

                                          thanks for the recipe. Does the saurekraut last a few weeks after its made.I assume with all the salt its really not a problem, right?

                                          What do u mean by KISS?

                                          1. re: jpf1980

                                            Once you refrigerate it, it can last for a couple of months. If you need longer, you're going to want to look up canning procedures. Or it can be frozen.

                                            KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid
                                            -- which is an expression, and not personally directed. :)

                              2. re: Scott_R

                                I don't love hot dogs myself, just know a few people that have trucks!! When they're free, they taste fine to me ;-)

                      2. I think this might be what you are looking for:


                        They are in Garden City (?) near the Roosevelt Field Mall, just off the Meadowbrook. Excellent hot dogs. Excellent people.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: motoeric

                          They've been discussed in other threads here. They're just Sabrett and Boars Head dogs.

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            I didn't mean to imply that they were making their own dogs. If you want that, you might want to try the Forest Pork Store or Karl Ehmers. It's what they do with the dogs. I'm a big fan and I look forward to their opening for the spring. They are the only place that I would go out of my way to visit for a hot dog.

                            While I was living in California there were a lot little niche hot dog stands, but LI seems sadly bereft.