Old Tyme Dogs - Highland Falls, NY
Anyone ever eaten at this place, right across the street from West Point Military Academy in Highland Falls, NY?
My friend RAVES about it! We actually drove up there from NYC, but they were closed for Thanksgiving weekend. Even then, they're only open 'til 5pm on most days. They have HUNDREDS of different hot dogs! The list is inhuman. You wouldn't believe it if I showed you.
We're gonna try again... and soon...
Old thread, but here goes.
I am in the condiment camp when it comes to hot dogs, love my ketchup (I know, I know, but I like it), mustard and relish, chili cheese, kraut and mustard, and slaw topped dogs-in proper proportions.
The only recent addition has been siracha, because, well, it tastes good on everything!
But, none of those old tyme toppings sound even remotely appetizing.
The idea of bacon, maple syrup, crabapple, or pineapple on a hot dog makes me a little ill.
Same with guac or sour cream or the toppings listed by HDL.
So, I finally got to eat at Suzie's Good Old Tyme Dogs & More in Highland Falls, NY. If you're in the area and want a menu of different hot dogs that's presented to you in a BINDER, then this place is for you! I actually drove up Saturday (from NYC) with my Dad, then on Sunday (again, from NYC) with 2 buddies of mine. Here's the cut and dry:
Whatta Dog Hot Dog:
- topped with bacon, chili, bbq sauce, mustard, and ketchup (I may not be 100% on this one, but it was delicious!)
New Hampshire Hot Dog:
- topped with mustard and maple syrup
Crab Apple Sally Hot Dog:
- topped with spiced crab apple
Hawaiian Hot Dog:
- topped with pineapple and baked beans
In addition, I had the pleasure of having their fried potato chips. The regular ones are amazing! They slice a potato cross-section like potato chips. Then, fry them and salt them. Hot out of the fryer, they are absolutely delicious. Then, I also had their Sweet Potato chips! Same idea, but sweet potato, instead of regular potato. Then, they top them with confection sugar & cinnamon. Absolutely delicious! Perfect side order to some hot dogs.
The place is a quaint mom-and-pop-style shop. Located, literally, right across from West Point Military Academy in beautiful Highland Falls, NY. There are only 3 small tables inside, but a few more are setup outside during nice weather. Both days, I sat inside, 'cause I love this place, even though it really was beautiful out all weekend. In addition, the walls inside are covered in the signatures of cadets and veterans. There is a guestbook that anyone can sign, but the walls are reserved for servicemen & women. The eatery is owned by Suzie (hence the name), who I believe does all of the cooking, and her lovely daughter Ashley works there as well. My friend (jokingly?) proposed to her within 5 minutes of arriving and, were I not married, I probably would have done the same. :) The service is perfect and you're being checked in on consistently without it being overbearing. There are signs posted that say something to the effect of, "Please note, the food you are ordering is handmade, so please be patient." We didn't have any problems with the time it took to get our food. It came out within 5 minutes and was piping hot.
As far as the local area, if you've ever been to the West Point area, you know it's breathtaking this time of year. You have the Bear Mountain Bridge that you can cross and drive through the mountains for the day. There are campgrounds all over the place, and, of course, the Academy itself, which has plenty to look at and is beautiful itself. Very scenic. My dad used to come up to this area as a kid, so we went and looked at the house were his family used to stay.
We came from the Queens/Nassau border and it took us, maybe about 1hr 20m to get there. Same coming back. It's a nice ride up the Hudson (Palisades Interstate Parkway), so you can enjoy the view.
I highly recommend checking it out. Tell Ashley that Don, the redhead, said hi. :)
After reading your post, I have 3 questions. What brand of dog was served? Did it have a casing? How was it prepared? (boiled or steamed, grilled, fried). I've sampled hot dogs from well over 100 different establishments and I can tell you that the type and brand of frank served and how it is prepared is much more important than the stuff you put on it. If you don't start with a quality dog, it doesn't matter much what you do to it. And if you do have a quality dog, whether it is all beef or beef and pork, it will taste just fine with a little mustard. Otherwise you can't taste the dog. I prefer the salad, baked beans, pineapple, whatever, on the side so it doesn't detract from the dog. In my opinion, most of this stuff doesn't belong on a hot dog. The focus should be on the dog itself, not the toppings. It seems that a lot of newer places treat the frank as an afterthought. I live in N.J. where there are a lot of great hot dog establishments using quality dogs and preparing them different ways. But some of the newer places in an attempt to be different (they call it creative) offer all kinds of things to put on their dogs ranging from broccoli rabe, sambal, peanut butter, corn flakes, (I kid you not) fried eggs, and cream cheese. What's next? Raisenets, sweet tarts, and rice krispies? Give me a high quality natural casing dog prepared on a grill or griddle and top it with some good deli mustard and I'll be happy. Some times less is more. Especially when it comes to hot dogs. The finest places I've been to don't need a menu, much less an encyclopedia to list their offerings.
Just as a followup, I wasn't arguing whether or not hot dogs (or specifically this establishment's hot dogs) need the toppings. I'm a big fan of sauces and toppings on things. I love hot dogs plain, with mustard, with ketchup, with relish, with bacon, etc. I'll try almost any hot dog and with or without any topping. I was merely saying that this place took some awesome liberties with toppings and fixings. If you're a fan of that, then you should check it out. I'm probably going there again this weekend (after a long, unwarranted hiatus due to forgetfulness and lack of time, both on my part) and I wish I could say that I will try just a plain hot dog from this place. But, they have so many awesome-sounding fixings/toppings that I can't possibly waste a dog just eating it plain! There are too many combinations to just get a plain one. If I want to get a plain one, I'll grill up a Nathan's in my backyard. To me, that's the perfect hotdog. But, when I go up to Highland Falls and/or West Point Military Academy, I aim to hit up Suzie's place each time. They're friendly people, serve awesome food, are reasonably-priced, and are close to the Academy. No need to ask for any more than that, in my opinion. However, I will ask the questions that hotdoglover poses - What brand of dog? Was there a casing? How are the dogs prepared? I don't need a menu either, but when I'm given one, I definitely take a look at it and there were a lot of ideas on their menu that I hadn't thought about or tried before. To me, that's appealing. I'll report back if I can get there this weekend.
Yes, definitely report back. Curious as to what kind of dog and how it's prepared. A lot of times when I ask, the owner/employee is vague. "It's a commercial brand." "It's all beef." Maybe they're hiding the fact that it's a cheap brand.
Although I'm not big on toppings, I know many are. But that doesn't mean that info regarding the source/brand of dog, how it's prepared, casing, and size should be left out. People who are reviewers do this all the time and they should know better.
You mentioned that there are so many topping combinations that you can't waste a dog eating it plain. My opinion is just the opposite. Say a place serves a top quality frank; a German style beef/pork frank made from whole cuts of very good beef and pork rather than trimmings and cheaper ingredients. Fresh from a local German /Polish pork store and better than regular run of the mill franks. To me you are wasting the dog by covering it with stuff (pineapple, maple syrup, spiced crab apple?!) that masks and detracts from the flavor of a well made frank. I'm looking to eat a quality frankfurter, not a casserole.
I like the spicy red onion mix often used, but had to be the spicy one, and I like when the chili is finely ground and a bit dry, nothing soupy. When I was at the hot dog place a few weeks ago in Newburgh, I think it was Pete's, they had hot pepper flakes on the counter, which to me is always a plus. These are especially good on a dog with kraut and mustard.
re: michele cindy
I've driven to Newburgh and the surrounding areas a few times to sample hot dogs. Pete's is my favorite place. Excellent hot dogs priced reasonably. They serve natural casing 7 to a lb Boars Head all beef franks with a natural sheep casing. And charge less than $2. Many trucks and carts in New Jersey charge $2 and up for a much smaller 12/1 skinless Sabrett that I call a cocktail frank because of it's size.
The dogs at Pete's are prepared in water "dirty water style." They are fresh and served hot instead of lukewarm like many places that heat (not boil) their dogs in water. Nice snap to these dogs. Boars Head is one of the best beef dogs available and I enjoy mine with mustard only. They have 2 different chilis which I sampled on the side. They were too spicy for my taste although the people I was with on a mini tour liked the chili. I believe the dogs with mustard were $1.59 a couple of years ago. A friend of mine drives from Westfield, N.J. to Newburgh to enjoy the hot dogs at Pete's. They offer basic toppings like relish, kraut, and onions/onion sauce. This is an old school joint, not one of the trendy new hot dog bistros offering up "haute dogs" consisting of, but not limited to salsa, guacamole, sambal, cream cheese, scallions, kimchee, deep fried mayo, tomato molasses, freeze dried onions, shredded romaine, raspberry wasabi sauce, foie gras, truffles, peanut butter, and other such ingredients that have no business desecrating an All American hot dog.
They've got to be laughing over at old school hot dog joints like Rutt's Hut, Hiram's, and Charlies Pool Room. And questioning the manliness of these new designer "haute dogs." Or as a friend likes to call them, "Alternative Lifestyle Hot Dogs."