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Great Hot Dogs at Rutt's Hut? Fuhgedaboudit!

m
mmgpsych Dec 1, 2007 01:28 PM

As every Jersey boy and girl knows, that lovely word 'Fuhgedaboudit!' may have multiple meanings ranging from righteous respect to righteous rancor. "Angelina Jolie? What a babe! Fuhgedaboudit!" Or "The New York Jets? The Super Bowl? Fuhgedaboudit!" Unfortunately for Rutt's Hut, in our opinion, if you're looking for great hot dogs, as they say in the more refined areas of Jersey, "Do kindly, and by all means, fuhgedaboudit!"

Prompted by a Food Channel special that rated Rutt's as one of the ten best doggeries in America, with great expectations, we drove 50 minutes to Clifton so we might enter the 'holy temple of hot dogs" as it's been called. 'So let me tell you somethin', pal. If this here place is a holy temple, then count me in as an atheist.'

We ordered our first pair of dogs done 'medium' as was suggested by a food critic. Blech! The pinkish, unappetizing looking sausages we received appeared to us as if they might be more at home in a jar of formaldehyde than in the pedestrian hot dog buns that reluctantly wrapped them. Fortunately, being damned near tasteless save for the cooking oil used to fry them, they tasted less bad than they looked. The much touted Rutt's Hut mustard relish was, to our palates, a dreadful concoction easily bettered by many right-out-of-the-jar store bought items. But onward we forged. We ordered our next pair of dogs 'well done', and though a significant improvement, I'd never recommend them to anyone. The Rutt's onion rings were okay, and definitely a cut above the usual frozen rings you'd expect in a diner. But had this been the 50's. I could have poured the grease remaining on my plate into my hair, and fashioned one helluva of a permanent pompadour.

Rutt's is not remotely in the same league as Pink's in LA or any of the better Chicago doggeries, or even Poochies in Skokie. So here's some advice: You want a great hot dog?' Go to Wegmans, get yourself some Niman Ranch 'Fearless' beef franks, grill them up and serve one centered lovingly in a Martin's Potato Hot Dog Roll toasted gently on only one side. Dress it with a stripe of plain old deli mustard, and prepare to purr when you take that first bite. And for onion rings? Wasn't that what Tony Soprano was eating when it all went black? Fuhgedaboudit!

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  1. bgut1 Dec 1, 2007 01:36 PM

    An excellent review. Thank you.

    1. rockhopper Dec 1, 2007 04:31 PM

      A "medium" and a "well done" huh?
      If you said an in-and-outer or a ripper or a cremator you'd have a bit of cred.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rockhopper
        t
        Tay Dec 1, 2007 04:46 PM

        Now, now rockhopper...Be kind :-}
        Not everyone knows the language of the Rutt Hut. The review was very amusing. up until the whole Wegman's thing..And as for the potato roll. I think that's where the cred factor comes into play. No serious hot dogger would consider eating one of those leaden rolls.

        1. re: Tay
          b
          Babs16 Dec 1, 2007 06:38 PM

          If you want a really good hot dog take a trip to Fort Lee and eat at Hiram's.

        2. re: rockhopper
          m
          mmgpsych Dec 2, 2007 08:32 AM

          Seems like I may have skewered someone's sacred cow here, something I wouldn't ever do without sampling the cowflop on a bun this place serves. Didn't want to lengthen an already long piece with the explanation of the names (which I knew) when the goal was to post a large "Beware of this dog!" sign.

        3. jnk Dec 2, 2007 03:33 AM

          Katz's Deli in Manhattan. Snaps when you bite into them, and they don't have to be deep fried to achieve that.

          1. Peghead Dec 2, 2007 07:58 AM

            Wegmans, eh....Niman ranch? What do they know about dogs?
            Hoffmans Snappy Grillers to the rescue! Or better yet, Zwielgels Hots--red or white, now that's a dog.

            A potato roll? Why not searve it on a seat cushion? Or a brick?

            If you care to drive, try Jimmy Johns Pipin Hot on 202 in PA just above the DE line. ----the best!

            11 Replies
            1. re: Peghead
              m
              mmgpsych Dec 2, 2007 08:35 AM

              Have you had a Niman Ranch Fearless? Nitrite free, no antibiotics, with real beef flavor. Came in first place in four different blind taste tests. Try 'em.

              1. re: mmgpsych
                f
                fourunder Dec 2, 2007 10:08 AM

                This much I understand, you are not a fan of Rutt's Hutt. Everyone has their preferences and this is not tops on your list. However, anyone who has not been to Rutt's yet I am sure will not be dissuaded by your review and will give it a try when the time becomes available and anyone who goes there now disagrees with your assessment. BTW, You cannot denigrate a venerable landmark institution like Rutt's Hutt and not expect to take a few hits. Rutt's is a dingy joint to say the least, but I believe your expectations were high and your experience deflated somewhat, by the appearance of the location. I know mine was the first time I went there and the appearance hasn't changed one bit for decades. If you could put that aspect aside, your opinion might be different.

                Hot Dogs, you either love them or you don't. I for one am a fan and I'm surprised (hotdoglover) has not entered this discussion yet. He is the undisputed authority on the subject of Tube Steaks in my humble opinion.

                I have not been to Chicago, so I cannot comment on the dogs there, but I have been to Pink's at the original location in Los Angeles and I have been to Rutt's Hutt many times, as it is my favorite hot dog. You are comparing apples to oranges when you say which is better. First, Pink's is a all beef and Rutt's is a beef and pork combination. Pink's is boiled and steamed in water, where as Rutt's is deep fried. Rutt's is all about the hot dog plain and simple. It's not about the toppings as evident by the additional cost for sauerkraut or chili. I for one absolutely love their house relish of cabbage and carrot. If you could suggest a better store bought condiment, please do, I am sure others in this discussion would be interested as well.

                When I went to Pink's a few years back, there were roughly 40 people ahead of me in line. It took one hour and forty-five minutes to reach the front and place my order, which took an additional 10 minutes to complete. To this day, my brother does not let me forget the experience, but as a food lover and being in the food business, my curiosity got the better of me and I needed to see how long the line would take and I wanted to realize why anyone would wait so long for a hot dog. Pink's hot dog is very good, and their Jalapeno dog was very good and different, but Pink's in my opinion is about the toppings and the combinations available. Bacon, okay but Pastrami, Corned Beef, Lettuce, Tomato and Guacamole on my hot dog? No thank you. The ordering process is chaotic at Pink's. When you place your order, one attendant handles everything....the dogs, the fries and the sodas. The employees literally bob and weave down the line like a prize fighter to avoid being hit. Very inefficient. I personally believe this practice is not changed to create the lines and the appearance of sensation.

                Rutt's on the other hand, serves their customers quicker and more efficiently with their less labor intensive process with stations and much more limited menu. My observation from an overall business perspective, I believe Rutt's is a better and more profitable place to own. I would not wait on the line at Pink's again if I believed it to be more than ten minutes to reach the front of the line and place my order.

                As for all the other toppings available, I'll leave them for when i order nachos.

                1. re: fourunder
                  t
                  Tay Dec 2, 2007 10:17 AM

                  fourunder
                  That was an excellent, excellent posting. Thank you.
                  Every July 4th the local Public station shows a special on Hot Dogs.
                  Although it was filmed some years ago, they featured both Rutt's and, believe it or not, a hot dog truck that parks somewhere off one of the NJ highways. The 'chef'/ owner is a graduate of the CIA and has devoted himself to the art of the dog. If I can track down the location, I willl post it.

                  1. re: Tay
                    jfood Dec 2, 2007 04:22 PM

                    jfood had a disappointing, let's rephrase that, somewhat lousy pastrami sandwich in fairfield and when mrs jfood asked if the jfood could go to fairfield lighting on the way home, jfood said, "sure." Why. Super Duper is next door. Line was out the door yesterday and jfood was in heaven as he bit into the best dog in ffd county.

                    there is only one dog that beats super duper (and in memory only) and that was Don;s in Livingston NJ.

                  2. re: fourunder
                    h
                    hotdoglover Dec 2, 2007 11:27 AM

                    Rutt's Hut. I've found that people either love em or hate em. There is no middle ground. I would like to get into this in greater detail, but I currently have no computer and am using one in the library and my session is up in 2 minutes! I'll get back in afew days. Sorry I'm coming across this topic now rather than earlier.

                    1. re: hotdoglover
                      h
                      hotdoglover Dec 2, 2007 11:56 AM

                      Tay,
                      The place you are referring to is Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield, Conn. They have since moved into a building. The owner/chef is Gary Zemola.

                      Rutt's Hut may be an aquired taste. As I've said, it seems people either love or hate their dogs. My family refusues to eat them. I, myself love them. The dog is a quality Thumann's frank that is made specifically for deep frying. It has 2 extra ingredients that cause the dogs to puff up and withstand the high temperatures of deep fat frying. As fourunder stated, it's like comparing apples and oranges when you talk about well seasoned beef dogs and milder (but with a wide range of flavors) beef and pork dogs. Then there is the method of cooking. Some people just don't like a deep fried hot dog. I prefer the Rutt's dog well done, or in Rutt's speak, a "weller". Good crispy exterior with soft tender meat on the inside. Mild, subtle tasting dog, that to me is delicious. And the relish is unique. I don't really like relish, but I love Rutt's.

                      Hirams uses the same dog as Rutt's, but at Rutt's the dogs are fried in beef tallow. It makes a difference.

                      I would suggest that everyone passing by Rutt's should stop in but I can't guarantee that you would like it. I've taken people there who promised never to return. Others now come back more than I do. My wife and kids hate Rutt's. My father and brother say it's the best hot dog they've had by far. Taste is subjective. I also love a good grilled beef dog with nothing but mustard. Chicago dogs are overrated although I enjoy them more now than I first did. With a good quality dog you don't need a lot of things thrown on top.

                      A few years ago I compared some Niman Ranch dogs, ($8.99 a lb) some Lobels dogs, ($14.99 a lb) and some Nathan's ($4.50 a lb). All good, but I preferred the Nathan's. Just a better blend of spices. Niman Ranch has a unique spice that you may or may not like. But it's worth trying everything. A lot of fun for me is finally trying a hot dog that I've heard and read about and finally getting to form my own opinion. Even when I've travelled a bit and didn't like the dog, my curiosity has been satisfied. The best dog is the one you like best.

                      1. re: hotdoglover
                        bgut1 Dec 2, 2007 12:05 PM

                        Well put hotdoglover. Thank you.

                        1. re: hotdoglover
                          t
                          Tay Dec 2, 2007 12:11 PM

                          hotdoglover
                          So that's it. SuperDuper Weenies? I thought it was a truck parked somewhere in NJ not Conn. So much for what I know lol! Now I'll never find it!
                          Thanks for the info. :-}
                          Here's the site for anyone else that's interested.
                          http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overv...

                      2. re: fourunder
                        m
                        mmgpsych Dec 2, 2007 01:44 PM

                        To fourunder: That's exactly the point. That Rut's *is* a 'venerable institution' and, as such was a huge disappointment both to me and to my wife. BTW, I *loved* the appearance of the place. Bad assumption. I grew up in Brooklyn in the 50's and used to bike up Ocean Parkway from Ave J to Coney Island for the *real* Nathan's dogs, and the french fries fried in the same oil they hadn't changed since before WWII. So, er, I love grunge of all kinds. I especially loved the sign in Rutt's that said 'Don't sit on the counter' considering that the counter was so tall only an NBA center might have made it up. And agree with me or not. Take hits or not. I calls them like I taste them. We're off to try Nicholas this Thursday. More later

                        1. re: mmgpsych
                          Curlz Dec 2, 2007 04:05 PM

                          Having finally made the trip to Rutt's earlier this year, I have to completely concur with mmgpsych. BUT...people who grew up going to Rutt's have explained to me that they love the place for the nostalgia factor (we went after every jr. high dance/funeral/trip to Corrado's, etc.) and not so much for the taste of the dogs. Hell, one friend who is a VEGETARIAN went there this summer b/c his father was in the area and it was a trip down memory lane for the whole family. And yes, he had a ripper and raved about how good it was. (HUH?) Imo, the place is dumpy, I thought the hot dogs were terrible, the relish was interesting, and now I can say I've been there. The guy who took me had been raving about this trip for months while he was on the west coast, and seeing him enjoy it was fun, but I have no need to go back, and have no problem saying so. I understand what it means to some people, but I'm just not one of them.

                          1. re: mmgpsych
                            f
                            fourunder Dec 2, 2007 04:54 PM

                            mmgpsych,

                            We disagree on these three issues for sure:

                            1. I like Rutt's hot dog, You do not
                            2. I like the Rutt's House Relish, You do not
                            3. Fuhgedaboudit Rutt's? I don't think so.

                            I do not know which program you reference you viewed on the Food Network, but I did see the Hot Dog Program (Tay) mentioned, and the entire operation and products Rutt's serves was clearly profiled. I can only surmise the program you viewed was just as informative, by the similar type profile segments they produce for other shows. If The FN did in fact show the kitchen, the oil fryer and the hot dog....maybe the onion rings and relish too..........how high of expectations could you have possibly had to be so disappointed? Do you feel you were deceived in some way the production of the program you saw and the final product you purchased and consumed? We are talking hot dogs here. I know all about disappointment when it comes to food and the bottom half of an order of Onion Rings from Rutt's is on my list, but to dismiss Rutt's for the sole reason you had a let down and tell people to Fuhgedaboudit is denying them an opportunity to experience Americana in it's purest and simplest form. The history and traditions of many families include Rutt's past experiences. As a food trekker, where can there be disappointment in finally experiencing one of the most famous Hot Dog places in the country. You have to at least appreciate the success and story of Rutt's and it's history.

                            The one fact I see in all your comments is you prefer all beef hot dogs, well seasoned in natural casings similar to the one you enjoyed at Nathan's growing up. I enjoy them just as you, but I also enjoy a beef and pork Thumann's hot dog too. I like them both. There are obviously some very poor quality hot dogs available in stands and stores for purchase. Thumann's hot dogs do not fall in that category and you are the first person I can recall to describe them as tasteless.

                            My tastes are no better than yours and I am not trying to convince you to change your opinion of Rutt's or their hot dog. My only true disagreement with your original comments were that Rutt's is not worthy of a visit to experience and form your own opinion......another bad assumption?

                            I hope you find Nicholas without disappointment.

                            Enjoy the Holidays with your family and friends.

                    2. kimie Dec 2, 2007 04:23 PM

                      First, I agree with your assessment of Rutt's Hut. The hot dogs are just ok, the mustard-type condiment is tasteless, and there is nothing about the place that really makes you want to come back for more. I heard all of these great and legendary tales of Rutt's Hut, and when I went--I felt like saying, "So what?"

                      With that being said, most people have very strong feelings about their hot dogs. I personally feel it's because hot dogs are very nostalgic for most of us. Let's face it, we don't eat hot dogs because they are a great form of nutrition--we eat them because they really bring you back to a simple time in your life.

                      I grew up eating dirty water dogs from street vendors throughout the metropolitian area, and so that is the way I like my dogs. My favorite is Petridis in Bayonne. I'd take a dog with kraut and a cold Yoo-hoo from there anyday! It brings back great memories for me.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kimie
                        j
                        jethro Dec 4, 2007 05:31 PM

                        Petridis, Kimie will you marry me? Yes, I live 40 miles away but still travel there for the dirty water dogs & a YooHoo! I must agree that I traveled to Rutt's Hutt after all of the hoopla & was underimpressed. In fact, I headed down Rt 3 to the Pike, to Bayonne to go to Petridis afterwards. Another great, deep-fried dog is Amazing Hotdog in Verona, NJ. They use Best dogs on Martin's potato rolls (sorry guys, they're good). Well worth a visit.

                        1. re: jethro
                          Striver Dec 5, 2007 04:24 AM

                          Amazing is very good, although the bacon-wrapped dog wasn't as good as I had hoped for; go for the classic (good fries, too). Also nearby is Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover on Rt. 10, where the Italian dog is a hefty, delicious lunch and a half.

                      2. sbp Dec 3, 2007 06:18 AM

                        Well, I made a first time pilgrimage a few weeks ago before the Jets/Steelers game. The ambience is perfect for a hot dog joint. I ordered a pair of rippers and onion rings. Onion rings were very good in the "breaded" style, hot dogs were good -- nothing special.

                        Speaking of Wegmans, I don't think the Rutt's dogs can compare to Ted's hot dogs -- which are made with Sahlens dogs (available at Wegmans) and charcoal grilled till blackened and ripped.

                        IMO, Ted's are superior -- more flavor to the dog, and the charcoal grilling is better than deep frying (though similar in causing the dog to split open). Also, Ted's onion rings (in the "floured" style) are phenomenal.

                        I understand how people can be devoted to a Rutt's -- it is tasty and different. But having had Chicago dogs in Chicago, dirty water Sabretts and Hebrew National in NYC, Rutt's, and a few places out West, I'll stick with Ted's. I don't "get" the California thing -- it's all about what you put on a generic hot dog, not the hot dog or preparation itself.

                        1. h
                          Hugh DeMann Dec 4, 2007 04:51 PM

                          Having eaten hot dogs at virtually every place that serves them in northern NJ, I can say that Rutt's are overrated. Nostalgia does not make the dogs taste better.
                          There are several places nearby that are better - much better.
                          Try Libby's Lunch in Paterson, Pappy's Diner in Totowa, or Falls View in Elmwood Park. These all serve Texas Weiners, and, imho, all blow the doors off or Rutt's.
                          If you feel like driving 50 miles, Hot Dog Johnnie's in Buttzville is also terrific.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: Hugh DeMann
                            tommy Dec 5, 2007 06:12 AM

                            i have a hard time comparing texas weiners with what Rutt's Hut does. Libby's, Pappy's and Falls View all special in Texas weiners, and Rutt's does not.

                            I have a hard time ordering a dog at any of those places unless it's covered in chili sauce and onions. At Rutt's I'm more than happy to suck 3 or 4 down with just mustard.

                            It's all really just a matter of taste. Suggesting that Rutt's is overrated or no good really isn't saying much. Rutt's has plenty of fans and so do the other places.

                            1. re: tommy
                              t
                              taylor04 Dec 5, 2007 09:18 AM

                              Skip over Hot Dog Johnny's and go further south to Toby's Cup in Phillipsburg. Tiny green shack on the side of Rt. 22 that's been there since the 30's. Great deep-fried dogs that rival those of Rutt's Hut. Definitely worth the trip if you're a dog lover.

                              1. re: taylor04
                                h
                                Hugh DeMann Dec 6, 2007 12:50 PM

                                Where exactly is Toby's Cup? I once spent an hour looking for a hot dog stand in P'Burg by the river; turned out it's either closed or only open in the summer.
                                Is Toby's open all year?

                                1. re: Hugh DeMann
                                  ambrose Dec 6, 2007 01:36 PM

                                  Hugh, Toby's is in the westbound lane of Route 22 as you drive towards P'Burg. Suggest you do a search to get the address and perhaps a map location. If you don't know where it is, it's easy to fly by!

                              2. re: tommy
                                menton1 Dec 5, 2007 09:19 AM

                                It seems that here in the Northeast we like our dogs with not much on them, a little mustard, kraut, or onions. Out Chicago and west they put so much stuff on the dogs you can't even find them. Just a cultural thing, I suppose.

                                Personally, I'm a grilled-dog person. Papaya King, Katz, etc are my hot dog heavens. Hard to find a good grilled dog in NJ. I think PK opened somewhere in Clifton, but I don't know where. Deep fried, not for moi.

                                1. re: menton1
                                  f
                                  fourunder Dec 5, 2007 09:31 AM

                                  Papaya king opened at The Corrado's Wholesale Plaza. It's located at the intersection of Getty and Crooks Avenue easily reached from Interstate Route 80, Madison Avenue exit, or State Highway 46, Crooks Avenue exit.

                                  It is more expensive than NYC

                                  1. re: fourunder
                                    menton1 Dec 6, 2007 09:30 AM

                                    Is that inside the original Corrado's or on the next block?

                                    Funny that in NJ it's MORE expensive than in NYC; how do they justify that??

                                    1. re: menton1
                                      tommy Dec 6, 2007 10:49 AM

                                      volume. or lack thereof.

                                      1. re: menton1
                                        f
                                        fourunder Dec 7, 2007 07:02 AM

                                        Corrado's Wholesale is on the north eastern corner of Crook's Avenue and Getty Avenue, Papaya King is located in a separate retail store with it's own entrance next to the Corrado's Wine Making store, not inside any Corrado's store. Corrado's Family Market is across the street on the south western side of Getty Avenue.

                                  2. re: tommy
                                    h
                                    Hugh DeMann Dec 6, 2007 12:49 PM

                                    If we conclude that it's "all really just a matter of taste", then those who like McDonald's can make the same claim.
                                    However, I haven't been to Rutt's in a long time, so I'll zip over and try a few. Back at ya.

                                    1. re: Hugh DeMann
                                      h
                                      hotdoglover Dec 9, 2007 02:56 AM

                                      Interesting comments about nostalgia, atmosphere and other factors that may enhance the overall experience. For me, these things may make the experience better, but they don't make the hot dog TASTE any better. If a dog is mediocre, I don't care how nice the place is, how many memories it brings back from childhood, etc; I just won't go back.

                                      Hot Dog Johnny's, in my opinion, serves a mediocre hot dog. But it is very popular. Part of the reason is that people do like their hot dogs and would disagree with me. Those from West Jersey/PA prefer milder dogs. But a big reason for its popularity is the bucolic setting near the Pequest River and the nostalgia factor. Toby's is much, much better. The brand used, Berk's, tastes better, the dog is fried in peanut oil, and just tastes darn good. Small, inexpensive, and your car smells like it for days. I call Toby's the White Castle of hot dogs.

                                      Interesting that some who dislike Rutt's Hut like Libby's, Hiram's, Goffle Grill, etc. These places all use the same Thumann's dog for deep frying. I actually prefer the Rutt's dog to these other places because you can get one well done and Rutt's fries their dogs in beef tallow. I don't care about trans fats. Hot dogs are not health food anyway. This recipe is different than the Thumanns griller, which is sold in supermarkets and delis in the blue and white package. I love the Thumann's griller. In my opinion, there is no better beef/pork dog. Although I love deep fried dogs and eat what I'm in the mood for, most of the time I'll take a griddled Thumann's over the deep fried version.

                                      The Sahlen's dog served at Ted's is very good. Sahlen's, which is hard to find around here (North Jersey) is one of my 5 favorite mixed meat (beef/pork) dogs. I would rate a Ted's dog over a Rutt's Hut dog, but would rate a Thumann's griller from Rosco's over a Ted's dog. The Griller has more flavor than the dog made for frying, and most of the time I prefer grilling. Before Sahlen's was available here, someone invited me over to sample some that were brought down from Buffalo. I took some Thumann's to compare. Both dogs were great, but he preferred Sahlen's and I liked the Thumann's.

                                2. a
                                  Ant928 Dec 27, 2007 12:32 PM

                                  A lot of it is nostalgia. I was ordering my usual (a cup of chicken soup, an order of fries well done, and two rippers with a lemonade) WELL into my 20's. It finally dawned on me at the age of 28 "Gee, you can have BEER now!" Such as it's ingrained in memory.

                                  Yes it's love 'em or hate ;em...but I love 'em. :)

                                  1. biskuit Jun 9, 2008 04:47 AM

                                    I've been wanting to hit this place for years, and finally made it last night.

                                    Verdict? Well, it's a decent dog, but not the revelation I had hoped for. The ripper is certainly tasty, but I didn't get the expected contrast in texture from skin to inside I was looking for. I tried the Cremator (why not?) and, while I've never eaten a charcoal briquet, I imagine that is exactly what it tastes like. Wow, I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to eat one of those.

                                    The onion rings were indeed top notch, and the chili was very nice, not too many beans, good consistency, nice amount of heat.

                                    Gotta love the place for its old school vibe, but I don't think it's worthy of destination status unless you're in the immediate area.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: biskuit
                                      p
                                      pktaske Jul 17, 2009 09:14 AM

                                      A year late but apples and orange dicussion here. Dirty water dogs and Rutts Hutt are as similar as Chicken Parm and Cattiatore. And stops at roadside hotdog buffets are as much laced with nostalgia for those people as the signs forbidding Rutts Hutts denizens to hurl anything over the chin link fence onto Rt 21. RH is unquestionably a Top 10 hot dog haunt in this United States of America.

                                      Hot Dog Johnnys: location, location, location.

                                      1. re: pktaske
                                        j
                                        johnlockedema Jul 17, 2009 09:38 AM

                                        I go to Rutts occasionally, but I can only eat 'outside'. The bar and dining area are gross, I don't think they even wipe the tables between clients. Sticky tabletops I can't deal with.

                                    2. s
                                      Sally Potatoes Aug 26, 2009 08:21 AM

                                      Rutts Hut may serve the absolute worst hot dog on the face of the earth. I agree totally with your review. I am tired of hearing from folks that say Rutts is a good dog. These folks are simply amused by the novelty of the place and its old fashioned character and the novelty of the clever name Rutts Hut. The place could use a good cleaning too.

                                      The ugliness of the dog is a conversation piece, however, the only thing worse than the disgusting look of a Rutt's Hut hot dog, is the disgusting taste of a Rutt's Hut hot dog.

                                      You have heard of dogs in "natural casings". Well Rutt's serves dogs in "shoe leather casings".

                                      This is the only hot dog stand that I know of that serves a bad tasting dog encased in a hard crust that tastes like burnt cardboard.

                                      Rutts is a good place to get an oil change for your car. You can drain the oil from your car while waiting for your order. Then you can refill the crankcase with the grease drippings sqeezed from the bun. In fact if not for the grease saturated in to the bun, the bun would be hard enough to chip your teeth.

                                      I have been stopping and eating at roadside hot dog stands for 36 years. I have probably eaten at about 1000 places around the country. Rutts ranks somewhere around 999. There has to be at least one hot dog stand somewhere in the world that is worse, but I haven't yet found it

                                      If you like bad food, and want to immediately clog your arteries, then Rutts is your place.

                                      Not Rutts Hut Hot Dogs....It should be called Rutts' Hut Hot Dog Food.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Sally Potatoes
                                        j
                                        johnlockedema Aug 26, 2009 08:29 AM

                                        I think I may have said it earlier, but I can't eat inside because it's, well, disgusting. That said I stopped by yesterday and had two 'wellers' and a cup of Foster's. The dogs were great, no oil whatsoever in the buns, ate them standing up at the counter. We'll have to agree to disagree.

                                        1. re: Sally Potatoes
                                          tommy Aug 26, 2009 08:51 AM

                                          Welcome to chowhound. looking forward to reading more of your reviews.

                                        2. t
                                          Tommy Salami Aug 27, 2009 11:25 AM

                                          We'll have to agree to disagree. Not sure what you were expecting from a hot dog fried in the fryer. Hiram's is pretty much the same, though I always get chili there and just the "relish" at Rutt's. A Danish friend told me the relish what they call remoulade- cabbage, caulflower, ett boiled in apple juice with mustard seed in it. Sounds about right.

                                          My current fave is Crif's in NYC- they wrap their fried dogs in bacon, and have many toppings- but the dogs taste the same. Certainly not tasteless, but not a spicy dog like a Usinger's, which I had at Big Daddy's in NYC. That was a good dog.

                                          What I like about Rutt's- besides the obvious nostalgia, I've been going since I had to use the kid's counter- is the crunch of the dog (ripper) vs. the sweet mush of the relish. Admittedly there are no real strong flavors here. It's a grease pit. The rings have gotten a lot better. They used to be a bag of mess. Now actual rings that stay together!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Tommy Salami
                                            o
                                            onealltheway Aug 29, 2009 10:10 AM

                                            Rutt's is a roadside sh*thole and the dogs aren't top-notch as mmgspych noted . It's just a tradition like fruitcake and eggnog for the holidays. Not really that tasty, but you do it anyway.

                                            Goffle Grill, the dearly departed Clixes and Hot Grill all superior IMO to Rutt's. Hot Grill's chili is the best.

                                            http://www.thehotgrill.org/video.html

                                            1. re: onealltheway
                                              h
                                              Hugh DeMann Sep 11, 2009 12:11 PM

                                              As Libby's Lunch in Paterson still good? Used to be the best.

                                              Regarding Hot Dog Johnnie's: yes, the location is great, and it has the nostalgia thing going for it. But it just so happens the hot dogs are really delicious also. And the buttermilk - in a chilled real glass mug - along with a dog with everything (mustard, onion, and pickle)...what can I say? We drive 30 minutes out of our way to eat there every time we are nearby.

                                          2. a
                                            andrew9132 Oct 14, 2009 03:26 PM

                                            Great review! Sounds like this place really sucks, and there's no need for me to try them out. Keep up the good work!

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: andrew9132
                                              h
                                              hotdoglover Oct 14, 2009 04:55 PM

                                              Andrew,

                                              Go and try Rutt's Hut. Then form your own opinion. This place elicits the widest range of opinions when it comes to hot dogs. My wife and kids hate the place while my father and brother loved it when they went. I can't guarantee that you will like it, but I have taken people there who love it so much that they are regulars and go more than I do. Even if you don't like it, it will be worth the experience.

                                              1. re: hotdoglover
                                                m
                                                mcllmlathd Oct 14, 2009 07:24 PM

                                                My parents grew up in Clifton and Passiac, right around the corner from rutts, and I have been going for years and years, It is hard to find a better hot dog! Hotdoglover is correct that it is a love or hate place, I reccomend a creamated dog and well done 'onions' (rings) and 'frenchies' (fries)....and don't forget the yahoo! I am craving rutts right now....hmmmmmm

                                                1. re: hotdoglover
                                                  c
                                                  chefsalad Jan 27, 2010 09:13 PM

                                                  Having read this thread for 2 years, I figure, why not enter the fray.

                                                  My first trip to Rutt's Hutt was an abandoned plan to drive into NYC from NJ about 5 years ago. Wife and daughter liked it okay, son and I loved the dog. Been back a couple of times, but I live in Virginia, hard to get there.

                                                  But you HAVE to make your own review. Taking the different reviews and coming up with what you think it MIGHT taste like is to say you do or don't like a movie you have never seen...it makes no sense.

                                                  As for hot dogs in general, Niman Ranch and other boutique producers are nice for a variety of products, but hot dogs aren't eaten in places that will charge you 10 bucks a pop (unless you are at a Nationals game!) So I ask why you would expect the equivalent of Kobe or Wagyu beef at a burger joint? You wouldn't and you shouldn't put those expectations on hot dogs at all.

                                                  As for taste, it is always subjective and a reflection of what you like, what you are used to, and what kind of context and memories are evoked by eating whatever it is. So, Hot Dog Johnnies makes me think of heading off to Dingman's to camp with my family, eating hot dogs and drinking birch beer from a chilled glass mug. In my recollection this was a very good hot dog...albeit DIFFERENT from Rutts, Pinks, Superdawg, or even some of my favorites down here: Ben's Chili Bowl in DC, City Dogs and Joey's Hot Dogs, both here in Richmond, Hot Dog King in Newport News, or Famous Uncle Al's in Virginia Beach. Each place has its fans and its strengths and weaknesses. But I LIKE HOT DOGS. I find that a weak hot dog is still not bad...because I LIKE HOT DOGS.

                                                  I have a decent palate, worked as a fine-dining chef in the 80s and 90s, and appreciate subtlety, nuance, and artisanally produced foods. Not to tout myself but rather to say, yeah, I GET that there are better or more high end dogs out there. But you can't recreate these places, you can't tell people their tastes are BAD because they like what you don't. You can only say you don't care for it. But so many have gone farther than this to disparage and to call places overrated. I don't really see the point.

                                                  And if you really like hot dogs, you should like them as a reflection of their locales, their creators, their fans. Chicago, New York, Jersey, West Coast, PA, and Southern Style are all different, but I love them all.

                                                  If you are even in Richmond, Joey's Hot Dogs in the Exxon on Ridgefield Parkway in Short Pump makes a helluva great chili dog...try one if you are in the neighborhood!

                                                  1. re: chefsalad
                                                    h
                                                    hotdoglover Jan 28, 2010 03:50 AM

                                                    I've always said taste is subjective. But there are other parameters that distinguish a well made dog from a mediocre one. A lot of the supermarket dogs have fillers, mechanically separated chicken, variety meats, and the like. Good dogs are made from meat and meat trimmings. Top notch dogs like Thumann's griller and those made by European style butchersand pork store are made from whole cuts of quality beef or beef/pork/veal.

                                                    But I agree, even a run of the mill hot dog is good. I love hot dogs and have access to many good ones. But on occasion when I've been pressed for time and haven't eaten, I've stopped in a 7-11 and enjoyed a couple of skinless Oscar Meyer dogs prepared on a roller grill.

                                                    I get the whole Rutt's Hut thing, but what I don't understand are the people who don't like Rutt's yet rave about Hiram's, Libby's, the Goffle Grill and other places that use the SAME recipe dog Rutt's Hut uses (Thumann's made specifically for deep frying) prepared the same way.

                                                    1. re: chefsalad
                                                      f
                                                      foodismylife Jan 29, 2010 10:05 AM

                                                      chefsalad
                                                      this is off the hook special
                                                      the slaw dog with relish and mustard on the dog and then on the top is my go-to dog
                                                      wed and sun nite 5-9 buy one get one free
                                                      get the fries underdone and get a bioylans birch and you are in hog heaven
                                                      di not like rutt's the only time i was there and never went back
                                                      grays papaya on 238th in the city is also crazy sick
                                                      by the way do not love the texas weiner at johnny and hanges it is better at the hot grille
                                                      used to say hotdoglover that i never met a dog i dint love but not true as i get older
                                                      when i had cardiac problems i would go to grays and have a kraus sandwich slather it in mustard and make up my own dog
                                                      eat well my friends

                                                      1. re: chefsalad
                                                        ttoommyy Jan 29, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                        Very well said chefsalad. I applaud your diplomacy and educated opinions. Bravo!

                                                  2. j
                                                    JNUNZMAN Jan 30, 2010 09:55 AM

                                                    If I go to Clifton, I will go to The Hot Grill for Texas Weiners and stay away from Rutts Hutts. I thought that their dogs were disgusting and severely overated. I guess I was spoiled living right down the road from Max's and the original Windmill.
                                                    Hot Grill rocks, Rutts sucks.

                                                    1. d
                                                      DINRO007 Jan 30, 2010 05:56 PM

                                                      Well, if Pinks in LA is better it must Really su*k. Greasy tasteless chili dogs there in LA
                                                      : I am spoiled though, being bred on Kuhns Chili (sadly gone) in fairfield CT

                                                      1. The Professor Jan 30, 2010 06:47 PM

                                                        I love a good hot dog (which to me, is made from either pork, or a pork/beef blend). A good dog grilled or steamed, and lightly enhanced with a bit of topping, is a soul satisfying thing.

                                                        It's true that taste is subjective, but frankly, that piece on TV about RUTT's did more to turn me _off_ to a visit than to encourage one. Pretty un-appetizing if you ask me...but hey...what do I know...apparently they've been there and been mobbed since Lincoln was president.
                                                        Still, even though I am certainly no fat-o-phobe (we Hungarians can make a meal of pork belly boiled with lots of salt and tons of garlic, rolled in paprika, and sliced cold onto rye bread) but I just don't get the appeal of taking something like a hot dog...essentially meat scraps that already have a relatively high fat content... and then cooking them in even more fat, especially beef tallow. Tallow that has been sitting in that deep fryer for god knows how long...
                                                        Sorry, but that that TV exposure didn't do them any favors!

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: The Professor
                                                          j
                                                          johnlockedema Jan 30, 2010 09:52 PM

                                                          I love the rippers and wellers, I usually get one of each; but I've said before-I'll only eat in the counter room, the bar/dining area is filthy.

                                                          1. re: The Professor
                                                            tommy Jan 31, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                            you certainly wouldn't like jimmy buff's if you find fat is unappealing. and peter luger, too.

                                                            1. re: tommy
                                                              jfood Jan 31, 2010 07:23 AM

                                                              you gotta take a look at HDLs latest video. Makes jfood homesick

                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/684250

                                                              1. re: jfood
                                                                f
                                                                fourunder Jan 31, 2010 07:26 AM

                                                                j,

                                                                just to add to your pain....they mention your old favorite.

                                                                http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2010...

                                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                                  jfood Jan 31, 2010 07:36 AM

                                                                  Thanks F

                                                                  Yeah Star Tavern brings back great memories, did not even know of the place in Belleville even when jfood lived in Glen Ridge.

                                                                  But his favorite moment of the clip was a sound bite near the end..."Shut up you face"

                                                                  Oh yeah that was nice.

                                                                  1. re: jfood
                                                                    f
                                                                    fourunder Jan 31, 2010 07:50 AM

                                                                    Here's a more detailed read, with a nod to Santillo's and Spirito's

                                                                    http://www.nj.com/entertainment/dinin...

                                                              2. re: tommy
                                                                The Professor Jan 31, 2010 06:36 PM

                                                                good heavens, no...I don't find fat unappealing at all. I relish the fat on a good steak, and especially on a well made and un-trimmed pork chop.
                                                                And the butter on a Luger's steak is fine with me.
                                                                I only dislike fat that's been sitting in a deep fryer forever and is totally played out. And you're right...I have tried Jimmy Buff's and while I love Italian Hot Dogs, theirs have to be about the worst I've ever had. The rancid taste that wouldn't leave my mouth was an immediate tipoff that whatever they were frying everything in was _way_ over the hill. It would take quite a bit of convincing to ever get me to set foot in there again. But hey...what do I know...they've been in business forever, so _somebody_ must like their stuff. More power to 'em...and long may they wave...

                                                                1. re: The Professor
                                                                  j
                                                                  johnlockedema Jan 31, 2010 07:01 PM

                                                                  I guess it depends on which Jimmy Buffs. East Hanover I enjoy, the place in Scotch Plains is one of the few restaurants I've ever walked out of without ordering. And as much as I love Rutts, I refuse to eat inside because it's so filthy. I go to the covered counter area.

                                                                  1. re: johnlockedema
                                                                    The Professor Feb 1, 2010 08:05 AM

                                                                    hmmmm...ok. My bad experience was indeed in a single JB's location. I may just try the East Hanover one next time I'm up that way. JB's gets such raves, I should be more objective about it and honestly try to see why by visiting the other location(s).
                                                                    It's just that the one I did visit wasn't bad...it was heinous.

                                                            2. briansnat Feb 24, 2010 09:26 AM

                                                              Count me as a Rutts fan. I've been to hundreds of hot dog stands over the years, in NJ and elsewhere and all fall short of Rutts. I love the snap as you bite into that delicious Thumanns dog . And the relish is outstanding. I've never found its equal anywhere.

                                                              I've been to many of the highly touted places, Pinks, Hirams, Goffle, Libbys, Hot Grill, Hot Dog Johnnies, Galloping Hill, the original Callihans, the original Falls View, Papaya King, the original Nathans, Dickie Dees, Jimmy Buffs, Superdawg, The Varsity and others.Many are very good but none equal Rutts

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: briansnat
                                                                JerzeyShore Feb 24, 2010 11:22 AM

                                                                My co-workers and I use to go to Rutts Butt, as we called it in the early eighties and I agree with you - nice snap, great relish and delicious mustard. What more can you ask for in a dog...

                                                                1. re: JerzeyShore
                                                                  y
                                                                  yogi70 Feb 24, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                  on Saturday the wife and I decided we were hankering for some good wings before ordering the UFC fight. kept hearing about how good the Sharkys wings were in Clifton, so we hopped on 46west and off we went. sharkys is a tiny bar on a residential street that we would've drove right by if it wasnt for the navi... its definitely a local joint, if not a "dive" but we love those kind of places. we shared an large order of wings (25) 1/2 hot, the other half Maryland style (with old bay and butter??). wings were very good, not great, but very good. didnt really care for the MD wings but the hots were delicious. after few beers and a few peel and eat shrimp we were out the door.

                                                                  as we were leaving, i asked "i wonder how close the hot grill or rutts hut is to this place" and the navi showed they both were pretty close so we decided to be real fatties, and get a dog at each and decide for ourselves which was better. off to the hot grill. place is cute, and has an old school vibe inside. ordered 2 texas weiners w/ mustard. Wow, they were absolutely amazing. the hot dog had a ton of flavor and as my wife said "melted in your mouth". at this point we were pretty full but we decided to try rutts hut for the "hat trick". went to the covered outdoor part of ruts and ordered 2 rippers. now, i know were gonna upset a lot of die hard dog lovers, but i have to admit, i was totally/utterly disappointed. first bite into the ripper, i tasted NO flavor and really didnt care the the crispy outside of the dog at all. went and put some more mustard and the yellow relish on the dog took another bite, and it didnt really help at all. i actually tossed the remaining half ripper as i couldnt believe how unenjoyable it was compared to the the hot grill's texas weiners we had eaten minutes before. wife 100% agreed with me and we then headed home. missed half the ufc pay per view as i feel asleep on the couch, and my tummy hurt the next day, but all in all well worth it. yknow, its all subjective to ones taste and preference, but IMHO - hot grill blows away rutts hut, no doubt. phew i need an alka seltzer .........

                                                                  1. re: yogi70
                                                                    f
                                                                    foodismylife Feb 24, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                                    right you are yogi70 rutt's blows.
                                                                    Hot grille is fine but the chili tastes too much of cinnamon.
                                                                    Now next time go to Johnny and Hange's and try their slaw and relish and mustard.
                                                                    It is the gold standard.
                                                                    Their texas weiner is fine.
                                                                    Go on a wed or sun nite and get one free with each one ordered at full price.
                                                                    Order the fries slightly underdone get a boylan's on ice kiss the wife and you will go home happy with no belly ache I promise.

                                                              2. k
                                                                kittyauroria Feb 27, 2010 08:55 PM

                                                                Wow... I'm shocked. My friend has grown up on Rutt's Hut and introduced me to it recently. I thought it was really good and we've been going back every time we meet up. Maybe just a bad day?

                                                                1. k
                                                                  Kdoh Mar 2, 2010 09:06 AM

                                                                  Just found the Rutt's Hut discussion and thought I'd add my views. I was born in North Jersey and lived there until I went to college in 1964. My Dad took us to Rutt's since the 50's, but I've only been back a couple of times since, but nothing has changed to my perception.

                                                                  Point of Amusement (POA) 1, The observations that Rutt's has a 70s/80s atmosphere is off by a number of decades. It hasn't changed since I first staeted going there in the fifties and my Dad said it hadn't changed that much since he was younger.

                                                                  POA 2, Nostalgia affects patron's desires to eat there. I've never heard anyone say they they went there for any reason other than they liked the food. Nostalgia plays no part in my preference for having a Ripper there. I like their Rippers.

                                                                  POA 3, It's rare to find Birch Beer on tap, but no one mentioned the cream soda - another good combination.

                                                                  POA 4, Preferences. I think I notice something of a trend. Some preferences seem to be divided between boiled dogs and fried/grilled dogs. I'm definitely in the latter camp. I've had dirty water Sabrett's and in many states where I've lived - Northern New York, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and currently Texas, boiled is all you can get so I do my own at home and never eat a restaurant dog. To me, I will never boil a Brat, Kielbasa, Knockwurst or Italian Sausage, so I'm not going to boil a dog - a preference, of course. Although Nathan's is grilled, I find the garlic overwhelms everything else.

                                                                  POA 5, As I was reading the posts the thought came to mind that I'd rather have a grilled dog off a roller grill than boiled, ans sure enough it came up.

                                                                  POA 6, I remember the term Texas Wiener, but I don't know what it referred to. I live in Texarkana, TX and WE DON'T HAVE TEXAS WIENERS.

                                                                  POA 7, Stewart's Root Beer stands didn't have a bad grilled dog, but no one fesses up to ever haven eaten one. I remember the one in North Arlington by the Passaic River bridge.

                                                                  POA 8, Do you boil, fry or grill a $9/lb. Niman Ranch? I can get a good 1 lb, Steak for $9/lb. I think I'll boil my next Steak out of curiosity (Not).

                                                                  POA 9, Rutt's has a very high approval rating. Discouraging people from trying it is going against odds I wouldn't take.

                                                                  POA 10, This whole thread.

                                                                  24 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Kdoh
                                                                    menton1 Mar 2, 2010 09:31 AM

                                                                    Yep, no Texas Wieners in Texas. And, the only place to get New York Hot Wieners is in Rhode Island! You can't get them in New York! Lol.

                                                                    1. re: Kdoh
                                                                      h
                                                                      hotdoglover Mar 2, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                      Kdoh,

                                                                      You left Jersey in 1964. Ever hear of the Hot Grill? Opened in 1961 a few miles away from Rutt's Hut in Clifton. Known for their Texas Weiners, they now sell more hot dogs than any place in N.J. including Rutt's Hut. A Texas Weiner is a North Jersey specialty. It's a dog that is made of beef and pork, deep fried, and topped with mustard, onions, and a thin Greek style chili sauce. Down towards Central Jersey; specifically in and around Plainfiled, the Texas Weiners are grilled and topped with a thicker chili.

                                                                      1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                        k
                                                                        Kdoh Mar 2, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                                        hotdoglover,

                                                                        Thanks for responding. Never heard of the Hot Grill. Didn't get my Driver's License until end of senior year at Benedict's (I was the youngest in my class), so if my Dad hadn't heard of a place and taken some interest in it, we wouldn't have gone because he was the driver.

                                                                        Thanks for the info on the Texas Wiener. I would not have found that combination of toppings very appealing, so that explains why I've never had one.

                                                                        One more POA, 11. If deep fried dogs are greasy, why isn't deep fried chicken? A bit of a disconnect here?

                                                                        1. re: Kdoh
                                                                          f
                                                                          foodismylife Mar 3, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                          Kdoh
                                                                          Deep fried anything is greasy, that is the attraction.
                                                                          Repeat, Rutts blows Johnny and Hanges is where it is at.\Especially on two for one nights

                                                                          1. re: foodismylife
                                                                            k
                                                                            Kdoh Mar 3, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                            Food,

                                                                            That's the disconnect. You don't often hear people complaining about other deep fried foods. Fried is fried if it's not left in the grease too long..

                                                                            Let me get this straight. I take I-35 to Little Rock, I-40 to I-81 outside Asheville, I-81 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, I-278 to I-287, I-287 to I-80, I-80 to US46, US 46 to S3, 6th exit on the right? I'll be there in four days.

                                                                            Actually, it would be a lot cheaper to send hotdoglover a couple of bucks to buy a styrofoam cooler, some dry ice, some Thuman's deep fryers, some Bests and some old Star Ledgers for packing and have some shipped to Texas.

                                                                            Back in the mid 80s when I lived in Mobile, I did this very thing with some fresh Gulf Shrimp that I sent to my family in Cedar Grove and they arrived in Jersey as fresh as when they left Mobile.

                                                                            1. re: foodismylife
                                                                              h
                                                                              hotdoglover Mar 3, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                              Food,

                                                                              Are you aware of the fact that the dog served at Johnny & Hanges is the SAME recipe Thumann's dog for deep frying? Don't know how you can have such a negative opinion of Rutt's while liking J&H.

                                                                        2. re: Kdoh
                                                                          jfood Mar 3, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                                          POA 7, Stewart's Root Beer stands didn't have a bad grilled dog, but no one fesses up to ever haven eaten one. I remember the one in North Arlington by the Passaic River bridge.

                                                                          Insert jfood raising his hand. He ate LOTS of them in Elizabeth, he also ate burgers from Wetson's and WC and dogs from A&W and Galloping Hill Inn. Other than Wetson;s no complaints.

                                                                          Step 6 now finished

                                                                          1. re: jfood
                                                                            j
                                                                            johnlockedema Mar 3, 2010 06:45 PM

                                                                            There had been a sign on a building in Union on Morris Avenue announcing a Stewarts was coming to that location-never arrived. A Stewarts did open in Gillete on Valley Road a few years ago.

                                                                            Once a month I drive from Millburn to Petersons (Galloping Hill) for a double hot dog.

                                                                            1. re: jfood
                                                                              k
                                                                              Kdoh Mar 3, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                              J,

                                                                              Your raised hand is acknowledged providing multiple fingers are involved. You have also earned the privilege of leaving your desk to go to the little boy's room.

                                                                              1. re: Kdoh
                                                                                j
                                                                                JACKSRED Jul 8, 2010 01:02 PM

                                                                                Rutt's Bland and dirty.

                                                                                Wish Eagan's in north Arlington was still around!

                                                                                1. re: JACKSRED
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  hotdoglover Jul 8, 2010 05:20 PM

                                                                                  Me too. My father used to go there when he was in high school in the 1950's. It was something of a teen hangout. By the time I got around to going, they added a back room and a bar. I got to know Mr. Eagan. For years he resisted offers to sell, but finally gave in. I'm sorry to see Eagan's go, but I understand him selling. Same thing happenned with Callahan's in Fort Lee. Someone comes along and offers you an enormous amount of money. As Mr. Eagan told me, "I have a choice. I can continue to work. Or retire with more money than if I continued working. What would you do?" I'd probably retire and take the money. Too bad Eagan's was sold to the satanic drug store cartel. I forget if it was a Rite Aid, CVS, or Walgreens. I've posted about it somewhere on Chowhound.

                                                                                  Good for the Eagan's, bad for us who loved their hot dogs.

                                                                                  But let me add this. While I really liked Mr. Eagan and his family; they served the SAME EXACT DOG that Rutt's Hut does! And they prepared it the same way. While their establishment was cleaner, and in my opinion nicer (I loved their bar), their dogs weren't any better than Rutt's. Same dog's, but Rutt's relish is better. Eagan's atmosphere was better and the Eagan's were a lot more personable than the dour, unfriendly people working at Rutt's. And I say this as a fan of Rutt's and someone who has brought a bus load of people there more than once on the Annual New Jersey Hot Dog Tour.

                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                    f
                                                                                    fourunder Jul 9, 2010 05:05 AM

                                                                                    Sorry to tell you this, but I went to the auction for Eagan's when they closed, and the place was filthy. Everything had a film of grease on it to the touch. The equipment was so dirty, many of the pieces did not sell. Also, when the equipment was removed, the build up of dirt and debris behind it was unconscionable.

                                                                                    Like yourself, I'm a fan of Rutt's....and I've described it as a dump as well,,,,

                                                                                    1. re: fourunder
                                                                                      menton1 Jul 9, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                                      Papaya King Rocks!!

                                                                                      -----
                                                                                      Papaya King
                                                                                      600 Getty Ave, Clifton, NJ 07011

                                                                                      1. re: menton1
                                                                                        Tapas52 Jul 10, 2010 10:14 PM

                                                                                        What did you think of Max's hot dogs in long branch?.....dissapointing was there recently and wasn't impressed at all....$4.95 for a foot long on a 6" roll? stuck out on both sides very sloppy.....tasteless also...I grew up in Coney Island and have an affection for Nathan's dogs .....I enjoy Rutt's Hut also.... grilled Hebrew National in NYC and Papaya King, In Newark diki dee's, & jimmy buff's....

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Rutt's Hut
                                                                                        417 River Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

                                                                                        Papaya King
                                                                                        600 Getty Ave, Clifton, NJ 07011

                                                                                        1. re: Tapas52
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          bakersma Jul 11, 2010 07:36 AM

                                                                                          Stay clear of Max's. Food was "OK" but as you point out not a good value. They are just riding on their reputation. Plus the nasty old woman who owns the place was very rude to me when I went to pay for a to-go purchase at the cash register. I did nothing to provoke her, I am always very nice & civil in these situations, but out of the blue she nearly bit my head off because I gave her a few coins (not pennies!) along with a couple of $1 bills. Never again !! Go down the road a few blocks to one of the 2 Windmill locations instead. If it's nice out, sit up on the deck atop the West End one and watch the world go by :-) :-)

                                                                                          1. re: bakersma
                                                                                            Tapas52 Jul 11, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                                            bakersma......your not the first one to recomend the Windmill over Max's....we'll try it soon too. I've only been to the one in Howell on Rt9 so far..

                                                                                            Thanx

                                                                                            1. re: Tapas52
                                                                                              s
                                                                                              shopgirl Jul 11, 2010 01:49 PM

                                                                                              Babs16 -- you hit the nail on the head: HIRAM'S. We've gone there through dating and marriage...a long, long time. Learned about it from my father-in-law who did the same thing....hope it goes on forever. My grown children love it, too. Notice Callahan's didn't last that long across the street???? Wonder why....
                                                                                              Sorry, but Rutt's Hutt may have been good in its day (whenever that was), but this writer doesn't care much for it either. That said, to each his own.

                                                                                              1. re: shopgirl
                                                                                                tommy Jul 11, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                                                                No need to apologize. Some people don't care for Rutt's. I don't for most places.

                                                                                                1. re: shopgirl
                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                  hotdoglover Jul 11, 2010 05:07 PM

                                                                                                  shopgirl,

                                                                                                  I don't understand how you could like Hiram's, but not Rutt's. They use the same recipe dog and prepare them the same way; deep fried. And Callahan's closed a few years ago after opening in the 1940's. I'd say 60 years is a pretty good run. The reason they closed was that Mr. Castrianni (owner of Callahan's) was offerred an obscene amount of money to sell. Otherwise they would still be going strong.

                                                                                                  That said, I did prefer Hiram's (Thumann's for deep frying) to Callahan's (Sabrett beef/pork).

                                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                    d
                                                                                                    drummer15 Jul 13, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                                                                    You mentioned Callahan's is closed - but there are still two listed as being in Fort Lee and Little Ferry. Are they new owners, old name, and any good?
                                                                                                    I grew up in that area, and went to Palisades Amusement park in the summers, followed by a stop across the street at Callahans. Lots of great memories!

                                                                                                    1. re: drummer15
                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                      hotdoglover Jul 13, 2010 10:59 AM

                                                                                                      The last 3 Callahan's locations were Fort Lee (across from Hiram's), Little Ferry, and Hasbrouck Heights. All 3 family owned, all 3 now closed. First Fort Lee, then the other 2.

                                                                                                      1. re: drummer15
                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                        fourunder Jul 13, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                                                                        after Palisades Amusement Park......the stop was the Twin Gables.

                                                                                                        HDL....this may have been mentioned before, but there was a Callahan's in Bergenfield as well.

                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                          hotdoglover Jul 13, 2010 12:59 PM

                                                                                                          Yes, there were others as well. I heard that most of them didn't do well and were bought back by the Castrianni family and either sold to other businesses (banks, pharmacies) or closed down. The last 3 were the most well known.,

                                                                                                2. re: bakersma
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  joonjoon Jul 12, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                                  bakersma - you're not alone. The whole staff at Max's has the worst attitiude I've ever experienced in a restaurant. Only one thing to do....don't give them your money.

                                                                                2. d
                                                                                  drummer15 May 19, 2011 10:40 AM

                                                                                  My favorite hot dog as a kid was from Callahan's in Fort Lee, NJ.
                                                                                  I beleive they are now closed. I've heard that they used Sabrett dogs, so I'd like to order some to use at a family reunion to try to recreate the tase for my kids and grandkids. Does anyone remember which type, beef or beef and pork, skinless or skinned, that Callahan's used to deep fry, and what type of oil they used?
                                                                                  Thank you!

                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: drummer15
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                                                                                    fourunder May 19, 2011 11:39 AM

                                                                                    http://www.callahanshotdogs.com/

                                                                                    If you go to offthebroiler.com, there's a reference that they used Shickhaus hot dogs at one time.

                                                                                    http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                                    1. re: drummer15
                                                                                      menton1 May 19, 2011 04:37 PM

                                                                                      Hotdoglover John, if he sees this post, is best qualified to give you 100% accurate information about this...

                                                                                      1. re: drummer15
                                                                                        briansnat May 19, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                                                        I've had Callahan's dogs and they definitely were not the push cart style Sabretts they sell in the supermarket. If they were made by Sabrett I suspect they were made specially for them.

                                                                                        1. re: briansnat
                                                                                          h
                                                                                          hotdoglover May 20, 2011 06:21 AM

                                                                                          All Callahan's locations are closed. Originally they used Thumann's franks for deep frying just like Rutt's Hut and Hiram's, which was across the street from the Fort Lee Callahan's. I've been told that the owner of Callahan's was very demanding and tough to deal with; so much so that Thumann's stopped doing business with them. Callahan's ended up using a beef/pork frank from Sabrett. The big frank was 4/1. They also served a smaller 6/1 frank. These were natural casing and deep fried in vegetable oil. Sabrett makes two recipes. Beef/pork and all beef. Completely different in terms of spicing and ingredients.

                                                                                          The Hot Dog House on Rt. 17 in Carlstadt serves the same dog as Callahan's did (4/1) and prepares it the same way. They also serve a smaller (11/1) natural casing Sabrett dog dirty water style. The Windmill serves the same Sabrett beef/pork dog but prepares it on a griddle rather than deep frying. The Hot Grill in Clifton uses a small (8/1) Sabrett beef/pork dog and deep fries it. They also use a similar frank from Grote & Weigel. Unless you are familiar with both brands, you may not be able to taste the difference. I believe the Hot Grill uses the Grote & Weigel franks for their afternoon "buy one get one free" special.

                                                                                          As far as purchasing the same franks that were used by Callahan's, I believe you can get them at a Sabrett distributor. I don't want this post deleted and I don't know if it will be if I link some websites, but do a search for Sabrett to find local distributors. Pirylis is one distributor and they have a site. A few years ago I contacted them and was told I could purchase any of the franks Sabrett makes but there was a 5 pound minimum. I don't know their current policy but it is worth checking into if you are interested in purchasing and enjoying these franks again.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Rutt's Hut
                                                                                          417 River Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

                                                                                          Hot Dog House
                                                                                          510 State Rt 17, Carlstadt, NJ 07072

                                                                                          Hot Grill
                                                                                          669 Lexington Ave, Clifton, NJ 07011

                                                                                          1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                            h
                                                                                            hotdoglover May 20, 2011 06:27 AM

                                                                                            I've also heard that Callahan's used Schickhaus for a short period of time, but originally used Thumann's.

                                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                              briansnat May 21, 2011 06:04 AM

                                                                                              If he's old enough to have grandkids I suspect that the franks he recalls so fondly may have been the Thumann's.

                                                                                              1. re: briansnat
                                                                                                Tapas52 May 21, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                                Growing as a kid in Coney island of course my favorite dog was NATHAN's......but now a grilled Thumann's (white pack/blue letters) with some spicy Nathan's mustard can't be beat in my book!.....just love the snap when you bite in... YUM!

                                                                                                1. re: Tapas52
                                                                                                  menton1 May 21, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                  Nathan's dogs, if cooked on a flat grill, are still damn good.

                                                                                                  1. re: menton1
                                                                                                    Tapas52 May 21, 2011 12:51 PM

                                                                                                    menton1 I agree especially when they were 25cents ! lol

                                                                                                    1. re: Tapas52
                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                      Check17 May 23, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                                                                      Tapas52 you just brought back some good memories of those quarter hot dogs which were nice with those Nathan's french fries and a nice cold soda on a hot summer day.

                                                                                                      1. re: Check17
                                                                                                        Tapas52 May 23, 2011 09:45 AM

                                                                                                        check17...oh man I miss those days so much in Coney.....what they are doing there is a sin now evicting all the original businesses to make all kinds of new Sports Bars, & commercial stores along the boardwalk what a shame.
                                                                                                        Nathan's Lobster Rolls and Chicken Chow mein on a bun for 25cents was also a super treat back in the day too.

                                                                                      2. e
                                                                                        ELA May 21, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                                        Rutt's Hut is an all-time, classic dog. If it's not your speed, style or whatever, that's fine of course. Different people like different flavors of ice cream. I've always liked Callahan's, and it was probably my all-time favorite. There are others I really like as well -- Syd's, Jimmy Buff's, Hiram's, and so on. There's many. I like Rutt's Hut. Not nearly as much as others, but I like it.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ELA
                                                                                          menton1 May 21, 2011 02:27 PM

                                                                                          Nathan's dog is cooked quite differently than Rutts'. If you prefer grilled dogs, Nathan's is the way to go...

                                                                                          1. re: menton1
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                                                                                            ELA May 21, 2011 02:53 PM

                                                                                            I didn't comment on Nathan's, althought, yes, I like Nathan's. Certainly not all the locations, but I've had a few that I liked. None of the Nathan's locations are the original of course.

                                                                                            Regardless, there are plenty of places that grill or finish their dogs on the grill.

                                                                                            No different than saying if you like "A" . . . then you wouldn't want to order "B"

                                                                                        2. e
                                                                                          ELA May 21, 2011 02:54 PM

                                                                                          I am not a diner kind of guy, but due to circumstances I go to them on a regular basis. They are what they are to me. I hope they are basic, reliable, not gourmet, edible, etc. LOL. A few have some things they are known for I suppose, but I've never been to a truly "great" diner.

                                                                                          There's a few a like. Interesting picks here -- thanks.

                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: ELA
                                                                                            menton1 May 21, 2011 07:46 PM

                                                                                            With today's restaurant situation, fortunately 95% of the time there is a much better alternative to a diner.

                                                                                            1. re: menton1
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                                                                                              ELA May 22, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                                                              I agree. I actually hear people say otherwise. There's a diner around the corner from my office that we often go to for lunch. Personally, I go because it's fast, convenient, and I am looking for something basic, edible, etc.

                                                                                              Anyway, it used to be "good" -- with all the things I said. I could order a reuben and it would be ok, an open face turkey sandwich special, a wrap, something. Anything -- edible, basic, fast, etc.

                                                                                              However, in the past few years -- I think the place has "slipped" . I don't know if they are using lesser quality ingredients or what. I do think the portions of gotten a tad smaller as well. But for example, the turkey was not nearly as good, a bit more fatty, chewy, etc. I am not the only person in the group who feels this way.

                                                                                              Regardless, agreed. Better alternatives. To me, even if I have to pay more -- I'd rather go elsewhere.

                                                                                              1. re: ELA
                                                                                                menton1 May 23, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                                Turkey is just about never any good at a diner or deli, because it just isn't..... turkey! It's some processed turkey meat, formed into a round shape. Gone are the days of turkey off the bone, dark meat fresh moist turkey, etc. Turkey is just not an item to order. Once a year at Thanksgiving we get REAL turkey. Otherwise, it's a great idea to order something else.

                                                                                                Where is this diner, anyway? Gotta be a better choice for lunch in the area!

                                                                                                1. re: menton1
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                                                                                                  ELA May 23, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                                                  Got it. Thanks. Yes, I know about the processed turkey. I didn't mean the "deli" turkey (like a plain turkey sandwich). I was talking about the "turkey entree" -- which I believe is real, fresh turkey. They serve that with the entree or with the open-faced turkey sandwich. It just hasn't been anywhere near as good.

                                                                                                  I was talking about the River Edge Diner on Kinderkamack Road.

                                                                                                  1. re: ELA
                                                                                                    menton1 May 23, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                                                                    Nah, it's processed turkey all the way. Ask for dark meat, and watch the confused looks you will be getting, lol. Real turkey has dark meat!!

                                                                                                    Within 3 minutes of that awful diner are 2 nice lunch options in New Milford, just across the River Edge Road RR crossing:

                                                                                                    Garden Cafe, very acceptable homemade food (skip the turkey) and a nice outdoor patio if you have the time.

                                                                                                    http://www.gardencafenm.com/uploads/Menu_PDF.pdf

                                                                                                    And just across the street, Jersey Boys Grill, good for a Friday cocktail and a decent burger for lunch...

                                                                                                    http://www.jerseyboysgrill.com/index....

                                                                                                    River Edge Diner? Anachronism! Blech!!

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Jersey Boys Grill
                                                                                                    704 River Rd, New Milford, NJ 07646

                                                                                                    1. re: menton1
                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                      Jersey_guy Nov 27, 2011 07:39 PM

                                                                                                      My job had me in Totowa the past two Saturdays. I had heard of Rutt's via the Travel Channel, web and some of my other co-workers who had been there.

                                                                                                      My first impression was not much. The building is old and dated with a rough looking apperance. As a plus the parking lot is kept up and not full of trash or pot holes. The steel posts and guard rails that sorround the place had been painted with a fresh coat of white paint. The white paint looked like polish applied to liven things up a bit, as they contained and ample amount of dings, dents and bends that held stories told and untold. To me they just lend to the decor of the joint. The bar and its' entrance look dumpy as does the entrance breezeway to the walkup part as they had defied the scrapes and late night bumps the guard rails had absorbed, and were proud to be aged and still intact. Walking in you see the whole joint at once. Left is the order counter with the very dated menu board above the dated decor. The place just screams, "This is a joint " and if we were in the south the menu would be BBQ. To the right as you look are large counters, no booths or seats just standing room only. I liked the dumpy unchanged attitude and the menu board with it's old style letters that snap into the grooves. I think they add to the experence. I noticed a local clientele being greeted by name. With the guy behind the counter offering a chair for a sick patron to sit on should the friend he was talking to bring the sick guy by. I also noticed on both visits that everyone comes to Rutt's. There were Mercedes, motocycles and beat up junkers in the lot. All walks of life from the brick layer down the street to the officer worker come to dine on Rutt's deep fried gastro intestinal delight.

                                                                                                      So with the decor out of the way onto the food. I had seen enough on-line to know what I wanted before walking through the doors . I ordered up two rippers and cheese fries with a Pepsi the first time and onion rings instead of the fries the second. I slathered the dogs both times with the cabbage, carrot concoction which I would describe as sweet. I found the onion rings to be crispy and greasy just what I was expecting. I didn't go there expecting a health salad. The dogs were good and had a particular taste that was imparted from the oil in which they were fried. I wouldn't say they were the best ever but, they weren't bad. I found the staff to be a wait staff. They have been taking orders all day (if not years) so they don't have a large meet and greet appeal. They aren't rude but, they don't go out of the way to say hello either. You order they yell it out and the process begins and ends without any fanfare, next !! is yelled after you have paid and received your food. Over to the counter along the window and a stare at the traffic on Route 21 and chat with my co-wokers as we watched a van try to back up the two lane exit ramp. Only to relize that the school buses and traffic flowing towards him honking was not going to let him complete his dopey idea.

                                                                                                      Overall I would have to say that Rutt's was what I expected. An aging roadside joint that rufuses to change and has been pumping out the same food the same way for the last 50 years. Rutt's doesn't claim any curbside appeal or some cute charm with a trendy flare. The only thing that has changed is Rutt's customers . They come and go both young and old, with those vowing never to come back or those returning for the 100th time (this year). You either like it or you don't. I wouldn't drive hours out of my way to go there. But, if you are near the place and want to try something different Rutt's Hutt is worth a try and a visit. If not for the food, just to see a relic that hasn't changed and would die if it tried. And If you find you are among those who don't like it what have you lost ? $8.50 ehhh I have wasted more on dumber things.

                                                                                                      As a side note I bought a T-Shirt. Why not ? It took me years to get there so I figured why have something to remember it by.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Rutt's Hut
                                                                                                      417 River Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

                                                                                                      1. re: Jersey_guy
                                                                                                        f
                                                                                                        fourunder Nov 27, 2011 07:47 PM

                                                                                                        Excellent post.....I enjoyed the read.

                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                          h
                                                                                                          hotdoglover Nov 28, 2011 03:00 AM

                                                                                                          Me too! Hey Jersey_guy, next time you're in Totowa, try Pappy's on Union Blvd. Known for their Texas Weiners. This is a diner, but they serve a Texas Weiner (same dog and cooking method as Rutt's) with a zesty chili that is one of my favorites.

                                                                                                        2. re: Jersey_guy
                                                                                                          Tapas52 Nov 28, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                                                                          jersey guy nice review ......I also have the T shirt and by far I get so many people comment here in S Jersey on how they fondly remember or have been to Rutt's Hut Growing up.....next time I'm there I have to get a few more shirts ....
                                                                                                          and of course a few Rippers also! lol

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Rutt's Hut
                                                                                                          417 River Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

                                                                                                          1. re: Jersey_guy
                                                                                                            e
                                                                                                            ELA Nov 28, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                                                            Excellent review. Thanks. Just curious -- what are your favorite dog places? Any you would drive out of the way for?

                                                                                              2. JerzeyShore Nov 28, 2011 07:26 AM

                                                                                                What most people fail to realize is that Rutt's is not about the food not even the ripper. It is however about the dining experience and fond memories from the past when you were a lot younger and a little more acceptive...

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JerzeyShore
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                                                                                                  ELA Nov 28, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                  Very good point. I like the ripper. Not the best I've had IMO, but I like it. It is about the "experience" and the hot-dog joint ambiance. Certainly part of it. LOL. Thanks.

                                                                                                  1. re: JerzeyShore
                                                                                                    tommy Nov 28, 2011 08:34 AM

                                                                                                    For many people it's about the food.

                                                                                                    1. re: tommy
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                                                                                                      ELA Nov 28, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                                                      I hear you, and agree. I think for some of the people who go there -- they know what they are getting, bot food and experience. It is what it is, both the food and the dog. I like it and for me part of it is the the fact that it's a "joint" so to speak. Yes, it has to be about the food. If I didn't like it I wouldn't go at all. I wouldn't eat bad food no matter what the experience. LIke I said, for me it's part of it.

                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                    bkiley Mar 23, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                                                                    I grew up in Paterson and for me it is all about the sauce. Thus Rutts can't play in my league. Since my Aunt lived in Newark my family travelled there in the late 40s and 50s along the old route next to the Passaic River. We often stopped at Rutts. Back then there were several hot dog stands in a sort of hot dog stand row. When they built the new highway and connected route 3, all the hot dog stands were lost with the highway improvements except Rutts Hut. I don't care for their relish at all. But as I said it is all about the sauce to this Paterson boy. The secret for me is to order my dog "all the way" (mustard onions and Paterson sauce) and have the dogs "extra extra well done" so that the dog snaps when you bite in. All the Paterson location are great and for me its Libbys (which is the oldest ), but I like Johnny and Hangie, Pappys, Coral, Getty Grill . The Hot Grill has a touch too much cinnimon for me but is excellent as well. The original hot dogs used by all these places was made by a company in Newark which I believe does't exist anymore, so nothing really is the same. Max's near where I now live is terrible. Katz's in NYC is great but that is a different animal and is Kosher style with mustard and kraut.

                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: bkiley
                                                                                                      h
                                                                                                      hotdoglover Mar 24, 2012 03:12 AM

                                                                                                      The Paterson/Clifton area Texas Weiner joints are unique. The chili sauce is certainly different than the thicker, hotter chili served at the Plainfield area places that grill rather than deep fry their dogs. I've been to the above named places and like them all but my favorite is Pappy's. Great zesty flavor. The company you are referring to is probably Haydu. They were in Newark. Schickhaus (now made by Armour Eckrich) had a plant in Kearny. They were the first company to develop a dog made for deep frying.

                                                                                                      1. re: bkiley
                                                                                                        w
                                                                                                        wizard2 Mar 24, 2012 04:49 AM

                                                                                                        I love the relish at Rutts. It seems homemade & unique. That's one of the things that make me stop there. Do you care for any relish?

                                                                                                        1. re: wizard2
                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                          bkiley Mar 25, 2012 05:12 AM

                                                                                                          Wizard and hotdoglover. As a kid I actually ate the dogs with plain mustard and relish at a place, now long gone in Paterson,"Tobys" My wife ( she is bkiley) introduced me to the Paterson dog while we were dating 50 years ago and she was from the Bronx! After that first bite at 19, (it was at the original 'eat them in the car' Johnny and Hangie's) there was no turning back. As far as the Hutt, if I ever go there, I would put on only mustard. I tried a couple of years ago there special relish and stongly disliked it. Better yet, I would go to one of the Paterson places and take out some sauce in a cup with onions and take it to the Hutt. By the way I am not sure of the name of the original Hot Dog plant, I though it was Best Provisions in Newark. But I am not certain. Maybe it was Haydu.

                                                                                                          1. re: bkiley
                                                                                                            l
                                                                                                            legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                                                                            I'm a Johnny-come-lately when it comes to Rutt's, eating there during the past half dozen years on occasion because my family lives in the area. I'm not a hot dog purist, although I generally get their hot dog platter when I go (2 hot dogs, potato salad and cole slaw, carrot slices, etc.) because it's filling, and it's hard to mess up a hot dog (in my humble opinion). Having said that, I'd be hard pressed to say it's the best hot dog I ever ate, or even close. There is the atmosphere and history (I think it's been around for 80-plus years; my late grandfather used to say, way back when, "Let's visit the Dump," when he was motivated to eat there). And you can't argue with the price. Still...I had the Greek Salad there last night, and it was pretty awful. I ate the Feta Cheese, the anchovies, and the olives and tomatoes, but the salad itself was basically just shredded Iceberg lettuce saturated with what I presume was some sort of oil-vinegar combination. I think the other items on the menu are hit and miss. Basically, you can get (hopefully) some halfway decent, filling food for not a lot of money, and they don't make dining establishments like this anymore. And, on a side note, the waitresses range from nice to colorful to downright surly. If you know what you're getting into, it's an experience.

                                                                                                            1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                              tommy Jul 8, 2012 07:09 AM

                                                                                                              Since Rutt's isn't even close to the best hot dog you ever ate, can you tell us what that hot dog was and why it was so exceptional?

                                                                                                              1. re: tommy
                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                Well, again, I'm not a purist. I like hot dogs, but that's about it. Truth be told, I'd rather have a hamburger than a hot dog, but the first time I went to Rutt's, I was told that hot dogs are their specialty, and I fell into the habit of ordering that when i went. The shriveled look, which is I guess Rutt's unique signature, is not particularly to my taste. Then again, I order the hot dog platter nearly every time (and will probably order it even more after the Greek salad fiasco), so what does that say about my judgment?

                                                                                                                1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                                  tommy Jul 8, 2012 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                  But what was the best hot dog you ever had? Rutt's wasn't even close you note.

                                                                                                                  1. re: tommy
                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                    legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                    Well, if I had to pick, I'd probably say Hiram's Roadstand in Ft. Lee. I used to work in the area about 20 years ago, and I remember being impressed by the hot dog. Let's put it this way-- I ordered it every time, and I don't remember having the ambivalence about it that I do about Rutt's. Then again, that was 20 years or more, and I'm not sure the place even exists anymore. I remember at the time that Ft. Lee had a great variety of restaurants, and I sincerely regretted leaving the area. Haven't been back since, so I don't know if it's better or worse.

                                                                                                                    1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                      legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                      By the way, Tommy, without meaning to patronize you, I've always enjoyed your reviews in matters pertaining to NJ culinary options (your review of Sammy's Old Mill...I think that's the name of the place...in Mendham makes me laugh out loud every time I read it), so...I know your focus is more on steak than it is hot dogs...but where is your favorite place for hot dogs (if you've already stated that in this thread, then I apologize for redundancy).

                                                                                                                      1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                                        tommy Jul 8, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                        Hiram's is still there. From what I recall, they use the same exact Thumman's dog that Rutt's does.

                                                                                                                        My favorite hot dog place is Rutt's Hut. I prefer that style over the others, and since no one else really does it the way Rutt's does, they are one of a kind. Falls View, Johnny & Hanges, Goffle Grill, et al do the Texas Wiener style. Not my favorite style, but they have a lot of competition. Rutt's stands alone.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tommy
                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                          legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                          It is unique, for sure. I've eaten at some of those ubiquitous Texas Weiner places in the area, but none of them made any great impression upon me. I also used to patronize Libby's in Paterson years ago, but I regularly ordered the hamburgers (with "all the way" sauce) not the hot dogs (now that I mention it, I don't even remember if they served hot dogs, but I'm assuming they must have).

                                                                                                                          1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                            hotdoglover Jul 8, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                            Rutt's and Hiram's are very close. They use the same recipe dog made by Thumann's for deep frying. Thumann's also makes a griller and an all beef dog. Libby's, Goffle Grill, and others use the Thumann's deep fryer. I like it a little better at Rutt's. They fry to different degrees of doneness and they also fry in beef tallow though they will tell you vegetable oil. Rutt's dogs are 8/1 while the Hiram's dog is a little thicker at 7/1. If you want a dog at Hirams cooked like Rutt's (left in the oil longer) you say "one well."

                                                                                                                            Don't understand how you can say Hiram's is your favorite while Rutt's isn't close when they use the same recipe dog and prepare it the same way.

                                                                                                                            1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                              ELA Jul 8, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                              I think they are close and knew they were pretty much the same dog. At least that's what I had been told. I think Rutt's just "destroys" their dogs vis a vis frying, thus the moniker "the ripper".

                                                                                                                              For my tastes, personally, I liked Hiram's better. To each their own of course, but I wouldn't dream of ordering anything else at Rutt's except a dog. Maybe a burger, if I was in the mood, and for some reason didn't want a dog, but that's it. I wouldn't go to Rutt's unless I wanted a dog.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ELA
                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                legsdiamond12 Jul 8, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                All I can offer as a way of a possible"mea culpa" (if such is really necessary) is that, again, I'm not a hot dog purist, or even a very enthusiastic fan--- every once in awhile, I get a real hankering for one, but I've never had a place that I went to specifically for a "hot dog fix." Hiram's was a long time ago for me, and I have no reason to argue against the statement that they use the same brand of hot dog as Rutt's. Like ELA, though, my memory of what I ate at Hiram's was that it was superior to what I get at Rutt's--- not infinitely superior, but superior, at least in the manner in which it was cooked. I remember it as being a more substantial, meatier hot dog, whereas the one at Rutt's has a shriveled, somewhat leathery texture. Again, on some level, in my opinion, it's a matter of individual taste. Obviously, I'm not adamantly against the Rutt's version, as I eat the hot dog platter 80% of the time I go there (and, given that several members of my family live in the area, I go there pretty frequently). But I personally prefer the fuller, more substantial, less cremated version that I remember from Hiram's.

                                                                                                                                1. re: legsdiamond12
                                                                                                                                  h
                                                                                                                                  hotdoglover Jul 9, 2012 03:14 AM

                                                                                                                                  If you go to Rutt's and just order a hot dog, you get a ripper. If you prefer your dogs less well done like they do it at Hiram's, ask for an "in n outer."

                                                                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                    legsdiamond12 Jul 9, 2012 04:34 AM

                                                                                                                                    Thanks. I'll remember that and let you know what I think next time I go.

                                                                                                      2. d
                                                                                                        duckracer900 Jul 9, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                        First, I came across this while trying to find a recipe for the Rutts Hut relish. So right off the bat I dont agree since I've already thrown at least three major brands of relish in the garbage. Rutts is a different kind of dog and I wouldn't recomend it for people that rather eat texas style dogs. BTW, the only way I used to order the onion rings was to go, even if I was staying, the bag would help soak up excess grease. You're judging and then suggesting Potato Rolls? Really!??

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: duckracer900
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                                                                                                          FWeats Jul 17, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                          I grew up eating rippers with a mauvis at Rutts and stop in whenever I am in the area. People who don't like Rutt's probably don't like White Castle either. Buy the way the Rutt's Hut "burger with" is every bit as good as the hot dog. The relish can't be beat and can be purchased by the jar.
                                                                                                          Someone mentioned 50 years earlier.They have been there more like 100. Before rt 21 was built in the late 50"s they were surounded by 7 or eight other joints. Rt 21 wiped them all out except for Rutt's.

                                                                                                        2. phDuh Jul 18, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                          As with many posters here, I've been going to Rutts since I reached the 'kids counter'. I love the dogs and fries. But we (my family) especially love the relish. In the past, we have ordered a pint or quart to go, and it would sit comfortably in the frig, ready to go on a grilled hot dog. However, my family is convinced that the recipe has changed: 1) it tastes and looks different, and 2) it goes bad within a week of purchase. This is a disappointing development, and I'm wondering if anyone who likes their relish has had a similar experience.

                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: phDuh
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                                                                                                            FWeats Jul 18, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                                            Thanks for that I was going to buy some next time. Now I won't. To me however it looks and tastes the same as it did 50 years ago. By the way about 2 miles away in Wallington you will find Adams market which has been there for 100 years and makes the best kielbasy you will ever have.

                                                                                                            1. re: phDuh
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                                                                                                              fourunder Jul 18, 2012 07:04 PM

                                                                                                              I have not noticed any changes in the relish over the past few years of visits, other than it may be a little loose, i.e., the cabbage is softer and more liquid. . Are you adverse to adding a little vinegar to the relish. It would help with the shelf life.

                                                                                                              As a practical note...the relish is cabbage and carrots....two vegetables that are as cheap as they come and really do not fluctuate in price. I could not imagine any cost savings to change the recipe. The only explanation is a change in brand of spices used.

                                                                                                              1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                RobertP Jul 20, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                What you all think of this? My dad was the original Clixie who opened the restaurant in 1949. Many people been asking for the recipe but I won't give it. But...................what about packaging the spices to sell along with a few other ingrediaents one can get at the food store to make a gallon?

                                                                                                                Robert P.

                                                                                                                1. re: RobertP
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                                                                                                                  ferventfoodie Jul 20, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                  Did I miss something? The Clixies I knew was near the Hawthorne/Wyckoff line.
                                                                                                                  Was it related to Rutt's Hut? I grew in East Wyckoff and Clixies as a significant
                                                                                                                  presence during my youth but I didn't eat the weiners so I probably never had the
                                                                                                                  relish unless it''s the same as RH's and I had it there. Sorry to read above that
                                                                                                                  Clixies is gone, if it's the same location,

                                                                                                                  1. re: RobertP
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                                                                                                                    FWeats Jul 21, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                    I don't get it. What's the connection between Clixie's and Rutts Hut?

                                                                                                                    1. re: FWeats
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                                                                                                                      ferventfoodie Jul 30, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                      That was my point. After some discussion about RH's relish, RobertP posted
                                                                                                                      about his dad, the original Clixie, and that he won't give out "the recipe". For
                                                                                                                      what? RH relish - and how did he get it? I didn't follow.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ferventfoodie
                                                                                                                        tommy Jul 30, 2012 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                        Robert is just looking for input on his idea. Being a new poster, he's probably not aware that his query should go in a separate thread, or a Clixie's thread, rather than one about Rutt's. But of course there is some commonality of people looking for the recipe of one iconic NJ hot dog place and another. It's not as if he posted about cheesesteaks from Philly.

                                                                                                                        1. re: tommy
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                                                                                                                          ferventfoodie Jul 30, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                          Wasn't trying to be smart, but was confused - and still am somewhat. Is
                                                                                                                          the recipe for Clixie's relish?

                                                                                                                          1. re: ferventfoodie
                                                                                                                            tommy Jul 30, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                            Chili sauce.

                                                                                                                            1. re: tommy
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                                                                                                                              ferventfoodie Jul 30, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                              Thanks, Tommy - but I'm still not sure how you knew that. Actually, I do
                                                                                                                              remember their chili dogs!

                                                                                                                              1. re: ferventfoodie
                                                                                                                                tommy Jul 30, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                I have ways. ;)

                                                                                                              2. f
                                                                                                                Florida Hound Nov 22, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                I have heard of Rutt's Hut for years, and as a hot dog lover myself, have had wonderful exchanges with folks like hotdoglover (aka...) about regional dogs of all sorts. And there has been alot said on various threads about beef hot dogs, pork hot dogs, combos... I think Rutt's Hut does pork. In the past several years, I have opted out of eating any pork, which has meant I ask a few questions before digging into any hot dog. It sounds like I would be laughed out of the place if I asked those kinds of questions at Rutt's Hut, but I would still love to try a ripper or cremator sometime. Any suggestions within my own dietary restrictions? Any suggestions about re-creating something close in my own kitchen with a beef dog?

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Florida Hound
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                                                                                                                  fourunder Nov 22, 2012 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                  I pretty sure the Hot Dog is made of both Beef and Pork in a natural casing. You certainly could use any All Beef or Veal Hot Dog in a natural casing and deep fry it until it splits. I believe HDL has indicated the specific hot dog used at Rutt's has semolina as an ingredient that aids it in splitting when the interior temperature reaches a certain point.

                                                                                                                  I wish I could find the recipe to recreate their unique Cabbage and Carrot Relish.

                                                                                                                  I suggest you go to Polish or German Butcher....They have all beef or veal frankfurters....usually made on premise or ...from a dedicated purveyor that specializes in smoked products.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fourunder
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                                                                                                                    Florida Hound Nov 23, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                    On that Cabbage and Carrot Relish, there was a Chowhound post by Ken H. on 7/30/12, on a thread titled "The best hot dog toppings- Discuss." He posted a recipe from The Great American Hot Dog Book by Becky Mercuri, "as close as I've ever had homemade," he says. The link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/433453
                                                                                                                    Thanks for your help re: the ripper.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Florida Hound
                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                      cwdonald Nov 23, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                      Rutt's uses a beef and pork hot dog from Thuman's See Hawk Krall's article on Rutt's Hutt for more informatoin as well as pictures of the relish.

                                                                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/ho...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Florida Hound
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                                                                                                                        fourunder Nov 24, 2012 07:28 AM

                                                                                                                        Thanks for the link....I recall the post, but I would disagree the recipe resembles anything like the actual Rutt's Hut relish. I would also disagree with the <seriouseats.com> article indicating it's *neon green*...as there are no pickles in it....possible some darker cabbage leaves....but to me it's *Yellow*, neon or otherwise.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                          creamfinger Nov 24, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                          I found this old photo of a newspaper clipping featuring Anne Fedorchak Rutt's relish recipe. She was the wife of Royal Abe Rutt. The couple opened Rutt's Hutt in 1928. It looks pretty authentic to me.

                                                                                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenwalke...

                                                                                                                          1. re: creamfinger
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                                                                                                                            fourunder Nov 24, 2012 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                            Creamfinger.....many thanks as you are now my new Chowhound hero! ! ! !

                                                                                                                            Although I believe the recipe today has been streamlined from the recipe clipping....it's the seasonings that are crucial to recreating this relish that's been so difficult to master......I always suspected it was more than adding a prepared mustard to the vegetables.....Thanks to you, I now have a solid foundation to copy the recipe at home.

                                                                                                                            ETA: my apologies to Ken H and Florida Hound for any doubts.

                                                                                                                            1. re: creamfinger
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                                                                                                                              fourunder Nov 24, 2012 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                              Now if you can track down the hot pepper condiment/recipe used at Johnny & Hanges and at White House Subs to complete the Hat Trick......you will definitely become my most respected and knowledgeable member on chowhound.

                                                                                                                              1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                                creamfinger Nov 24, 2012 10:06 PM

                                                                                                                                LOL, I'll talk to my contacts at the NSA and see what I can do. Glad to help.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Florida Hound
                                                                                                                        creamfinger Nov 23, 2012 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                        As a long time fan of Rutt's Hutt I feel fairly sure that you wouldn't be laughed at for inquiring if their hot dogs contained pork. It's a legitimate question that I'm sure they've been asked before. There are many people who can't or won't eat pork for a variety of reasons. The guys at Rutt's may be a bit gruff if you wait until you get to the counter and then look up at the menu and say "hmmm?", but otherwise they're a pretty friendly. Now on the other hand if you ask them if they serve tofu dogs all bets are off...

                                                                                                                        1. re: creamfinger
                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                          bifpocaroba Dec 21, 2012 04:42 AM

                                                                                                                          I fortunately grew up down the road from Rutt's and for over 40 years my standard order...2 rippers, fries w/ gravy and a draft beer. Just can't eat it as often as I did back in the day.

                                                                                                                      3. c
                                                                                                                        cantbeatgoodfood May 14, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                        does anyone know or have a good idea what exactly is in rutts hutt relish,since i was a kid everyone raves about it,i never tried it due to there is so many foods i just wont eat,when i go i always go for the rippers with their mustard..they always hit the spot,great dogs!

                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: cantbeatgoodfood
                                                                                                                          equal_Mark May 14, 2013 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                          I would guess that there is a lot in the rutts relish that you would likely not try because there are so much that you would not eat to the point where a question about the relish that there are so many foods you just wont try to the rippers with the mustard that hits the spot!

                                                                                                                          1. re: equal_Mark
                                                                                                                            ttoommyy May 15, 2013 03:51 AM

                                                                                                                            Huh?

                                                                                                                          2. re: cantbeatgoodfood
                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                            cwdonald May 15, 2013 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                            Take a look at this thread on Roadfood, which even includes a newspaper clipping with a recipe that sounds very similar to the Rutts hut recipe.

                                                                                                                            http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/Rutts-...

                                                                                                                            1. re: cwdonald
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                                                                                                                              fourunder May 15, 2013 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                              creamfinger has posted an actual recipe from Rutt's above

                                                                                                                              1. re: fourunder
                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                cwdonald May 15, 2013 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                The picture of the same recipe is in the Roadfood discussion along with discussion of its authenticity. Worth the read.

                                                                                                                            2. re: cantbeatgoodfood
                                                                                                                              njmarshall55 May 16, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                                                                                              Agreed. Used to stop there when driving for Kuiken's in Fair Lawn and never had the urge for their relish. Only mustard. Maybe it was the color that turned me off. To this day, only prefer Kosciusko mustard and, once in a while, sauer kraut.

                                                                                                                            3. f
                                                                                                                              foodieiam May 16, 2013 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                              You must go to Destination Dogs in New Brunswick, Spring Street..... it is A - M - A - Z - I - N - G
                                                                                                                              http://www.destinationdogs.com/
                                                                                                                              All hand-made, great rolls, delicious toppings....

                                                                                                                              1. n
                                                                                                                                NYYTony 1 day ago

                                                                                                                                Haven't been to Pinks, but I'll put Rutt's Hut up against any Chicagoland dog place (been there, done that). Chicago dogs are great, but so are the dogs at Rutt's Hut. Certainly there is room for personal preferences, but Blech! for Rutt's Hut is silly. I'll take the Food Channel's review over this guy's, whoever he is.

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