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New England Hot Dog Co opens in Freehold

After having a "coming soon" sign up in the window for months, the place was actually open today as I drove past. So, one quick u-turn later and my son and I were eating there.

There are some tables, and even a couple of couches inside to sit and eat at. There is also a good size tv set and a pair of xbox 360s set up for free play to amuse the patrons. My son played until our food arrived and was unhappy it came so quickly.

He had an order of buffalo chicken fingers and I had a "Millstone" brat and we shared an order of cheese fries. The chicken and the fries were both frozen and not fresh, but I suppose that since this is a hot dog joint that is to be expected. Still, fresh fries would have gone a long way towards making my initial impression a more positive one.

As for the brat, it was definately good, with a nice taste and good texture. The bun was toasted nicely, but was too small to hold all the topings and the brat and it ended up a big mess. This really detracted from my enjoyment.

All in all, although the place has potential, the minuses outweighed the plusses for me. I work in New Brunswick right next to Tido's Dogs and I will take the no table no atmosphere Tido's over this place. Fresh fries and correct size buns even for messy chili dogs > comfort and video games.

I really wanted to like this place more and would like to hear from other folks, especially anyone who tries their baked beans.

New England Hot Dog Company
3651 Rt 9 North, Freehold NJ
Next to Firestone Tire and Freehold Music


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    Thanks for your notes -- always informative and engaging to read.

    I have to be a snob and ask: What are these New England guys doing -- opening a hot dog place in New Jersey the hot dog mecca? Anyway, I wish them good luck.

    If you're ever in Middletown, try Jersey Joe's on Port Monmouth Rd. He makes a pretty good Italian hot dog -- on pizza bread. I recommend the double -- the single is too bready.

    2 Replies
    1. re: val ann c

      Val ann c, have u been to "greasy" Charlies in Kenilworth since new management? same great italian ?

      1. re: HillJ

        DH and I visited Charlies once several years ago -- on a wonderful hot dog tour organized by John Fox. I recall the Ital hot dogs were great. I don't know if that is still the case.

        I would say the old Charlies was better than Jersey Joe's. But Joe's is good for being close to home.

    2. I believe that this restaurant has been "coming soon" for close to a year. I didn't know it finally opened, so thanks for your post. I also didn't know it was a chain (although I see there are only 5 locations listed on the website). Its so close to home that I will invariably try it out, but am not too enthused by your initial report.

      1. I find the irony of this almost painful. I was raised in NJ and, in retrospect, took the great dog (food?) culture for granted. I think I was nursed on chili dogs at a place called The Greeks on Ferry street in South River. The Frank w/ kraut is proof that God exists and loves us, to paraphrase Ben Franklin. Now I live in rural Maine, where they have neon red hot dogs known locally as "red snappers" to accompany a baked bean "suppah". And I need to drive 1 - 2 hrs to even find a chili dog. The irony of a place called The New England Hot Dog Company opening in central Jersey (over the border into South Jersey?) really hit me. So enjoy all the local hot dog joints that's part of your culture and be thankful that New England Hot Company is there, because it sure ain't here!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Was going to check them out tonight but they were closed at 7:15 when I went by. There were 2 guys behind the counter but the closed sign was on the door and they waved me away when I walked up. Thats pretty early to close.

          1. re: Bossa_Nova

            yeah, that ain't cool, (the early close and the "wave away")

            Come on guys, at least stay open till 8:00 !!!!!

            p.s. It reminds of the ridiculous time the Trump Plaza Casino prime rib buffet in Atlantic City closes on Wed. and Thursday.. it closes at 6 pm, right in the middle of dinner!!! The waitress, Joanne, said all her regulars have been complaining...

        2. I went there last night - they told me it was is training mode, and that the Grand Opening was in a couple of weeks. I think that was the reason for closing early, etc -

          1. My wife and I checked out this place tonight. We're usually vegetarians, but decided a hot dog once in a while can't hurt. She had two footlongs.. one with baked beans and bacon, the other with French's mustard and sauerkraut. She also had cheese fries. I had a footlong with chili, onions, and homemade deli mustard, and a bratwurst with sauerkraut and Russian dressing. Oh, and an order of the finest onion rings I've had in a LONG time. Beer battered and cooked fresh. These weren't frozen.. they were crisp but not bready.

            Buns were toasted nicely, toppings were good.. hot dogs and bratwurst were all tasty. Cheese fries were your usual crinkle-cuts with cheese sauce. Okay, but not something I would flip over.

            NE Hot Dog is supposed to carry Mercury Sodas.. but the guy behind the counter explained that they only found out 3 days before opening that the distribution ended in southern CT. So, they carry some Boylan's sodas.. and Pepsi products on tap.

            Nice, comfortable, casual atmosphere. Definitely needed some Red Sox pennants on the wall, though. :)

            We'll go back sometime. I'll go back just for those onion rings.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MarlboroMan

              No Thanks I'll stick to RUTT's Hut !

            2. Again a little slow on getting here but had the opportunity to try this place.
              Gotta say very good!
              Had the freeholder - ketchup - mustard - onions - relish!
              The guy made the dog with TLC :)
              You can even get a veggie dog!
              Know Hot Dogs in Jersey are taken VERY seriously and can definitely be debated but was super hungry, had lots of chores to do, and this hit the spot!

              4 Replies
              1. re: shabbystorm

                Indeed hot dogs are taken very seriously in Jersey. I have heard a lot about this place, but haven't been there yet. It's a distance from me. I'm willing to travel (I've driven all the way to Connecticut) for a dog, but only if I'm pretty sure it will be exceptional. I don't get that feeling from the New England Hot Dog Co. for several reasons. One, they are a chain from New England. That doesn't mean that they can't make or serve a good dog though. I also don't like that they seem to place more emphasis on what is put on the dog and all of their combinations than they do the actual frank itself and it's preparation.

                I've called and spoken to one of the owners. It seems that they try to be all things to all people by offering so many different types of dogs. When places try to do too many things, rarely do they do any exceptionally well. The owner told me that they would be offering an Italian Hot Dog because he heard it was popular in New Jersey. This was awhile ago and he probably sells it by now. He had no idea what an authentic Italian Hot Dog is and what type of dog to serve with it.

                The biggest minus in my book is that they grill their hot dogs on roller grills. Roller grills are for movie theatres and 7-11's. The dogs don't have the char or texture that a grill or griddle imparts; they don't taste as good, and you are limited to skinless dogs as the roller grill is not made for dogs with a natural casing. A natural casing dog is far superior to a skinless one in my opinion. I pressed the owner about this and he said that you can special request your dog to be grilled. No thanks. This should be automatic if you order a grilled dog. People who I know have told me that the dogs are not served hot enough.

                I know that I should go and see for myself. I have travelled to Freehold to sample the dogs at Frankly Burgers & More. From speaking to the owners and asking questions, I was able to get a good idea of what to expect. I decided it would be worth a trip out that way. Since the New England Hot Dog Co. is fairly closeby, I was going to go there as well. The food was so good at Frankly Burgers that I couldn't leave room for the NE Hot Dog Co.

                I'll get there some day, but let me suggest that you pay a visit to Frankly Burgers & More if you're down near Freehold. My guess is that you'll like it better. They have an authentic Italian Hot Dog made with pizza bread (not sub rolls), all beef dogs that have been fried (the correct way to prepare them for this type of dog), a better all beef dog that they get fresh from the factory and prepare on a real grill (not a roller grill), and also a high quality beef/pork dog (Schickhaus) that is cooked on a griddle, then finished off on a charcoal grill. Both brands of dogs are natural casing rather than skinless.

                1. re: hotdoglover

                  1. Certainly, from my heart, even though I enjoyed my dog very much, could not say this place was worth a far journey.
                  2. It is a chain, and they have all sorts of choices, pick your dog, pick your cooking style, pick your bun prep, pick your toppings.
                  3. Spot on about the roller, no char marks.
                  4. Had the Frankly Burger Italian Hot Dog and it was good.
                  5. In my world a perfect dog is a natural casing dog, boiled, needs to snap when I bite into it, on a piece on rye bread with mustard and relish, not for everyone..I know.

                  Your passion for dogs is wonderful!

                  1. re: shabbystorm

                    Thanks for your reply.

                    1) In all probability, I'll enjoy my dog too. They do serve a Boars Head, although it's skinless. Agree it's probably not worth the journey. But I'l do it once to satisfy my curiosity.
                    2) What I said regarding all things to all people. So many types of dogs, how do they keep them all fresh? Or gauge demand?
                    3) I know of some independant Nathan's franchises that used roller grills. Can't compare to the ones that use a griddle. It's a shame because many people experience the inferior Nathan's franchises and think it is typical of Nathan's.
                    4) In my opinion one of the 3 or 4 best in the entire state. No place has better peppers.
                    5) You like what you like. And if you like it, don't let me or anyone else tell you otherwise. I'm passionate about hot dogs, but my opinion is worth no more than anyone else's. So enjoy what you like. The only exception is ketchup. DON'T DESECRATE YOUR DOG WITH THIS STUFF! I would rather put ketchup on a steak from Peter Luger's than defile the holy hot dog. My son used to do this, but patience and tough love cured him of this anti social behavior.

                    1. re: hotdoglover

                      I tried NE Hot Dog not long after they opened and even though it is very nearby have never returned. Their "gimmick" is many different topping combinations on a variety of hot dogs. I like some different toppings but only if if you start with a quality dog properly prepared. Amazing (RIP) got that right by using a good dog and preparing it well. Whether you had the dog with just mustard or tried one of their crazy toppings it was good because of the well prepared HOT (temp) quality dog.
                      Only one natural casing hot dog was available at NE among their several varieties and it is made on the roller, served luke warm and was not very good. Also most of the toppings came out of #10 cans and were also nothing special.
                      Until Frankly Burgers opened I was quite willing to drive further and skip NE hot dog. Now I don't have to and couldn't be happier .