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Frankly Burgers and More in Freehold

I was driving by the Raintree Shopping Center where the Foodtown is located and saw a place called Frankly Burger or Frank's Burgers and More sign was up. But, it looks like work is going on inside. Does anybody know more about this?

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  1. I didn't notice that and I am there just about every day...is it near the liquor store on that end or near Paneras or what? Whatever happened to Patti Cakes restaurant...I've been waiting for that forever.

    5 Replies
    1. re: shesallthat

      It's in the same strip mall as Foodtown. It's right next door to a chiropractor's office there.

      From a couple of months ago, I asked somebody when Patti Cakes was going to open and they had no idea. I think they have a problem with the township in obtaining a CO.

      1. re: wench31

        I was there again today and forgot to look. I'm never on that side, I will have to make note.

      2. re: shesallthat

        Patti Cakes is now open. They opened yesterday and serving breakfast all day. Haven't been there to eat yet.

        1. re: wench31

          This is totally anecdotal, but I was in Baco's Pizza for lunch today (also in Mount's Corner), and a woman stormed in and announced deliberately loudly enough for all to hear that she had waited nearly an hour for completely inedible food at Patticakes (she was getting pizza because she was hungry after her meal). I'm sure Patticakes will have the typical opening pains, but this was not a promising first report (even if the source may be questionable).

          1. re: jsfein

            I can't believe Patticakes is finally open. We've been waiting what...2 years already. It would be nice to have a great breakfast place to go to nearby...but we shall see.

      3. It's a new place. They are planning on opening sometime in June. They will be serving different styles of burgers, franks with choices of toppings, as well as other home made foods. The burgers will be made fresh on site daily. When I find out some more, I'll let you know.

        ADDED: The name is: Frankly Burgers & more

        1. I picked up a menu recently and attaching it! Still haven't gotten a chance to try it yet!

          7 Replies
          1. re: wench31

            That menu is not from Frankly Burgers, just so no one is mislead.
            From the owners:
            "The menu posted is not for Frankly Burgers. Our menu consists of Angus beef burgers (Never Frozen), Homemade chili sauce for both burgers and dogs. Fresh french fries and onion rings. Our signature cole slaw . Also Homemade pulled pork and roast beef sandwiches. There will be a lot of different varieties of burgers and dogs. We will also feature green salads and pasta salads. In addition we will carry some chicken and fish items that are sure to please your palate. Dinner specials will be posted daily. They will include special recipes that have been carried on for generations. I hope you will join us!!!"

            1. re: Photoman15

              Photoman -- are you affiliated with Frankly Burgers? If so, when are you opening?

              1. re: jsfein

                It's my brother-in-law and his wife. I will be doing their website. The looking to open in July. There seems to be a lot of bureaucracy in opening a business in NJ :)

                Thanks for asking. Hope to see you there.

                1. re: Photoman15

                  Hey, Photoman15,

                  Bureaucracy when opening a *business* surprises you? Have you ever done major construction on your house? lol

                  In any case, I look forward to trying Frankly Burgers once it is open.

                  Btw, when you do the website, please, please, please include the hours of operation. You would be surprised at how many restaurant websites neglect to include this vital information. Oh, and be sure to come back and post the url. Thanks! :-)

                  1. re: Photoman15

                    Hey photoman15, what's going on with Frankly Burgers? Are they opening soon?

                2. re: Photoman15

                  Oops! Sorry. That menu is for Patticakes. Forgot to write that down.

              2. If all goes well (town stuff), Frankly Burgers & more should be opening the 1st or 2nd week of January 2009.

                The website will have the menu, directions and store hours within a few days.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Photoman15

                  Please post the url for the website when it is working.

                2. This place appears to have opened yesterday.

                      1. re: jfedorko

                        I've seen high end restaurants (just a few) who don't post their prices on their online menus, but a burger joint? I don't get it...

                        1. re: equal_Mark

                          Ha Ha, good point Mark. To bad notepad doesn't have a spellchecker as well. BTW, I noticed you've done a lot of updating on your website, keep up the good work!

                          A shameless plug: http://www.exit109.com/~mstevens/monm...

                          1. re: jfedorko

                            Spellchecker?

                            Sorry to post this to forum list but there doesn't seem to be any PM feature here...

                            1. re: equal_Mark

                              I was referring to the Frankly Burgers site, my apologies if I've said something wrong.

                      2. re: wench31

                        My wife and kids went a couple of weeks ago (may have been the second day they were open). They brought me home a burger. There were operational kinks that needed to be worked out for which I give them a pass this early. I also wouldn't want to judge them on a take out burger which was okay. I'll give them a try some day soon when I can eat in.

                      3. Photoman ( or anyone else)

                        Do you know what brand of hot dogs are used and if they are skinless or with casing?

                        Thanks in advance

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Bossa_Nova

                          Someone else replied to this, but it's gone, as well as a few other comments, hmmmm?

                          Anyway, the hot dogs are BEST with natural casings and the footlongs are Schickhaus.
                          I believe the BEST dogs are kosher.

                          Vito/Photoman15

                          1. re: Photoman15

                            Correction: The BESTS hot dogs are not Kosher.

                            What happened to the (nice) comments that were here yesterday? Or my original reply to your question?
                            Did the website hiccup?

                        2. Finally got around to trying this place for lunch today. I wish I hadn't waited.

                          My wife and I ordered a bunch of stuff to split so we could try different things. We had the smallest of the 3 sizes of hot dog. It is a Best (Newark) natural casing dog on a new england split style roll. You have a choice of giddled or deep fried. We tried deep fried, roll toasted w/ sauerkraut and mustard. The dog was very good but the roll was kind of skimpy and didn't hold up well to the wet kraut.

                          We tried two of the "specialty" burgers. The Jersey Shore burger comes with griddled pork roll and american cheese. The Hawaiian burger has bacon, grilled pineapple and a sweet and sour glaze. The burgers are 1/3 pound and were both had very good flavor although they were overcooked. We ordered medium and they were quite well done. The pineapple bacon one was especially good.

                          We had a combo basket of fries and onion rings. The fries are fresh not frozen and were very good. The onion rings were thick with a decent breading but could of used more seasoning in the breading and a little more cooking for my taste.

                          All in all, we were pleased and will return. They're not as good as Boom but are certainly better than Five Guys or Jakes, both of which I do like. The folks working there were friendly and helpful and the whole place including the bathrooms was clean. Now if they could just learn to not over cook the burgers.

                          27 Replies
                          1. re: 1carolyn

                            I beg to differ....We just went to BOOM on Friday and I really think from now on for a local "Monmouth County" burger, I will be going to Frankly Burgers & More. When I was at FB&M a few weeks ago, I was very pleased, the staff is extremely friendly and the food was great and an even better value. Boom started out excellent but on my subsequent visits there, I have not been happy. I am not out to attack BOOM, I want nothing more for them to succeed, but if they want me to return they better stop feeling so secure in themselves, cuz they have slipped in the few months since they have opened. FB&M...please dont let that happen to you! Freehold needs you!

                            xoox,
                            Michelle

                            PS.....now that Amazing Hot Dog is closing...can we get the FB&M owners to wrap their dogs in bacon and deep fry them?? hahahah! there is a market for this!

                            1. re: 1carolyn

                              What are the burger prices? How much are the fries? It would be nice if the prices were on the menu online.

                              1. re: shesallthat

                                Our buger prices vary from $4.50 to $5.95 for the specialty burgers. It's a huge burger though. The fresh cut fries are made from Idaho potatoes and are cooked to order. They are $2.50 but are enough for two unless you are absolutely starving.

                                1. re: 1carolyn

                                  I tried Frankly Burgers a couple weeks ago with a group of friends, and thought it was pretty good. Not spactacular, but pretty good...and considering the newness, it would be worth trying again. (For those of you curious, I had the Hawaiian Burger, a Chili Cheese Dog, and added Fries/Slaw.)

                                  However, I have to take exception with your assessment of your french fry baskets. Some other peope in our group got two of the "Fries & Onion Rings Combos", each expecting to be shared by 2 people. Each basket only had 5 onion rings on it, and I wouldn't call it an over-abundance of fries. Definitely enough for one person, but hardly enough for two.

                                  Thankfully, everybody ordered a dog and a burger, so it wasn't much of an issue. However, if you are only ordering one sandwich and expecting to split some fries, you might want to each get a basket.

                                  And I agree wholeheartedly with the assessment of the hot dog buns - they had a big problem holding on to the chili and cheese. Everything slid right out. Pretty tasty, but awfully messy. Hopefully the new buns will be more effective.

                                  Just my 2 cents...

                              2. re: MishyPoo

                                Rutt's Hutt is a famous classic 80+ year old childhood landmark beloved by so many people growing up in North Jersey.....if I am anywhere in the area I'm going to Rutt's hut always. Yes there are others but there is only ONE Rutt's hut!

                                http://www.hollyeats.com/RuttHut.htm

                                Just thinking about it makes my nostalgic mouth water for a "Ripper'

                                1. re: 1carolyn

                                  First time coming across this thread. I saw the name of the place not thinking about the possibility of hot dogs. My hobby is reviewing and sampling hot dogs from all over, http://thegourmetchilidog.com/vendors...

                                  Can you tell me about your dogs? Another poster said you offer the Schickhaus also, which is beef/pork. You said your dogs are all beef. Perhaps the poster is thinking of Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover where they offer Best and Schickhaus.

                                  The Rutt's dog is mostly pork and is made by Thumann's exclusively for deep frying. Different than their griller in the blue and white package. Spicy all beef and the beef/pork dog are 2 entirely different styles. One (all beef) is spicy with parika and garlic dominating, the other (German style beef and pork) is milder, using subtler spices with a wider range of flavors. I like both styles and have what I'm in the mood for.

                                  I love Best's natural casing dog. What sizes do you serve? The 5 was the one used at Syd's, the 4 to a lb was the dog at Amazing. I love the taste of a Best's dog if it is well prepared. For me, 90% of the time I have just mustard on my dog, preferring to taste the flavor of the frank. Occasionally I'll try chili or the unique relish at Rutt's Hut.

                                  I like the dogs dirty water stye, deep fried, grilled, or griddled, as long as they are served hot. Too many places don't prepare the dogs to where they're hot enough. A great combination is heated in water, then finished off on the grill, like Syd's did. Jimmy Buff's serves their Best 5's a unique way. Sauteed in oil then charcoal broiled. Delicious.

                                  What is the brand of your all meat dog? Sounds like it might be worth it to take a trip to Freehold. If you want your dogs to be like the "rippers" from Rutt's, you have to get a dog made for deep frying. Two places I know of make them; Thumann's of Carlstadt, N.J. and Grote & Weigle of Connecticut.

                                  1. re: Tapas52

                                    We carry several dogs. Our regular dog is 6 to a lb and is made by Best. It is all beef and natural casing. Out Big Dog is 1/4 lb and is also made by Best also natural casing. Our footlong dog is made by Shickhaus and is beef and pork. Best does make a footlong. We also have Italian Hot Dogs like Jimmy Buffs that are deep fried and served on the pizza bread with fried potatoe slices and pepper and onions. We use the Best dog for them as well. If you have questions please feel free to ask. Hope to see you at Frankly Burgers & More.

                                    1. re: 1carolyn

                                      I stand corrected our regular dog is a 6 to a lb.

                                      1. re: 1carolyn

                                        How much do you charge for the dogs? Does grilled mean griddled here? or charbroiled? Do you fry the dogs for Italian style? That's how they should be in my opinion. I prefer natural casing, except for Italian Hot Dogs. But I've only come across one place that uses any dog bigger than an 8, and that was at a pizzeria that eventually switched back to a smaller dog. Most places use either an 8 or 10. I prefer the bigger dog. Other places like Dickie Dee's uses a 12 to a lb dog for their Italian Hot Dog. I think JoJO's in Tom's River uses a 13. I refuse to even try one of these sandwiches from a place that uses a dog that small.

                                        Finally, how much do you charge for an Italian Hot Dog?

                                2. re: Bossa_Nova

                                  Is this place across from Moores tavern on rt 537?

                                  1. re: Tapas52

                                    Yes, In the rain tree plaza, let me know what you think. Im headed there this weekend.

                                    1. re: Par Baked

                                      Par baked,

                                      roger that! I'll report back also.

                                      1. re: Tapas52

                                        my husband and I went there for our second time yesterday for lunch....Everything was cooked to our specifications. The service at FB&M is great! I am so happy they are in Freehold...

                                        For those who need to know specifically where it is...it is not directly across from Moore's Tavern, but slightly west of it, across the street. It is in the same shopping center as Foodtown but all the way near Starbucks or the Liquor Store. It is closest to the corner of the strip directly behind the Starbucks and Hallmark store. I urge you to go, you will not be disappointed, but also..dont be afraid to be specific with how you want your food cooked, they are happy to oblige!

                                        PS...it is still SUPER clean! pleasant atmosphere!

                                        xoxo,
                                        Michelle

                                        1. re: MishyPoo

                                          Yes we fry the dogs for the Italian Dog but we also fry our other dogs if that is what the customer wants. The half Italian Dog (1 dog) is $3.75 The whole Italian Dog (2 dogs) is $6.25. Our regular dog (6/1) in $2.95 The big dog (1/4 lb) is $3.50 the footlong is $3.95. We have both the flat top grill and the charbroiled so you can have your dogs either way with the third option of fried. Except for the Italian Dog all other dogs come on New England style rolls (the one with the split top & shaved sides) which we toast unless you don't want that.

                                          1. re: 1carolyn

                                            Last question: what size dog is included in the Italian Hot Dog? $6.25 for a double is very reasonable, especially if everything is put inside quality pizza bread. Doubles are going for $7.00 and $7.50 I prefer pizza bread to sub or hoagie rolls. An authentic Newark Style Italian Hot Dog uses pizza bread, all beef dogs (referably Best from Newark) sauteed or fried peppers, onions, and potato slices or chunks, not french fries. Many pizzerias and south Jersey places use sub rolls, pork based franks, french fries, and grill everything. I consider this a bastardized version. Casino Tony Goes in Trenton was just horrible.

                                            1. re: hotdoglover

                                              I had the 4 to a lb Best dog here yesterday. Had it prepared on the flat top griddle and asked for it on the well done side. It was cooked as requested and was hot and juicy, I really like the Best natural casing dogs and am pleased thats it available here.

                                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                                Is the pizza bread itself available for sale anywhere?

                                                1. re: jrd303

                                                  Yes. I make Italian Hot Dogs occasionally and buy pizza bread. There are a couple of places that I know of that sell it. Where do you live? I can direct you to the closest one.

                                                  The 2 best are Carmen's in Union (my first choice) and Sorrento's in East Hanover. JC's in Parsippany is right up there with them. You can also get pizza bread at DiPaola's bakery. There is one in Union and one in Newark.

                                                  I'm usually too lazy to make an Italian Hot Dog, though it isn't too much work, especially if you use a skillet rather than a deep fryer. It's a pain to clean. I make everything the way I like and the result is better than what I get from anywhere else. And much cheaper besides.

                                                  1. re: 1carolyn

                                                    Thanks for answering my questions. Freehold is a little distance from me, but your place seems like it would be worthwhile to visit. I've travelled far (to different states even) to sample hot dogs, but only if I think I would like them, or if they featured a brand of dog I've never had. That's why I ask a lot of questions. Most of the time you can only get an authentic Italian Hot Dog at places like Jimmy Buff's, Charlies, or Tommy's that specialize in them. Most pizzerias or other hot dog joints don't make them the right way. I, too, use the 8's for my Italian Hot Dogs. It's the perfect size. Anything smaller than a 10 is too small. Even a 10 is kind of small.

                                                    I love the Best natural casing franks. Even though I've had many beef dogs from out of state (including the famous Usinger's) Best is my favorite. Just has the right flavor and blend of spices. And like the people in Chicago who grew up eating Vienna Beef, I might be a little biased in that I grew up eating Best. While many places use these dogs for Italian Hot Dogs, there aren't as many as you might think using them for regular dogs. Syd's did and was considered by many as the best hot dog in the state. I was on a panel with 8 people for the Star Ledger 2 years ago who judged hot dogs all summer. We went to 87 places and 5 out of 8 people picked Syd's as the best dog. They boiled it in water and then finished it off on a gas grill (not griddle). Syd's is gone now, but Jimmy Buff's serves this dog. But they have a different take on it. They fry the dog, then finish it off on a charcoal grill. I love it this way.

                                                    I like that you are willing to prepare the dog different ways. I love mine different ways, depending on my mood. Jerry's in Elizabeth boils theirs, then finishes them off for a minute or 2 on a steel griddle for added crunch. There is only one place I know of (Seymour's Luncheonette) that prepares the Best dog on a griddle. Haven't had one this way since I made them myself awhile ago.

                                                    I work on Saturdays, so I appreciate the fact that you are open Sundays. It's often the only time I get to check out new hot dog restaurants. I look forward to coming, probably a week from this Sunday. I'll try the hot dogs, my wife will have the clam chowder.

                                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                                      Hotdoglover.....what & where is your #1 overall pick in all catagories choice for a Hot Dog?

                                                      1. re: Tapas52

                                                        That is a tough question. I like different types of dogs depending on my mood. But if I had to pick one overall, it would be the all beef natural casing Best Provisions footlong served at Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover. This is the same dog you could get at Syd's, but at Buff's it is sauteed in oil and finished off on a charcoal grill. This is how I'll request it Frankly Burgers after I have one from the griddle.

                                                        I put a link to a site where I reviewed 87 different places but the moderators wouldn't allow it. I am allowed to post my reviews here. What follows is my comments from 2 summers ago when I went to 87 different hot dog establishments as part of a team with the Newark Star Ledger. It's long, so if you're not interested, stop reading here.


                                                        This past summer I was part of a team that reviewed hot dogs for the Star Ledger. There was a weekly article that ran along with the regular Munchmobile article that featured a different food each time out. Because of the 2 features (regular Munchmobile and S.W.A.T. Dog) there was a limit as to how much could be included. Everyone on the panel had their own opinions and kept notes. I'll post my opinions here with some observations and comments.

                                                        We tried to hit as many places as we could; both the "name" places as well as the more obscure ones. There are easily a couple of hundred if not thousand places serving hot dogs in this state, from carts, trucks, restaurants, diners, to little hole in the wall type places. What follows are my observations and opinions, which were not necessarily shared by everyone. We visited 87 places. I had been to 49 of them previously. A few that I hadn't gone to I had known about. The remainder was completely new to me.

                                                        There were 3 particular dogs that were served at many places. The carts, trucks, and other establishments that served boiled, or "dirty water dogs overwhelmingly used a Sabrett all beef dog. Since the dog and method of preparation were similar, I had to look at ways of distinguishing between the offerings of the many places that served this dog. Most of the team went by toppings. For me, I place the taste of the dog as most important. I usually got chili on half of the dog and tasted the other half first with just mustard. Or I got 2 dogs, one with a topping, one without. When judging the dirty water dogs, I looked for 3 things. Casing: Some had a casing, some were skinless. I prefer casing. Second was size. Many places served a tiny 12 or 13 to a lb dog. And charged what others charged for a bigger 10 to a lb dog. All things considered, I'll take the bigger dog. Third thing was temperature. Some dogs were served barely warm, others hot, others actually cold. I like the dog hot. Also, some natural casing dogs lost much of their snap due to being in the water too long. These dogs didn't do as well in my scoring.

                                                        The second brand of dog that we encountered frequently was the Thumanns dog for deep frying. This dog is popular in the northern part of the state, particularly Passaic County. Used a lot by people who serve the North Jersey style of Texas Weiner. In this case, I looked for 2 things that set these places apart. One, if the dog was left in the oil long enough. The better places cooked the dogs longer. I would suggest ordering your dog "well" or well done. The other thing I judged was the chili, as most of the places that use this dog are Texas Weiner joints.

                                                        The third most popular dog was the Grote & Weigel Friddle frank. Used at the places that serve, the Plainfield area style Texas Weiner. This dog is griddled rather than deep fried, with a thicker or coarser chili. This dog tasted virtually the same at every place I visited. The only way to choose one over another was by the chili. The dogs were 6 to a lb and had Thumanns for deep frying (slightly different sizes and variation in frying time).

                                                        Another factor to consider is that for the places I had been to many times before, I knew what to expect. But some of them will provide better service and try to provide a better product (more toppings, more attention to how the dog is prepared) when they knew that they were being reviewed. We had no choice but to rate the place based on what we experienced that day. But I can give my opinions of what I experienced in the past.

                                                        One other observation, I went to each place with an open mind. Some that I wasn't crazy about in the past, I enjoyed when I went with the team. And vice versa. This isn't an exact science, so certain factors like how you are feeling that particular day, how hungry you are, etc. will affect your taste. I tried to block everything out when judging the dogs. It's also worthy to note that on a few occasions, even though we had eaten a lot, the last dog sampled was judged to be the best of the day.

                                                        First outing, 5/18

                                                        1) JJ's Hot Dog Truck, Bloomfield Ave. Newark.
                                                        They served a 12/lb skinless Sabrett, dirty water style. I've been to JJ's many times in the past. They have a reputation as one of the top trucks in the state. In the past (prior to August of 05) they used an 11 to a lb natural casing Sabrett. Since then, they switched to the skinless version in a smaller size. No doubt to save money. They are open until 3 or 4 in the AM to serve Rutgers college students and other late night revellers. At that hour, anything tastes good, and I doubt that the majority of their customers noticed that they switched dogs. JJ's is highly overrated in my opinion. When we went there, the dog was small and bland from being in the water too long. Again, similar to other places that use the same recipe Sabrett beef dog, what makes this place not as good as many others was the small, skinless, bland, waterlogged dog we had that day. This opinion was shared by most of the team.

                                                        2) Dickiee Dees Italian Hot Dogs, Bloomfield Ave. Newark
                                                        An authentic Jersey style Italian Hot Dog. They use Best skinless dogs deep fried, as do the majority of places making an authentic Italian Hot Dog. Difference is, these dogs are too small. 12 to a lb. Most use 10 to a lb. Some use 8. 8 is better. But Dickiee Dees uses the tiny dogs. Fried in peanut oil, the dog itself is very flavorful. This place I would rate as top 5 or 6 in the state, but it isn't in the top echelon because of the small size of the sandwich. The potatoes are in chunks rather than thinly sliced which I prefer, but it's a matter of taste. The peppers were hard and crunchy rather than soft. I prefer soft as did most of the team. Pete liked the harder peppers.

                                                        3) Amazing Hot Dog, Bloomfield Ave. Verona
                                                        A fairly new place known for the wide variety of toppings. They serve a 4 to a lb Best natural casing dog and deep fry it. They call it flash frying, but the dogs are prepared in a deep fryer. They're just fried for a few minutes and taken out before the skin splits open. This keeps the flavorful juices in and works for this dog. Amazing Hot Dog was voted best deep fried dog by the panel. It was also my pick, but I will say that choosing bewteen this dog and a beef/pork dog like Rutt's Hut was like choosing between apples and oranges. Rutt's has my favorite condiment (their relish), but in a tough decision, I picked the tastier dog from Amazing. The dog has a great flavor, but I like the dog a little thinner. Also, I prefer the mustard to be put on the dog, rather than on the bun. One comment made by the team was that there was too much mustard put on the dog. The fries were top of the line, as was the other toppings. The chili was one of the 5 best I sampled. It had a unique flavor. A great place serving a great dog.

                                                        Second outing, 5/23

                                                        4) Jimmy Buffs, West Orange
                                                        Jimmy Buff's is the originator and original Italian Hot Dog. They've had numerous locations over the years. They currently have 3; East Hanover, West Orange, and Scotch Plains. The Irvington location closed recently. This is the one I visited most often. The West Orange location is owned by Jim Raccioppi, grandson of the founder. His uncle owns the Scotch Plains location and owned the Irvington one. The difference is that the locations owned by Jim serve a less greasy product than those owned by his uncle. Again, it's all a matter of preference. Many people like the extra grease. The team as a whole liked the sandwich at Jimmy Buff's. It finished second for Italian Hot Dog. Good bread, red and green peppers, potatoes sliced thinner than Dickiee Dees, but thicker than other places. A good, solid Italian Hot Dog. I went back since, and the dog was just as good, but there was only green peppers. The place to go on Tuesdays, as they charge half price. They call it Fat Tuesday.

                                                        5) Frankie D's, Center St. Nutley
                                                        A former pizzeria, Frankie D's has only been open a few years. They serve 3 types of dogs. An Italian Hot Dog, a deep fried dog, and a dirty water dog. The Italian dog is similar to Dickiee Dees. Same potato chunks. Good peppers, but way too much bread. The ingredients were buried inside the roll. A decent Italian dog, but not great. The deep fried dog was the Thumanns deep fryer used at many places. It needed more time in the oil. They also serve a dirty water dog that I did not sample. It is a Thumanns all beef frank. They use Best for the Italian Hot Dogs.

                                                        6) Galloping Hill Inn, Union
                                                        The GHI is one of the more popular joints in the state. They probably serve more hot dogs in the course of a day than anywhere else due to their location and high quality of their hot dog. The Hot Grill may be the only place that serves more dogs, but they are open until 1 AM, while GHI closes at 9PM. They use a 6 to a lb natural casing Grote & Weigel frank. It's important to note that this dog is a different recipe than the G&W franks used at many of the Texas Weiner joints. Originally produced by Gaiser's in Union, GHI took the recipe and had it made at Grote & Weigel. This dog was well liked by the team and the people attending the Hot Dog Tour. It is a tasty beef and pork dog in the German style. It was in the top 3 for grilled dog on a few team member's score cards. I was hoping that there would be a category for grilled beef/pork dogs and a separate one for grilled all beef dogs. Since Pete wanted to limit the categories to five, he decided to have only one for grilled dogs. Two out of the three picks were for all beef dogs. Galloping Hill was easily one of the three best grilled beef/pork dogs. I would have put it right behind the dog we had at Karl Ehmers.

                                                        7) Jerry's Famous Frankfurters, Elizabeth Ave. Elizabeth
                                                        A walk up storefront serving an 8 to a lb all beef natural casing Best brand frank. It is boiled and then placed in a steel compartment (like a small griddle) to add extra crunch. This is an excellent hot dog and my pick for best dirty water dog. It was also the first place pick of another S.W.A.T. member. Unfortunately, this dog did not place top three. I like the flavor and spicing better than the more common Sabrett dog that we had a million times this summer. I would go so far as to say that it was my second favorite dog of the summer. It tasted so good that night that after having 2 Italian Hot Dogs (Jimmy Buffs and Frankie D's) and 2 regular dogs (Frankie D's deep fried dog and Galloping Hill Inn) I wolfed down 3 of them. Although I love Jerry's, they are not always consistent. You will get a bad dog occasionally.

                                                        Third outing, 5/30

                                                        8) Tony's Truck, Branch Brook Park, Newark
                                                        Tony's uses a 10 to a lb natural casing Golden D all beef dog from the Bronx. This truck is known for their hot onions, which I don't eat since I hate onions. But others rave about them. I had been to Tony's once before and thought the dog was ok. Since then, I've been there once with the Munchmobile, one or 2 other times, and most recently with the 06 Hot Dog Tour. My opinion of Tony's has gone way up. The dog itself is a high quality all beef dog. I asked Tony why he used this particular brand, which is seen at many New York street carts, but not in Jersey. He told me that he prefers a dog with a little less spice and garlic than the more common Sabrett. This dog is served hot and tastes good with mustard or the chili they have which is spicy, but not too spicy, with a slight tomatoey taste. I would put this dog right below Jerry's for a dirty water dog. In fact, it came in second to Donnies Dogs in the voting. When asked at the end for our personal favorite dog of the summer, Pete Genovese picked Tony's.

                                                        The owners of this truck requested that both the Munchmobile and the 06 Hot Dog Tour not come to Tony's. I thought this odd, but it was explained to me that they do not want any publicity because they are in a high crime area and fear being robbed. It has happenned before and they don't want anyone reading about Tony's and knowing that they are succesfull and therefore have a lot of money.

                                                        One other thing about Tony's. They get very busy, but have 2 windows from which they serve dogs. I would have to say that they are the fastest and most efficient at pumping out dogs. Just great, fast service. Also, on the Hot Dog Tour, Tony's had 13 votes for best dog of the day, finishing just behind Syd's with 14.

                                                        9) Rutt's Hut, Clifton
                                                        Easily one of, if not THE most well known hot dog joints in Jersey. Known for their deep fried dogs called rippers, their dogs (Thumanns for deep frying) are made especially for deep frying. The dog has a natural casing and comes about 8 to a lb. Many North Jersey dog houses use this particular dog, but what sets Rutt's apart is 2 things. One is that you can get the dogs cooked to different degrees of doneness. Most places that use this dog fry it the minimum amount of time. It tastes better if it is left in the oil longer. At Rutt's you can get an "in and outer", "ripper", "weller", or "cremator". I prefer the weller myself. The other thing that sets this dog apart is their unique mustard based relish. My favorite hot dog topping, this relish goes great with the somewhat mild dog. People are split on this dog. You either love it or hate it. To some, it is the best dog in the universe. To other's it is horrible. May be an aquired taste. This dog came in second place to Amazing Hot Dog for deep fried dog. But they are 2 entirely different animals, as Amazing uses a more well seasoned all beef dog. Hard to say which is better. Depends on your mood I guess. But I voted for Amazing based on just the dog alone, since most of the time I prefer a spicier beef dog. Other times, nothing hits the spot like a Rutt's dog. One member of the SWAT Team voted for Rutt's as her favorite dog of the summer.

                                                        10) Hot Grill, Lexington Ave. Clifton
                                                        A short distance from Rutt's Hut is The Hot Grill, known for its Texas Weiners. This version is the North Jersey/Hot Texas Weiner, which is deep fried and topped with thin chili sauce. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices are all typical of the chili served in the Passaic County area. Again, this may be an aquired taste. Someone on our panel referred to this type of chili as ginerbread cookie chili. The reviews on the Texas Weiners were usually based on whether the SWAT member liked this particular chili or not. And in the voting, all dogs with chili were lumped into the Chili Dog category regardless of whether they were North Jersey Texas Weiners, Plainfield Area Texas Weiners, dirty water dogs topped with chili, or something else. Most North Jersey Texas Weiner places use the Thumanns deep fryer. Some use the Sabrett beef and pork dog. The Hot Grill uses the Sabrett. It's a little milder than the Thumanns, but goes great with the chili.

                                                        Opinions were mixed on the Hot Grill. I love this type of chili, and the Hot Gill has always been one of my favorite Texas Weiners. Quick service and the chili is served at the perfect temperature. This dog was well liked by the people attending the 05 Jersey Hot Dog Tour.

                                                        According to the owner of the Galloping Hill Inn, who is friends with the owners of the Hot Grill, the three places serving the most hot dogs in Jersey are: 1) The Hot Grill 2) The Galloping Hill Inn 3) Max's. The Galloping Hill Inn would probably sell more if they stayed open as late as the Hot Grill, which is open to 1 AM.

                                                        11) New Corral, Hazel St. Clifton
                                                        This was the first time here for me. A diner type place serving, the deep fried Thumanns. Not much to say about this place. The dog was ok, but not left in the oil long enough. The Texas Weiner sauce was average and lacked the complexity of the better chili sauces of this type. If you're in the area, you're better off going to the Hot Grill.

                                                        12) Libby's Lunch, McBride Ave. Paterson
                                                        One of the original Texas Weiner joints. Opened in 1936, this small old fashioned diner serves what many consider to be the archetypal North Jersey Hot Texas Weiner. They use the Thumanns deep fryer and fry it for the right amount of time. The chili sauce is the clovey, cinammony sauce that is typical of the area. Very similar to the Hot Grill. Until this year, I rated The Hot Grill #1 and Libby's #2 for dogs in this category (North Jersey or Hot Texas Weiner) I've since found one I like better, which I'll name when I get to it, but Libby's and The Hot Grill remain 2 of the three best in my opinion. I like the Hot Gill's sauce a tad better than Libby's, but I like the dog itself a tad better at Libby's.

                                                        Service was very good. Great atmosphere and they serve beer.

                                                        Fourth outing, 6/6

                                                        13) Tommy's Italian Sausage & Hot Dogs, Elizabeth & 2nd Ave. Elizabeth
                                                        It seems that a large number of places we visited that placed in the voting were in the beginning of the summer's tasting. That was certainly the case here, as 2 of the offerings sampled this night took first place in the voting. Tommy's is a walk up up store front located 2 or 3 doors down from Jerry's Famous Frankfurters. They have had a reputation since opening in 1969 as serving one of the best, if not the best, Italian Hot Dog. Our panel, as well as myself, voted this dog #1. In the past, Tommy's has been inconsistent. Sometimes serving a good amount of peppers, many times just a few. On more than one occasion, I have been told by friends that they had one lonely pepper on their sandwich. This also happenned to my wife. Tommy's has gone back and forth between 10 to a lb dogs and 8.

                                                        The last few months, though, Tommy's has remained consistent. Which is why they got my vote. Decent bread, although softer in texture than a lot of other Italian Hot Dog joints. They now use a special long, thin, 8 to a lb dog (Best's). They've increased the amount of peppers (perhaps due to criticism) and their potatoes remain the best you can get for an Italian Hot Dog. One thing I make it a point to do is to request the peppers cooked so that they are soft. Some places, like Dickiee Dees, prefer to leave them crunchy. Make sure you specify how you want them done if it makes a difference to you. Otherwise they will probably come crunchy. Being that an Italian Hot Dog is made up of several different ingredients, it's hard to get one that does everything to your liking. One place may serve good hard chewy bread that you might prefer to softer, Philadelphia style bread. The potatoes are sliced either thin, thicker, or in chunks. One place may have great vegetables and bread, but too small dogs. There are a lot of variables. That's why, when I'm in the mood, I prefer to make my own Italian Hot Dogs. This might sound like bragging, but I make everything to my liking, and the result is an Italian Hot Dog that I like better than any that I've bought out, including Tommy's. It's easier than you might think. I use quality bread from a bakery that used to supply many of the Italian Hot Dog joints until the owner stopped making a large quantity; 8 to a lb Best dogs (in my opinion the perfect size), a good amount of red and green peppers cooked the way I like, and potatoes that I slice thin with the use of a mandoline. The peppers come out as good as Charlies (the best for peppers IMO) the potatoes are on a par with Tommy's, only slightly less greasy, (my wife and others actually prefer mine over Tommy's), the bread is top quality and as good as any I've had, as are the dogs. Combined, it makes for one great sandwich. You can do the same at home provided that you have a deep fryer, a mandoline, and the ingredients for an Italian Hot Dog.

                                                        14) Syd's, Millburn Mall, Vauxhall Road, Union
                                                        Taking into consideration the many types and styles of hot dogs, (we voted on 5 categories; there could have been more) if our panel had to vote on just one dog that is the best in Jersey, Syd's wins. In fact, we did have an informal vote among the 8 of us. Although we visited 87 places, some served more than one type of dog, so we easily had over 90, and maybe 100 different hot dogs. Five out of 8 people picked Syd's as best overall hot dog of the summer. Out of the three dissenters, one picked Rutt's Hut, one picked Hirams, and Pete picked Tony's Truck. In it's category of grilled hot dog, Syd's got 7 of 8 first place votes. The person not voting for Syd's for first place had them for second. This person prefers pork based dogs and picked Karl Ehmer's for first place in the grilled category. No other hot dog got as many first place votes in their category.

                                                        Syd's serves a long, 5 to a lb natural casing Best's all beef frank. The dog can be ordered grilled or boiled. Grilled is actually boiled first and then put on a gas grill and char broiled. The result is a dog that is damn close to perfection. Excellent flavor, a great spicing, perfect snap to the casing, perfect size for a dog. I can understand someone preferring a German style pork and beef dog to this one, since the two styles are considerably different, but for an all beef kosher style dog, none comes close to Syd's.

                                                        As for the place itself, today was the last day at the current location. It was in a luncheonette in a strip mall. One thing many people didn't like about Syd's is that you couldn't just walk in and get a hot dog. You had to sit and be waited on. And recently the service has gotten bad. We had to wait a very long time to be served the day of the Hot Dog Tour. The last few times, including today, the service has been subpar, even when not crowded. But the dogs are fabulous.

                                                        I've mentioned it in the past, but you can buy these same dogs to make at home. They are available at Best Provisions on Avon Ave. in Newark. I get them all the time and prepare them like they do at Syd's.

                                                        15) J's Italian Beef & Sausage, St. Georges Ave. Linden
                                                        Jack, the owner, is from Chicago and serves sandwiches that are popular there such as Italian Beef and sausage. He also serves great barbecue. And Chicago style hot dogs. In fact, this is the only place in New Jersey where you can get an authentic Chicago style hot dog. Vienna beef franks, neon green relish, sports peppers, etc, shipped in from Chicago. The dog is a 6 to a lb skinless Vienna Beef brand dog that is served on a poppy seed bun and topped with mustard, neon green relish, onions, tomato slices, a dill pickle, celery salt, and sports peppers. The dog itself is made from bull meat and brisket. It's a quality beef dog, but milder than what many of us are used to, such as Sabrett, Nathan's, Best, or Hebrew National. For a plain dog, I would prefer these four to the Vienna, but the Vienna dog goes well with all of the ingredients on a Chicago dog. The preferred method of preparation is boiling. They call it steaming, but the dogs are put in a compartment with hot water and the lid is shut, creating steam. If you order a regular dog instead of Chicago style, you can get it boiled or grilled. The grilled dog is called a char dog, and is pretty good. You get more flavor this way than boiled. But get the Chicago dog boiled, which is the traditional way. The dog, being milder than what we're used to (but still spicier than a beef/pork dog) mixes well with the other ingredients and doesn't overpower them.
                                                        This dog didn't really go over well with the panel. I believe the Chicago dog is an acquired taste. I am a minimalist when it comes to hot dogs, usually preferring just some mustard on mine. I did like the contrast between hot meat and cool vegetables though. And since we reviewed this place on June 6th, I've been back a number of times. I can honestly say that I've acquired a taste for this particular dog. I do, though, have to be in the mood for it. I voted for J's for first place in the Creative, Original, or Unique category, being that they are the only place serving an authentic version of a hot dog that is wildly popular in and around Chicago. To many people, this is what a true hot dog tastes like. While I wasn't crazy about it, I have become a fan and now see why so many people rave about Chicago hot dogs.

                                                        Fifth outing, 6/13

                                                        16) Chris's Truck, Heller Parkway, Newark
                                                        The second of many hot dog trucks, carts, and other establishments serving the Sabrett dirty water dog. JJ's was the first. The other truck we visited up to this point was Tony's, which served a Golden D frank. As I mentioned earlier, the great majority of dirty water dogs we encountered were Sabrett. A great beef dog for sure, and in my top 3. But how do you distinguish between all these places that serve the same dog prepared the same way? For most, it was the toppings or condiments. For me it was size, (10 or 8 to a lb being preferable) whether it had a casing, and how hot it was. I should mention a 4th factor. Freshness. Although I believe virtually all of these dogs were not old, many were left in the water too long. JJ's is an example. At least when we went. When left in the water too long the dog loses flavor and snap if it has a natural casing.

                                                        The dog at Chris's was an 11 to a lb skinless Sabrett. A little smaller than what I prefer, and without the casing. But it was served hot enough. I had chili on half of my dog, and it was average hot dog truck chili. For me, this place typified what most hot dog trucks were about. A decent, but unspectacular dog. Could have been bigger. Could have had casing. For the rest of the team, this truck did stand out in the sense that it recieved a vote for best hot onions. According to those who eat them, this place and Tony's had the best hot onions. For the top five categories (grilled, boiled, deep fried, chili, and Italian) places were rated one through three. For the miscellaneous categories, (the Coney's) there was only one winner.

                                                        17) Callahan's, Rt 46 Little Ferry
                                                        As many of you know, the original Callahan's location in Fort Lee was closed and turned into a bank. But there are still 2 locations left. This one and another in Hasbrouck Heights. According to Rick Castrianni, owner of the Fort Lee location, all Callahan's restaurants serve the same hot dog. Which is a beef and pork Sabrett dog. It is deep fried. The small dog is a 6 to a lb. They also serve a quarter pounder, and a super dog which is even bigger. This particular dog is very mild, even considered bland. It does taste better if you put a quality chili on top like the Hot Grill does. Not bad, but not one of my favorites. I've always preferred the Thumanns deep fryer served at Hirams, which is right across the street from where the Fort Lee Callahan's was.

                                                        You order the size dog you want and then you put on your own toppings at a fixins bar. They have mustard, ketchup, kraut, relish, onions, and maybe something else. Chili is extra, and has to be ordered. The team was down on this dog. I think part of the reason is that it was bland compared to the all beef Sabrett we had previously at Chris's.

                                                        18) Hiram's, Fort Lee
                                                        This place is a real Jersey roadside joint. Inside it looks like a small neighborhood bar, which in fact it could be considered. There is a small bar and a few tables. Behind the bar is the open kitchen area where the deep fryers are. Hiram's serves the Thumann's deep fryer. I'm not sure of the size, but I would guess 7 or 8 to a pound. The dog is thicker than what is served at Rutt's Hut and many other places using the same recipe dog. As at all of the establishments that serve this dog, be sure to ask for it well done or at Hiram's, the expression is one "well". Rutt's, Libby's, Hot Dog Heaven, and Pappy's Diner are a few places where you don't have to make this request, since they do prepare them this way.

                                                        The Thumann's deep fryer was one of the top 3 more common dogs that we encountered this summer, along with the Sabrett all beef dog (dirty water dogs) and the Grote & Weigel griddle frank (many Texas Weiner joints). The dog at Hirams stood out from most serving this particular dog in a couple of ways. The dog itself was a little thicker. It was served on a quality toasted bun. It was fried for a sufficient amount of time, even if I had to request it. And the chili here was one of the better ones we had all summer. In fact it was voted best chili dog by the team. So in Hirams, we have another first place winner in one of the five major categories. I had my dog with just mustard, but did have a bite of someone's chili dog. It was definitely one of my favorite chili's. A bit on the spicy side as well. This dog, as mentioned previously, was the favorite overall dog of one of our S.W.A.T. members.

                                                        19) Johnny & Hanges, Fair Lawn
                                                        Johnny & Hanges original location was Paterson, birthplace of the Jesrey Hot Texas Weiner. Some years ago they moved to their current location. J&H is a standard North Jersey or "Hot" Texas Weiner restaurant. Serving the Thumann's deep fryer and topping it with the thin Texas Weiner sauce. Average to pretty good dog and sauce. J&H is one of the very few Texas Weiner joints to also offer an all beef dog. This dog is bigger in size and also a Thumann's. I've had it in the past and enjoyed it, but on this particular night the all beef dog was too dry. Mixed reviews from the team.

                                                        20) Goffle Grill, Hawthorne
                                                        A fairly popular Texas Weiner joint in the Hawthorne, Midland Park area. Similar in looks to the Hot Grill or Johnny & Hanges; it is a typical fast food place as far as appearance. They serve the Thumanns deep fryer, but here it tastes bland. This has been my experience the 5 or 6 times I've been here. The chili sauce has a harsh taste to it. Tangy, vinegary, and unpleasant. No one on the team liked this dog.

                                                        Sixth outing, 6/20

                                                        21) Donnies Dogs, Central Ave & 15th St. Newark
                                                        Only our 6th outing out of a total of 16, but with Donnies Dogs, we've already been to all 5 first place finishers. Just worked out that way. Still, a lot of great dogs left. Donnies was voted first place by our panel for best Dirty Water Dogs. I think it got one first place vote, but a lot of second and thirds. My first place vote went to Jerry's. Another member also voted for Jerry's for first place, but no one else had them in their top 3. Donnies is a hot dog truck parked on the street next to Fairmount Cemetary. Owner Pete Caggiano serves 10 to a lb skinless Sabrett's. Bigger than many of the trucks serving the 11's and 12's. And served hot and fresh. In my opinion, the one thing this dog lacked that is important to me in a dirty water dog is the snap of a natural casing. Had this been included, Donnies would have been in my top 3. It would have met my criteria of a dirty water dog being served hot, fresh, with a good snap, at a decent size. There were a few that did meet this criteria, but what would have put Donnies in my top three instead of one of the others would have been the variety of toppings and condiments. Not that I use all that many, preferring just mustard most of the time, but Donnies had a big selection of dogs; maybe the most from a truck. Chili, cheese, hot relish, reuben dogs, cheesteak dogs, you name it, it was there along with many that I can't recall. The tasty dog along with the variety of choices accounted for Donnies taking first place. The owner, as mentioned by other posters here previously, gives back to the community and is a genuinely good guy. Congratulations to him, especially after a rough beginning where he was only making $20.00 on some days and seriously considered quitting.

                                                        I had 2 dogs here. One with chili, which was liked by the team, but a little too hot (spicy) for my taste. And one with just mustard.

                                                        22) Otto's, Bloomfield Ave. Caldwell
                                                        Otto's is a small hot dog restaurant that has been open less than a year. Located right across the street from the popular Cloverleaf Tavern. The dog served is a 10 to a lb, natural casing all beef Sabrett. This is the perfect size for a Sabrett dirty water dog. Normally I would prefer 8 to a lb, which I consider ideal, but for some reason the casing isn't tight enough on the Sabrett 8's. I was expecting to like this dog because of the size and the fact that it had casing. But it wasn't to be because the dogs were actually served cold. Not hot. Not warm. Not lukewarm. Cold! And not just mine, but everyone's. It was mentioned to the staff, who gave us a new round of dogs. These were barely warmer. Too bad, because the temperature of the dogs ruined the experience. The rolls were also too big for the dog. I don't remember sampling the chili, but according to my notes it was spicy, tomatoey, and not good. Don't remember why it wasn't good.

                                                        23) Boulevard Drinks, Journal Square Jersey City.
                                                        A small walkup storefront with perhaps 6 or so stools at a counter. Large neon lights, similar to Papaya King or Gray's in New York. First opened in 1937. In fact, I believe that this place was the forerunner of Papaya King. Although most people think of Sabrett as a New York dog, it originated in Jersey City. The company was there for years before it was sold. It is now owned by Marathon Enterprises in East Rutherford, N.J. although the dogs are made at a Stahl- Mayer plant in the Bronx. Boulevard Drinks uses the natural casing Sabrett and prepares them on a griddle. Some years later Papaya King opened in New York serving the dogs the same way. Later on came Gray's Papaya, Chelsea Papaya, and a slew of others. All after Boulevard Drinks.

                                                        The dog served here came in 2nd place for a grilled dog. All on the team thought it was fantastic. I would put it third on my list for favorite dog sampled all summer behind Syd's and Jerry's. I believe if the team as a whole was asked to rate their top 3 overall, this dog would have come in 2nd to Syd's. Later in the summer we went to New York (which I will get into in more detail later) and had the Sabrett dog served the same way at Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Katz's. The S.W.A.T. team was unanimous in agreeing that the dog at Boulevard Drinks was better. It was served nice and hot, cooked sufficiently, and tasted fresher. This dog was smaller than 10 to a lb. But it was so good that I'll make an exception in this case. It was also cheaper than what most dirty water places charged for the smaller size Sabrett's. It was under $1.50 although I don't remember the exact price.
                                                        To many hot dog lovers in Jersey, Boulevard Drinks is the standard. If you happen to prefer the flavor and spicing in a Sabrett dog to a Best's, than I would say that this is the best place for you to get a hot dog. If you check this place out, be prepared to either park in the nearby garage or wait awhile to get a space. Parking is extremely difficult. But the dogs are so good that I make the trip here often.

                                                        24) Petridis, Bayonne
                                                        A small restaurant that started out as a pushcart and has been around a very long time. Well known in and around Bayonne and Jersey City. There were 2 young girls working here who knew little about the product being served and didn't seem to care. The dog served was an 11 to a lb natural casing Sabrett prepared dirty water style. Hot enough, but hardly any snap. The dogs we had were definitely in the water too long. This cut down on the snap and reduced the flavor in the dog. Castleberry chili was served here. All in all, the dogs were mediocre as was the service. I would avoid this place and drive to Boulevard Drinks. One of the members of the team was from Bayonne and grew up on these hot dogs. He was really looking forward to going to the hot dog place of his youth. Even he was disapointed. But he assured us that the dogs were better in the past.

                                                        Seventh outing, 6/25 Part 1

                                                        25) JoJo's, Rt37 Toms River
                                                        Our first Sunday trip, and what a trip! Nine different stops, beginning at 11:00 when the first place opened, and ending sometime around 9 PM. JoJo's is a small restaurant that serves primarily Italian Hot Dogs. Originally from Iselin, they moved to Toms River in the early 70's. I lived in Iselin while they were there, but never ate there. Today was the third time that I've been to their current location. They serve what can be considered an authentic Italian Hot Dog. Meaning that they use the circular pizza bread, Best's dogs, and fried peppers, onions, and potatoes. In fact, JoJo's may be the farthest point south where you can get a true Italian style hot dog. I know that Casino Tony Goes in Trenton calls their sandwich an Italian Hot Dog, but to me it isn't. I'll elaborate when I get to that trip.

                                                        JoJo's wasn't particularly good. The dogs were tiny, 12 or maybe even 13 to a lb. They had casing, which I prefer on a regular dog, but not an Italian Hot Dog. It intereferes with the synergy between bread, meat, and vegetables. Does that make sense? Anyway, although the dogs were small, I requested only a single because I knew I was in for a lot of eating. The owner refused, and made me a double anyway. And included onions even though I requested that they be left out. From what I remember the potatoes and peppers were ok, the bread wasn't. They get the bread sent down from Calandras, which is one of Jersey's finest bakeries. But they don't make very good pizza bread. I've bought it from them once to use for my Italian Hot Dogs that I make at home. It fell apart then as it did today. Dickie Dees is a stone's throw away from Calandras and DiPaolas, but chooses to use the bread from DiPaolas. JoJo's is ok if you're from this area and crave an Italian Hot Dog. But it wasn't one of the better ones we've sampled this summer.

                                                        26) Hot Dog Tommy's, Jackson St. Cape May.
                                                        A small walkup stand in the beautiful town of Cape May. It seems that they do a good business as there was a fairly long line on a Sunday afternoon. Tommy's won a Coney for best personality. The guy was funny, spewing forth jokes and one liners the whole time we were there. Two different dogs were served. A five to a lb skinless all beef dog from Berks. This one was short and chubby rather than long and slim like the Syd's 5 to a lb. The other dog was a Berks skinless 10 to a lb beef and pork dog. Both dogs were steamed and then put on a roller grill. Not exactly my favorite way to prepare a dog. But the dogs came out better than I anticipated. The beef dog was solid, if unspectacular. An ordinary all beef dog. The beef/pork dog was tasty and above average. You can get these dogs with diced onions and pickles. There is a sign reading "Sorry, we do not have red onions or cooked onions. Dats North Jersey. So don't ask for them. We serve raw diced onions."

                                                        27) Mauis Dog House, North Wildwood.
                                                        I had heard of Mauis and intended to go for a long time, but never got around to it until now. Many people said that the dogs here are very good, and I had corresponded with the owner via e-mail previously. He wouldn't tell me the brand of dog used, but I was able to find out. Mauis has 2 locations. The one we visited on a main street near the boardwalk, and one on the boardwalk itself. Sort of similar to a Stewarts Root Beer stand in that you are served at a walkup area and eat at picninc benches. Mauis won the Coney for Most Creative Toppings. I voted for Amazing Hot Dog. But Mauis had a lot including salty balls (potatoes that were brined) extra spicey mustard, potatoes flavored with white wine and garlic, and excellent hand cut fries.

                                                        At Mauis, you can get a regular dog or a veal dog. Both about 8 to a lb and prepared on a hot griddle. The veal dog was ok, but a little on the mild side. The regular dog was made of beef, pork, and veal in the German style. In a natural casing. To me, it tasted just like a Hoffmans dog from Syracuse, which I've bought at Wegmans. This is a good thing, as this dog is very good. Mild, but not bland. Originally, the owner claimed that the dogs were made on site. After I asked him where the sausage making equipment was, he told me that his brother makes the dogs at a nearby pork store. I saw an article taped to the wall of the building stating that the owner's family came from Syracuse. To me this was too much of a coincidence. I called Hoffman's and was told that Mauis has bought their products. So what you are eating are Hoffman's German style franks. A quality dog, and one of the better beef and pork dogs. Worth seeking out if you are in or near Wildwood.

                                                        28) Windmill, Long Branch.
                                                        We went to the original Windmill on Ocean Ave. There are other locations all around, most of which are in Monmouth County. One of the more well known hot dog joints in Jersey along with Max's, which we went to immediately after the Windmill. The dog here is a big quarter pound natural casing beef and pork dog made by Sabrett. The same recipe dog that is used at Callahan's and The Hot Grill, although at those places the dogs are deep fried. Here it is cooked on a griddle until the skin snaps. The Windill took 2nd place in the chili dog category. Unfortunately, I did not taste the chili. It was thick and beanless. The dog itself had a great snap to the casing. You can see the dogs on the griddle and I would advise picking out the one you want, which would be one of the more well done dogs. This dog is another fairly mild beef/pork dog that some consider to be bland. I think it has just enough flavor without considering it bland. The char and casing add to the experience. I had mine with mustard (Gulden's)and enjoyed it. Definitely one of the better grilled beef/pork dogs along with Max's, Galloping Hill Inn, Karl Ehmers, and Mauis.

                                                        29) Max's, Long Branch
                                                        Right down the street from the Windmill is Max's. Located a block from the Boardwalk, it was originally on the Boardwalk. After a fire, Max's moved to its current location. It is bigger than most hot dog places with a rectangular counter and tables. They serve beer as well. If you look around, you'll see dozens of pictures of celebrities who have eaten at Max's hanging on the walls. From Bruce Springsteen to Cardinal O'Connor. Max's is only open from sometime in March to September. But when they're open they sell a lot of dogs. From what I hear, they're in the top 3 along with the Galloping Hill Inn and the Hot Grill.

                                                        The dog is expensive as is the dog at the Windmill. Both going for over $4.00, and more if you want chili. Max's serves a quarter pound Schickhaus frank. Made by Grote & Weigel of Connecticut for the Jersey market, these same dogs are available in many supermarkets including most Shop Rites. Although I was told that they are made from the same recipe as the Grote & Weigel griddle franks that you get at the Texas Weiner joints, I believe this may not be true. I like the Schickhaus dogs better. At Max's, they stay on the griddle a long time. Prepared perfectly, this is one fine dog. I prefer it by the slimmest of margins to the Windmill dog as did most of the panel. I didn't have the chili, but those who did said it was nothing special, while the Windmill's took 2nd place. The service and attitude of those working at Max's leave much to be desired. Right off the bat one of Mrs. Max's daughters or daughters in law starting complaining to Pete about the Ledger's lack of coverage of the place. A guy there was overheard by one of us as saying that he wished we didn't come by. We were given a hard time when we decided to get our dogs to go rather than waiting to be served at the counter. Despite all this, the dog is very good, but I won't go there unless I'm in the area and the Windmill is closed.

                                                        Seventh outing, 6/25 part 2.

                                                        30) Old Heidelburg, Keansburg Boardwalk.
                                                        A popular little place on the boardwalk serving hot dogs and beer. Most people grab a dog while walking the boardwalk, but there are a lot of tables for those who wish to sit. I had been here a few times in the past; last time a few years ago. The dogs served then were very good; all beef prepared on a griddle with a large amount of cooking oil on the surface. The people working here have always been very secretive about the brand used, but it is Haydu. For years made in Newark, but the plant closed down and they are made elsewhere; I think someone told me New York. And from what I hear, they're not as good as they used to be. When we went, the dogs were beef/pork rather than all beef. But still Haydu's. Let me say that out of all the dogs sampled this summer, most were at least ok. Meaning that they were good to eat, if not particularly standing out. We had many Sabrett dirty water dogs, most being indistinguishable from the rest. But all pretty good as Sabrett makes a quality dog. Others were better. And then there were those that were outstanding. Some were bland, but edible. Then there were 3 dogs that I would consider bad. Not bad in that they were spoiled, but bad as far as taste and/or preparation. The dogs at the Old Heidelberg were lousy. Definitely one of the three worst dogs I've had. I'd say there were 2 that I liked even less than these. The skinless dogs (about 8 to a lb) were extremely greasy, salty, and bland. Just a bad hot dog, and to this point, the worst that we've had. This opinon was shared by 7 out of 8 of us. One thought the dog was ok.

                                                        31) Tido's, New Brunswick
                                                        A fairly new place, Tido's has been open for about 2 years. Located fairly close to Rutgers. There are 3 dogs served here. A Sabrett all beef, a Hatfield beef and pork, and a turkey dog. All skinless, all boiled. I didn't sample the turkey dog. The Sabrett dog wasn't hot and had been in the water too long. Not a good dog. The Hatfield beef and pork dog, which is what they serve most of, and what you get if you come in and order a dog without specifying which one, has the distinction of being the worst hot dog I've ever eaten. It was so bad that I had to have another one just to be sure that it wasn't spoiled. I even went in the refrigerator and checked the date on the package, which was good. The only way I can describe this dog was too salty with a horrible spicing. Ironically, the fries were one of the best that we've had. So, the last 2 stops had 2 of the 3 worst dogs of the summer in my opinion as well as most on the S.W.A.T. Team.

                                                        32) Texas Weiner II, Rt. 22 Greenbrook.
                                                        One of the oldest Texas Weiner joints in the state, Texas Weiner ll opened in 1924. Being located on busy rt 22, they serve a lot of hot dogs. Probably in the top 6. The dog is the standard Grote & Weigel griddle frank served at virtually all of the Central Jersey Texas Weiner joints that grill, rather than deep fry their dogs. And this dog tastes the same at all of these places. Only difference is the chili sauce used. And even this is very similar among the many places that serve this dog. When I'm in the mood for one of these dogs, I pick a place that is close to me and is less expensive, since in my opinion if you've had one, you've had them all. There is less variation in this type of dog than even the dirty water Sabrett's or the deep fried Thumann's.

                                                        I've been here many times over the years, but have stopped going because they were more expensive than the other places and the service has gotten worse. When we went, I noticed that the price of a dog went down from $3.50. I forget what they charge now, but it was under $3.00. The service was lousy. Not only did they get our orders wrong, but it took forever to get served. Most of the team didn't like this dog, but I thought it was ok, although I would rather go elsewhere because of the lousy service. The chili served at these type of Texas Weiner joints is thicker than the Paterson area deep fried or Hot Texas Weiner places. The chili here is typical of the type and not overly spicy. The dog could have spent more time on the griddle.

                                                        33) Texas Weiner I, Front St. Plainfield.
                                                        This is the original Plainfield Texas Weiner joint. I don't know when they opened, but it was shortly before Texas Weiner ll. Originally owned by the same family, both places now have different owners. Texas Weiner l is a very small diner with a griddle facing the street, and a small counter inside. Same Grote & Weigel dog, but this one spent a little more time on the griddle. Better service and a better atmosphere. The chili, while similar in taste and texture, was much spicier here. Too spicy for me, but I was in the minority. The team as a whole preferred Texas Weiner l to Texas Weiner ll. I liked the quick service at l, but the chili at ll.

                                                        Eighth outing, 7/9

                                                        34) Stewart's, Lebanon
                                                        This particular Stewart's has a reputation of being one of the nicest, if not the nicest looking Stewart's in the state. It's located along a pretty section of rt 22 in the western part of the state. A lot of plants and shrubbery, and a mini picnic grove with benches make this a good place to enjoy a dog outside.

                                                        In the past, almost all Stewart's used a Haydu brand beef and pork dog. Some still do, but each individual Stewart's now decides what dog they will serve. The Rahway location uses a Thumann's griller that they deep fry. They used to grill it. Two other locations that we visited later on used the Haydu and deep fried it. This location in Lebanon uses a skinless Dietz and Watson all beef dog that they prepare on a roller grill. There is a foot long dog and a smaller size.

                                                        I've been here several times in the past, and found the dog to be just ok. The Dietz and Watson beef dog is the same dog that is called Black Bear in Shop Rites. But that dog has a natural casing, while these were skinless. The dog itself is of decent quality, with a good, but milder flavor than a Best, Sabrett, or Nathan's. This dog would have fared better if it had a natural casing and was prepared on a griddle or grill, rather than a roller grill. But it's still an ok dog usually. Today, it was unusually dry and tough. The chili is homemade and had a fresh, tomatoey flavor. I think the dogs we had might have been old. They're usually better.

                                                        35) Bridge Street Dog Pound, Bridge Street, Milford.
                                                        Located a block or so from a bridge leading into Pa., the Dog Pound is a relatively new place. It opened sometime earlier in the year. Or late in 05. Owned by 2 twenty something guys, one of whom kept bragging about the place on the Munchmobile forum, continually stating that his dogs were best in the state. I just wanted to see what this guy looked like, but he wasn't there on this day. His partner, a somewhat quiet and accomodating guy, was.

                                                        It's a very small place that was uncomfortably hot inside. Everyone ate outside, even though there is no outside seating. One of the girls working there was kind enough to bring out some chairs. The dog served was a 10 to a lb Berks skinless dog that was deep fried. Same exact dog and preparation as Toby's Cup, which, coincidentally, would be our next stop. The Dog Pound had a variety of topping choices. The River Rat, which had fried peppers, barbecue sauce, onions, and mustard, proved popular with the team. The chili was peppery and very finely ground; sort of like a puree. Not sure if I liked it or not. I ordered the basic dog, which I believe is called the Milford. It has yellow mustard, onions, and a pickle slice. I omitted the onions.

                                                        I liked the dog. Very similar to Toby's Cup. Out in West Jersey, they prefer milder dogs. And skinless. They come either steamed, deep fried, or on a roller grill. The brand is usually Kunzler, Hatfield, or Berks. Out of these, I like the Berks dog the best. And it's better deep fried. The major thing that I didn't like about the Dog Pound was that it took forever to be served. All told, we only ordered about 8 dogs. There was no line either. It took over 25 minutes for me to get one lousy dog. And it was unbearably hot inside. From what I remember, it wasn't a particularly hot day. If I want this type of dog; I'll stick to Toby's Cup.

                                                        36) Toby's Cup, Rt 22, Lopatcong
                                                        Toby's is a little shack located right on busy rt 22, right at the Lopatcong/Philipsburg border. There is a clown face on the outside of the building, with a battered flouorescent light inside, and a very low ceiling. Voted best hot dog hole-in-the-wall. Toby's deep fries a 10 to a lb skinless Berk's beef and pork dog. It comes West Jersey/ Pennsylvania style with yellow mustard, pickle slices, and onions. Fast service, in contrast to the Dog Pound. Toby's has been around since the 1940's and is very popular in the area. In my opinion, they serve the best dog in Western Jersey. I like to call it the White Castle of hot dogs. Small, delicious, and your car smells like it for days.

                                                        37) Jimmy's on the Delaware, Philipsburg
                                                        Jimmy's replaced Jim's Doggie Stand, which was in Philipsburg for over 30 years before moving to nearby Easton, Pa. Three dogs were offered here. A regular Berks beef and pork (10 to a lb, skinless) that was prepared on a roller grill. Average, not nearly as good as Toby's. A Hatfield angus beef dog that was deep fried. Eight to a lb with natural casing, this, in my opinion was the best of the bunch, although this particular dog is better grilled or dirty water style. Hatfield makes a very good beef dog, but a poor beef/pork dog. They also make a beef/pork/turkey dog that you can find in the supermarket. I wouldn't bother. The other dog available here is a 5 to a lb Berks beef and pork dog with a cheese and jalapeno interior. About a year ago the company sent me some of these dogs to sample. A very different, unique tasting dog. Good, but a little too spicy for me. I would definitely have one once in a while. The rest of the team liked this dog so much that it was voted best novelty dog. I can't remember how it was prepared.

                                                        38) Hot Dog Johnny's, Rt 46, Buttzville
                                                        This place is second to Rutt's Hut in terms of famous hot dog joints. From what I'm told, The Hot Grill, Galloping Hill Inn, and Max's, in this order, sell the most hot dogs. All are popular. But Rutt's and Hot Dog Johnny's are the most well known hot dog establishments in Jersey. Practically everyone in the state has been to or heard of these 2. A big part of the popularity of Hot Dog Johnny's is the beautiful location. It's in a picturesque setting with picnic tables overlooking the Pequest River. A great atmosphere at this old time roadside stand. In my opinion, the most overrated dog anywhere. It's not awful, just mediocre. I don't care how popular it is. McDonald's is popular, but there are much better burgers out there. As, I said, one reason for it's popularity is the atmosphere and location. Another is that generations of people grew up eating here and there is a lot of nostalgia associated with this place. Finally, people in this part of the state are used to milder dogs, bordering on blandness. Bland is the word that was most used by the panel in describing the dogs at Hot Dog Johnny's.

                                                        The dog itself is a small, skinless Schmalz brand dog that is deep fried in peanut oil and served with mustard, ketchup, onions, relish, and a pickle spear. I had mine with mustard and pickle. I've been to Johnny's several times. The first time I thought it was awful. I think that in part was because my expectations were too high. I had been back a few times and thought the dogs were better than I remember the first time, but still mediocre. Today, they were clearly not as good as Toby's, the Dog Pound, or Jimmy's, which are all on the mild side. But that's my opinion, and so many people swear by Hot Dog Johnny's. It is far and away not only the most popular hot dog joint out in West Jersey, but the most popular eatery of any kind. The Star Ledger did an article stating this fact about a year ago. I was quoted as a dissenter regarding the dogs at Johnny's.

                                                        On the plus side, service is fairly quick considering that there are usually long lines. And the dogs are under a buck. Toby's dogs are also under a buck. No one on the S.W.A.T. Team liked the dogs at Hot Dog Johnny's.

                                                        39) Davey's Dogs, Howard Blvd, Mt. Arlington.
                                                        Davey's looks like a Swiss Chalet with its A-Frame structure. A nice little place with a walk up window, or indoor seating. There are a few tables inside, which has a sort of homey log cabin feel to it. The dogs are 12 to a lb natural casing all beef Sabrett's. By now you know that I'm not crazy about the small size. Especially here when the dog is put on a bun that is too big. If you order a dog, but don't specify how you want it, you'll get it boiled. Other options are grilled and deep fried. But you have to ask. The chili is the packaged Castleberry brand, which I like, even if it's not homemade. It has a nice mild tomatoey flavor. Other than the dogs being too small and put on a too big roll, they are prepared well and taste fine. I've been here a few times and have had the chance to have them all 3 ways. A good stop in Morris County, which doesn't have too many hot dog establishments.

                                                        40) Dover Grill, Rt 46, Dover
                                                        This was the first time that I've been to the Dover Grill. Going by the name, I expected a North Jersey "Hot" Texas Weiner joint. A lot of these places have the term "Grill" in there, even though they deep fry the dogs. Not so here. They serve a natural casing 10 to a lb all beef Sabrett dog, which is prepared on a griddle. Excellent dog, done right. In fact one of the best grilled dogs of the summer. For an all beef grilled dog, I would put it behind Syd's and Boulevard Drinks. Easily as good or better than the New York places that serve this same dog. Namely Papaya King and Gray's Papaya.

                                                        They offer 2 types of chili here. One is called Texas Weiner chili. I don't remember the taste, but I do remember that I, as well as everyone else didn't like it. The other chili, just referred to as regular chili, not Texas Weiner, was better. I remember it as being tomatoey and very spicy. Pete called it tomatoey and slightly spicy. Admittedly, I have a low tolerance for spice. This chili was liked by the team and finished #3 in the chili dog category. It was Pete Genovese's favorite chili of the entire summer. The dog here was easily one of the best of the summer, and in my opinion, the best of the day.

                                                        Ninth outing, 7/18

                                                        41) World's First Italian Hot Dogs Inc., 14th Ave. Newark
                                                        This storefront is the location of the original Jimmy Buff's. In all probability, the very first place serving the popular Newark Style Italian Hot Dog. Opened in 1932. I don't know how long it was a Jimmy Buff's, but sometime later the place was sold to Lou Biancala. It was then known as Lou's. Sold again to the man who was running the store for Lou. I had heard about Lou's through a year end Munchmobile roundup some years ago. About 2 years ago I went there to find it closed due to a fire. I had thought that it was gone for good. Then someone posted about it opening up again. I had gone there once this Spring prior to being on the Munchmobile S.W.A.T. Team. I was somewhat disappointed because there were no peppers served with the sandwich. At the time, the price of peppers had gone up, and some Jimmy Buff locations weren't including them. To me, this was a mistake. Peppers are an important part of an Italian Hot Dog and shouldn't be left out. Either absorb the price increase or pass it on to your customers. All of the other Italian Hot Dog restaurants continued to include them without a price increase. It's almost like a pizzeria leaving out cheese because the price went up. I didn't ask if they purposely left the peppers out or if they had simply run out that day.

                                                        I was happy to find that there were peppers when we went as a team. The set up is similar to Jimmy Buff's and other places that use the tilted steel pan to fry all of the ingredients. The sandwich itself was very good, taking 3rd place in the Italian Hot Dog category. The bread here was especially good; fresh and very chewy. The dogs were the perfect size, 8 to a lb Best's. Green peppers were good, but there could have been more of them. The potatoes were the same as what you would get at Jimmy Buff's although they should have been cooked a little more. All in all, a very good Italian Hot Dog. I would suggest that you use caution if you come here. It's in a very bad crime ridden neighborhood.

                                                        42) Charlies Famous Italian Hot Dogs, Michigan Ave. Kenilworth
                                                        Charlies was originally a Jimmy Buff's. In the early sixties it was sold to a man named Charlie, who also bought another Italian Hot Dog restaurant in nearby Union that was formerly known as Dees. Dees became Charlies Son's, which is no longer in business. Charlies Famous was sold by Charlie to the father of the current owner.

                                                        By way of disclosure, let me state that my daughter worked at Charlies all throughout high school and occasionally in college. I am very familiar with their product, and have eaten more Italian Hot Dogs there then anywhere else. I've often been accused of giving good reviews and saying good things about Charlies because my daughter worked there. This is not true as I always give my honest opinion regardless of whether I know or am friends with the owner, or if a friend or relative works in the establishment. For awhile when my daughter was working there, the potatoes were bad and I mentioned it. The owner also switched from Best to Sabrett, which I felt lessened the quality of the sandwich. And I mentioned it. They are back to using Best.

                                                        Let me also say that I am no longer on good terms with the owner. I don't know if it's appropriate to get into it here, but if you would like to know more, feel free to e-mail me.

                                                        Charlies was always my favorite Italian Hot Dog. For years I considered it the best along with Tommy's. But I preferred Charlies. Good bread, 8 to a lb dogs (Tommy's used 10's) the best tasting peppers (plenty of them; both red and green) and excellent potatoes. The only potatoes that were better were Tommy's. But until recently, Tommy's put precious few peppers on thir sandwich. And they were hard rather than soft. But Tommy's has improved (bigger dogs, more peppers prepared soft if you ask) while Charlies has gone downhill.

                                                        I'm sad to say that Charlies has changed, and for the worse. The owner is looking to sell the business and is very rarely there. When I was going there consistently, service was excellent as well as the product. Young people for the most part worked there, but they were all good employees providing fast and efficient service. Now the service is horrible; among the worse that we have encountered all summer. It took more than 25 minutes to get a chili dog for Pete. The rest of us had single Italian Hot Dogs. You could say that maybe it was an off night, but I've been there many times until recently when I decided to stop going, and service has been bad consistently.

                                                        As for the product, let me say that if you go, you may still get a good sandwich. But don't count on it. I know people from work who still go and they complain about the inconsistency of the potatoes. And the bread isn't always fresh. My daughter told me that towards the end f her employment there, they would freeze unused bread. It would fall apart when eating it and of course, wouldn't be as good.

                                                        The first time we went to Charlies we couldn't get in. They list their hours as being open untill 8:00 Mon and Tues, 9:00 Wed thru Sat. We went on Tuesday at 7:30 and were turned away. This wouldn't have happenned 2 years ago. Anyway, about our experience there. Service was slow, and there were mixed reviews about the dogs. Some were down on it because the bread was stale. Mine fell apart and was no doubt frozen. The dog itself was fine and the peppers were as good as they've always been. Which is better than any other place. The potatoes were good, but not as good as they've been in the past. At their best, they were almost as good as Tommy's potatoes.

                                                        I'm very disappointed that a place that was my favorite has taken a turn for the worse. Hopefully the place will be sold and the new owner can restore Charlies to its former status as the state's premier Italian Hot Dog. It didn't even place top three.

                                                        43) Manny's Texas Weiners, Springfield Ave. Union
                                                        Manny's has been in Union since the late 70's. It was recently remodeled and has plenty of indoor seating. They serve an excellent breakfast reasonaby inexpensive. A few years ago New Jersey Monthly named Manny's as having the best eggs in the state. My family likes going there more for breakfast than for their hot dogs. Which are fine by the way.

                                                        Many of the people like Manny who've opened their own place were former grillmen at the original Texas Weiner l or Texas Weiner ll. The style of dog is known as the Plainfield area Texas Weiner, which is grilled rather than deep fried, and uses a thicker, less clovey/cin

                                                    2. re: hotdoglover

                                                      Thank you. I've been to Carmens many times and never knew they sold pizza bread.

                                                      Carolyn. it's nice to see an owner provide so much information in a friendly way. I can see how much you care about your business. If I could offer one suggestion it would be to change the menu style on the website. The background makes it difficult to read and I'd hate to see you lose any potential business.

                                                      check some of these out (may find some hot dog ideas too =)

                                                      http://www.pinkshollywood.com/pgz/men...

                                                      http://www.elvishotdogs.com/elvis_men...

                                                      http://www.greatamericandogonline.com/

                                                      http://www.tuckyshotdogs.com/menu.htm (They make a Natural casing smoked hotdog with Potato and Cheese Perogies and Stadium Mustard. sounds wonderful)

                                                      1. re: jrd303

                                                        Thanks for the suggestion and the websites.

                                                        1. re: jrd303

                                                          Hotdoglover. Wow you really know your dogs!! Reading your notes bring back so many memories. I am from North Jersey originally and have been to many of the places you mentioned, Places like Johnny & Hanges serve the dog (All the Way) I loved that dog. When I first came to Monmouth County nobody knew what that even was, but now that more & more people from North have moved to Central Jersey they know & miss these childhood food memories, hence the idea for Frankly Burgers & More.

                                                          1. re: 1carolyn

                                                            Another great thing about the old school Great Frank places was their OUTSIDE COUNTER just walk up, order & eat right there. many Jewish Deli's also had excellent Griddled Hebrew National crack as you bite Hot Dogs usualy just as you walked in right next to the Kinishes!

                                                            1. re: Tapas52

                                                              I like the Jewish delis that served the kosher franks WITH casing. Lamb, sheep, or hog casings aren't kosher, so they have to use a collagen casing. Tabatchnik's in Union (now closed) used a big 1/3 lb Empire National Kosher dog with casing.

                                                              Maple Kosher Meats is in the same strip mall as Tabatchnik's and Syd's. Though the latter two are gone, Maple Kosher is still there and serves Hebrew National franks with the collagen casing. They are 6 to a lb. You can either buy them to prepare at home or get them grilled there. Only available when the weather is warm.

                                                            2. re: 1carolyn

                                                              1carolyn,

                                                              It's great that people from North Jersey are opening their own places in Central Jersey and further south. Jersey Joe's is in Port Monmouth and serves a very good Italian Hot Dog. There was a place in Keyport on Front St. awhile back that served them. I believe it was called Bob's. They went out of business and a guy took over the building and began selling Italian Hot Dogs as well. This place was called Ricci Dee's. The owners were from Newark and told me that many people from the area who came to their place (who had moved from North Jersey) asked if they used pizza bread. When told that they did, the customers replied that they would have left if the answer was no since they were looking for an authentic Newark style Italian Hot Dog.

                                                              I'm looking forward to sampling your hot dogs, probably tomorrow since I'll be home alone with nothing to do. Or nothing that I want to do around the house. Hope you are there so I can say hello.

                                        2. Just back from having some burgers and fries here, Frankly Burgers is a welcome addition to the Freehold area.
                                          Had the signature burger which was cooked a perfect medium, nice flavor. Brimming over with sauteed mushrooms and onions. Maybe could have been a bit more juicy but was still very good. DW had a bacon cheeseburger also nicely prepared and tasty.
                                          Shared a basket of fries which were crispy and had nice flavor. Plenty for two.
                                          Didn't realize until I ordered that you can have the burger prepared on the griddle or flame broiled. A nice touch.

                                          On the blackboard was a special selection of Philly cheesesteak sandwiches which all sounded darn good. Lots of reasons to come back :)
                                          People behind the register and stove were as nice and friendly as can be.

                                          The inevitable question is where does FB fit in the burger maze. If your down the shore, stop in at Boom in Belmar or Barnacle Bills in Rumson. If your out toward Mercer County and Trenton, be sure to hit Rossi's in the burg.
                                          If your halfway between those, stop in at Frankly Burgers and More in Freehold. Its worth the stop.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: tom246

                                            Stopped in for lunch today...had a few griddled dogs they were just OK nothing to rave about, buns were nice.......I was also disappointed with the tasteless average chopped meat chili which IMO needed some spice as did the bland cheese topping Cheddar it wasn't...it was early afternoon & place the was empty.I hope they make some changes quickly & make it successful. The service was very cordial & attentive but I left hoping for much more from my trip there..

                                            1. re: Tapas52

                                              Is there one aspect that would have really upped the experience for you? They seem like very nice people over there. What takes a dog from ok to raveable in your opinion?

                                              It must be very hard to settle on a chili for a hotdog purveyor. Which establishment serves your favorite chili?

                                              1. re: jrd303

                                                I would say they need to work on TASTE.....the dog & chili & cheese topping was very bland. I also had a dog by itself just with every day Frenches & Guldens mustard and it was just OK. There are so many really good mustards on the market be different then the rest, mustard is a big part of the taste experience.

                                                http://www.mustardmuseum.com/

                                                I have had Dogs in many other places that have more flavor inside them due to the ingredients which make the dog stand up on its own....I grew up in Coney Island & Nathans dogs are classic for this....also Hebrew National & Thumans really are delicious on the grill or charbroiled........as for the toppings IMO they needed alot of attention in regards too flavor & spices. being like all the others isn't a recipe for success in my opinion.....standout & make people talk positive about your product, put your heart into it & go the extra mile is what makes an outstanding idea even greater!

                                          2. Tried the Italian Hot Dog here today. Neither my wife or I had ever had an Italian dog anywhere before, both of us being born in Brooklyn and moving to Monmouth county without ever stopping in North Jersey. We even took the outerbridge instead of the goethals.

                                            I really liked this combination. The pizza bread was substantial enough to contain the hot juicy contents. I already knew I loved the deep fried Best natural casing dogs. The potatoes were thinly sliced and crisp. The peppers (red & green) and onions were flavorful and nicely cooked. Put together though, the sum was greater than the parts and it was a very good combo. I now see why this is so popular a hot dog variation. My wife wants to try it with sausage next time as she thought those peppers, onions and potatoes would be great with sausage.

                                            I was also happy to see they now carry Stewarts soda and was especially pleased they carry the diet varieties too.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Bossa_Nova

                                              I wish something like that would open in Vegas. I moved here 3 yrs. ago after spending 10 yrs. in Cincinnati. I`ve been away from the Hot Grill and Hanges for a long time.

                                            2. Had a Newark Italian Style Hot Dog from Frankly Burgers Early Evening yesterday.
                                              The owners are great!! Funny and kind.
                                              Got it to go, lucky thing they gave me a whole lot of napkins, lesson learned, italian hot dogs are not easy to eat in the car

                                              It was good.

                                              1. Had another great hot dog today at Frankly. I had the ΒΌ lb dog prepared on the griddle with cole slaw and it was very good. I also had a Gabila square knish which is my favorite hot dog side dish. They also now have a terrific red sweet and sour relish unlike anything I've had before which is great and perfect for the dog. Make sure you try it if you go.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: Bossa_Nova

                                                  I returned to FB&M yesterday for a late lunch. At the order counter I noticed a sign saying "TRY THE CAROLYN BURGER"...and was very intrigued by its description, so I had to order it. A burger with cheddar, bacon, an onion ring and bbq sauce....it was AMAZING!!!! I ordered it med to med rare and the temp came out PERFECT!!!! I also ordered a regular dog on the griddle/toasted bun with the red relish described above on the side. You guys have to try the red relish on your next visit...it is really good! We also had an order of the BBQ ribs which were great. The BBQ sauce was not too smoky, not too sweet....the ribs had lots of meat on them and not a lot of icky fat, and they had some great grill marks too, which pleased my eye very much. We had their coleslaw on the side, always a great addition to all this yummy food.

                                                  As usual, FB&M was in pristinely immaculately clean condition. After being open for quite a few months now, I keep expecting to see a bit of dust or some grime somewhere....but I never do! You can eat off the floors...not that you would, but Im just saying, you can if you had to LOL. We were there late on a Friday afternoon....one would think there would be a bit of schmutz about, but FB&M is always sparkling.

                                                  xoxo,
                                                  Michelle

                                                  1. re: MishyPoo

                                                    FB&M has EXCELLENT soups and many choices available. They are home made and each one that I have tried is just as good as the next. I will, however, make a special mention for the beef/barley, it is unctuous and full of comforting goodness. This weather is the PERFECT time to get some nice hot and delicious soup as well as a great dog or burger. These soups really warm your insides. I cant wait to try the varieties I havent tasted yet.

                                                    xoxo,
                                                    Michelle

                                                    1. re: MishyPoo

                                                      My husband and I had yet another great casual dining experience at FB&M tonight. We shared a pulled pork and the cheesesteak, both were great, but I have to make mention of exactly how great the cheesesteaks are at Frankly. If you like cheese steaks, you MUST give this one a try. The bread on both sandwiches was excellent. Frankly has excellent bread for their sandwiches. The pulled pork was on a crusty kaiser roll and the cheese steak comes on a great Italian unseeded hero roll. The pulled pork's roll had such a crusty brown top, yet inside it was so soft. I think the cheesesteak at FB&M is one of the best Ive ever had, and Ive had all the "good" ones in Philly.

                                                      We also had an order of hot wings that were amazingly good! Spicy but not killer, fried just right. The wing size was very good, not huge and not tiny, and they had plenty of meat on them. I suggest you try these too if you are a buffalo wing lover!

                                                      If you haven't been to Frankly yet, you really should go! Especially if you are nearby.

                                                      Also...kudos to the owner for being open on the day of the blizzard! My husband and I had plowed/shovelled the driveway and there was no way I wanted to cook, I was exhausted. I was SO happy FB&M was open! TY Frankly!!!!

                                                      xoxo,
                                                      Michelle

                                                      1. re: MishyPoo

                                                        Recently had the wings and agree that they are quite good. Haven't tried the cheesesteak yet...will give it a go next time. Thanks for the post.

                                                        1. re: jsfein

                                                          We tried the Jersey Shore Cheesesteak yesterday. It has the addition of pork roll. Excellent! They also have a Jersey Shore burger w/ the pork roll. Both are great! Frankly never disappoints!

                                                          xoxo,
                                                          Michelle

                                                          Not sure if you will be able to see this, but here is a pic of the Jersey Shore Cheesesteak.

                                                          http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filt...

                                                          1. re: MishyPoo

                                                            Is this more of a takeout place or sit down?

                                                            1. re: Gold

                                                              Frankly does take out and delivers, but they have plenty of tables for sitting and chilling. The tables are always immaculate, as is the whole store. I have never done take out from Frankly, but always go to eat there. Actually, once when I was eating there w/ my husband, I placed a take out order to bring home for my daughter.

                                                              xoxo,
                                                              Michelle

                                                2. Finally got a chance to check out Frankly today. Got a Texas burger medium with fries and slaw, enjoyed it. Friendly service!

                                                  Since I work close by in Freehold on occasion, definitely will be back. Definitely looking forward to checking out the Italian style hot dogs of which I have had a few good ones in my lifetime!

                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                      I was there a week ago for lunch with a couple of my buddies. We had a cheesesteak, a double italian hot dog and regular hot dogs with mustard and kraut. All were great as always.

                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                        Yes...couple times a month. Food is still good.

                                                        1. re: jsfein

                                                          I'm glad to see that they're still going strong in this tough economy while many hot dog joints (and restaurants in general) are struggling.

                                                        2. re: joonjoon

                                                          I made it yesterday after a trip to the mall. Man they serve up some mean burgers and dogs there. Their regular burger "All the way" is fantastic!

                                                        3. No more Frankly's! They're closed! :(

                                                          3 Replies
                                                            1. re: yCf

                                                              They never reopened after losing all of their perishables during Sandy. They had no power for over a week.

                                                              1. re: Bossa_Nova

                                                                I went by there today and saw that it looked like they had an eviction notice on their door and that if they wanted the courts to hear their side of the story, to show up 3/22. I also noticed the old chiropractor office next door will be a Jimmy Johns