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Jun 2, 2008 06:23 AM

An Amazing Hot Dog

Grilled, then finished off in the deep fryer, potato roll and brown spicy mustard was on spot. Twice cooked french fries along with a Boylan's soda made for a perfect Saturday lunch...Amazing Hot Dogs, Bound Brook, N.J.

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  1. I want to try the hot dog 'Rueben'. Did you notice if they offer it at the Bound Brook location?

    1. The original location is in Verona, NJ, on Bloomfield Ave. Their chili is also very good, on the sweeter side, not much bite to it. I am forbidden to show up at some family members homes without a few orders of chilis to smear onto the hot dogs. The twice cooked fries......YUM! Definitely check this place out at either location..............but not on a day you are going to a cardiologist or for a cholesterol test!

      2 Replies
      1. re: jethro

        jethro - Sorry to advise (per egullet) that the Verona location recently closed.

        1. re: bgut1

          I just worked a bad 12 hour day - and you just made my day worse!@ Thanks for the info, I did not know that. I've been there on days when they were busy, but also on days when I was the only cardiac patient in the place.

      2. Are you sure the dogs aren't fried first, then finished off on the griddle? That's how I remember mine being prepared. Unless they're doing it different now.

        5 Replies
        1. re: hotdoglover

          John...When I ordered my dog there where a dozen or so cooked ones lying on the grill..He then put my dog in the deep fryer for about 30 seconds...It's possible that they could have been fried on the grill first and held there, but he did finish it off in the fryer....Also it was a rainy Saturday, and I was then only customer, so anything was possible..

          1. re: gudeatz

            A few of us from Roadfood visited Amazing Hot Dog yesterday. Here's my review:

            We had a great time yesterday at Amazing Hot Dog. It's always nice to have pictures included. Thanks John Sagi. Too bad more people didn't show up. I know that you would have enjoyed it. Hopefully, we can have these mini meets every month or every other month. Sunday is good for me since I work Saturdays. Matt mentioned that he may be closing soon on Sundays and he would like to join us.

            Speaking for myself personally, I like the different styles of hot dogs and the different ways of preparing them. At times I crave one type of dog. And sometimes I'm in the mood to have it prepared a certain way. Like deep fried, or grilled, or in the water. This is why it's impossible to say what the best dog is. There's different hot dogs for different moods. I also find that if I eat one type of dog (beef/pork) 2 or 3 times in a row, I look for another type (spicy all beef) next time. I had been craving a big deep fried beef dog from Amazing for quite awhile and was glad to be able to satisfy this craving yesterday. I had a dog with just mustard and a second (Caped Crusader) with mustard, the bacon strip it comes wrapped in, chili, and coleslaw. I omitted the jalepeno peppers that come with this dog.

            Let me say that I strive to be honest in my opinions. It's hard sometimes to say something negative, especially if I know or am friends with the owner. And sometimes it's hard to say something positive when I am treated poorly, or even cursed at and told my business wasn't appreciated. Yes, this has happenned to me.

            I mention this because Amazing Hot Dog, since they opened their first location in Verona a little over 2 years ago has been one of the premier hot dog restaurants in N.J. in my opinion. And the opinions of others. Those on the Star Ledger's panel. Many on Roadfood. NJ Monthly (whose editors picked AHD as the best hot dog joint in Jersey), AOL City Search, and others. I voted for them for best fried dog and best toppings when I was a member of the Star Ledger's S.W.A.T. Dog Team where we reviewed hot dogs all summer and judged them in 5 categories.

            I respect the fact that the original owners took a chance and opened a new restaurant in North Jersey (the hot dog capital of the world) where there would be fierce competition. They had a vision of what they wanted to be and worked hard to reach their goal. AHD was different in many respects. They have the widest variety (and best) toppings you can find at a hot dog restaurant. I enjoy them which is high praise coming from a "traditionalist" who prefers a quality dog with just mustard most of the time. Other places serving a mild or bland dog need something to liven up their dogs. Amazing's dogs are excellent plain. But their homemade toppings are so good that I have to get at least one dog with either their fantastic chili and slaw, or their reuben dog.

            Amazing in Verona was succesful, and despite a setback (they had a fire) they gained a steady base of customers and a good reputation. They decided to open a second location in Bound Brook. Prior to this, I had a few experiences where my dog wasn't hot enough for my taste. This is tough to do with a large quarter pound dog when you want to achieve the perfect temperature while not creating a "ripper" where the skin rips apart. I don't mind a ripper, but the guys wanted their dogs fried to the point where they were hot, but the juices stayed in. They guys corrected this problem and on subsequent visits, I almost burnt the roof of my mouth! I saw Matt laughing and wondered if he did this on purpose.

            Late last year Amazing went through a tough transitional period. Eric, the other owner left to pursue other opportunities. They switched brands of hot dogs. Verona closed and Matt had to work 15 hours a day 7 days a week. When he couldn't be at the store one day, service sufferred. Unfortunately, sometimes it only takes one bad experience to turn someone off and lose them as a customer. They come on forums like this and post about their bad experience and then there is the possibility of losing other customers.

            But I'm happy to say that the transition is over and Matt has Amazing Hot Dog up and running as good or better than it ever did. He's there most of the time and has a good core of trusted employees.

            My lunch yesterday was one of the best hot dog experiences ever. Matt uses a big 1/4 lb natural casing Sabrett all beef dog that he deep fries. I've had this dog on 3 occasions including yesterday. Because of it's size and method of preparation, the resulting spicing of this dog is better than on the smaller dogs that are boiled or grilled. It is a little less garlicky and more balanced. My dogs were prepared perfectly; well done without requesting it (I would ask for this anyway) perfect snap, piping hot, excellent balance and flavor, and juicy. Perfection in a deep fried dog! Since this is the biggest dog made at the factory, they use a tougher casing. Heated in hot oil for a sufficient amount of time results in a tasty, juicy dog with a good snap and casing that keeps in the flavorful juices. Put on a fresh roll big enough for the dog and topped with a spicy brown mustard, I would give this dog a 10 out of 10. The flavor and level of spicyness makes this particular beef dog as good as any I've had. I love Best, but this one is just as good. You won't find a better beef dog than the Sabrett used here. In the same league as Best, Usinger's, and Boars Head. And prepared the way it was yesterday makes this dog as good a dog as I ever had. It was that good.

            I eagerly awaited my second dog. Again prepared perfectly. Hot, tasty, juicy, and great snap. The chili is one of the 5 or so best that I've had. The cole slaw was excellent as well, sweet, creamy, and chopped small. I told Matt that in my opinion he shouldn't change a thing. The dog, the casing, and the preparation were outstanding.

            We got to speak with Matt early, but soon after quite a little crowd wandered in, so they were busy. Which was good for Matt. I saw a kid of about 12 or 13 walk past me with a tray containing a drink and a beautiful, shiny, well done hot dog plain. He walked over to one of the dispensers and desecrated this masterpiece with ketchup. I started to yell at him to stop, but then remembered where I was. Kids!

            It was fun hanging out with John Sagi, ScreenBear, and BadDog. And sampling John's chili, the first of which might be THE best chili I ever tasted. So today I had 2 great hot dogs with 2 of the finest chilis available. I'm glad that Matt has Amazing Hot Dog up and running well. I would only ask him not to change a thing. He was generous and fun to talk to before he was inundated with customers. Hopefully he will be joining us on future get togethers.

            Afterwards we went to Middlesex Texas Weiners located a mile or 2 away on Union Ave. It's been 2 or 3 years for me. I remember this place as serving a very good Plainfield area (grilled dog with thicker chili as opposed to Paterson area with fried dog and thinner chili) Texas Weiner. A 6 to a lb grilled beef and pork dog. The places serving this type of dog use the Grote & Weigel Griddle frank. The woman working there told me that they use Schickhaus. Many of these places did use Schickhaus until they discontinued making the smaller dogs. I didn't know whether to believe her, but the dog did taste different than the G&W Griddle frank. So maybe Schickhaus does make a 6 to a lb. The dog was good, but as John said, wasn't as hot as we would have liked. And they were brought to us right after being taken off the griddle and dressed with mustard and chili; onions also for ScreenBear. I also noticed that the chili is much hotter (spicier) than in the past. I preferred their milder chili.

            All in all a good dog, but paled in comparison to the outstanding dogs that we enjoyed at Amazing Hot Dog.

            1. re: hotdoglover

              John, thanks for posting such a detailed report. Glad to hear that Amazing is still amazing.

              1. re: hotdoglover

                John, you rock! Tho' I've never been to either Amazing, I followed the saga from start to finish on egullet and am glad that Bound Brook is doing well.

                1. re: hotdoglover

                  John...Have been reading ab out this get together in the Ledger..Great follow up here...Thanks again

            2. Holy Hot Dog, Weiner Man! Make my mouth water. How's the kraut?

              17 Replies
              1. re: Passadumkeg

                The most amazing thing about a hotdog is how much some fools will pay for cows lips and sheep guts

                take a look

                Sorry Chicagoans, your beloved Vienna "100% All Beef" hot dogs are actually encased in sheep and pigs, according to a recently settled class action suit. Under the settlement, all class members—anyone in the U.S. who bought a Vienna hot dog at a hot dog stand in the past five years—are entitled to $3 per consumed hog dog.

                hotdog anyone ?

                1. re: beentheredonethat

                  I've been less than amazed by the franks at Amazing. I find them dry, gritty, and rather bland. And the color seems off. Neither the kraut, mustard (yellow) nor roll brought anything to the table.

                  The last time - and I do mean last - I had a hot dog there, I couldn't finish it. So when I got back to my car, I offered it to my dog who turned up his snout and walked away. That settled it for me! I've had more flavorful and more interesting hot dogs at Stewart's, Nathan's, Hot Dog Johnny's and scores of other places during my 60+ years of rambling around sampling eats.

                  1. re: CompareFranco


                    Have you been to Amazing recently? As I mentioned, I haven't always had a good experience there. And I've posted about it on other forums. But things have improved greatly. The dogs are prepared perfectly and are delicious. I think if you went back again you would agree. If not, then these dogs are just not for you. But at least you would know that Matt (one of the original owners) is there to insure quality and consistency.

                    I like Nathan's, but sometimes they are a wee too garlicky for my taste. I find the Sabrett dog at Amazing is more balance than even the Sabrett dogs at other places. I think this is due to the difference in size and how it's prepared. Each Stewart's is free to use whatever brand of dog they want. I've found them hit or miss. Many use a very bland Haydu beef and pork dog. Haydu used to be good when they were made in Newark years ago. Their beef dog was one of the finest and was served at the lengendary Walt's 42nd Street Bar and Grill in Linden, N.J.

                    In my opinion, Hot Dog Johnny's is mediocre and the most overrated hot dog joint I've been to.

                    I'd give Amazing one more shot. I'd be interested to get your opinion since they've made a few small changes.

                  2. re: beentheredonethat

                    Hot dog casings are made of pig, (it's tougher and used for bigger dogs) sheep, lamb, (the most tender) and collagen which can be used for kosher dogs as sheep and pig aren't kosher. The casing is to give snap and keep in flavorful juices. In the case of Vienna, they use a pig casing for only their larger dogs. Vienna Beef, as well as many regional and local hot dog producers make a fine product from quality meat. Many people are only exposed to large national brands (BallPark, BarS, Oscar Mayer) that are far inferior to the fine franks that some of us enjoy. It's also untrue that most hot dogs are made from "lips and asses". This claim is made for the most part by uninformed people. By law, hot dog manufacturers have to list the ingredients on the package. If you see the term "variety meats" you can assume that there is a good chance that you are eating inferior meat from the undesirable parts of a pig or cow. But this is rare and not as common as it was in the past.

                    Hot Dogs are regional, and places like New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin that have a hot dog culture produce franks from high quality meat. Best Provisions in N.J. uses a blend of choice and lean beef. And a quality German frank like Thumann's or what you can get from your local European style butcher shop is made from whole cuts (rather than trimmings) of beef and pork.

                    There are superior frankfurters out there. You just have to know where to look.

                      1. re: skipper

                        I always thought they were, but places making kosher dogs refuse to use sheep casings.

                        1. re: skipper

                          Maybe the sheep is, but the intestines are not.

                          1. re: hotdoglover

                            I don't know the answer to that, but you can get lamb at any kosher butcher. So if lamb is kosher, then ...

                            1. re: skipper

                              Sounds like you're assuming that if one part of the animal is kosher than all parts are kosher. I don't know too much about this type of thing, but I'm pretty sure that's a wrong assumption, although I'd love to understand it all a bit better.

                              1. re: tommy

                                All the sources I've checked seem to maintain that any organs of animals considered Kosher are OK as long as they do not exhibit any damage or injury. The only exception I could find to this is that consumption of the sciatic nerve is forbidden, even from otherwise kosher and properly slaughtered animals. The process of removing the sciatic nerve as well as certain large blood vessels and forbidden fats from the surrounding meat is a difficult and delicate process, thus cuts from an animal's hindquarters are generally not sold as kosher. This would seem to allow the use of sheep casings in the production of hot dogs.

                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                  I'm curious as to those sources (not that I'm doubting you).

                                  Ed Levine of the NYT suggests that natural casing aren't kosher.


                                  1. re: tommy

                                    There is a summary here:

                                    In this and other sources the only reference to whether organs are considered Kosher is which animals they came from, how they were slaughtered and whether there were injuries or damage. There is also mention of a certain kind of fat, known as chelev, which surrounds the vital organs and the liver. This fat is out but the organs including intestines are not mentioned in any of the material I've checked.

                                    Perhaps Ed's Old Testament has an extra page or 3 not referenced here?


                      2. re: beentheredonethat

                        one can assume that you don't enjoy sausages or salumi of any kind.

                        "hot dog", generally, is two words, BTW.

                        are hot dogs expensive? I never considered them an expensive food.

                        1. re: tommy

                          What are u trying to say? Assume, Expensive...What's your point? If you don't like or enjoy hot dogs thats OK..

                          1. re: gudeatz

                            If you click the "re:" link in the post you'll see which post mine was in reference to.

                              1. re: gudeatz

                                No worries. These things happen. The structure of Chowhound makes it a bit confusing at times.