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Oct 19, 2008 03:29 PM

Jeff's Gourmet Sausage Factory-yech!

My wife and I went to Jeff's today for the first time, after hearing good things about it on this Board. I ordered the jumbo kosher dog and she ordered the Jalapeno kosher dog. Both were terrible. They are advertised as being beef, but that is hard to believe. The consistency was that of a paste--sort of like a tofu or vege dog. Both were completely tasteless, except for the jalapeno taste in hers. No snap or anything close to it. I can easily say it is the worst non-tofu/vege dog (if it was beef) that we have ever had, bar non. We also ordered the "seasoned" fries. While the fries looked reddish as if they had been seasoned, they were completely bland and somewhat limp. Not an experience to be repeated by us.

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  1. I am sorry you had a bad experience. This is not the norm by any means. As difficult as it can be at times you need to speak up. They would want to know about it so they can make it right for you and prevent the next guy from getting a bad meal as well.

    1. That is a total bummer, I live right up the street from Jeff's and I love everything I've tried. Also they are *very* nice and very cool, so if you weren't satisfied you certainly should've spoken up, they would have done something to make up for it. :D

      I say give 'em another try. Try the chicken burger it's tasty, also get the garlic sauce for the fries.

      1. The OP's review is in polar opposition to my own experiences, to say the least. I've eaten hot dogs at Jeff's at least a dozen times over the past few months and not once have I had one that could even remotely be described as having a pasty consistency. I suppose it's possible for any restaurant to have an incredibly off day ... but for a hot dog? Let's just say I'm skeptical.

        Then again, I've never had Jeff's jumbo dog, which is where the OP may have gone wrong. From my experiences, jumbo hot dogs are often considerably plumper than standard ones, and therefore routinely have a different consistency when grilled than regular dogs. Unless the jumbo dogs come highly recommended, I personally don't think they are ever the right choice by which to get introduced to a hot dog restaurant's menu.

        1. Note the name is Jeff's GOURMET SAUSAGES, not hot dogs. Try the Russian, and the Merquez sausages (although not authentic moroccan, tasty nontheless). Both are excellent.

          1. The times I've been there have been very satisfying. I've never had the hot dogs. Hot dogs by definition are made from a homogenized mixture of water and meat, which forms a protein matrix upon precooking and protein denaturation. Perhaps the dogs were not precooked to the extent that most dogs are. Perhaps the protein matrix is finer than your normal dog. Having not had them, I cannot evaluate Jeff's hot dogs, if indeed you got typical examples of them. But in any case, hot dogs come in 2 types- with casings and casingless. Kosher hot dogs typically only come casingless, because of the difficulty in obtaining even Devro collagen casings, and the impossibility of obtaining any kosher gut casings. Thus the lack of "snap". In such a case, they are typically stuffed and precooked in disposable, temporary Saran-type removable casings. There are plenty of nonkosher casingless hot dogs, so lack of a casing is not a negative unless there's an expectation of one, and as I say, casings are not typical on kosher dogs. I do know that some sort of casing is often used in some of Jeff's other sausages. I do like many of Jeff's sausages, especially those with visible pieces of fat, and plenty of spice. I have not had many sausages withing the past 25 or so years, due to the fact that I keep kosher, but I do remember the old days eating nonkosher sausages in Germany (with plenty of good beer), and in Amsterdam, and I think Jeff makes a good sausage, and I'll bet he also does a decent job making dogs, and having been trained in food science as I have, I'm tempted to think that you simply have different criteria to evaluate dogs than does Jeff.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ganeden

              Good point, I'm pretty sure a lot of the dogs here do not have the requisite snap due to the lack of a casing. And if I'm not mistaken the cow casings or sheep casings are not allowed to be part of the kashrut framework. Collagen is the only possibility. Having said that, Jeff's is pretty good, but more importantly, these days it's getting quite expensive. Are the sausages sandwiches now up to 7 dollars per, it used to be about $4.50.

              1. re: kevin

                Cow casings and sheep casings would be allowed if the intestines from which they are made come originate in kosher slaughtered animals found to be kosher upon further examination (only about 1/3 of animals slaughtered kosher are found to actually be kosher upon examination of their internal body parts). The fact is that nobody makes kosher gut casings, at least on a commercial level, which is why the only choices are the Devro collagen casings (only Devro makes kosher collagen casings) or fiber casings, which of course are more for salamis than for other types of sausages. I have no idea the prices at Jeff's, so I can't address that.