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Mar 24, 2009 08:28 AM

Best Hot Dog/Sausage

I am looking for a butcher that makes the best Hot Dog or Sausage.

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  1. You're going to get a ton of different answers unless you are more specific with your sausage. For instance, my favorite sausage in general is longaniza, which I buy from the Phil-Am Mart in Woodside; but if you asked me for my favorite weisswurst, I'd send you to Grand Central Market, or if you wanted my favorite morcilla, you'd find yourself in SoHo at Despaña.

    18 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      Ok, Where is the best hot dog? All-American.

      1. re: samhart8

        My hobby is sampling hot dogs. I've sampled commercial brands, dogs that are served at hot dog restaurants, and franks from butchers. It's awfully hard to say which is best because there are different spicings and types.

        I would narrow it down to 2 basic types. Kosher style all beef and German style beef and pork. The former is spicy with garlic and paprika dominating. There are many exceptional brands. What you like depends on the level and type of spicing. German style is milder with a more subtle spicing.

        I can name many brands as contenders for best, but I'll narrow it down to my 2 favorites of each type.

        German style: Hartmann's from Rochester, N.Y. and Thumann's from Carlstadt, N.J.

        Kosher style all beef: Best's from Newark, N.J. and Usinger's from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

        Three of the 4 brands are available near me. I have to send away for Usinger's. They were picked by the Olympic Comitee who did an all day tasting as best hot dog in America and were picked to be served at the Olympic Games.

        1. re: hotdoglover

          The BEST Hot Dog in NYC would most definitely be Stahl-Meyer's 100% Beef Frank! They are so delicious and juicy with the best spices and garlic taste. The company has been around since 1836 and they are still located in the Bronx, NY. How many hot dog manufacturing do you know that are still located in the city? I usually buy them at the supermarket (western Beef) or during the summer they have them at Water taxi beach at the south street sea port... they are amazing you have to try them :)

          1. re: emilybrown

            emilybrown, luckily I'm not too far from the Western Beef in College Point. I'll have to make it a point to stop in and try some of the Stahl-Meyer's one of these days. Thanks for the tip!

          2. re: hotdoglover

            Great post hotdoglover.

            How does Best's compare to Marathon/Sabrett? Any places in 5 boro's serve Best's? I'd love to try them. How about Jersey City?

            I tend not to buy hot dogs to make at home 'cause I like them a bit too much. Same deal for ice cream.

            1. re: boccalupo

              Sabrett is a great dog. Up there with Best's, Usinger's and Boars Head. I just like the spicing better in Best's. Sabrett is good in water and on the griddle. The Papaya places in New York and Katz's griddle the natural casing Sabrett. Best's is great no matter how you prepare them. Natural casing in water at Jerry's in Elizabeth, N.J. Charbroiled at Bubba's in Lyndhurst. Sauteed and charbroiled at Jimmy Buff's in East Hanover. Fried at the many places that serve Italian Hot Dogs.

              The only place in New York I know of that serves Best is a walkup storefront in China Town. I forget the name but they serve a quarter pounder for a buck! Unfortunately it is prepared on one of those roller grills which I hate.

              Your best bet is to go to the factory in Newark. It's the only place besides the restaurants that serve them where you can buy the natural casing Best franks.

              1. re: hotdoglover

                Hotdoglover knows his dogs. Best's hot dogs and Hebrew National ¼ Pound Dinner franks are both favorites of mine and they
                taste great no matter how you prepare them.

                Truth be told, I've been wanting to experiment a little more with Polish butcher shops and their supply of weenies. Hotdoglover, what has been your experience with any of these places and their provisions?

                1. re: Cheese Boy

                  I've never had anything that wasn't very good from a European butcher shop or pork store. There are 3 of them right in my town and others within a few miles. I live in Union, N.J. My favorite is the Union Pork Store. It's a German/Polish butcher shop. The franks and bratwurst are what I get most of the time, but everything is exceptional. From what I've heard from the older people, this place has products that other places do not carry.

                  Lutz's in Union is also good. Pulaski in Linden is a well known Polish shop. Try them all. Kocher's in Ridgefield Park makes excellent franks and supplies between 40 and 50 retail outlets.

                  1. re: hotdoglover

                    Hey, that sounds great !!! I knew those European dogs not only looked good but likely tasted good as well. I will now give them a try. Thanks.

                2. re: hotdoglover

                  The pawnshop and its hot dog window looked abandoned this afternoon.

                  1. re: meatme

                    There are so many great styles of hot dog/weiner/frankfurter.

                    A natural casing is non-negotiable.

                    A fave of mine are the Daisy Brand jumbo frankfurters made by the Crawford Sausage Co., in Chicago, IL. These are not suitable for "Chicago-style" or "New York" treatment -- a good hard roll and good mustard (Dusseldorf-style works) is the way to tackle these bad boys. (Why? They are way to big to manage all the Chicago-style topings, and the mild flavor would be overwhelmed by kraut and chopped onions.)

                    Crawford does all your basic sausages, but is known for Chicago/Polish specialties: kishka, jaternice, jelita, prasky and buchta.

                    To do a classic Chicago-style hot dog, Vienna All-Beef are the gold standard, though Klement's (Milwaukee, WI) All-Beef Chicago-style hot dogs are outstanding.

                    Nathan's also seem really good.

                    1. re: MikeB3542


                      I notice from your profile that you are from Wisconsin. Lucky you; you have access to Usinger's. I love their natural casing Angus beef dog. It's 8 to a pound. They also have it in a quarter pound size. Nathan's with the casing is very good, but this dog is spicy and wouldn't work for a Chicago style dog as it would throw everything out of balance and overwhelm the other ingredients..

                      One of the best beef dogs I've had is from the Romanian Kosher Sausage Company in Chicago. You can only get their products at their store and they do not ship. I was lucky enough to have someone who lives 3 blocks away send me some of their hot dogs. A place worth checking out if you're in the area.

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        Gotta check that one out -- I have family in Evanston, and Rogers Park is right next door. Grew up on Chicago SW side, so north side is a bit of a blind spot.

                        Usinger's is a little expensive, but the quality blows me away. High quality meat and seasoning that is right on the money -- a lot of depth to the flavors and textures.

                        There is a place out in Menomonee Falls, WI (20 minutes NW of downtown Milwaukee) called Karl's Country Market. In addition to amazing meat, cheese and sausage, they will cold smoke fish and game for you.

                  2. re: hotdoglover

                    Thanks hotdoglover. Excellent info. I have taken down your list and hope to check out one of the places that serve Best's if I am in the area of those places at some point.

                    1. re: hotdoglover

                      Hey hotdoglover, can you tell me the location or approximate of that walkup storefront in Chinatown you referenced where you get the Best's? (Any landmarks to get me close enough would be sufficient) Thanks a bunch!

                      1. re: nooyawka

                        He's talking about Jumbo Hot Dogs, right near where some of the intercity buses board on Canal, but it appears to have closed.

                        1. re: squid kun

                          Thanks squid kun! Guess I gotta go with Plan B.

                  3. re: hotdoglover

                    Ever tried the all beef natural casing dogs from Pete's Meats in thre Arthur Ave Public market or Morscher's Pork Store in Glendale, Queens pork and veal wieners?

              2. I think Morscher's Pork Store makes just about the best hot dog I've ever had. Besides the regular bun size franks they also make outstanding weinies and a larger, footlong hot dog that weighs about 14 pounds. Just about everything there is world class.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Jackh

                  A foot-long hot dog that weighs about 14 pounds?
                  Gosh, what is it used for? If it weighs about 14 pounds, and is a foot long, how big is it in diameter?
                  Maybe you meant 1.4 pounds?
                  Just curious....

                  1. re: Jackh

                    Jack h,
                    Still curious about the footlong hot dog that weighs about 14 pounds.
                    Find anything out?

                    1. re: Jackh

                      Agreed Morscher's is great. Try the cold cuts too. The Paprika head cheese is amazing. I know, I know head cheese? But this is great stuff!

                    2. Romanian Kosher Sausage in Chicago makes an excellent all beef kosher hot dog -

                      1. for sausage, im a very big fan of the sausage served for brunch and breakfast at maialino. i also like the jalapeno cheese sausage at hill country. i hear dbgb has great sausages, i havent tried them yet. i dont know much about hot dogs =[ so i cant help there.

                        1. The best dogs I've ever had are from Pete's Meats in the Public Market on Arthur Avenue. They are peppery Sabrett style but a better crunchier casing. They are about half what keeps people coming back to my BBQ's year after year.