HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Discussion

New England Hot Dog Company

  • 9

One just opened in Middletown. Across from Shop Rite, next to Rita's. Anyone have any opinions on this place? It's part of a small chain.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Been to the one in Freehold a couple times. Can't say anything bad about the place, not a hot dog aficionado so can't give an educated opinion. Interesting topping opttions. The best I can say is that it's definately worth going, giving 'em a try and forming your own opinion. Apologies for the lack of an in depth review.

    8 Replies
    1. re: jfedorko

      I was to the Freehold location a few years ago on a mini tour. I cut and pasted my comments regarding this stop on the Tour and you can read them below. I wasn't expecting much because this place tries to be all things to all people offering many topping combinations and brands. Rarely can someone do all things well since there is too much to concentrate on. Plus it would be hard to keep everything fresh since demand fluctuates. I don't like that they use a roller grill. These things are for convenience stores, gas stations, and movie theatres, not a place purporting to serve a quality hot dog. Roller grills are for skinless dogs and do not impart the flavor and char that a griddle or grill does. The temperature of the dogs also are inconsistent when using a roller grill. New England Hot Dog Company is a New England chain with no feel for New Jersey Hot Dog culture. If in Freeehold you are better off going to Frankly Burgers for better hot dogs.

      That said, I went not expecting much. It was better than anticipated, but not a destination spot.

      We started off at the New England Hot Dog Company. Out of the 5 stops, I've only been to Frankly Burgers & More previously so New England and the rest were new to me although I did know a little about each stop from reading posts on this forum and speaking to some of the owners. I was pleasantly surprised at New England. This was because I really wasn't expecting too much from an out of state chain that prepares hot dogs on a roller grill and has so many options with brands of hot dogs and topping choices that it seems to me that they would have a hard time doing everything well and keeping all of the products fresh.

      I was pleased to find out that they did away with the roller grill at this particular location. Our dogs were prepared on a griddle and served on split-top New England rolls. You had a choice of having your bun steamed or toasted.

      Dogs available here included a half pound Black Angus dog (Farmland brand), footlong natural casing Boars Head beef dog, footlong natural casing Boars Head beef and pork dog, smaller skinless Boars Head beef/pork, skinless Kosher dog (Hebrew National), organic beef dog, turkey dog, and veggie dog. There are a slew of topping combinations. At each stop I ordered my dog with mustard and had chili on half of the dog. This way I could get a taste of the actual dog unencumbered while also sampling the chili. As to the brands served here Hebrew National is a quality dog, Boars Head beef is one of my 3 or 4 favorite beef dogs, their beef/pork is average in my opinion. I've never had the Farmland Angus dog or the organic dog. I will not eat a turkey or veggie dog.

      Towards the end of our visit one of the owners was on the phone with an employee. I had her ask about some of the brands. Prior to this the people working there didn't know what they were serving. I had them check the boxes. Some of the brands they didn't have boxes because they discarded them and put the franks in containers. Since I was curious about the brand of kosher dog, this is what I ordered. I could tell it was Hebrew National, and this was confirmed later by the owner who previously used Best Kosher until they were discontinued.

      My dog was grilled and served on a toasted New England bun with mustard and chili on half. Excellent bun, good dog prepared well and hot enough. The chili (semi homemade) wasn't great. I would skip it next time. Overall a good solid dog and a nice start to the day. The girls working there were pleasant and provided good service. New England has so many options and choices. I only had one dog, and while it was good and prepared well, I would rather see a place concentrate on a minimum of brands, toppings, etc and do them well.

      The biggest negative is that the employees, while pleasant, personable, and efficient, are given very little training/information regarding the brands of hot dogs that they serve. I don't know if this is a result of the company being an out of state chain that's not familiar with New Jersey hot dog culture or what, but there are many customers who want to know a little bit more about what they're eating than "all beef" or "footlong". I do appreciate the owner being contacted and answering questions.

      Based on my one experience here, I would say that New England serves good (though too many) brands of dogs and prepares them well. I would return if I was in the area but wouldn't make it a destination spot.

        1. re: hotdoglover

          The Freehold location closed a month or so ago.

          1. re: skantor

            I'm very sad to hear this. Hotdoglover (which almost sounds like a porn screen name, lol) may not like veggie dogs, but my wife does, so this was a great place where we could go a grab a relatively inexpensive lunch. I thought the dogs were really good, though my favorite remains Windmill. Also the fries at this place were great!

            I have to say though that the Freehold NEHC had a terrible location. People go to that stripmall primarily for the WoW and for many years Freehold Music. There's that weird Farmer's Market there that I never walked into and never knew anything about, despite having worked down the road for years...

            1. re: wereboar

              I go there for the Freehold Grand Buffet. As fas as Chinese buffets go, it's definitely one of the better ones I've been to. There are many things on the there that you wouldn't normally find at your typical Chinese buffet. (Hence, there's quite a few Asians dining there at any given time).

              There's also the "Energy Grille" there, which is now open, but since they advertise "low fat & healthy" I've avoided it. :) Still, I might try it since they offer blackened, seared tuna and a bison burger.

              1. re: MarlboroMan

                Never tried Energy Grille.. now they are gone. Sign in window says a Muscle Maker Grill is coming soon. Seems like there's one of these in every strip mall in NJ. :)

                1. re: MarlboroMan

                  If you see a Muscle maker Grill , odds are there is usually a gym nearby. It has become a chain which i think originated in the Rahway/Union/Woodbridge area? with the intent of selling healthy food and GNC type items.

                  1. re: foobuc

                    To get back on topic, there's a Muscle Maker across the street from the Middletown NEHDC.