No, this picture really doesn't have much to do with this posting. But for some odd unknown reason, I really, really like it, so I had to include it. Yes folks, the subject today IS the under-appreciated hotdog, although fans of healthy eating may wish to look away. When the subject of dogs comes up, at least in this neck of the woods there are many good options to pick from
and everybody has their favorite.
If Jersey Dog fans agree on anything, it's usually that the hot dogs at Rutt's Hut
are among the best. Their deep fried fare are known as "rippers", since when they come out of the frier, the casings are split and cracked. Although hardly located on the far side of the moon, I seldom find myself in the neighborhood of Clifton, so this remains one of those "holy grail" spots (like Holsten's
) that I promise myself I'll get to eventually.
So when I discovered that an outlet of Amazing Hot Dog
had opened in nearby Bound Brook, it seemed my lazy ass had run out of excuses not to do a road-trip, since the GPS said it would
only take 15 minutes to get there. My first surprise was to find it right off the expressway in a neat and clean little strip mall. Perhaps I've seen too many greasy spoon "hole in the wall" type joints and I was expecting yet another. The interior was equally as clean and well put together and the staff was friendly. The lunchtime crowd looked like it contained more than a few regulars.
The surprises continued with the food, and apparently there's a good reason that they use the term "amazing" in their name. They serve a huge, quarter-pound natural casing beef dog that's deep fried, wrapped in bacon, and served on a Martin's potato roll
, with a seemingly endless number of toppings available. (OK, I exaggerate. They had 25 to pick from.)
The casings have a great "snap" when you bite them, and the taste is outstanding; so much more substantial in both size and quality than the typical supermarket frank.
I wimped out on the toppings, so I could better savor the dog. But for the adventurous they've got some interesting combos: My Schmiero (w/cream cheese & scallions), Smokey Joe (w/ BBQ sauce & baked beans), Hawaii 5-0 (dipped in teriyaki sauce w/ pineapple, sesame seeds, & scallion), Jersey Breakfast (w/fried egg & melted cheese) and The Caped Crusader (w/homemade chili, cole slaw, & jalapeños) to name just a few! Next time, I'll be more adventurous.
What would any junk-out be without fries? Theirs were hand cut shoestring fries that were twice fried, and were pretty good. Although after having the ones at Five Guys
which became the gold standard of fries for my money, the ones at AHD only get a silver metal.
And as guilty as I feel about pigging out, at least there is another level of gluttony that I DO NOT aspire to. They have an eating contest, and if you consume 6 speciality dogs + 1 large fries + 1 20 oz. soda within one hour, you receive A FREE T-SHIRT and your name goes on a plaque. And you get the food free as well, unless there is a "reversal of fortune". I think I'll pass.
For good measure, why not a "sausage-link-dump" just to round things out?History and Legends of Hot DogsEtymology of Hot Dogs Urban LegendWhy is there no ketchup on a properly made hot dog?Hot Dogs, Get Your Hot DogsWhat are hot dogs made of?What is REALLY in a Hot Dog And How Unhealthy Are They?A Hot Dog ProgramHot Dog Champ: Takeru KobayashiThe NEW Champ: Joey ChestnutWoody Allen & Jonathan Winters Explain How To Make A Hot Dog BunHot Dog Accident