I am a hot dog fanatic from N.J. I've tried almost every hot dog joint in this state and many in New York. I agree with a previous poster who said that the 2 styles (N.Y. and Chicago) are different and like comparing apples to oranges. Hot dogs are a hobby of mine, and I was picked to ride on the local newspaper's Munchmobile ( a hot dog covered van that pops in and reviews roadside food). I've never had an authentic Chicago hot dog, but the feeling in this part of the country is that too many condiments is no good. We here enjoy the taste of the hot dog with just a little bit of mustard. We like em charbroiled or cooked to a crispy finish on a griddle. There is more taste than you get from a boiled hot dog. In New York, Papaya King and Katz's make excellent hot dogs that I would put up against any dogs anywhere. They come from Marathon Enterprises in N.J. and are better than their famous Sabrett house brand. In New Jersey, Syd's makes a charbroiled, spicy all beef dog that is considered the best in the state. Made from Best Provisions in Newark, N.J.
There is one place in N.J. that serves the famous Vienna Beef hot dog. It is a hot dog truck called Uncle Frankies in Bayville, N.J. This brand is similar to Best and Sabrett in N.J. although the one I had was skinless. I would like to ask you Chicagoans a few questions. Do you really consider the dogs from Vienna Beef superior to Best's Kosher hot dogs(the ones in Chicago, not Newark)? These same franks (Best's Kosher) are sold here under the name Shofar Kosher. To me, these are better than Vienna. Maybe it is because I had the Best grilled, while the Vienna dogs were served boiled. Another question; I also heard that the hot dogs from SuperDawg ARE NOT Vienna Beef, but in fact come from Klements in Wisconsin. Is there any truth to this? Also, how do Chicago Red Hots compare to Vienna, in your opinion? I heard that Chicago Red Hots were started by someone who used to work for Vienna Beef. Have you ever heard of hot dogs from Schmalz's Provisions in Newark, N.J. I know someone who works there, and they said that their biggest market is Chicago.
And lastly, what do you think of Usinger's Franks? These are from Milwaukee and are sold in the Chicago area. They are the absolute best in my opinion. They won an all day nationwide taste test with their all beef dogs, and, as a result were commisioned by the Olympic Comitee to produce an all beef Certified Angus Frank which will be sold at the Olympic Games. These are the finest franks in my opinion. What do you Chicagoans think? Sorry for the long post, but hot dogs are my passion, and I hope to one day visit your wonderfull city and try an authentic Chicago Dog. I have heard that SuperDawg, Fluky's, Gold Coast, and Gene and Judes are among the best. Your comments welcome.