I went to the Dog House on Route 22 in North Plainfield yesterday to sample one of their dogs. I had called previously for information and had trouble understanding the person on the phone who didn't seem to know the brand of dog, only saying it was beef.
The 2 guys working there who I presume were owners look like they are Middle Eastern or perhaps from Israel. I didn't ask. As mentioned they offer deli sandwiches such as corned beef and pastrami and also breakfast sandwiches. I was there for a hot dog, so I ordered one with mustard. The dog is a natural casing all beef Sabrett, either 5/1 or 4/1. My guess is 4/1. They also serve spicy Sabrett sausages and smaller hot dogs. Don't know the size as I saw the package from afar and the guys were hard to understand.
You have a choice of boiled or grilled (griddled). They will deep fry if you request. If you don't specify, you will get a grilled dog. Basic toppings like chili, cheese, relish, etc. are offered. There is an Italian Hot Dog and Chicago dog on the menu. The IHD is the same dog on a regular roll topped with peppers, potatoes, and onions. The Chicago dog also uses the same big Sabrett, but tops it with mustard, relish, and peppers. No pickle, tomato, onions, or celery salt. And no Vienna frank. Not really authentic; but like most places that throw some stuff on a dog and call it a Chicago dog. Ditto for the Italian Hot Dog. Their Texas Weiner has mustard, onions, and chili. What they call a Coney has mustard and your choice of relish or sauerkraut. Never heard a Coney described this way before.
As for my dog, it was prepared well. Definitely hot enough and fresh. Good sturdy Pechters/Rockland Bakery bun. The mustard was yellow but very spicy. Too spicy for my taste and too much was applied. The dog tasted good, but a little mild for a Sabrett. Probably because the mustard was so spicy.
Very reasonaby priced at $2.75 for what is probably a quarter pound frank. Compare this to many places serving 12/1 dirty water Sabrett's for over $2.00. Tiny dogs and places that in my opinion overcharge for them are a pet peeve of mine. I'll always check out a place I haven't gone to, but only return to the places I feel give you value as well as quality. Jerry's in Elizabeth serves an 8/1 natural casing Best's (which I prefer to Sabrett) and charges $1.75. Also finished off on a grill. Not just the best dirty water dog, but one of the best in the entire state. Definitely in my top 5. Dees in Roselle Park and Marci's in Clark serve 10/1 natural casing Sabrett's for less than $2.00. I don't usually return to a place selling anything smaller than a 10/1; especially when they charge more than places serving a bigger dog. They think the customer won't know. A notable exception is Boulevard Drinks in Jersey City. Their dogs are tiny, but they are grilled and delicious. The last time I was there they cost $1.35.
Sorry to get off track, but the Dog House serves a good if unremarkable dog at a great price. Although you can get it dirty water style, I prefer grilled most of the time. Not a destination spot that I would drive far for but a place I would return to, especially when I'm in the area. For less than a dollar more, it's like getting 3 dogs instead of one tiny 12/1 cocktail frank. I'm not unwilling to spend more money for a quality hot dog. I pay $6.99 a pound for top quality franks from European butcher shops and $8.99 a lb for Kocher's wonderful franks. But when you have many places serving the same dog, the ones that are more consumer friendly should be rewarded. Provided of course their product is good. Competition is a wonderful thing. For consumers at least. I'm looking for quality and value. I don't care that a place like the Garage in Millburn charges $6 for the same size dog I got yesterday because their rent is high or because you can see the ocean or the mountains from where they're located. Or that the owner of a hot dog cart dresses up as a chef to pretend he's serving gourmet food when what you just plunked down a couple of dollars for is a skinless 12/1 Sabrett served lukewarm that has been sitting in the water too long.
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