Randy the Hot Dog Guy is a legend among hot dog lovers of New Jersey. He’s got some great dogs, he’s got a unique location and he’s a great writer and communicator. We started off this year’s YDKJ Hot Dog Tour with a visit to his cart right below Route 22 in Hillside.
Sabrett (favorite of many dirty water style hot dog cart vendors) has been having trouble with supplying their dogs lately due to some recalls taking many hot dogs off store and warehouse shelves. Randy has taken this in stride by offering Thumann’s hot dogs as a replacement for now. Nothing can replace Sabrett’s spicy hot dog but Thumanns’ milder dog is a nice choice, regardless. Ed had an appetizer Thumann’s and the one in the middle of the above picture. They are the regular size dogs that everyone expects to get from a hot dog guy.
What we knew to also expect was the “Don’s dog.” It’s a gigantic hot dog from Best Provisions in Newark and used to be sold at a place called Don’s which was famous for it. Randy reincarnated the Don’s dog and I was anxious to try it since I wasn’t around for the original place that offered it.
Wow, was that a big hunk of meat! Normal hot dogs are between 8 and 10 per pound. These are 4 to a pound so they are at least twice as big and, compared to thinner hot dogs in the world, nearly three times as big. We tried our Don’s dogs with chili and I added red onions and mustard to mine, too. It’s so delicious (Best’s hot dogs are our favorite, by far, of all the commercially available hot dogs) that it really doesn’t need much dressing up. All of Randy’s dogs were served on potato rolls.
I know you can go visit Best Provisions and get all their different sized hot dogs at their factory in Newark but we just haven’t made it there yet. This Don’s dog makes me want to get there very soon so we can pick up some of our own for our next BBQ. One of the great things about Best hot dogs is that they are good both coming from the grill and after being boiled in water.
While we waited for Randy to make us fresh dogs (he insisted, we obliged), we took a tour of what he calls “The Promised Rand.” For many years, he had been fighting the government about using his piece of heaven on the corner of Liberty and Long Avenues in Hillside. Apparently they wanted to invoke eminent domain for some city use and he fought it. While they were fighting about it in court, he took his cart on the road and sold hot dogs outside The Saint in Asbury Park. Memorabilia from his Saint days still shows in stickers on his cart and the box office facade he built but they didn’t use. Among other fun stuff around the property is the “first hot dog cart on the moon” and the weather-proofed indoor cart he’s in the process of building.
Check out all the pictures we took from our visit to Randy the Hot Dog Guy in Hillside and keep reading for our next stops on the Ninth Annual YDKJ Hot Dog this August!
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