Sunday, January 23, 2005

"2 Rippers, Gravy Fries, & A Medium Coke To Stay"

Kimberly just sent me a link to this guide to Jersey hot dog joints. It's a cruel joke to send me this on a day where there's 15 inches of snow in front of the car and all of New Jersey in a State Of Emergency.

I've been to a good number of these places, and it looks like their ratings are pretty acccurate as far as I'm concerned. My all time favorite, Rutt's Hutt in Clifton, scored a "5-Grease Stains" mark. I'm a fast/cheap food fanatic, and Kimberly prides herself on her ability to find some of the best/weirdest/most fun restaurants for us no matter where we travel worldwide, but I've never had a menu item as perfect as a Rutt's "ripper", their deep-fried hot dog on a steamed bun with their own special relish and mustard.

Just as cool is the fact you can eat your meal either inside their bar/lounge area served by some grizzled older local gal who'll call you "Hun", or on the other side of the building at their walkup counter where you can stand side-by-side with bikers, truckdrivers, and depending on how late it is, barely-standing-drunk-as-a-skunk ne'er-do-wells looking to treat their buzz with a dose of grease.

I was turned on to this place by my brother Ron and his intrepid pal Raul, who knows every awesome out-of-the-way place to eat between Baltimore and NYC, and west to Pittsburgh. In turn I've suggested or taken virtually everyone I know to this place, and have not had a single reaction other than "wow, this place is excellent!".

I've even turned a trip to this place into fodder for a soccer story when I was writing for NYSX.

Anyway, if I had a snowmobile or a horse-drawn sled, I'd be standing right now at the counter at Rutt's, looking through the window over snowcovered Route 21, polishing off at least two rippers and some fries. And a couple Molson drafts if someone else was driving the horses.

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