Jerry’s uses an all beef 8 to a lb Best’s natural casing dog which is simmerred in water and then thrown in a steel compartment (similar to a griddle). Basically, a dirty water dog with a little added crunch and flavor from the time spent on the grill-like contraption. One more difference between West Jersey/Pa dogs and East Jersey dogs is that in West Jersey an all beef dog is almost unheard of. Out of all the places I know of out there, only Eddie’s in Philipsburg uses an all beef dog, and that is only for the special chili dog. To people not used to them, they may be an aquired taste. Sort of like New Yorkers raised on spicy Sabretts coming to one of the Jersey places that serve a less agressively spiced beef and pork dog. It may take getting used to.
Syd’s uses the same brand dog, but in a bigger (5 to a lb) size. After being steeped in water, the dog is finished off on a grill, giving it a charbroiled taste. Tommy’s also uses the Best dog, (good observation) but a smaller skinless version that is deep fried. Again, the cooking method imparts a slightly different flavor.
Did you have a single or double at Tommy’s? I’m guessing a single, because I know the double is $6.25 which is quite expensive compared to other places. Unless they’ve listened to the criticism and lowered the price of a double. They used to have real small dogs also, but have since switched to slightly larger ones. They do have great tasting potatoes, maybe even slightly better than Charlies. These two places cut the potatoes in thin slices, while other places like Dickie Dees and Frank’s Newark Style cut them in chunks. Jimmy Buff’s is somewhere in between. I prefer them sliced thinner. The one thing that I don’t like about Tommy’s (other than their high prices) is their inconsistency with the peppers. This is what separates them from Charlies. At Charlies you get a lot of green and red peppers on your sandwich. And they are much better tasting than anywhere else. Tommy’s is skimpy with them. Sometimes serving just a piece of red pepper. Other times they throw on a little more, but only green. But still, a very good sandwich. Better in my opinion than any other Italian Hot Dog except Charlies.
Tommy’s sells a lot of potato cups. And they also sell regular hot dogs using the same 8 to a lb natural casing dog as Jerry’s. Jerry’s is better because they finish it off on a griddle giving it a little extra flavor and snap, whereas Tommy’s is just boiled. Both places do extremely well. There are long lines at lunch time. Most people go to Jerry’s for plain hot dogs or chili dogs while Tommy’s sells mainly Italian Hot Dogs and Sausage sandwiches. And some regular dogs. A lot of people hit both places in one outing.