And, it ain’t called the Garden State for nothing!
Poor New Jersey..it does get a bad rap in many places…yet it has miles and miles of beautiful sandy beaches bordering the Atlantic, produces a great amount of produce (may be one of the biggest producers of eggplant, blueberries, etc. in the country), has some of the most expensive real estate in the country (Alpine, Rumson, etc.), mountains in the beautiful Delaware Water Gap, etc.
I wonder why its chemical refineries, pockets of poverty, and traffic seem to define it to those from outside the region? I don’t recall other parts of the country with similar "negatives" (like Houston, Texas) being defined solely by their negative attributes by the rest of the country.
Oh well, guess that leaves lots of hot dogs for the rest of us (and some really fine eating in a whole range of places).
Thanks Bear! Some of us, all we know about NJ is oil and chemical plants and crime. Camden and Newark. I’ve stayed in N. Bergen 3 times and commuted into NYC by bus.
One thing about this board, it has really broaden my horizons.
The poster speaks of Jimmy Buffs, oftentimes credited as the originator of the Italian Hot Dog. They currently have locations in the towns of Scotch Plains, West Orange and East Hanover, New Jersey. Until very recently, there was also a location in Irvington, New Jersey.
Though there are a few very good purveyors of this New Jersey delicacy, consisting of 1 or 2 (a double) deep fried hot dogs placed in a pizza bread (a round Italian bread sort of like a thick pita), sauteed peppers, onions and fried potatoes), some refer to said sandwich as a Jimmy Buffs, just as some folks once referred to all refrigerators as a Frigidaire.
However, with the ever-growing popularity of the uniquely New Jersey sandwich, with many, many hot dog places and restaurants adding them to their menu in renditions great, mediocre and terrible, the term Italian Hot Dog is becoming more and more common.
What state are you people talking about?
Personally I wish people would be more specific about locations on this entire board. If I said Selma would you know which one I refered to?
NJ Pork Roll
A Jimmy Buff’s from Scotch Plains made by a grandaughter of the original owner in Newark. I’ve heard the guy making sandwiches in Irvington in the 70’s is still there. He looked like Al Pacino and his name was either Sonny or Junior. I haven’t been to the Irvington store in 25 years, but I hit the one in Scotch Plains more often than I should.
thanks for all the info on buffs. right after fourth of july weekend, i will be flying into newark. our first stop will be buffs in w.o. then maybe to michaelangelos on bloomfield ave. for dinner, pork chops giambotta. maybe next day pizza at star tavern for lunch and later some portuguese for dinner, maybe seabras for a red mariscata. i live in reno, nv.. there is nothing like any of these places out here. rack
Big Dog Daddy
Another contest between Jimmy Buff’s and Dickie Dees.
That was a great article! Interesting to read of the varying opinions. Especially about the bread and potatoes. It all comes down to individual preference. Some like the potatoes sliced thin like Buff’s; others like them chunky like Dickiee Dees.
I’ve been to both places and I prefer Jimmy Buff’s. I’ve been to their West Orange location once or twice, but I usually go to their Irvington restaurant since it is closer to my home. They also have locations in East Hanover and Scotch Plains. The product tastes the same at each location (I haven’t yet been to E. Hanover), but I think the Irvington location gets their bread from a Newark bakery rather than Giordano’s.
I consider Jimmy Buff’s, Charlies Famous, and Tommy’s the big 3 of Italian Hot Dogs with Dickiee Dees a cut below. Dickie Dees serves a good, authentic Italian Hot Dog, but I prefer the potatoes sliced thin rather than chunks. But this is just my preference. I also think that the potatoes at Buff’s have a better taste as well. Dickie Dees also uses tiny dogs; I believe 12 to a lb. A single is very small compared to Jimmy Buff’s and Charlies. On a few occasions the peppers at Dees weren’t cooked enough and were slightly hard.
Tommy’s in Elizabeth makes a very good Italian Hot Dog. Good bread and potatoes. Maybe the best potatoes out of all the places serving Italian Hot Dogs. And of course, all 4 places named use Best brand dogs. But Tommy’s gives you hardly any peppers at all. Sometimes one or 2 lonely red peppers. And their prices are too high. $7.00 for a double! $5 or $5.50 for a single. Tommy’s would be better if they put in more peppers.
Charlies and Jimmy Buff’s are my favorites. I’ve always liked Charlies best. But since eating Jimmy Buff’s more often since they are the only place near me open on a Sunday night, which is when I crave one of these sandwiches; I sort of aquired a taste for them. They have more oil in the finished sandwich, so be careful to keep the bag on the floor of your car. The bread, potatoes and peppers are all good, and everything is fried together in a steel pit. Buff’s also seems to have more spices than the other dogs. Charlies uses bigger dogs (8 to a lb) and gives you a lot of green and red peppers. Potatoes are also good, but inconsistent. And sometimes the bread has been frozen and isn’t as fresh as the others. But the peppers are cooked separately from the onions, so I can get my sandwich without onions and they don’t have to be separated from each other like at Buff’s where they are fried together. Charlies is a great big sandwich with outstanding peppers and the potatoes are good most of the time. Buff’s has a unique smell and flavor that can’t be duplicated. And many people love the extra grease. It goes great with a few beers while watching the Sopranos on a Sunday night. Both different in their own way. Both delicious.
I haven’t been to the West Orange venue in a very long time, but was at the Irvington location a couple of weeks ago. Had a single dog. It was fine.
has anyone been to jimmy buffs in west orange lately? i have not been back in 2 years and was told by a friend that it has gone down hill. is that true? i hope not, i will be back in july and it is my first stop after leaving the airport. i know dicky dees is good but i was raised on buffs and i like everything cooked together. thanks.
I ate at the North Plainfield Jimmy Buff’s a few months ago… Wasnt very good,has anyone eaten there recently?
Admitedly all I’ve seen is the stretch from when you enter the state from Pa. onto the turnpike SW of Newark up to the Bergen area. I’ve stayed in Bergen area 3 or 4 times to avoid the huge cost of staying in Manhattan.
NJ Pork Roll
I’ve heard from non-Jerseyans the bad rap comes from traveling the Turnpike with the sole purpose of passing through NJ to stay elsewhere, particularly from New Brunswick north. Admittedly, the view is not our best.
I have a friend from TX who had a bad impression until she actually left 95 and the Newark Airport area for the first time instead of just passing through. Although she was mostly interested in seeing the Soprano filming locations (talk about a bad rap), we took her to Hacklebarney State Park, driving from Maplewood to Chester.
I quote, "Ya’ll actually have some trees."
Yep, and diners, beaches, sweet corn, Italin Hot Dogs, and the best tomatoes in the country.
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