Rutt's Hut makes the finest hot dog in NJ, hands down. The nicotine stained, never left the 50's seediness is part of the charm of this north Jersey icon.
Sure if you start venturing around the menu you're going to find a lot of clunkers. Leg of lamb? You'd have to be insane to order that here. I once saw a diner eating a ham steak that was served with some sort of pineapple jelly smeared on it. Yuk! Burgers? If you want a good burger what the heck are you doing in a hot dog place? That's like going to a seafood place and ordering the ribeye steak. And what's "roast Long Island duck" even doing on the menu here?
You come to Rutt's for one reason - the hot dogs, and that is what they do "weller" than anybody elser.
Order a a pair of rippers and smear them with mustard and the amazing relish (which I have not been able find the equal of anywhere. Heck I don't even like relish.) and you are in hot dog heaven. A mug of draft beer and frenchies with gravy makes it even better.
Though most people seem to order the rippers (cooked until the casing splits), the dogs are also served as "In and Outers" (just barely cooked), "Wellers" (cooked well done) and "Creamators" (cooked until charred).
Rutts has two sections, the walk in counter service side and the sit down restaurant side with bar. Both are a step back in time.
I've had hot dogs from many of NJ's legendary hot dog places, Hot Dog Johnnies, Hot Grill, Jimmy Buffs, Amazing Hot Dog, Galloping Hill, Hot Grill, Dickie Dees, Theyl are all very good at what they do, but none reach the sublime heights of a Rutt's Ripper with their secret recope relish.
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