Posted tagged ‘pork roll’

Destination Dogs in New Brunswick: You’ve Never Had a Hot Dog Like This

January 3, 2015

The hot dog is one of the most humble foods imaginable – take the animal scraps and organ meat that no one else will touch, throw them in a blender with nitrates and pink food coloring, put the resulting slop in a plastic casing, and serve it on a bland roll that falls apart as soon as you touch it. But at Destination Dogs in New Brunswick, the simple hot dog is elevated to entirely new levels.

Though I heard about this establishment a couple of years ago, I didn’t make it over there until recently – a very poor mistake on my part. Like most people when they think of a “hot dog place,” I had imagined just a dumpy little shack where you go to a counter, they pull a hot dog off one of those rotating warmer things and slop on some sauerkraut as you stand there. Instead, Destination Dogs is a full on, sit-down, fill-up dining experience. Residing at the what used to be Doll’s Place, which despite sounding like a strip club was actually one of the nicer bars in the midst of the numerous hole-in-the-wall drinking spots surrounding Rutgers University, Destination Dogs offers a menu full of gourmet offerings that go far beyond a simple hot dog, including a wide variety of meats and almost unlimited number of toppings.

Hot dog, or work of art?

Hot dog, or work of art?

Putting the “destination” in destination dogs, each item is inspired by a different part of the world. For instance, you’ve got the “Howlamo” from Texas, consisting of a wild boar sausage topped with pork belly, chicharonnes, and baconaisse; the “Swede-Dreams” from Sweden – a Swedish meatball sausage covered with mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam; and the “Slumdog Meal-ionaire” from India, a vegetarian hot dog with samosa filling and curry sauce. (more…)

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You Know You’re in NJ When…

November 16, 2010

You know you’re in New Jersey when you’re driving around and you see something like this:

That’s right, a pork roll van.  The incident happened a couple days ago.  I was driving on Route 35 and all of the sudden, I realized I was behind a van advertising pork roll.  So I stalked the van until we were stopped at a red light and took the picture.

For those who don’t know, pork roll is the official processed meat of New Jersey and one-third of the famous pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich that this state is famous for.  Despite the advertisement, the website theporkrollstore.com is nonexistent.  But a quick search tells me that the real Pork Roll Store is located in Allentown, NJ.  I’ve always heard about a store in Allentown that has the best pork roll – I guess that must be the place.  Anyway, where else can you be driving down the street and see a van advertising salty processed pig?  Only in the Armpit of America.

For more information about this true mystery meat, go here.

I Ate A Jersey Burger!

March 21, 2010

Mmmm......New Jersey....

This should come as no surprise to any reader of this blog, but I’m a little obsessed with New Jersey. So, when I saw something called a “Jersey Burger” on a menu last night, I had to get it.

The item was on the menu at the legendary Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick. I call it legendary because, aside from being a staple of that city’s nightlife, celebrity chef Mario Batali actually got his start in the restaurant business at this place.

Stuff Yer Face is most famous for its wide selection of “bolis,” their version of the stromboli. They have at least 50 different varieties, all filled with some combination of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. You could also create your own, with over a billion permutations. Although I was originally going to pick a boli to eat, I turned the page to the less frequented sandwich page of the menu. Imagine by surprise when I saw the Jersey Burger there.

I’ve never seen or heard of a Jersey burger before, so I assume it’s a unique creation of Stuff Yer Face. Just as a California burger contains avocado and a Mexican burger has jalapeños, a Jersey burger is topped with used condoms and hairspray. Just kidding.

The Jersey burger includes a couple slices of pork roll and mozzarella. For whatever reason, pork roll (also known as Taylor ham or poor man’s sausage) is perhaps New Jersey’s most famous contribution to the culinary world. Though usually eaten in the Armpit of America as one-third of a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich, it is a welcome addition to a hamburger. As for why mozzarella was put on the Jersey burger, my only guess is that it pays tribute to the too many Italians in the state.

So now that I’ve described what the hell a Jersey burger is, let me tell you what it tastes like. It tasted like a hamburger with pork roll and mozzarella. It wasn’t the best burger I ever had, but it got the job done. The name definitely made it taste better. So, if you ever get the urge to take a bite out of New Jersey, go to Stuff Yer Face and order the Jersey burger. God knows, the state chews all of us up, so why not return the favor?