By Tamara Remedios
Philly might tout the cheesesteak, Chicago has the deep-dish pie, but did you know that Newark’s known for its Italian dogs . . . aka the Newark Style Hot Dog. These addictive doggies were named in Jane and Michael Stern’s book, 500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late: And the Very Best Places to Eat Them and they’ve even been featured on the Travel and Cooking Channels. So what is this delicious delight that has travelers trekking to Newark to taste? We’ve got the answer. An authentic Italian Hot Dog is served in a specially made “pizza bread,” which is fashioned into a pocket like a pita, then coated with mustard on one side and sweet ketchup on the other. The pillowy bread is then stuffed with one or two spicy, all-beef hot dogs – preferably made by Best Provisions here in Newark. Next, the onions and red and green peppers are stuffed into the fresh-baked bread.
The dog is finally topped with sliced, deep-fried potatoes. No need to order a side of fries, this overstuffed sandwich has a mountain of potatoes that are guaranteed to fall into your pool of waiting for ketchup. Best bites are found deep down where the flavors mingle, so take your time. Imitators are everywhere, so if you see a hoagie roll. run away. Matchstick fries are no match for thickly-cut sliced potatoes and a fresh pizza roll bun.
The Italian hot dog was invented in Newark in 1932 by Jimmy “Buff” Racioppi, founder of Jimmy Buff’s (Restaurant). Authentic places like Jimmy Buff’s prepare the ingredients in a slanted stainless steel rectangular pan with oil on the bottom. The toppings are relegated to the side and dabbed in the oil as needed. The Original Jimmy Buff’s of the 1930s is still standing, but has been sold a few times and now goes by World’s First Italian Hot Dogs (202 14th Avenue, Newark). The location is still frequented by die-hard Italian dog fans whose allegiance has never wavered.
This content was originally published here.