Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Lunch in 2009...

For my last lunch in 2009 I went with a cheesesteak with onions and american cheese from Big Mikes in Monroe, NY.  Due to the size of their sandwiches, I opted to split it with Serious Meat.  Nice seeded hero roll with quality steak meat, nice grilled onions, and I added some Frank's Red Hot.  It is not as agood as a Philly Steak, but it was still a quality steak.

Happy New Year.

- Lunch Pail

Goodbye Stadium, Goodbye Playoffs....

It was a 1 o'clock game on Sunday so we arrived at the parking lot to start tailgating around 8:45.  Do to the early start, the tail gate was based around breakfast and jungle juice.  Through out the morning I was intaking a steady stream of the juice and if I had known how bad the game would have turned out I would have drank much more. 

To start things off, Snee broke out the BLT dip and George and Joe cooked up some pancakes with bacon in them, followed up with some bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, with potatoes and hot peppers.  Delicious.  Next came the breakfast pizza from Jay's Deli in Central Valley, NY.  One was sausage egg and cheese, the other bacon, egg and cheese.  As there was no sauce on the pizza, I had to add some ketchup.  One again, delicious.  After about an hour break, other snacks started floating around, a Jersey Mike's sandwich platter, chips, and some stromboli.  Then George and Joe started the italian hot dogs, and cheesesteaks shortly after that.  The hot dogs had great flavor and snap and were topped with the same potatoes as the egg sandwiches.  The cheesesteak was covered in cheese and grilled onions.  Both delicious.

The good thing about the way these guys tailgate is they serve small portions, basically halves of everything.  Half hot dogs, half cheese steaks, half egg sandwiches.  This is good for two reasons, one, everyone gets to have some, they do not promote glutony, and two, you can try some of everything without feeling bloated and disgusting. 

By the time we were heading into the game I had a nice base of food in the belly and I drank enough juice to feel great.  I wasn't sloppy, but had the feeling I was floating on a pool raft, my body was in complete relaxation.  Then disaster struck!

Panthers - 41  Giants - 9.

- Lunch Pail

Ticket stub from the last Giants game at the stadium and the worst game that I have ever witnessed.

Breakfast Pizza w/ Ketchup

Italian Hot Dog on the Left, Cheesesteak on the Right.

Bacon Egg and Cheese with Potatoes

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mary Ann's - Stamford, CT


Mary Ann's in Downtown Stamford is probably the worst Mexican food I have ever had.  The food was not worthy of a picture, the only thing worth while of the $77 ($91 including tip) meal was the pitcher of Sangria.  I probably should have drank more of it to forget about how terrible the food was.  Seegs wondered if there were any Mexicans working in the restaurant, and if so, do they realize how bad the Mexican food is.

The guacamole was bland and complete mushod, the crab enchiladas (my meal), which were the special, should have been called mushroom enchiladas due to the lack of crab, and the shrimp in the Relleno de JalapeƱo (Seegs' meal) were well overcooked.  To top it all off, I got sick when I got home.  Seegs said it was one of the most violent things she has ever heard.

I do not recommend this place to anyone and even told a family waiting outside that they were better off going across the street for pasta.  Maybe I went on a bad night, or maybe I dont know what Mexican food tastes like because most of the reviews I read about this place said it was awesome and a few had the same opinions I have.  If you disagree with me, please feel free to share your feelings in the comment section below or by submitting your own Marr Anns post.

- Lunch Pail

Drink enough of this and your foor might taste good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Big America Burgers - McDonald's Japan....

I found this on A Hamburger Today, and thought it was pretty interesting.

"Inventor Spot describes the four new quarter-pound, US state-themed Big America burgers coming to McDonald's Japan next year:

- The Texas Burger topped with old-fashioned grainy mustard-relish, barbecue sauce, bacon, cheese, and crispy fried onions with a middle bun that separates the barbecue sauce, onions, and bacon from the rest of the burger.
- The Burger New York topped with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and grainy mustard.
- The California Burger topped with spicy cheese, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and a special sauce made with red wine produced in California.
- The Hawaii Burger topped with special gravy, an Egg McMuffin-style fried egg, bacon, chopped lettuce, and American cheese."

Broccoli Rabe & Sausage

At least once a week I will make myself broccoli rabe for dinner.  I use to hate it when I was younger.  My mom would make it with sausage and orecchiette, and I would always pick out the broccoli rabe.  I don't know what happened, but one day it became my favorite vegetable.  It is healthy, easy to make, and always available at the store.  I will always pair it up with some meat, ether grilled chicken, chicken sausage, sausage, or salmon, and sometimes toss it with sausage and pasta pasta.  I didn't feel like having pasta the other night, so I decided to roast up some potatoes.  The result was a nice plate of broccolli rabe and crumbled hot sausage and some roasted parmesean potatoes.   It was a great meal that filled me up and made for a great lunch at work a couple of days later.

-Lunch Pail
Broccoli Rabe and Crumbled Hot Sausage, Garlic, Red Pepper, and Olive Oil.

Roasted Potatoes coming out of the oven

Ready to eat

Just as good for lunch a couple of days later

Monday, December 28, 2009

Curley's - Stamford, CT

I have been in Stamford about 3 1/2 years now and it took me until a month and a half ago to eat at Curley's, which I guess can be called a Stamford landmark downtown.  It is open 24 hours a day and is conveniently located across the street from the bars.  After a going away happy hour, GRPD, Keary and I decided it was neccessary to get something to eat.  Layla's and Garden Catering were closed (it was about 11:30 on a Tuesday night) so we decided to go to Curley's.  While deciding on what to eat, GRPD ordered some Chocolate Chip Pancakes for the table, which I later decided to dip in ketchup. 

Without even looking at the menu I ordered the turkey club with chili cheese fries, Keary decided on a chili cheese burger with chili cheese fries, and after a brief debate, GRPD went with the Jets.  After seeing the chili cheese fries with our sandwiches, GRPD made a quick audible and requested them also.

The service was great, and the food was pretty good.  I mean I spent that previous 4 hours drinking pint glasses of vodka and club soda so I guess a lot of things would be considered good.   GRPD and Keary also thought there food was good.  My only complaint is that I dont think there was any bacon on the club sandwich, which can be considered a good thing since my diet has not been the greatest since starting this blog.

In addition to his sandwich, GRPD enjoyed a Guiness Winter Stout which was similar to a regular Guiness, except the seasonal winter stout is infused with lycopene and hints of maple or a 3 second count of ketchup and 2 splashes of syrup to be exact.  You can see a glimps of the stout and how it is half way completed in the top corner of the picture of 'The Jets'.

- Lunch Pail

GRPD thought it would be neccessary to order some Chocolate Chip Pancakes as an appetizer.  I thought it would be a great idea to dip mine in ketchup.

Turkey Club with Chili Cheese Fries.  The fries were krinkle cut which made them even better.

GRPD ordered The JETS - Pastrami, Kraut, Swiss, and Mustard.  If only the New York Jets were as good as this sandwich.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everybody!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Ultimate PB n' J

It was one year ago to the day, Christmas Eve 2008, and Serious Meat had to get some lunch in his system prior to the feast we would be having that evening. Knowing what was ahead of him, he decided to settle with a Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread, but not just any PB&J. Bo nuts created a monster, by layer it was: slice of bread, peanut butter, grape jelly, creamcheese, slice of bread, peanut butter, grape jelly, slice of bread. Washed down with 20 oz of milk.

Have a wonderful holiday,
Lunch Pail

That fist belongs to Serious Meat. It was coming right at me. Never bother a bear while he is trying to eat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This is in response to J-Rod's BEST SANDWICH IN STAMFORD post.

I had to run a few errands during lunch today so I figured I would stop and get a chicken parm sandwich from Rinaldi's in Stamford since it seems to be all the rave.  I was very excited to finally get to eat it and my expectations were sky high.  As unwrapped the white paper and foil away from the sandwich my heart sank.  I was expecting charred bread with lots of red sauce and cheese pouring out of the sandwich, but what I saw was lightly brown bread with a little glimpse of chicken parm peaking out.  When I seperated the sandwhich in half it was the same disappointment.  Not saucey mess that J-Rod experienced.  My sandwich was kinda dry, with minimal cheese, and the chicken was a little tough, not that it stopped me from finishing it or anything.  It was a decent chicken parm.

Not sure if this was a result of a busy lunch hour and they rushed my sandwich, or the person that made mine does not have the same appreciation for sandwiches as they person who crafted J-Rods.  As Phil #14 once said, "Consistency in sandwiches is a mark of a good deli."  As a result of my experience today, I cannot declare the Rinaldi's Chicken Parm as the "Best in Stamford", sorry.

- Lunch Pail

My sandwich on 12/23/09.  This is not what I expected of a Rinaldi's Chicken Parm.


J-Rod's Chicken Parm from Rinaldi's on 12/12/09

Lamb Shawafel - Layla's Falafel, Stamford, CT

The other day I met up with Harry In the Blind at Layla's Falafel at their downtown location in Stamford, CT.  Hands down, Layla's is awesome and the people that work their are great.  It wasn't until recently that I ate Middle Eastern food such as falafel and shwarma and I must say that I am glad I have expanded my horizons and started to eat it.  I haven't been here in a while and the last time I was there I didn't remember.  I had the great idea of walking a few doors down from the bar I was at and ordered something delicious.  I dont know what it was exactly, but the people that saw me eating it on the sidewalk told me that I looked like I was enjoying it.  I tend to order the lamb when I go here because I usually order chicken everywhere else and lamb is a meat I love and do not eat that much.  There is the option of a plain falafel, but why eat vegiterian when you can get a regular falafel topped with lamb shwarma known as Lamb Shawafel, pictured below.  Now I'm not to sure what shwarma is, but I know it has a great garlic sauce and pickles and it is awesome.  I always order mine with hummus, tahini, and extra hot sauce and garlic sauce on the side.  The texture of the rotisserie lamb against the fried falafel is a great combo. 

I see myself posting additional lunches and dinners from Layla's in the future because the food there is that good.  Feel free to post your favorite dishes from Layla's or any other middle eastern eateries that you enjoy.

- Lunch Pail

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Krazy Jims Famous Blimpy Burger - Ann Arbor, MI

Casey "The Snooch" Todd took a break from Rock Band and the rest of his gaming systems and went to the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game a few weeks ago in Ann Arbor, MI.  decided to go to Krazy Jim's the night before the game.  Seems like the Snooch was unimpressed and the burger did not meet expectations.  The real shame in all of this is that the Snooch actually knows what a half of a HJ is like and was able to compare it to something.

Here is what the Snooch had to say about the Blimpy Burger...

"I was told Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger was the best burger joint in Ann Arbor, MI. They were featured on the food network series Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Guy was very wrong. When we arrived at the Krazy Jim’s the line was already out the door and took us a half hour to get inside. Finally after 1 hr of waiting we got to order our food and there are a multitude of choices to make for toppings and the amount of patties you can choose. You can choose toppings like egg, salami, banana peppers, and feta cheese and so on. The patties are very small so you need to order at least three to come close to filling up your stomach. When you order you need to be very specific or this old bat starts yelling. It’s a very stressful situation! Finally I ordered a triple with bacon salami egg on a plain roll with mayo tomato and onions along with some steak fries. I did not enjoy the burger at all, the only thing I could taste was the grease from the grill. I compare this joint to a half of a hand job, big build up no finish."

- The Snooch
The fries are pail and for three patties the burger looks pretty small.  Thumbs down.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dinosaur BBQ - Syracuse, NY

Scott Rosman took Lunch O'Clocks V-Card with the blog's first BBQ post.   Looks like Scott and his lady enjoyed a nice lunch at Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse, NY.  I used to work with a kid that would rave about this place and even saw their sauce for sale at a Wal-Mart up in Lake George, but never had the chance to eat their BBQ.  By the pictures and clean plate the food seems to be awesome.  I wonder how it compares to the BBQ served south of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Even if the BBQ isn't as good as advertised, you can quickly forget about the food after a few pints of that 9% beer.  As my Uncle Vinny would say, "Stay off the sidewalks!"

Scott Rosman ladies and gentlemen...

"It was a cool winter morning and we had one thing on our minds... delicious barbecue. So we packed the car with rations for the hour and a half ride to Syracuse NY to our favorite BBQ spot... Dinosaur BBQ. We started at the bar with a few pints of Pumking, a 9% pumpkin ale made by the Southern Tier Brewery. The sweet pumpkin taste goes down silky smooth, but that 9% alcohol content reminds you that this beer is legit. Once seated we went right for the swag sampler plate, equipted with spicy shrimp, wings, deviled eggs, and green fried tomatoes, a BBQ must. The main course Tres Hombre--- A spirited serving of Bar-B-Que pork, Texas beef brisket (sliced) & Bar-B-Que ribs, absolutly to die for. Worth the drive, even though we had to drive home with out belts one hole looser."


Scott and his lady friend knawing on some ribs.

Tres Hombre. Ribs, Pork, Brisket, Mac n' Cheese, and Mashed Potatoes.

Food must have been terrible.  Nice use of the Moist Toilettes.  Did he eat the bones?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sauce Does BW3's

Another thumbs up performace by Tom "Sauce" Homestead at Buffalo Wild Wings during the Giants - Cowboys game two weeks ago.  On behalf of all Giants fans, I would like to thank Sauce, who has a passion for the Jets and the Sanchise,  for rooting for the G-Men during a must win game.

Here is the email I received from Sauce the Monday afternoon following the game.  Even though though he did not provide a picture, I had to post this because of his solid performance.  15 beers, 25 wings, and a burger with onion rings and pulled pork is a worthy post without pictures.  For those of you who may doubt that Sauce actually did this, I will gladly vouch for him and admit this seems like a some what light meal for Sauce compared to some of the blockbusters he was apart of at JMU.

"Big Country -
I don't know if this is post worthy or not because I didnt take a picture, but I did have a pretty impressive day at bdubs yesterday for the giant game:
For starters I had to have had 15 budlight pints
25 wings as appetizer - mixed between spicey garlic, hot bbq, hot, and carribean jerk.
Usually I'm not one blow up franchise burgers, but I will make an exception for this. I got the big jack daddy burger and it was awesome. chedder cheese burger with pulled pork and onion rings on top.
I also got to see the giants beat tony homo and the cowgirls which was almost as good as watching tim tebow ball his eyes out saturday.
I just felt I had to give some material to big country even though it was not hot dog related.
when is wing week??"
- Sauce
I will give a one time pass, as a result of his performance, to Sauce on forgetting to to take pictures due to the pints of Bud Light. I was able to find these on Flickr.  From left to right, Spicy Garlic Wings, Big Jack Daddy Burger, Carribean Jerk Wings.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yo, Angelo! I DID IT!

My buddy Snee thought it would be nice to treat his wife, Annie Babes, to a nice Italian dinner the other night at Angelo's in Harriman, NY.  I have been there a few times with my family, Serious Meat, Seegs, and even went one night with Snee.  I must say Snee gave proper credit to this place.  Everything I have eaten there has been great, and their chicken cutlet is awesome.  It seems like they butterfly it and pound it real thin, which to me, is the best way to have a cutlet.  What Snee forgot to mention was that this place is BYOB, which makes it real light on the wallet.  I am sure I will also post about my experience here in the future since I also like to try new things.  Next time you are shopping at Woodbury Commons try to plan a lunch or dinner here, you won't be dissapointed.

I have had the stuffed mushrooms before, and they are great.  They are not stuffed with bread crumbs like most stuffed mushrooms, Angelos stuffs them with sausage and other seasoning.  I will try to get a picture of them the next time I am there.

Here is what Snee had to say...

"Being German and Irish, a "Homestyle Italian Meal" makes as much sense to me as carrying a dental dam in your wallet. However, there's a little gem of an Italian restaurant in Harriman, NY called Angelo's...about a mile and a half from my estate that serves some of the best away-from-home-homestyle-Italian food in the area. I believe they were voted Best Italian Restaurant in Orange AND Rockland Counties. Regardless...

Started off with the stuffed mushroom which no matter where you go, is always a hit-or-miss item. The stuffed mushrooms here are so far batting 1.000. I don't know exactly what's in them, and I would have gotten a picture of them if I didn't dominate them so fast, but needles to say they made the front of my pants get very tight. Next up I had the manicotti, or "man-eh-GOT" as my Italian friends would say. This brings up a point...this is the first time I've ordered that entree there, and I always try to get something different every time. I don't believe you can fully recommend a restaurant and say, "Oh, the food there is delicious!" if you have the same thing everytime. I've had about 10 different things from this place and I can firmly say, "The food there is delicious."

The wife on the otherhand gets her chicken with tomatoes and fresh MUTZ every single time she goes. In her case, it's the REASON she goes because she loves it so much, so I don't blame her for not trying other things. (I'm being nice because she'll probably read this and I have to live with her.)

If you're ever in the's a must."
- Snee
Nice Manicotti smotherd in sauce and cheese.

Grilled Chicken Cutlet with Fresh Mutz, Tomatoes, and Basil. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mrs. Wood's Swedish Meatballs - Anderrson's - Stockholm, Sweden

Here is an entry sent in by Tom "The Hammer" Aspinwall, all the way from Stockholm, Sweden.  Not sure if he was there on business or pleasure, but it is nice to see he had the blog in mind while enjoying his Euro Trip.  Looks like he went with the standard in Sweden, the Swedish Meatball.  I wonder if these are the same recipe that Tiger's wife used to make him?

Swedish Meatballs are a great cocktail food, I never thought to have them as a meal.  I am a fan of them, although they often make me gassy, kind of like the pineapple served by D-Hall at JMU, HIYOOOOOOOOO!

Traditional Swedish meatballs, potatoes, lingenberry sauce and gravy from Anderrsons in Stockholm, Sweden

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Boys of 13D

H.I.T.B brings us his tailgate experience from a couple of weeks ago at the Jets v. Panthers game.  Looks like they had an awesome time and that these guys know how to throw a tailgate.  The worst part of the post is that it is about the Jets.  Enjoy...

"A day of football often warrants a day of manging. Generally speaking, I can expect to gorge on buffalo wings, pizza, nachos, hot dogs or countless other man-delicacies. This past Sunday was to be no exception. I went to the New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers game, and by the way the Jets have been playing, I thought that whatever tailgating delicacies I could scarf down would most likely be the highlight of the afternoon. GRPD, who provided the tickets, called me up the Wednesday before the game and told me he had a treat for me. A WORLD CLASS TAILGATE, the likes of which I have probably never seen. I was skeptical at first. I’ve known GRPD for some time now, and although he’s true-blue Italiano, I’ve seen him savor Subway© sandwiches like they were works of art. I asked him, “What am I in for” to his response “you WON’T be disappointed!” It peaked my interest, so I let my buddy Scott, who was coming with the game that there was a sick tailgate and for $40, we just show up and feast. All of us were ready…or so we thought.

We showed up at 10:30, planning on 9:30 but GRPD had a rough night in White Plains, and when we got to the parking lot and found the tailgate setup we were shocked at what we saw. Tables of food from Burgers and Dogs, to Meatballs and Chicken Parm; Loaves of the freshest Italian bread and kegs, cans and bottles of delicious beer. We hit the jackpot! I dove into the cooler and fetched a Yuengling Amber, Scott and GRPD went for the Yuengling Black and Tan. We decided to scope the event out, as we’d just arrived and the common theme for those playing beer pong, talking to old friends and playing corn hole was that everyone had a plate of food fit for a king. We’d waited long enough, WE MUST FEED. We hit the buffet line hard I went for a sausage and peppers on an Italian bread wedge with a meatball slider (nice sized meatball on a dinner roll). The boys got the same and we shared nudges of enjoyment to exclaim how happy we were to be here! We got to meet some of the characters Carmine, Al and the rest of the boys reminded me of the cast of the Sopranos. Some quotes heard by the boys were “you’re all a bunch of scumbags…and you, you’re sista is a who-a (whore)” and “my wife loves me because my d*ck is 9 inches…from my a$$shole”. These were men who were professional tailgaters. Waiting on the buffet line, they were constantly throwing new trays of food onto the grill to heat up, meatballs, chicken parm in vodka sauce, gnocchi and even something I’ve never scene before in my life (Deep Fried Pizza). The concept is to deep fry the dough then cover it in sauce cheese and meat toppings and then to grill it. PHENOMENAL!!!

We stuffed ourselves silly and watched one of the more exciting Jets games I’ve ever been to from the best seats I’ve ever sat in (Thanks GRPD). Great game with a 17-6 Jets W. We came out of the stadium victorious and wondering what the boys had in store for us when we got out…THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!! We came out to a few of the standards from before: Tons of Beer, Meatballs, Chicken Parm but alas the decided to step it up and grill some Lemon Shrimp Skewers, serve up Pulled Pork Sandwiches and throw a few thick steaks on the grill for good measure. Oh and just to keep their ancestors happy, they made the most amazing Pasta Fagioli (with white beans, some potatoes, pasta and ground meatball and small chunks of pepperoni). My taste buds were exploding and by this time, so was my belt. I got up from the curb that I was making my private dining room table and told Scott that I needed to do a lap of the parking lot. We walked and saw the poor saps who decided to do it themselves enjoying cold cheeseburgers and warm beer. I vowed never again would I do my own tailgate as long as the boys in section 13D were still going to games. We got back, GRPD and Scott enjoyed a Fried Banana and we said our goodbyes."

- H.I.T.B

The tree chefs.  I bet none of these guy's last names end in a vowel.  

Couple of grill shots.  Shrimp, Burgers, Pulled Pork, and T-Bones.

Soup and Sandwich.  Pulled Pork and Pasta Fagiole.

Meatballs, Marinara and Vodka Sauce.  Sausage and Peppers.

Proud to be an American!

From Left to Right: GRPD, Scott (not proud to be an American), and Joe Keary (H.I.T.B)

Monday, December 14, 2009


Jared Sunter, or J-Rod which is what he goes by on the streets, is a proud alumni of The James Madison University and was nice enough to take some time out of his day to share with us, what he believes to be the best sandwich in Stamford.  Pretty big statement for a first time contributor if you ask me, but I read what he had to say and by the looks of the sandwich it does look pretty good.  A great amount of chicken cutlet, smothered in sauce and oozing with cheese.  I also like how the chicken parm was baked with the bread (notice the char on the roll) and not seperate and then placed on the roll.  Having a hot sandwich on cold bread is a sin and it is nice to see Rinaldi's does it right.

I will give the nod for it being a great sandwich until I try it.  From personal experience, it might have trouble matching up with some of the Stanford sandwiches I had at Fratelli's Market and A&S.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below...

"After being a loyal follower from the start, I felt it was time I finally make a contribution to this fine site. What follows is me paying my respects to what I consider the best sandwich Stamford has to offer.

Now, in no way is Stamford considered the food capital of the Northeast, but it does have a few gold mines. Besides the obvious choices of Colony Grill and Garden Catering (which I will respectfully leave open for Sire Phil to describe), another oasis in the “City that Works” is Rinaldi’s Deli. This gem is located on the outskirts of what I refer to as Guadalastamford (the other side of the tracks). Everything I have had here has been delicious, but in particular, the Chicken Parm wedge here has become an important figure in my life. Anybody that knows the real J-Rod well knows that I am somewhat of a chicken parm expert, probably having chicken parmed in 15-20 states, and once a week on average since obtaining a drivers license (how I still stay so fit is a question for another blog). Through all this I have come to the realization that this little deli makes what I consider to be the best chicken parm wedge to date. The sauce, the cheese, the bread, the chicken….perfect. If anyone disagrees, please comment, I would love to hear where the competition lies."

Hide the vegetables under the placemat,
- J-Rod

Saucey, Cheesey, Sloppy Chicken Parm.  Looks awesome.

Jared Feasting. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Super Duper Weenie, Part Deux.

We started Hot Dog Week with Super Duper Weenie, it is only right to end Hot Dog Week with Super Duper Weenie.  Hope everyone enjoyed this as much as I did.  Feel free to recommend any other themed weeks that you would like to see. 

Here is the lunch and story enjoyed by the dynamic duo of Hank and GRPD, through Hank's point of view...

"Let’s take a moment to look back in history, when great rivals joined together for the common good. The Russians and the U.S. teaming up to defeat the Nazis. The Irish joining the Scottish (featuring Mel Gibson) to fight sir Edward the Longshanks. Rocky and Apollo Creed training to beat Mr. T. Pedroia and Jeter sharing the middle infield on team USA. Captain Barbosa and Captain Jack Sparrow. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the dream team. Well ladies and gentleman… HANK AND GRPD STRIKE BACK.

Hot Dog Week is much like Shark Week. The best week of the year. With that, we had to put aside our differences of me being the strikingly handsome and dominant Irishman and GRDP being an average looking feeble Italian.
In case you are wondering, stitching bears laced with KPMG propaganda all over them stirs up quite an appetite. On the drive from Stamford to Bridgeport only one venue could satisfy our appetite. SUPER DUPER WEENIE.
Hitting this world famous establishment (possible hyperbole) right a lunch time was a bit of a mistake. Rushed and starving we naively only ordered one dog each. For myself, A Dixie Dog consisting of a dog, Chili and Cole Slaw. For GRPD, a Georgia Redhot consisting of ¼ LB Spicy Southern Sausage with Sauerkraut, mustard and the house sweet relish. This order was also made with a large order of fries. Round 1 of Hank & GRPD versus Super Duper below.

While the likes of this order may have satisfied and probably sickened your average E&Y employee, Hank and GRPD only ate enough to realize we were hungry. With the latecomer Rob Wolfe showing up, we strategically cut the line for round two and added our second round to his order. Cheeky indeed. After ordering one dog each the first round we knew that we both needed to order two in the second round. We will say however, that as purists of the lunch community and original subscribers to this blog we did not feel the need to push the envelope of ridiculous luncheons to the point where we wouldn’t enjoy our feast. So we partly got back to basics. What’s more American than a standard hot-dog with ketchup. We both ordered a plain hot dog round two. Joining with Big Rob, we ordered three California Dogs consisting of dogs, cheese, chili, raw onions and hot relish. Round 2 is featured below.

As you would expect, pure domination occurred. I don’t think Phil # 14 would have been able to attend because we finish our meals in one sitting. But nonetheless, despite the dirty and disgusted looks from onlookers and health enthusiasts alike, the result of Hank & GRPD versus Super Duper Weenie is below.

Until next time.


P.S. if there are any post hot dog week blues in the coming months, Hank and GRPD extend an open invite to challenge us in a team based mange-off. But we know your scared."

Here is a bonus dog from their trip on Friday.  The Chicagoan.

Pete's Hots Dogs - Newburgh, NY

I was up in the City of Newburgh yesterday and couldn't pass up the opportunity to go to Pete's Hot Dogs.  I first experienced Pete's while working for Dana Distributors delivering beer.  We used to stop here for lunch on occassion when I was out on the City of Newburgh route.  They are great hot dogs, and are within the top 3 on my list.  I believe they are Boars Head Natural Casing Hot Dogs, which they serve push cart style. 

I ordered two dogs, one with New York Style Onions, the second with Texas Hot Bean Sauce, and both with mustard.  They were great dogs with great snap.  Onions were perfectly cooked and the bean sauce had great spice without overpowering the dog.  The buns were a perfect size compared to the dog and were nice and soft.  A highlight of Pete's is they serve ice cold chocolate milk in a small carton, which I obviously could not pass up.  Best part is, the two hot dogs and chocolate milk cost a total of $4.10.  Can't beat that price for a great dogs.  I even purchased a Pete's Hot Dogs T-Shirt for $12.  All in all, it was a great trip to Newburgh.

- Lunch Pail

New York Style Onions w/ Mustard on the Left, Texas Hot Bean Sauce w/ Mustard on the Right.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hot Dog Week Showdown! - Battle of New Jersey

I present the Hot Dog Battle of New Jersey.  Hank's Franks vs. Galopping Hill Inn.  Based on the respective reviews of each establishment posted here and here, it is up for you to decide which hot dog seems better.  Two claim that they have eaten the best hot dog in New Jersey, but only 1 can be telling the truth.  Who do you think is right?

Share your opinions in the comment section below.

Hank's Franks - Lodi, NJ

One of the reasons I have started this blog was because my dad was always amazed how Serious Meat and I can talk about food non-stop.  After a month of enjoying the blog, he could no longer resist, especially with it being hot dog week, he finally submitted a post.  Granted it is not a "live" post, but he scoured the internet and did a review of what he, Matt Scalo, myself, and any other Hank's patron beleive to be the best hot dogs ever...Hank's Franks in Lodi, NY off of Rte. 46.

All of my brothers grew up hearing stories about this place and how Joe Sr. use to crush a dozen dogs after football practice.  Since he went to Hackensack High School, it was easy for him to go to this place as often as he did.  I rember the first time we went when we were little kids, it was a damp Saturday in the fall and had the same feeling as I did on Christmas morning before my parents woke up.  Let me tell you, these dogs held up to my dad's hype.  They are the classic Sabrett Natural Casing Beef hot dogs, served push cart style, which are boiled, or as Serious Meat calls them, 'dirty water' dogs.  These are the real deal, not like some of the jo-jitsu carts in the city that just use the Sabrett umbrella and serve crap. 

If I remember correctly, I went with the hot italian onions and mustard on one dog, and chili and mustard on the 2nd, with an ice cold root beer.  I have not been back since, but I think I will be relatively soon.  I highly reccomend this place, even to vegetarians.  Enough of what I have to say, lets hear how Joe Sr. feels about Hank's....

"Well , Hanks Franks buy 8 get 1 free!! Great toppings , kraut, hot italian onions, sweet onions, relish, potatoes, hot chili sweet chili, texas , chile cheese hot or sweet , with or w/o raw onions.  Any combos of toppings available.  Back in highschool after practice, I often went 2-3 times a week.   Sarted with 9 , usaully ate a dozen.  They have great ice cold orange aid, which tastes like Snapple Orangeaid.   The dogs are boiled street cart style and are done to perfection , never split open and always snapped when bitten.  Rolls perfectly steamed , nice and soft like just out of oven.  Best Sabrett dogs in Jersey if not anywhere."

- Joe Sr.

This place is a gem.  Notice the sign, 'Buy 8, get 1 free"

Chili and Cheese done right.  Ill take the cheese slop over cheese slices any day on my dog.  Notice the 3 layers, brown Mustard, Chili, Cheese Slop.

Texas Chili Dog.  Brown Mustard and Chili.

Hot Italian Onions.

Galloping Hill Inn - Kenilworth, NJ

Snee decided it was neccessary to make a trip to his home state of New Jersey to meet his mom for dinner in honor of Hot Dog Week at what he believes to be the best hot dogs ever.  Bold statement by Snee, and it is not the first time he has made such claims of "the best ever".  2 great examples, the Buffalo Wings at the Ye Olde Rathskeller in Clarke, NJ, which he claimed to be "the best ever" and the Corned Beef Hash from Crossroads Diner in Harriman, NY, also which claimed to be "the best ever".  I ate the wings from the Rat and was greatly dissapointed, especially after the years of boasting how great they were.  They might have been as good as the frozen TGI Friday's wings that can be bought in the super market.  His reply to my disgust of the wings was that I didn't get the good ones and they serve different wings on Sundays for the games.  As for the hash, I never had it, but Serious Meat took Snee up on the offer and joined him one morning for breakfast and as expected, Serious Meat was not impressed.  He gave it an average hash rating. 

I will say this though, these hot dogs do look awesome and I think I will take Snee's word that they are really good, but I cannot award them the best ever until I try them. 

Here are Snee's thoughts....

"The Galloping Hill Inn...I've been going to this place since I needed a booster seat to reach the top of the table. Located at Kenilworth, NJ's famous "5-Points", a busy intersection that has caused more deaths than an Asian tsunami, it's a popular lunch spot due to the large pharmaceutical company down the street as well as a having other pretty big factories in the area. It's been through a lot of changes throughout the years...the decor is different...younger waitresses, (which isn't a good thing, they used to have old ladies that were awesome and always remembered you, now they have 20-something Jersey girls that barely earn their $3 tip)...and they've added an outdoor section which is nice during the warmer months. But the thing that remains a constant are their hot dogs. They've been voted NJ's Best by the New York Times for a reason...I think they're the perfect dog.

Thursday night I had 2 with mustard, onions, and chili...which I believe is the way hot dogs were made to be eaten. They have great "snap" factor...not too much...not too little, but obviously cooked on a flat top grill, not boiled, not fried...DEFINTELY not split, that's ridiculous. The dogs are a bit longer than the bun, but not by too much where your first bite is all dog. The buns are a hybrid between traditional hot dog buns, and hoagie rolls. This adds to their greatness as the toppings don't get a chance to spill out onto your plate, they are fully contained in the bun. And if anything DOES happen to spill out...they have amazing crinkle cut fries that are perfect for scooping the remainder. The rest of their food there is pretty decent, and the bugers are awesome, but there's a reason they have a hot dog in the middle of there sign, it's what they're known for.

If you're ever on your way back from the shore, stop at exit 138 and make a right...I promise you won't be dissapointed. "

Galloping Hill Store Front.

Chili Dogs on two catchers mits.  Crinkle cut fries are key.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chili Dog, Wedge Inn - Stamford, CT

I have driven past the Wedge Inn on Summer St a thousand times and always wondered if it was any good.  The have a giant chili dog neon light in the windowo so I figured I would give them a try.  Overall, the chili dog was rather disappointing.  It was not split and the bun was toasted which was nice, but the hot dog itself was pretty bad.  It seemed to be over cooked, there was no snap when I bit into it, more like a thud when I bit through the not so tender dog.  The chili was good and had a lot of spice, but I have had better.  I bet if you take the Benny's Hot Dog and chili, and put it on a Wedge Inn bun, you will have a better overall chili dog.  Similar to Benny's Fast Break, the best part of the meal was the fries.  The Curley fries were crispy and served hot.  Next time I go there, if I do go there again, I should rely more on the name of the place than the neon sign.  I should stick to a sandwich, or a wedge as they say in CT, since it is called the Wedge Inn.

- Lunch Pail

Chili dog with Mustard and some Curley Fries.

CC&B Hot Dog- Garden Catering - Downtown Stamford

Met up with Keary and Koutroubis the other day for some lunch at Garden Catering at their Downtown Stamford location and decided to try their hot dogs.  Keary put his order in first, a Chili, Cheese, and Bacon dog.  Without hesitating, Koutroubis followed up with an "I'll have the same".  I took an extra second or two and decided to go with a classic dog, spicy mustard and relish. 

Like most dogs in Stamford, these were split and grilled on the flat top.  Boo.  Also, it seems that the buns may have been toasted, but since there were wrapped up so tight in foil, the heat of the dog ended up steaming the bun, which ruined the grilled bun.  Rather than a nice toast, it was more or less a soggy mush.  I am sure the liquid of the relish helped the sogginess along.  Relish or not, Keary thought the buns weren't toasted at all.  I too thought they were seemed, but after a second look at the pics, you can see a little chare on the bun.  On a positive note, the dog itself was pretty good, decent snap, and a nice bun to dog ratio.  As of right now, this is probably the best hot dog I have yet to have in Stamford.

Let's see what Keary and Koutroubis had to say about their dogs....

"Crisp Dog…bun could’ve been toasted, good chili, good bacon (inconsistent considering that PK’s had about ½ lb. of Bacon and I had a few bacon bits…overall worth the $2.75."
- Joseph Keary, aks H.I.T.B

"It was DD...Delicious and Dirty at the same time, it also left my lips with a slight tingle."
- Peter Koutroubis

Keary's Chili, Cheese, and Bacon Dog on the Left, My Classic Mustard and Relish Dog on the Right.

Chili, Cheese, and Bacon Dog.  Peter took it an extra step with some Honey Mustard and BBQ Sauce.