Rutt’s Hut is probably New Jersey’s favorite hot dog parlor, famous for the terms “ripper” and “cremator,” applied to its deep-fried franks that develop a rip in the casing, and those that are near-blackened after long frying, respectively.
Sunday, I had a chance to introduce a carload of Texas friends to these sainted hot dogs as we were on our way to a hike in the Ramapo Mountains, but first we stoked ourselves with the french fries inundated with cheese sauce and gravy, sometimes known in Jersey as “disco fries.” This is the kind of food that causes nutritionists to have nightmares. Who cares? Everything they tell us is bound to be wrong–take the recent case of butter vs. margarine. And these fries are damn good.
We also had the hot dogs, too, and they were as excellent as ever–though those accustomed to grilled hot dogs or street corner “floaters” may be nonplussed. On the side of the picture below, you’ll see a dab of the Hut’s homemade relish, which contains mustard, sweet pickle relish, and onions, and there’s nothing better to go on a frank (though a few bottles of catsup are begrudgingly provided). To wash all the grease down? Birch beer, of course. 417 River Road, Clifton, NJ, 973-779-8615