I love hotdogs. I enjoy the taste and simplicity of the meal. Bring on the sauerkraut, mustard, pickles and relish. I don't mind sticking my teeth into a "special dog" that may be dressed a little more than the standard hotdog fare.

With national hotdog day coming up on July 21, I thought you'd appreciate learning about some of my favorite places. New Jersey has some outstanding places where the hotdog is treated with much respect.

I appreciate that effort  and that's why I have taken the time to echnoledge the places of hotdog royalty. These are some of my favorites that I have tried and thoroughly enjoyed. They are listed in no particular order.

via google street view

Windmill Hotdogs

Jersey Shore Locations

I'm a big fan of the Windmill . There have been many nights, after I have worked and been on stage, that I'd stop by the windmill and treat myself to the goodness of a Windmill hotdog. They use sabrett hotdogs that crackle and split on their grill . They have my favorite kinds of toppings. They're big and filling. A couple of dogs from the Windmill and I'm set.


via google street view

Max's Hotdogs

Ocean Avenue
Long Branch, NJ

Max's has been around since 1928. They serve a great Hotdog with all the fixings. It's been a family run restaurant for three generations and they recently added a full bar. Now you can wash down that dog with an ice cold beer


via google street view

Rutt’s Hut

Clifton, NJ

Rutt’s Hut was opened in 1928 as a roadside stand. A friend of mine basically kidnapped me and took me up there one afternoon to try their famous hot dogs. I was thrilled that he did. Rutt’s deep fried their dogs, which made the casing chrispy cracked and split . They call these dogs "rippers". They have signature relish, which is very good, made of mustard and a special blend of spices.


via google street view

Destination Dogs

Locations in New Brunswick, NJ

I was hosting a show at the State Theater in New Brunswick and it was a Saturday night. I didn't have time after my radio show to enjoy a full sit down dinner so somebody suggested Destination Dogs. It was very good. They have some extoic hotdogs selections on their menu and a wide array of sausages that are made in house. I got a couple of great dogs and chips with the horseradish sauce. Outstanding! I need to go back.


via google street view

Hotdog Johnny's

Belvidere, NJ

The classic roadside spot has been around since 1944.I was introduced to Hotdog Johnny's by my good friend, and outstanding musician Pat Guadagno.

Pat and I, along with some friends, had just wrapped up an RV trip to the midwest and we were coming home back to New Jersey. Pat said we had to stop at Hotdog Johnny's. We ended up going 20 miles off track and pulled the RV into the great outside stand. I wanted to treat everybody ,but they were cash only. The hotdogs are classic and they serve up old school milkshakes and birch beer. It was absolutely worth the detour.

There are few places that are famous for their hotdogs that I didn't get to and trust me they're on my list. However, I can't tell you about a place I haven't been to yet. Let me know your favorite hotdog place.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.


LOOK: 15 Discontinued McDonald's Menu Items