FORT LEE, N.J. -- The classic hot dog, in all its bronzed, charred perfection, holds a special place in the hearts – and stomachs -- of most Americans, especially come summer. July, in fact, is National Hot Dog Month, thanks to the designation by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.
Who Has Bergen County's Best Hot Dogs?
Callahan's, Fort Lee
Hank's Franks, Lodi
Hiram's, Fort Lee
Jolly Nick's, Dumont
So where’s the best place to slather on the toppings and indulge in the perfect weiner? Daily Voice readers picked five nominees for our DVlicious “Best in Bergen County,” contest, each of which is being profiled this week.
Read below for what makes each nominee a “top dog,” then let your fingers do the clicking. Keep in mind you can vote multiple times, albeit once per day. Voting ends 4 p.m. Thursday, July 28.Hiram's Roadstand, 1345 Palisade Ave., Fort Lee, (201) 592-9602
Frank Talk: You know you’re in one of the last outposts of Americana when you can glance over and see celeb chef Anthony Bourdain washing down a deep-fried chili dog with a Yoo-Hoo. The star of CNN’s culinary travelogue “Parts Unknown” grew up in nearby Leonia and took a nostalgic trip to Hiram's last year to the unpretentious roadside purveyor of tubesteaks and cheeseburgers (not to mention Birch Beer). But don’t make the mistake of calling Hiram’s deep-fried beauties “rippers” like Bourdain did; they are strictly “dogs” here. If you want yours cooked until it splits its sides, you have to ask.
The wieners are not only said to be addictive, they were the subject of a longtime feud between Hiram’s and its tad-more-upscale rival, Callahan’s, which was a mere 200 feet away. Callahan’s sold out in 2006, but reopened a decade later about half a mile away. Hiram’s, with its worn, wooden signs and dingy, but beloved, interior, still stands tall on Palisade Avenue.
Top This: You can get your dogs topped three ways here: chili, cheese, and chili and cheese. However, you can take as much as you want of condiments such sweet and sour slaw, emerald-green relish and raw onions that are kept in little metal containers on the counter.