I know. You’ve all heard of it. Most’ve you have been there. Until the other night when my boyfriend and I attended a preseason Jets game, I’d never visited. And despite my negative opinions of it, which mostly formed after actually eating the hot dogs, it is just as true a piece of New Jersey history and present as anything else we have.
More after the cut…
Okay for those of you who haven’t been to Rutt’s hut, it’s like a hot dog stand slash bar slash restaurant in Clifton, NJ. It’s about five minutes from the aforementioned Giants Stadium. We ate at the stand section of Rutt’s, where white tiles and a “No Loitering” sign dominated the scene, which was occasionally punctuated by rowdy football fans in their Giants blue and Jets green jerseys, alternatively celebrating the win or mourning the loss.
It’s the kind of place you want to like. You really want to put your all into enjoying it because it’s just spewing Americana. And yet, when I finally had their famous “Ripper” hot dog (named as such because it’s deep fried until it explodes, or ‘rips’), I was slightly disappointed. It was extremely bland and the only really interesting part of it was the crispy skin.
The relish, though, was fantastic. Almost more of a cole-slaw, it was neon green and very good, adding whatever the dog was missing back to it. Unfortunately, one could not say the same for the mustard, which was boring and paste-like. I had gotten myself hyped up by a review from the New York Times in which it claimed to be nice and zingy. Oh well.
The onion rings come in a huge pile and seem to be battered in a thin bisquick-based batter, which was awfully delicious with their amazingly cheap (1.60!!!) beer. I think if I went back I might forego the hot dogs entirely and just eat the massive pile of rings, perhaps with some relish on the side.
Nostalgia for a time in which I didn’t actually exist: 10/10
The actual product they are famous for: 6/10
Everything else: 8/10