New Jersey Food Triptych: Rippers at Rutt’s Hut, Sliders at White Manna, Malteds at Bischoff’s

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Fire up the GPS, fill the gas tank and bring your appetite because it’s time for a New Jersey Food Tour. Yes our neighbor to the south deserves some love for their great grub as well and today we’re going to attack it triptych style. In other words, a three part tour led by the esteemed George Motz.

It starts with deep fried hot dogs covered in secret recipe relish at Rutt’s Hut in Clifton…

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Part two takes us to White Manna of Hackensack, where the heavenly sliders are covered in globs of melted American cheese and thinly sliced fried onion…

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The final leg of our trip is malted milkshakes at Bischoff’s, where homemade ice cream and candy have been served up to the people of Teaneck since 1934…

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If you’re down on Jersey, it’s time to open your mind and your mouth, because you’re going to be eating a lot more than your words…

Rippers at Rutt’s Hutt

417 River Road Clifton, NJ 07014 – (973) 779-8615 – Sun. – Thur. 8AM – 11PM, Fri. – Sat 8AM – 1AM

For 80 years Rutt’s Hutt has been dishing out deep fried dogs, or Rippers ($1.85 +tax), aptly named for the resulting “ripped” appearance of the hot dog’s skin. If you really hate your heart, you can get a “Creamator”, or a deep fried dog that’s left to sit in the oil until it’s crisp and burnt on the outside. Rutt’s Hut houses a pub and a restaurant in addition to the no nonsense, standing room only take out area. Family of the current owner also recommends the chili (never served on the dogs) and their onion rings ($2.50 +tax), both of which I’ll have to try next trip.

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Onion Ring Photo Courtesy of Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle at Roadfood.com

What the dogs lacked in flavor, the secret recipe relish made up for. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted on top of a hot dog, and this from a man who swears by Crif Dogs. It was alternately sweet and sour; a flavor which varying reports credit to a mustard base combined with carrots, cabbage and onion. Whatever it is, it is unique and delicious especially when combined with some of Rutt’s old school spicy mustard.

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Sliders at White Manna

358 River Street at Passaic St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 – (201) 342-0914 – Mon.-Sat. 8:30AM – 9PM, Sun. 10AM – 6PM

Other than a miserable experience at White Castle one winter night, my slider experience prior to White Manna was non existent. Now I’m wondering if any slider will ever top the hand held globs of deliciousness I found in Hackensack. So delicious were they, for the first time in my life, I didn’t put ketchup on my burger.

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It’s a simple set up at this classic diner: A U-shaped bar surrounds a single flat top grill where all the meatball-shaped patties are flattened and topped with a pile of thinly sliced onion. Once they’ve cooked and the onions have caramelized, they’re flipped and then topped with American cheese. Then they top those with the inverted bottom half of a mini potato bun followed by the bun’s top half. Burgers are removed from the grill with the nifty flip of the wrist and placed on a paper plate next to some dill pickle chips. Watch this movie and you’ll understand.

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A tiny single burger ($1.10, $1.30 with cheese) gets a single slice of American cheese while the two-meatball double burger ($1.80, $2.05 with cheese) gets two slices of American. You should get at least two doubles to do White Manna justice. Standard crinkle cut fries ($1.95, $2.95 with cheese) looked tasty but take away from much needed burger space. Make sure not to wear anything inside that you don’t want smelling like burgers; White Manna’s a small place, which is a good thing because it points the focus where it should be: creating the best sliders NYC Food Guy has ever had.

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Kris, the expert burger taster, reflects on slider perfection.

Malted Milkshakes at Bischoff’s

468 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666 – (201) 836-0333 – Mon. – Thurs. 9AM – 10PM, Fri. – Sat. 9AM – 11PM, Sun. 9:30AM – 10PM

There’s no better way to end a meal than with something sweet. But today we chose bittersweet, malted milkshakes at the scene of a sadly fading American relic, the old school ice cream parlor. Fortunately, Bischoff’s recipe is time tested. We received a homemade sugar rush that has been satisfying Teaneck residents since 1934. I kept it simple with a classic Vanilla Malted ($4.75), fittingly served in the metal cup it was mixed in. This really hit the spot and it was a great value too, filling my plastic cup twice.

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Bischoff’s is the quintessential ice cream parlor, putting Baskin Robbins to shame with 31 homemade flavors of their own. The front of the shop is filled with a counter and stools, a big ice cream fridge, a display filled with handmade candies and chocolates for sale by the pound, plus toys and puppets for the kids. The back of the shop has tables with waitress service where every sandwich comes with a free cup of soup or scoop of ice cream.

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Photo Courtesy of http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/

If you feel like spoiling yourself, however, opt for the Battleship Sundae ($8.25), two flavors of ice cream topped with pineapple, fresh strawberries, sugar wafers, chopped nuts, chocolate chips and rich whipped cream. I didn’t try it myself but I’ll bring reinforcements next time to make sure the job gets done.

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Photos Above & Below Courtesy of http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/

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Conclusion

What else can you say about a day where 3 grown men went home full for under $45 total? How about “Mission Accomplished.” Stay tuned for the next triptych. If you know of any other delicious and affordable places to eat in New Jersey or New York, please let me know in the comments section. Thanks.

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18 Responses to “New Jersey Food Triptych: Rippers at Rutt’s Hut, Sliders at White Manna, Malteds at Bischoff’s”

  1. foodie Says:

    relish is great at rutts hutt, but sort of an amatuer move. you gotta get rippers with cheese and then a bowl of the all meat chilli and make your own chilli cheese dogs. onion rings are a must as are 5 or 6 miller drafts which i think go for about $1.90 in the standing room.

    other musts in jersey:

    jj’s-hot dog truck in newark. go for the belly buster-chilli, cheese, kraut, onion, ketchup, mustard or the hook up-chilli, cole slaw, hot sauce.

    jimmy buffs in west orange

    grease trucks at rutgers

    white house sub shop in ac

    solar de minho in bellville-rodizio

    steves sizzling steaks

    star tavern in west orange-pizza

    titilations in bloomfield

  2. Ulla Says:

    This blog is incredible! I want those hotdogs! I have been wondering where they were since I saw Anthony Bourdain eat them. Thank you:)
    I will have to stop on the way upstate!

  3. foozebox Says:

    Good list foodie. Also:

    Town Hall Deli – South Orange (birthplace of the sloppy joe)
    Fiore’s House of Quality – Hoboken (awesome muzz and roast beef w/gravy on thurs/sat)
    Ritz Diner – Livingston (Brisket on potato pancakes sandwich)
    Haru – South Orange (all you can eat, no limit, good quality sushi and apps for ridiculously cheap)

  4. Jack Says:

    Ah Fiores roast beef & fresh mutz, gettin hungry…

  5. briancur Says:

    FG – you are killing us! Stop this madness!! Damn those things look good. I am down here in DC salivating.

  6. kristen Says:

    omgz those burgers look so greasy and delish! totallyyy could’ve gone for those last night after the bar! i got soooooo drunk last night i had to take a sick day from work — i just woke up heheh…there was no WAY i was getting out of bed at 8 o clock this morning!!! i hope my boss doesnt read this site ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

    food guy, do you order the onions on your burger any specific way?

  7. kristen Says:

    and foodie — you certainly seem to know your food! do you have a blog of your own??

  8. foodie Says:

    kristen-

    your not the first person to ask me that. but i do not blog. i just enjoy the food and let other people write about it? where did you party last night? you should have a blog about your crazy murray hill nights!

  9. Phil Says:

    NYCFG – I don’t think I can read this site any longer man! I sit here at work and salivate all over myself looking at these pictures. It really isn’t even funny how good this looks!!!! Any recommendation as to how we could get out to these places (especially the sliders!!) with public transportation? Given most of us live in the city, I’m sure I’m not the only one without a car.

  10. davey Says:

    Hey bud…glad to see you made the Jersey tour….two of my favorite spots.

  11. bobby b Says:

    phil, you’re salivating, i’m getting hard looking at these photos!! this is DEFINITELY some serious food porn if i’ve ever seen it…nicely done nycfoodguy, nicely done…

    on another note, i’m obsessed with fried calamari — where can i find some cheap delicious calamari in the city??

  12. Jack Says:

    Calamari is good and cheap at Jeremy’s Ale House at the Seaport, and 32 oz. beers too!

  13. Bill Says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuude!!

    Hanging with George Motz at White Manna and Rutt’s? Insane! Love it and the drool-worthy video link of Manna’s!

  14. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    foodie,
    Thanks for the recommendations all around. I wish I had known about your move at Rutt’s before I went. Sounds awesome.

    Ulla,
    You’re a sweetheart. Those hot dogs aren’t as good as Crif Dog’s bacon wrapped dogs.

    foozebox,
    Another awesome list. I’ve heard about Fiore’s. I’m definitely going to have to make moves to get over there. That sandwich at Ritz diner sounds insane.

    Jack,
    What else is good at Fiore’s? Ever had the tuna?

    briancur,

    Dude I would go for Crif Dogs over Rutt’s. I forgot if you went to Crifs last trip to NYC?

    kristen,
    White Manna’s burgers are even better in person.
    When I order onions on burger I usually ask how they’re prepared. Regardless of the answer, I always ask for them well done.

    Phil,
    I was fortunate enough to have a friend with a car drive me to all these great Jersey places. If you’re serious about getting there I would be happy to look into the option of public transportation. I have a feeling it would require multiple train rides and or bus rides. In all honesty, I think making the move for White Manna would be worth it.

    davey,

    Hell yea man. It was well worth it. What are some of your other favorites?

    bobby b,

    Thanks for the kind words.
    I’m not a big calimari guy but some of the best (crispiest) I’ve had is at a place called Peep Thai in soho. It’s an Asian style calimari but it’s really good.

    Bill,
    Thanks for the kind words. Good food brings people together, what can I say, look at you what you do on roadfood. Keep up the great work over there.

  15. Howfresh Says:

    FG, what up? I think I might be the only person in the blogosphere that doesn’t like White Manna (though I read one dude’s unimpressed comments from Rachel Ray’s Burger Bash). I’ve had to return several times just to make sure each visit wasn’t some sort of abberation. They’re just boring to me. The meat is bland, I don’t care for the onions and the buns are too sweet. Sloppy too, but I don’t penalize for presentation. Otherwise they’re great. Am I the only one who feels this way???

  16. udse Says:

    You are not alone Howfresh.

    I have lived in Bergen County, NJ for almost 30 years.

    I just don’t get the appeal of White Manna. The place is uncomfortable to sit and eat. More importantly the burgers are kinda bland.

    Shrug

  17. The NYC Food Guy Says:

    Howfresh,
    I agree, the meat is bland but the cheese and onions and pillowy buns really sealed the deal for me.

    udse,
    You’re also correct, it’s small and out of the way but in the end, I was truly satisfied by these delectable, greasy little treats. where do you like to get sliders? wheres the best burger you’ve had recently?

  18. Anita Says:

    That’s interesting how they put a meatball shaped hunk of meat on the grill and then smash it into a patty. I noticed them doing that at the burger stand at Water Taxi Beach…probably the second best burger I’ve had in NYC after Big Nick’s. I will have to try that technique this summer!!!

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