NJ Dining: Hot Dog Heaven


Hot Dog Heaven
176 Kinderkamack Rd, Emerson, NJ

(201) 261-0073

Click for Hi-Res Photo Slideshow

Have you ever passed by a food establishment dozens of times, never having gone in to try it, and then finally trying it and coming to the realization you were a dumbass for not going in there earlier? That’s what I feel about Hot Dog Heaven in Emerson.

My mistake of course is an understandable one — I usually go next door to visit my friend Christine Nunn at Picnic Caterers, where I find myself succumbing to her culinary skill on many an occasion. However, even Christine has told me that the small hot dog joint next door is worth going to. Not to mention that the NJ-famous Hot Dog John has also told me to eat there because they use both Thumann’s deep frier hot dogs for “rippers” in addition to Sabrett for “dirty water” style dogs.

Main Dining Room

Rippers or Dirty Water Dogs? You decide. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more. 

The deep fryer area for making french fries, onion rings and Rippers.

Al Fresco seating is also available.

These NJ onion rings haven’t been featured on an award-winning cable TV series, but they are damned good just the same. These are of the batter-dipped style, with a crispy outside and nice soft cooked onion inside.

A deep-fried Thumann’s dog, “All The Way” with chili, mustard and raw onion.

All The Way dog closeup.

This customer has a tray of Dirty Water (boiled) Sabrett dogs prepared in various ways.

Hot Dog Heaven carries the Clyde’s brand of Italian Ices, from Garfield NJ. This is a small cup of chocolate Italian Ice.

Hamburgers at hot dog places are usually an afterthought, but this is a very notable exception. These are hand formed Black Angus burger patties, cooked to order, from fresh meat. This one was ordered with melted American cheese and cooked onions. Outstanding.

Burger closeup. This burger is probably the perfect fast food burger, with just the exact amount of meat to bread ratio, with a perfect squishy bun and perfectly cooked onions. About the only thing they could have done to improve it was to cook it medium rare as opposed to medium, which I’ll be sure to ask for next time.

I couldn’t help but fixate on this burger.

7 Responses to NJ Dining: Hot Dog Heaven

  1. John Fox says:

    Great pictures, Jason. I’ll have to make my way back to Hot Dog Heaven soon. It was voted one of the top 3 deep fried dogs by the Munchmobile S.W.A.T. Team last summer along with Rutt’s Hut and Amazing Hot Dog. Amazing uses an all beef dog while Rutt’s and Hot Dog Heaven use the Thumanns deep fryer. The dog at Hot Dog Heaven is bigger than Rutt’s. Six to a lb rather than 8. What makes the dogs at these places exceptional compared to others that use the same dog is that they are left in the oil longer. I would suggest that if you visit other places in North Jersey that use the Thumanns deep fryer (and there are many) that you request it “well” or well done. Unless, of course, you prefer it just lightly fried. Hot Dog Heaven also has a tasty, tomatoey chili.

  2. […] at several well-known New Jersey hot dog restaurants (such as Hiram’s , Rutt’s Hut and Hot Dog Heaven) and subjectively scored very high (8 or 9 among our judges) when grill cooked as well as deep […]

  3. chris g says:

    I miss callahan’s… Can’t wait to give hot dog heaven and amazing a shot though.. Nice work man

  4. cathy says:

    sorry guys – place has closed due to all the BS going on in Emerson – eminent domain stuff

  5. hotdog says:

    cathy, too bad by judging the photos we can see that it was a nice place to visit with the family. By the way the burguer from the last 3 photos looks delicious!

  6. Scot says:

    Awesome pics mouthwatering. Great article. Now I have to visit Hot Dog Heaven.

  7. Scot says:

    Opps. Did not read the comments. Looks like this place is closed. Tooooooo Bad.

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