Friday, July 18, 2014

French Fry Diary 599: Rutt's Hut, Clifton NJ

Rutt's Hut. I had seen this place dozens of times on Food Network shows, spotlighted as the place to get hot dogs, and not just hot dogs, but those fabled deep-fried hot dogs called 'rippers.' I had always dreamed of going there, but never thought it possible until recently when I found out that it actually was in New Jersey.

On a recent trip to see friends in North Jersey, it was early evening and we were kinda hungry, I noted that we were not that far from where I'd heard Rutt's Hut was. We loaded the address from their website into the GPS and we were off. We started driving through a wooded industrial park with hardly any lights, and the GPS startled us when it said we had reached our destination. Um, there was nothing there.

The Bride was sure we were lost, and that our TomTom was a DumDum (it wouldn't be the first time, remind me to tell you about the time in Baltimore it kept telling me to drive into the harbor). That's when I saw the silhouette of the building I recognized from all those Food Network appearances. There was no signage, and it vaguely looks like a biker bar, transformed from a small factory. I don't think we'll be trying to find it after dark again.

There were two doors. One led to a very small restaurant area - two tables and a counter, not counting the Attack from Mars pinball machine and Big Buck Hunter video game, and the other led to the taproom/bar. Neither of us are drinkers so we went to the restaurant.

We both ordered hot dogs (rippers of course), then saw the sign that said cash only. We're card people for the most part, so that cut us short and made us scramble suddenly. We had to be selective in what we ordered next. We shared a Pepsi, and ordered fries, that's all we could afford, but still that was a lot for $8.55.

We sacrificed the onion rings, as we couldn't afford them. I have also gotten strong recommendations for these rings as well as the dogs and the fries. The other people who were there had them on their plates. They looked a bit limp but were crispy-looking and thinly sliced. Ah well, next time we will bring cash.

When I ordered the fries the man behind the counter yelled to the back, "One Frenchie!" just as he had "Two rippers!" Yeah, I loved that. The service - just one guy at the counter, and at least one in the kitchen - was incredibly quick, efficient, and friendly. Our order was ready in minutes, and when I expressed disbelief, I was told if I ordered it again, I could come back and watch.

The rippers were true to their reputation, the absolute best - big dogs on soft buns, full of hot deep-fried goodness. The fries were frozen regular cuts, also full of hot, deep-fried deliciousness. They were not greasy, had a baked texture, lightly salted and peppered, and were the hottest fries I have had in recent memory.

The Bride thought they could have used salt, but what does she know? (kidding, kidding) She also loved her ripper, which she drowned in molten perfect orange cheese, and also used as a dip for her fries. For the price, this was a huge portion serving, and very filling. Good stuff here, we would definitely go back. Next time, we'll have cash, get more dogs, more fries, and try those famous rings. Serious thumbs up for Rutt's.


Heironymous said...

I am glad you finally made it there. I have not been to Rutt's in years. Not since the days when a group of us from "The Grill" (Rutgers-Camden) would head up the NJTP to see the Eagles and Giants play at the Meadowlands. Never had their fries or rings, but their ripper was the best.

Glenn Walker said...

It was indeed an awesome dog!