Here it is! It's the famous "Ripper." The "Ripper" is a deep fried hot dog that is fried until it literally rips open. This is the specialty of Rutt's Hut, a hot dog stand and establishment that has been serving up the "Ripper" since 1929. They've served a lot of hot dogs over those 84 years. Rutt's Hut is located in Clifton, New Jersey, my hometown.
Now, believe me, you don't have to tell me that these are probably not great for my arteries and my heart. But, hey, there are just some things in life you have to make the supreme sacrifice for and a "Ripper" is one of them. They also have their own concoction of mustard and relish that perfectly complements this unique way of serving up a hot dog. Rutt's Hut "Rippers" have been written up by many newspaper reviewers and it was ranked in the top ten hot dogs from all the hot dogs in the U.S. on a Public Television program about hot dogs.
Part of the appeal of Rutt's Hut is the ambiance and the people you'll run across there. You'll find the locals. You'll find the travelers who come there out of curiosity because they heard about the place on TV or in some write up. You'll find the hot dog connoisseur. It's just one of those places you must try at least once. But, most people will put it on their list of must return places.
I was there on Tuesday evening, September 24, 2013 later in the day after I was interviewed on the radio station I started 46 years ago, WMSC. I had connected a few years ago on one of the many Internet social networking sites with a woman I went to grade school, jr. high school and graduated from high school with 50 years ago this year. We hadn't seen each other in all those years. But, we made a date when I got to Clifton one day that we'd meet at Rutt's Hut. And that's exactly what we did. A very special way to renew an old acquaintance and enjoy a very special "delicacy" - a Rutt's Hut "Ripper." (I cheated though, I had two).