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Rutt’s Hut (Clifton, NJ)

Despite its German origins, there are few food items as iconic to American food as the hot dog, and like most any American specialty, it has more than a few regional variations. In most any locale, anywhere in America, you’re never far from a restaurant that, even if not specializing in hot dogs, at least has them on it’s menu. But there are a handful of iconic hot dot restaurants sprinkled across the US that not only focus on hot dogs, but raise the art form to an iconic level with unique selection of sausages, toppings, and presentation. Many will argue about the specific places, but the New York Times does a pretty good job covering the classics in their 2023 Field Guide to the Great Hot Dogs of America. My travels often involve my traveling between NH and NJ, and my travels regularly take me by one of these great icons that’s also one of my personal favorites of the iconic hot dog joints: Rutt’s Hut in Clifton, NJ.

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Garden State Diner (Newark Liberty Intl Airport, NJ)

One of the unfortunate facts of life is that, in general, air travel isn’t as convenient as it used to be. In these days of higher fuel costs and lower profits, most airlines have trimmed back their food service, mostly replacing it with expensive “buy-on-board” meals. We’ve got the silly TSA liquid ban as well, which also make it harder to bring stuff with you. Which makes it increasingly likely these days that on longer plane trips, you’ll be getting some of your sustenance from various food vendors at the airport. Unfortunately, in most cases, airport food sucks. While there are a few notable exceptions, the general airport fare is either poorly done versions of your basic fast food fare, ultra-expensive, or both. However, there are a few places that seem to fill the airport food niche decently. Recently, on a trip to Miami we had a nice long layover at Newark’s Concourse C, and we spied Garden State Diner and decided to give it a try.

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