Dog Talk with Johnny & Hanges in Fair Lawn, NJ

A hankering for a snappy dog led me to Johnny & Hanges in Fair Lawn, NJ, an iconic fast food restaurant that has its roots in Paterson and is known for dogs, burgers and roast beef sandwiches. I spoke with Adam Grosso, who owns the restaurant with his father Phil, about the art of crafting the perfect dog, hand melting cheese for burgers, the art of frying onions and how creamy cole slaw is created. Here’s the video.

Their famous chili sauce can be added to any order by asking for your item “all the way.” That recipe has been handed down from Johnny & Hanges’ original owners. It’s a mild sauce, not very thick, with enough bite to add a flavorful, spicy kick to your sandwich. I liked their rare roast beef which is made in house. Their dogs have a crispy exterior and toothsome bite, a nice pork and beefy flavor balance. Burgers are hefty and griddle fried. My preference goes to the dogs and roast beef. I particularly liked the creamy cole slaw, too.

Double cheese and dog
Double cheese and dog
close up of dog; fried first before griddle finished. nice bite thanks to the casing. soft potato roll encasing.
close up of dog; deep fried first before griddle finished. nice bite thanks to the casing. soft potato roll encasing.
onions are cut in shreds, seasoned with paprika and salt, then sauteed on the griddle. note the cheese draped over the burger - thanks to hand melting each slice of American in hot water before laying atop the burger.
onions are cut in shreds, seasoned with paprika and salt, then sauteed on the griddle. note the cheese draped over the burger – thanks to hand melting each slice of American in hot water before laying atop the burger.
vat of cabbage sliced on meat slicer and then hand chopped to mince. this goes into the fridge for a few hours before dressed with mayo, salt and pepper (no onion, Adam hates onion) and then back again to chill, which creates extra creaminess. make sure you get the cole slaw.
vat of cabbage sliced on meat slicer and then hand chopped to mince. this goes into the fridge for a few hours before dressed with mayo, salt and pepper (no onion, Adam hates onion) and then back again to chill, which creates extra creaminess. make sure you get the cole slaw.
finished slaw
finished slaw
hours above. Sunday special is home made meatballs.
hours above. Sunday special is home made meatballs.
Adam's a scratch golfer and likes to compete on the local circuit. Great golfers always sniff each other out. He's chatting with my companion Stuart, a top amateur player.
Adam’s a scratch golfer and likes to compete on the local circuit. Great golfers always sniff each other out. He’s chatting with my dining companion Stuart, a dog connoisseur and a top amateur player.

Johnny & Hanges

23-20 Maple Street
Fair Lawn, NJ
(201) 791-9060

www.johnnyandhanges.com

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