The needler in the haystack.

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Belated) Happy Birthday to a Texas Weiner aficionado!

Plainfield's Texas Weiner I has been servin' 'em up since 1924.

A belated 'Happy Birthday' to a young-at-heart old Plainfield friend, an aficionado of the local version of the Texas Weiner.

Looking out the window, I'm afraid the picture below is the only one you'll get to enjoy this snowy day!

Though old-timers recall Schickhaus wieners (the actually correct spelling of America's favorite sausage) were used, at least one observer believes Grote & Weigel is the brand of griddle franks in use today.

Though the Texas Weiner I on Watchung Avenue has been in business -- at the same location -- since 1924 (see my post from 2008 here), the Library of Congress credits the Texas dog as having been created in Paterson, NJ (see here).

But then, what does the Library of Congress know?


Here are some comments recalling Plainfield's Texas Weiners from a post on the food blog Chowhound --

I've been gone from Jersey, since '76, but still have fond memories of the Texas Weiners in Plainfield, NJ.

In fact, I was just discussing them on Monday, with my uncle (83), and wondered if anyone knows where I can obtain some of the Schickhaus franks that they use (or at least used to use)? I've tried searching the web, but have come up empty.


  1. re: C. Jack Coleman II

    Try search engine google. type in Schickhaus.I tried this and found that Delicous Orchards in Colts Neck sells them.

  2. re: C. Jack Coleman II

    I just found this site that gives you the name of local dealers


  3. re: C. Jack Coleman II

    The one on Watchung Ave. is the best. I usually go there once a week. My mom still lives in Plainfield. When I go to visit I always have a couple of Death Dogs.

    1. re: Phil Rys

      I see that this review of Texas Wieners in Plainfield is many years old....but I grew up there and remember them at 25 cents for "the works"...Whenever back in town I get 8 w/the works....and eat 2 while driving back to LI and micro the rest when home....I have a recipe for a close chili sauce which is close...but the Schichouse dog cannot be duplicated...Johnny b

  4. re: C. Jack Coleman II

    Your right, the one on Watchung Avenue is the best.

    Since I moved to West Palm Beach in 74, I've tryed to find the Shickhause Natural Casing Franks. They are not sold in Florida. If anyone knows of a meat supply house in Jersey that will ship to Florida please let me know. at

    I would also like to find out how to make the Texas Weiner sause they use at the Watchung Avenue or Rt.22 Texas Weiner locations.

    Thanks in advance
    Al Sluzenski

Note these comments on a single post span eight years, a testimony to the power of the Deadly Dog!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Bill Garrett said...

Saturdays we would go to the strand and see two movies with cartoons for 35 cents, then after went straight to the Texas Weiner. Three hot dogs loaded...."up", as Mike the Greek called them (his picture still graces the wall there). That came to .85 cents with a soda, and if you walked home, it left enough change for three big candy bars at Lazaar's. We called the hot dogs "roaches" or "death dogs", and if you ate more than three, you might have bad dreams, but we still eat them and love them. If you grew up in Plainfield, eventually you ate at the trough at 100 Watchung Ave. If you haven't, then you are missing out on one of life's pleasures.

Colleen Gibney said...

I love that place! Darn, now I want a hot dog, and we haven't been plowed out yet...

Kathleen said...

Lived in N Plainfield till '57, age 13. We spent our summers at Pt. Pleasant and used to get Schickhaus hot dogs on the boardwalk at Jenkensons. Wish I had known about them being available right in Plainfield. Still think they were the best. In searching for them on the web, found a couple of hot dog rating sights. Can't believe mediochre rating. Nathans generally one of the top rated. I disagree, to me Nathans are the mediochre ones.

Lived on Willow Ave, went to St Joseph school. Grandparents lived on Myrtle across from Memorial Park. Grandpa Fred Martin had real estate and ins office on North Ave. across from train station.

Dan said...

Thank you Kathleen! Do you still live in the area? Am curious how you found this story. All best, Dan

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd see the day when we all would drool over Texas Wieners from Watchung Ave, Plainfield, NJ! How funny! I am just as bad as y'all though. We moved to western Jersey then to PA. I still have friends in Plainfield, so whenever we would ride into the city to see them, I'd stop and get at least one TW to eat on the way home. Challenge? Not to make a mess in the car? I can't find Shickhaus dogs any place here, either. Florida's backwards, too! lol

bill bartholomew said...

i lived in plainfield from 1943 till 1965. texas weiners were 10 cents and a nickel for a soda in the late 40s and into the 50s. i live in the south now and my wife makes a pretty good texas hot weiner, but not the same as i got in plainfield. wish i had a couple now lol.

Sanford Rubin said...

The Shickhaus griddle franks are available at most Shop-Rite supermarkets in the refrigerated cases in or near the deli section. Was born and raised in Plainfield in 1943, lived there or in the area until '88 when I moved to Bethlehem, PA. Still go back and get the "death dogs" on a routine basis even though gas was close to $4 a gallon. I believe they are addictive!!! If you haven't tried them you just don't know what you are missing. Just order a couple of "Texas" and enjoy!!!

Michael Chrysanthopoulos said...

My fathers uncle "Uncle George" Chrysanthopoulos which was shortened to Christman opened the Texas weiner in 1924. After selling the family sheep herd in Greece he bought a ticket and came to the U.S. He was 18 years old and the year was 1916. He ended up in Philly, worked and saved enough to open up the Texas Weiner in Plainfield. He then talked grandfather into coming to America ...which he did in 1950. My father worked there in the late 50's and 60's. Today I am taking this Hot Dog to the next level and showcasing the original version at my new fast food concept called Route 66 grill. Store Number 1 opening in Long branch NJ Sept 2012.

Glen said...

Does anyone remember Big Mike.....He was the one that would serve my Dad ans I back in the early 1960s?

Glen said...

Does anyone remember Big Mike.....He was the one that would serve my Dad ans I back in the early 1960s?