Cultural Icon or late night dive..

That is the question.  Maybe the title should have been “You are here for the relish”. Either way, this is not the definitive blog about Rutt’s Hut.  Far more information can be found searching on the web. Here is a link to the Wiki page for Rutt’s Hut. This blog will walk you through a Friday night visit and the mighty “Ripper”.   The hot dogs that they sell are called “Rippers” since the skin rips during the cooking (deep-frying) process.  The hot dogs come either plain or with cheese. That is it. They have containers of their special relish and brown mustard on the counter so you can top your Ripper whichever way you want.

We walked in this past Friday night on our way home from doing yoga in Time Square. That topic will get its own blog entry.   We (DW and I) pulled into the dimly lit parking lot, not exactly sure if the business was open. The attached bar had lights on and the entrance to the hot dog section also seemed to have lights.  In the parking  lot there were a few couples smoking and auditioning for a part in a rendezvous later in the evening. I’m sure you get the picture.

We walked into the brightly lit hot dog stand and were greeted by the counter man. There were counters to lean on and eat.  No chairs or tables. There were only two other customers when we walked in. “What will you have tonight?” was the counter man’s question. I said one dog with chili and cheese. He looked at me and said “We don’t put chili on the hot dogs. I can sell you some on the side and you can add it to your hot dog.” Hmm, I said to myself. Then he continued, “You are here for the relish” and he pointed to the metal containers sunk in the counter. I opened one of the containers to see the relish.  Ok, then give me one with just cheese.

The counter man asked my DW “And for you?”  She replied one dog with sauerkraut.  He got that same look on his face and said “We don’t put sauerkraut on our hot dogs, I can sell you some on the side. You can get sauerkraut anywhere, you come here for the relish”.  I looked at my DW, she said ok, then one plain? We got our two dogs and a bottle of water. The counter man asked “First time here?” I told him that the last time I was there I was probably 19 or 20 years old. And I did not really remember the visit. He said “Drunk that night, were you?” I said, just a little bit, bet you have seen that before and we both had a good laugh.

We ate our dogs and watch more experienced customers come in and order their dogs correctly. I went back for a second dog, this time plain. I wanted to taste the relish without the cheese sauce. We took three dogs home for the boys and a coffee cup of relish to go with.

And yes, you do go there for the relish.

Here are a few pictures I grabbed off the web. I was wrapped up in ordering and such and missed taking pictures.  Enjoy!