Jersey Dawg is a Ft. Lauderdale food truck focusing on serving food inspired from the (you guessed it) New Jersey area. That means that the menu focuses on three things: rippers, burgers, and fries. A ripper is basically a deep fried version of a hotdog, and Jersey Dawg has their own secret sausage that makes for a crisp casing and succulent interior when fried. The cooking process results in a blistered and some-may-say “ripped” sausage, which is where the menu item got its name. Placed on a Martin’s Roll, it can then be topped with house made chili, cheese, and relish. The truck also offers specialty rippers, with ingredients ranging from sautéed peppers and onions to gravy. No matter what “Dawg” you get, be prepared for one of the best hot dogs South Florida has to offer. Personally, I would keep it simple and go for the standard ripper with cheese and chili. The cheese is in sauce form, making for a messy, albeit delectable, experience. The neon yellow sauce hints that what you are eating can’t possibly be good for you, but that makes the experience better. I am a firm proponent of cheese sauce over sliced or shredded cheese on chili cheese dogs, so I definitely had a weak spot when it came to this ripper. The chili is slightly spicy and beanless, resulting in more of a sauce than an actual topping. The small pieces of beef add texture and flavor to the dog, and when the chili sauce is mixed with the cheese sauce, it makes for a heavy bomb of indulgence that you look forward to having again.
While most restaurants are serving sliders as mini burgers, Jersey Dawg actually offers an authentic interpretation of what a slider truly is. A slider is an upstate burger smaller in size cooked on top of steaming onions and smashed on a griddle. The bun is then placed on top of the burger to allow for steam to make it soft and pillow-like. It is then dressed with pickles, standard condiments of ketchup or mustard, and cheese if you so desire. The final product works more harmoniously than your standard burger, as it becomes more about tasting as a whole package than individual parts. The onions themselves become embedded in the beef and the bun soaks up the flavors of the steam and beef, becoming more than just a vessel to hold the innards of the burger. It tastes like what I would have imagined burgers to taste like before chefs started including gourmet ingredients in them.
I’ve never been to New Jersey, but if the food up there is as good as what Jersey Dawg is serving, I need to put this state at the top of my hopeful travel destinations list.
By food blogger, Santiago Cardona