Chili Dogs in Newburgh

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Hi, Katherine Curry here, resuming my quest, begun this summer, for the best chili dogs in the lower Hudson Valley.

Lots more pictures after the jump.

This time I ventured north, to Newburgh, home of two “Texas hot” style spots, Pete’s and Tony’s Newburgh Lunch.  A third, Texas Lunch, has since moved to Walkill (there are more Texas-style joints in Kingston, I hear).

With me was Roadfood maven Michael Stern, an expert on all things hot dog-related.  Michael’s GPS took us on a thrill-inducing tour of Newburgh’s most downtrodden streets — some very dicey areas, so if you go, go in the daytime and know where you’re headed.

First stop, Pete’s, a simple hot dog spot with counter service, on a  side street not far from Downing Park, a lovely 35-acre park (in a sadly run-down,  unlovely town) that was the last project designed by landscape architects Olmstead and Vaux, the designers of Central Park.

Pete’s has been around since 1932.  Apparently Pete’s used to use local Temple Hill hot dogs, but Temple Hill is no more, so Pete’s dogs are now natural-casing Boar’s Head. Never having tasted a Temple Hill dog, I don’t know what we were missing, but the dogs we ate were pretty terrific: large and meaty with a great snap to them.

Above is a picture of the Texas hot weiner, topped with the beanless meat sauce that defines a Texas hot, along with chopped onions and mustard. The chili was milder than I like, but overall, Pete’s makes a very good chili dog.

Our second dog was topped with the regular chili, which is laced with small bits of bean that give the chili a rugged texture.  Pete’s provides a lot of lunch for a very small amount of money — our dogs were $1.57 each.  (And a double dog is $2.98, and the nearly-unimaginable triple is $3.86!)  There’s not much more to eat at Pete’s than hot dogs — you can order sodas and a bag of chips, and that’s about it.

Next stop: Tony’s Newburgh Lunch, on the town’s main thoroughfare, Broadway.

At high noon, Tony’s was packed with an assortment of older couples, day laborers, workmen, and daytrippers in cashmere sweaters.  Tony’s is a popular place with just about everybody, it seems.

In addition to Texas hots, Tony’s serves fries, onion rings, burgers, grilled cheese and, starting at 6:30 a.m., breakfast.  Most items on the menu come in under $2 — the priciest item is the hearty (and heart-attack-inducing) dog and cheese omelette for $3.80. Tony’s sauce is available for sale in 16 and 25 oz. jars, too.

The dogs are cooked in Tony’s front window. The sauce that’s spooned atop them has a mild heat that compliments almost anything on the menu,  but the wan little weiner we ordered in traditional Texas hot fashion, with mustard, sauce and onions, lacked snap and flavor.

Far tastier was the mysterious-sounding Tom Tom Melt, described as a grilled cheese sandwich with hamburger, Texas sauce, bacon and onions.  I hail from Pittsburgh, home of Primanti Brothers, where everything — meat, cole slaw, and french fries — is slapped between slabs of bread and called a sandwich.  So I felt right at home with a mash-up like the Tom Tom Melt.

The hamburger didn’t come as a patty — it was chopped up and mixed in with the cheese, which made for a gloppy, meaty, cheesy mess sandwiched between slices of buttery, crispy white bread.  This is the kind of sandwich that I would have waxed rhapsodic about in my youth, provided it was 1 a.m. and I was schnookered.  Yum.

If you go:

Pete’s, 293 S. William St., Newburgh. 845-561-0211.

Tony’s Newburgh Lunch, 348 Broadway, Newburgh.  845-562-9660.

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9 Comments

  1. The TX weiner reminds me of the dogs I used to get as a kid in Elizabeth, and Linden NJ. Would love one, maybe 3 right now.

  2. John Van Houten on

    Have been going to both for almost 50 yrs. 6 dogs at Pete’s, 5 Hamburgers at Newburgh Lunch. Newburgh Lunch used to be called “Texas Weiners” and was located further down Broadway. Both are great….

  3. My Mom worked at the origiinal Texas Weiners in the 50’s when it was located farther down Brodway near Liberty Street. We also lived close to Pete’s and back then we could get 6 hot dogs for about a dollar. My brother, sister and I always ate at one of them . We moved to California in the 60’s but manage to hit both places whenever we get back to visit. Greatness never changes

  4. A year later, and now I can say I’ve been to Pete’s. Both the chili and texas dogs were great!

  5. My dad first brought me to Pete’s for a few dogs in the late 60?s. I went on to eat lunch at Pete?s daily for 12 years, with most of the other kids that went to school in Newburgh. It was the best place to eat, and I too remember a box of dogs, (6 dogs) for only 5 dollars. Funny thing is that this article is about hot dog toppings, and Texas Weiners? Well in “the day”, when you went to Pete?s, there were NO toppings other than mustard & kraut? And, that would be called a dog with ?everything?. If you ordered other toppings, they knew you were from out of town, and they laughed at you… The topping are 6-10 yrs new?.
    Teh Hot dogs…while Boar?s head is a great product, unfourtuantly you will never, ever, ever, the experience a Temple hill hot dog. Hands down, it was the best dam hot dog in the land… What a loss. it was firm, snappy and with a touch of garlic!

    I?ve continued the tradition by bringing both my children to Pete?s and sometimes bring Pop along too, whenever we are in Newburgh– at 80, he’s always up for a trip to Pete’s!

    I?m confident that my children will bring their kids too?

    I highly recommend it—

    Joe

  6. I grwe up eating Texas weiners at the restaurant located next to the entrance to the Hotel Newburgh since my father worked in Sears.I know that the Greeks that owned it closed and they are now open out in Walkill.Tonys sauce tastes nothing like the original that was served in Newburgh during the 50’s.Soory.

  7. Missy Holland on

    As a born and bred Newburgh girl I am salivating! These two businesses scarred me for life. *lol* I was a vegetarian for three years and the only meat I missed and dreamed about was these creations. When I moved away one of the last things I did was to go to both establishments and get their freaking hot dogs. BUT the author was wrong about there being nothing else on the menu at Pete’s. His orange ices are almost as famous as the hot dogs. Damn, why did I forget to get an ice when I got those last hot dogs….?? *sniff*

    Wouldn’t ‘Eating Texas Weiners in Wallkill’ be a great title for a book?

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