New Jersey Food Triptych: Rippers at Rutt’s Hut, Sliders at White Manna, Malteds at Bischoff’s

Date November 14, 2008

Fire up the GPS, fill the gas tank and bring your appetite because it’s time for a New Jersey Food Tour. Yes our neighbor to the south deserves some love for their great grub as well and today we’re going to attack it triptych style. In other words, a three part tour led by the esteemed George Motz.

It starts with deep fried hot dogs covered in secret recipe relish at Rutt’s Hut in Clifton…


Part two takes us to White Manna of Hackensack, where the heavenly sliders are covered in globs of melted American cheese and thinly sliced fried onion…


The final leg of our trip is malted milkshakes at Bischoff’s, where homemade ice cream and candy have been served up to the people of Teaneck since 1934…


If you’re down on Jersey, it’s time to open your mind and your mouth, because you’re going to be eating a lot more than your words…

Rippers at Rutt’s Hutt

417 River Road Clifton, NJ 07014 – (973) 779-8615 – Sun. – Thur. 8AM – 11PM, Fri. – Sat 8AM – 1AM

For 80 years Rutt’s Hutt has been dishing out deep fried dogs, or Rippers ($1.85 +tax), aptly named for the resulting “ripped” appearance of the hot dog’s skin. If you really hate your heart, you can get a “Creamator”, or a deep fried dog that’s left to sit in the oil until it’s crisp and burnt on the outside. Rutt’s Hut houses a pub and a restaurant in addition to the no nonsense, standing room only take out area. Family of the current owner also recommends the chili (never served on the dogs) and their onion rings ($2.50 +tax), both of which I’ll have to try next trip.



Onion Ring Photo Courtesy of Bruce Bilmes and Sue Boyle at

What the dogs lacked in flavor, the secret recipe relish made up for. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted on top of a hot dog, and this from a man who swears by Crif Dogs. It was alternately sweet and sour; a flavor which varying reports credit to a mustard base combined with carrots, cabbage and onion. Whatever it is, it is unique and delicious especially when combined with some of Rutt’s old school spicy mustard.



Sliders at White Manna

358 River Street at Passaic St. Hackensack, NJ 07601 – (201) 342-0914 – Mon.-Sat. 8:30AM – 9PM, Sun. 10AM – 6PM

Other than a miserable experience at White Castle one winter night, my slider experience prior to White Manna was non existent. Now I’m wondering if any slider will ever top the hand held globs of deliciousness I found in Hackensack. So delicious were they, for the first time in my life, I didn’t put ketchup on my burger.



It’s a simple set up at this classic diner: A U-shaped bar surrounds a single flat top grill where all the meatball-shaped patties are flattened and topped with a pile of thinly sliced onion. Once they’ve cooked and the onions have caramelized, they’re flipped and then topped with American cheese. Then they top those with the inverted bottom half of a mini potato bun followed by the bun’s top half. Burgers are removed from the grill with the nifty flip of the wrist and placed on a paper plate next to some dill pickle chips. Watch this movie and you’ll understand.


A tiny single burger ($1.10, $1.30 with cheese) gets a single slice of American cheese while the two-meatball double burger ($1.80, $2.05 with cheese) gets two slices of American. You should get at least two doubles to do White Manna justice. Standard crinkle cut fries ($1.95, $2.95 with cheese) looked tasty but take away from much needed burger space. Make sure not to wear anything inside that you don’t want smelling like burgers; White Manna’s a small place, which is a good thing because it points the focus where it should be: creating the best sliders NYC Food Guy has ever had.


Kris, the expert burger taster, reflects on slider perfection.

Malted Milkshakes at Bischoff’s

468 Cedar Lane Teaneck, NJ 07666 – (201) 836-0333 – Mon. – Thurs. 9AM – 10PM, Fri. – Sat. 9AM – 11PM, Sun. 9:30AM – 10PM

There’s no better way to end a meal than with something sweet. But today we chose bittersweet, malted milkshakes at the scene of a sadly fading American relic, the old school ice cream parlor. Fortunately, Bischoff’s recipe is time tested. We received a homemade sugar rush that has been satisfying Teaneck residents since 1934. I kept it simple with a classic Vanilla Malted ($4.75), fittingly served in the metal cup it was mixed in. This really hit the spot and it was a great value too, filling my plastic cup twice.


Bischoff’s is the quintessential ice cream parlor, putting Baskin Robbins to shame with 31 homemade flavors of their own. The front of the shop is filled with a counter and stools, a big ice cream fridge, a display filled with handmade candies and chocolates for sale by the pound, plus toys and puppets for the kids. The back of the shop has tables with waitress service where every sandwich comes with a free cup of soup or scoop of ice cream.


Photo Courtesy of

If you feel like spoiling yourself, however, opt for the Battleship Sundae ($8.25), two flavors of ice cream topped with pineapple, fresh strawberries, sugar wafers, chopped nuts, chocolate chips and rich whipped cream. I didn’t try it myself but I’ll bring reinforcements next time to make sure the job gets done.


Photos Above & Below Courtesy of



What else can you say about a day where 3 grown men went home full for under $45 total? How about “Mission Accomplished.” Stay tuned for the next triptych. If you know of any other delicious and affordable places to eat in New Jersey or New York, please let me know in the comments section. Thanks.