taste test Karl Ehmer hot dogs in their recent survey on the tastiest all-beef hot dogs. Despite assembling hot dogs from 10 different manufacturers, Karl Ehmer did not even make it into the ball park.
Not surprising, given that Karl Ehmer doesn't advertise, but certainly disappointing, The disappointment of this omission is further compounded by the fact that all three of the assembled judges are native New Yorkers. And one of them, the reporter who ties the story together, Julia Moskin, describers herself on her Twitter profile as a "Lifelong New Yorker. Fast Walker. Slow Eater."
I don't know what part of NYC Ms. Moskin hails from. Nor do I know where Sam Sifton and Melissa Clark will tell you what part of the city they're from. But my guess is that none of them grew up near a Karl Ehmer in Queens.
Once upon a time Karl Ehmer did advertise. But that was so long ago I think we only had a black and white TV and people were listening to Jerry from JGE (Jamaica Gas and Electric) telling anyone with a union card to show it at the door, and presto, you'd be in line to come in for discounted major appliances. (On-time delivery was questionable, though.)
The Karl Ehmer store that supplied our backyard franks in Flushing could be found on the south side of Roosevelt Avenue, just west of Union Street. Even after we moved to Wantagh (Nassau County) 25 years ago, we were still going into Flushing for those frankfurters.
Eventually, that store closed, and the remaining Queens store on Horace Harding Boulevard turned out to be not worth going to. We now get the Karl Ehmer franks at a store in Seaford, one town east of Wantagh, in what is probably the only Karl Ehmer store left in Nassau county.
I like to think that if ever I were to move so far away that the franks couldn't be picked up in person, I'd be able to afford having them shipped to wherever I lived. Luckily, I haven't had to do this yet.
The franks are long, weiners, I think is their official size. Since I eat three in one sitting, my wife buys them in multiples of three, generally 15-18. We've had a hot dog schism in the family, and I'm now the only family member who enjoys them and insists on eating no other brand. My wife likes Hebrew National, which I see were rated one of the two favorites by the staff at the NYT. Everyone has an opinion.
One of our now constant guests at the July 4th cookout became a convert to the Karl Ehmer franks several years ago. They are a picky Polish sausage eater, so they know their stuff. They remarked on the "snap" to biting through the skin. There is no hot dog "burp" that follows you around all day.
In fact, this year the cookout is scheduled for Sunday July 2nd, 4:00 o'clock, if any of the NYT judges would like to come out and sample some Karl Ehmers. You're invited. Nothing to bring. Eat and run if you like. Directions available if anyone is interested.
My wife's hamburgers are good as well.