Monday, April 27, 2015

North Jerseyans lining up for crappy hot dogs is A-1 news

More photos of the aftermath of a three-alarm fire that gutted a building at 76 Main St. in Hackensack on Saturday, prompting officials to order its demolition, above and below. Today, The Record corrects the number of apartments on the upper floors, reporting that 34 people in 12 families lived in the same number of apartments (L-3).


Hundreds of people flocked to tiny Norwood and waited on a long line for a dose of nostalgia and indigestion on Sunday at the re-opening of a Callahan's hot dog restaurant.

Why is this on the front page of The Record today?

Staff Writer Minjae Park describes the deep-fried hot dogs as a "greasy bite," but otherwise doesn't discuss whether they are all beef or contain harmful antibiotics, growth hormones or preservatives (A-1).

Owner Dan DiMiglio, whose grandfather, Leonard Castrianni, launched Callahan's at a Fort Lee gas pump in 1950, says "the restaurant is offering an experience, not just food."

He doesn't describe the "experience," but it likely includes heartburn from all those fried hot dogs with chili and cheese or spicy onions and fried potatoes.

From all the publicity DiMiglio has received in The Record since he launched a Callahan's food truck, you'd think Food Editor Esther Davidowitz has a crush on him.

Or maybe he just signed a contract with the Woodland Park daily's advertising department.

Typo, error

On the continuation page, a historical photo of the Fort Lee Callahan's as it looked in the 1950s has a caption with an embarrassing typo, calling the place a "North Jersey hot dot institution (A-6).

The second photo on that page notes some diners in Norwood waited outside nearly two hours "to join the crowded dining room inside Callahan's on Sunday [italics added]."

Dining rooms are almost always "inside" restaurants, but the clueless editor probably meant to write diners "joined the crowd" inside Callahan's.

The Callahan's ad disguised as a news story appears on the same day that Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first national fast-food chain to stop serving food with genetically modified ingredients.

See: Chipotle is now GMO-free

Christie P.R.

Also on Page 1 today, Columnist Herb Jackson joins colleagues at The Record in trying to boost Governor Christie's sagging chances at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 (A-1).

New Jersey's unemployment rate is the seventh highest in the nation, reports Jackson and a news story on the Business page today (A-8).

Ignoring speeders

In a letter to the editor today, Gerald G. Van Ess of West Milford describes the "crazies" you find driving on Route 23 north during the afternoon rush hour, "speeding, tailgating, cutting off other drivers -- just plain wild and reckless driving" (A-9).

But you find the same type of drivers on the turnpike, parkway and many other New Jersey highways -- a problem Road Warrior John Cichowski has ignored for more than a decade.

It's apparent to everyone except the confused, house-bound columnist that enforcement has declined dramatically.


  1. Ok, I admit it I like a hot dog or two on occasion while eating healthier fare for the most part. But what's up with The Record's obsession and coverage of this particular hot dog joint? I'm sorry, but it does not deserve A-1 treatment, especially with the amount of local hard news that is not covered.

    1. Thank you. Yes. I think this is the third major article about Callahan's truck and restaurant that The Record has published in less than a year, more publicity than any other restaurant or food business I can think of.

      Also, the placement of the piece is just ridiculous. Talk about slow news days.


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