What's the story Jerry ?
AUSTIN'S FRANKS, LLC.
AUSTIN'S FRANKS, LLC. Pays homage to the ubiquitous Jersey Frank that various purveyors of Deep Fried
Goodness have been hawking for years, on the West side of the G.W. Bridge. The Hot Dog joints I
frequented as a youth were Calla of Fort Lee, Clixies of Wyckoff, and Rutt's Hut of Clifton. Rutt's
being the only one to survive the passage of time in its original location. This fact lead me to open
Born in Long Island, N.Y. in 1963. I am, technically speaking a New Yorker. My parents could not co-exist
so they split in 1965. Mom moved to Fort Lee, N.J. to start a new life and took me with her. I like to think
of myself as having a sort of Dual Citizenship, N.Y & N.J.. My Dad remained in the city and was granted the standard court arrangement of having me with him every other weekend. I would take the Grey Line bus into the city to meet my dad. Some weekends we would stay at my fathers frequently changing address in Manhattan and others we would take the L.I.R.R. (Long Island Rail Road) to its last stop in Fare Rockaway, Long Beach to stay with his brothers and their families. It was exciting running through Grand Central Station to catch the train, often seconds before it departed the station.
This arrangement exposed me at an early age to Mass transit and the Bipolar worlds that existed between my parents that I was passed between. Once in Long Beach my father's brothers and their families would come and pick us up at the train station to bring us to their homes. I am a Foody and this is where it all began. On the way to my dad's brother's homes we would make a pilgrimage to Nathan's and the T.S.S. (Time Square Store). The Nathan's in Fare Rockaway was a cavernous metal shed type structure with huge garage doors all across the front entrance so as to accommodate the throngs of hungry people. Long before Chucky Cheese existed this Nathans entertained the children with puppet shows. I fell in love with their Jumbo Crinkle Cut Fries.
Returning to Fort Lee at the end of a weekend, my dad would always stop at Calla and get us a Ripper and a Yoo-Hoo, before dropping me off. OMG, they were the greatest thing I had ever eaten. I would be addicted for life. This was convenient because the apartment building my mom moved into (the Horizon House, an aside, in the photo of the Demolition of Calla you can actually see my old bedroom window) was directly across the street from Calla. Mind you, my mom would never bring me there.
In 1986 I moved to Jupiter, a quiet little beach town in the North End of Palm Beach County. Yearly, I would make a pilgrimage back to the city to get my fill of old friends and my fix of missed foods. Much to my dismay, in 2006, when I drove to Calla, it was GONE!!! TD Bank must have made "Artie", "An offer he couldn't refuse". I would guess a lot of money, they had been at the same prime corner location for more than fifty years. In a panic I signed up for a Facebook account, in a vein effort to contact Leonard "Artie" Castrianni,(DISCLAIMER: I do not know ANY of these people. I have never even spoken to any of them.) so as to get his blessing for my new endeavor and some information. If I could no longer get my fix in N.J., I would make my own. Introducing this gastronomical delight to the South and nostalgically re-connecting with anyone from up North who also loves this food, like me.
I am the Red Headed Step Child of ( DISCLAIMER - This is just FUN. I am NOT Related to, nor do I have ANY Business interest in with ANY of these Restaurants. ) Calla, Rutt's Hut, Clixies. (Allan was my real step father). Just like my life. I have never fit in any place. Please stop and get your fix, when next in Norwood, Fort Lee or Clifton N.J., stop by and get a RIPPER. Enjoy. a "I am the WICKED son."
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