Update: As reported on roadfood.com by John the Hot Dog Guy, J's Beef has closed in Linden. The owner is considering a move to Seaside on the boardwalk with a slightly different menu.
J's Beef opened on St. Georges Ave in Linden, New Jersey, last year, and I've been champing at the bit since to get down there. I finally made it last week, and I was very pleased.
Their tagline is "Chicago Style Italian Beef and Sausage", and boy are they not kidding. I'm no expert on Chicago beef sandwiches, but I've had a few. From what I can tell, J's is doing Chicago beef justice.
The giardiniera is a bit different than what I'm used to, but it was nice and spicy, and really worked well with the beef (which was ordered "wet", meaning the whole sandwich is dunked into the jus).
The sandwich is enormous. Too big I'd argue. I overheard the owner telling another customer that they are going to start offering smaller sizes. I'm looking forward to that.
J's is also using Vienna Beef hot dogs, straight from Chicago, for their Chicago-style hot dogs. Firstly, they have a lot of guts bringing a Chicago-style hot dog to North Jersey, which I would say is the hot dog capital of the world. I have to admire that move. Secondly, it's really good.
J's hot dog really impressed me, even after woofing down at 2 lbs of beef on a wet roll. It's got all the trimmings, including that wacky neon green relish, onions, yellow mustard, tomato wedges, sport peppers, and seasoned salt. The tomatoes were nicely trimmed of the wet nasty stuff in the middle, leaving just the meaty flesh. That's a nice touch.
If I had 3 stomachs I would have gotten into the real smoked BBQ , or pork chop sandwich, or the Po Boys that they offer. J's menu does seem to be a bit schizophrenic, but they've refined it since opening, removing items that weren't selling. I'm hoping to motor through their whole menu.
J's Beef : 902 W. St. Georges Ave : Linden, NJ : 908.587.0105