Long before the advent of trucks selling gourmet desserts, mini-cupcakes, waffles and even schnitzel, the D’Angelo family was selling life-affirming hot dogs in two very different regional styles alongside St. John’s Cemetery on Woodhaven Boulevard in Queens. The styles are miles apart in taste profile, but the two different trucks selling them are separated by only several hundred yards. Both were owned by the D’Angelo family, who have been doing this for about 40 years, but the Dominick’s truck was recently sold to a family friend.
Why St. Johns Cemetery? Angel Bonilla, one of the family members who runs the D’Angelos cart, laughed and said, “My uncle started it here many years ago, for no particular reason. He thought it was a good location. It seems to have worked out well for us though.” They’re hoping for similar fortune with their new Huntington location (918 E. Jericho Turnpike), which opened about a year ago.
The perfect meal from Dominick’s signature blue truck? Hot dog with kraut, mustard and cream soda.
The first truck, “Dominick’s Famous Hot Dogs” sells the quintessential New York/Coney Island foot-long hot dog. The natural casing gives a snap to a Sabrett dog, buried under sauerkraut and/or homemade onions, the ends proudly protruding from both sides of a traditional bun. Couple it with a cream soda and you will never again settle for a “dirty-water dog” from a stand-alone cart.
Up the road, just several “foot-longs” away, is the second truck, which goes under the family name “D’Angelos,” (map, “B”). At first glance it appears like the sausage carts at every corner of the Feast of San Gennaro, the tangible smell of fried peppers and onions wafting over the adjacent cemetery (note to wife: bury me here). They offer the familiar Italian sausage heroes (top, $7.00) in bread from Rosamarie Italian Bakery in Ozone Park, Queens, where Angel said they’ve been getting it since the beginning, “it’s made special for us, I pick it up fresh for us every morning.” The heroes are great —all that you’d expect and hope for. However, the real move here is the skinless New Jersey style Italian Hot Dog buried under onions and peppers.