September 7, 2015 – This journey into the past is our tastiest yet. Our guest is Dan DeMiglio, heir to a legendary Callahan’s hot dog shop, a landmark in Fort Lee, New Jersey, just across the George Washington Bridge. Our goal is to do more than books here on the program, to remind people that we’re all the author of our own chapter in the great human story, so Callahan’s — which closed in 2006 after fifty years serving the “so big, so good” best –seemed like a natural.
In 1950, Leonard “Artie” Castrianni didn’t know it, but he was writing history — not with ink, but with ketchup and mustard. The story began when he opened a road-side food stand and gas station on the Palisades cliffs. From it, he served deep-fried hot dogs, hand-cut fries, Birch Beer and more to hungry families — first from the nearby Palisades Amusement Park, and later to anyone who wanted a taste of the past.
Callahan’s was an institution in Fort Lee, and from age 7, Daniel DeMiglio — Artie Castrianni’s grandson — had a single goal in life: To carry on the family legacy. Even when his dad and uncle sold the old place in 2006, Daniel — then just out of college — refused to let the delicious dog dream die. How could he? “Callahan Dan” had relish in his blood.
You can follow the reborn Callahan’s @EatCallahans on Twitter. You can also like them at Facebook.com/CallahansHotDogs, and find out when their food truck (“The Yellow Beast”) will be in your neighborhood. It travels all around the New York/New Jersey area and like many of our locals entering their 60s, the truck has set its sights on Florida for the winter. You can also visit CallahansHotDogs.com from more on this historic family business.