Hot Dogs at Night – A NY Weenies original. (Sung to the tune of Downtown by Petula Clark)
When you’re alone and life is making you lonely
You can always eat… hot dogs
It’s 3 AM, you are tipsy and hungry
Seems to help, I know… hot dogs
Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the sausages look pretty
Gray’s doesn’t close?
Nothing else is open there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
So eat hot dogs
Things will be great with some hot dogs
Go with a friend for sure, hot dogs
A whole lot of wieners for yoooouuuuu!
I really enjoyed writing that song. I also really enjoyed reviewing this hot dog. This was my first “NY Weenies @ Night” review, because it was really late, after a night at the bar. I also ate 3 hot dogs. Good lord. Gray’s Papaya is another “papaya” joint, and is the upper west side rival of the upper east side, recently highly reviewed 4.5 weenie Papaya King. All of these places are similar. There is a lot of yellow, they also serve smoothies and fries, but really everybody goes there for the cheap, quick, and artfully simple weenies. They are also open 24 hours a day. Gray’s was founded in 1974 by a former partner of Papaya King, once had three bustling locations, now has one, and only has half of it’s sign lit. Obviously I am not bothered by this at all, because all that matters is the dog.
Very openly and humbly I approached the counter and asked the two gentleman for their best hot dog. After some hesitation and overcoming a language boundary, below is what they came up with.
What the hell is that?! The frank looks good, the bun looks good, but whatever they put on top of it is a tremendous mistake. Blasphemy! It’s some sort of onion, ketchup, sweet and sour sauce, urine combination that should never be on a hot dog. Bye Felicia. Very poor start. I guess that’s what you get from the late night staff. I could, however, tell that there was a quality weenie underneath that toxic sludge that they call a topping. (Of course I ate it anyway.) So, I approached the counter after receiving some advice from my personal hot dog adviser Mike and decided to take matters into my own hands. Per the rules, published in the Who Am I? page of this site, I got a classic with mustard. But, just like Papaya King, there is no yellow mustard. Come on, man. I understand this is a New York thing, and try to keep an open mind. I am very pleased with this one, but the bun could have been a little more toasty, and the dog a little bit thicker. It has the snap, and it is a good temperature, color, etc., but it seems a little small. When I place my index finger and thumb on either side of the bun, the frank disappears quicker than a frightened turtle. It must be better than this. Gray’s is legendary, there must be a better hot dog. So, I order a third weenie.
That’s the ticket. A little bit of chili goes a long way. This was the best of the three, and totally out of protocol, but you only live once as they say (YOLO), and I’m so glad I got this one. Chili, relish, and mustard. Like Bosh, Wade, and LeBron, the three combine to win championships. You can’t lose. Gray’s delivers a high quality hot dog for an incredibly affordable price, but it doesn’t quite match its upper east side rival.
In conclusion, if you want to lose your inhibitions and go to Gray’s to devour 3 hot dogs, bring some Tums and enjoy. I highly recommend it.