Boat Basin Cafe

Up on the Upper West Side there’s this odd little sinkhole close to the water where twenty-somethings like to drink. If you live on the UWS and have any semblance of fun in the daytime when its nice out, you’ve been here. If you don’t live on the UWS but have a friend who lives on the UWS and you have any semblance of fun in the daytime when its nice out, you’ve been here. Furthermore, if you don’t have any friends at all, no connection to the UWS, prefer Beyonce over Rihanna, but have some semblance of fun when its nice out, you’ve still probably been here. Its called the Boat Basin. They serve buckets of Corona, Narragansetts, and most importantly: hot dogs. Y’all know I’m down to descend to spots of lower elevation for a good weenie.

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Bring on the mudslide of chili. Above sits the second “chili-est” dog I’ve ever eaten. The first was a lovely weenie eaten atop the marble bar top of Old Town Bar. Science doesn’t allow for much for chili than that. George A. Hormel himself would be overwhelmed with the amount of chili on this hot dog. I, however, am a tremendous proponent of chili dogs, so my mouth salivated the second this thing was in sight. In fact, I saw a guy next to me order two of them before I knew the restaurant even served hot dogs. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to order two because this was my 4th meal of the day at my 4th restaurant, so I let off on the gluttony gas pedal a bit.

Now, to elaborate on the dog itself. The bun was a bun, that’s about it. The sausage had a smoky flavor, which I think in part was due to the chili. There was very little snap but I could tell the weenie was of good quality, so I was pleased. I ordered mustard on it, but I couldn’t taste it because I was focusing so much on the best part of this weenie: the chili. It had two types of beans!!! Pintos and kindeys floating around in the same primordial soup is something I dreamed about as a child and drew pictures of in art class. It wasn’t too runny, or too spicy, but it was spicy enough. Once cheese was added to the top it was heaven. I wish there was a bowl on the side so that I could dip any part of the hot dog that was uncovered into it. Stellar.

3.75 weenies

P.S. The pickle was dope, too.

Cheers

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Westville

I didn’t expect to be a hot dog blogger, but once I did it was amazing. I also didn’t expect to get a yo-yo for Christmas, but it has been phenomenal. Even the unexpected crazy homeless man who wets himself and yells “Aunt Delilah get the pie!” can add a good chuckle to your day. The oncoming of the unexpected can often be a scary experience that turns out to be positive. When Westville offered “market vegetables” as a side item, I wanted to turn to stone like a gargoyle and hide from the existence that surrounded me. However, after I ordered artichoke hearts nestled in between two different varieties of hot dogs, the unexpected became the unbelievably delicious. I’d vote for “market vegetables” over Donald Trump any day.

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Y’all thought I couldn’t be healthy, but look at that. There’s more nutrients than you can shake a stick at. There are artichoke hearts on the side, pickles on top, and beans in the chili. I feel like I lost 5 pounds already. Regardless of health, because that’s not what I write about, because that shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to rating hot dogs, there are two types of weenies at Westville. There is the Hebrew National and the Niman Ranch “fearless frank”. Obviously I got both. The waiter had no idea what the best way to eat their dogs was, so I opted to leave the chili off of the Niman Ranch wiener to ensure I was able to observe the full breadth of its flavor. As for the Hebrew National, it was doused in chili and cheese. For two high quality dogs and a side, the price is 14 bucks, and the choice of toppings and sides is impressive. While the place is tiny, its very charming and could easily be a date spot. I also saw the other food choices, and everything looks really good, I will definitely be back, but who knows if I will be able to resist the hot dogs.

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Pictured above is the Hebrew National with chili and cheese, adorned with a kosher dill slice. The chili isn’t very spicy, but it is homemade and would look great just about anywhere, on anything or in anything, kind of like Taylor Swift. The cheese is thicker than most hot dog cheese, is slightly melted, and rich in flavor. This is the best cheese I’ve had on any hot dog so far. The bun is literally grilled. There are grill marks. That fact alone earns this place a lot of respect for me. A Hebrew National emerges from inside of it. This is a big beefy boy with a nice smoky flavor that I think is brought out from the way it is grilled. This truly is an old school grilled dog, like Wilt Chamberlain is to basketball or Grandmaster Flash is to hip hop. Kate Moss to modeling? Either way, superb.

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The fearless frank. The beefiest sausage this side of 6th avenue. I think on the Niman Ranch they take the filet mignon, ground it up, and stuff it inside of pig intestines to make hot dogs that they call fearless franks. This is a high quality, organic-y dog that I can get behind. My only complaint, and the only real reason this dog isn’t getting a stellar rating is that it has absolutely no snap. It’s as if there is no casing. I don’t know how they did it. Also, they had a yellow mustard bottle with spicy brown mustard in it. That’s perhaps the worst tease in the game. The only thing worse would involve putting a vegan dog in front of me without telling me. No sin could be worse than that. Luckily, they didn’t do that to me, and I really enjoyed their wieners. Go to Westville.

4 weenies

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Cheers

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