Citi Field

I’m back. Yes, I took a break from writing. Yes, I was busy, and yes, I am both a goon and a loon for failing to compose poetic soliloquies about hot dogs the last few weeks. However, I answer NO to the question, “Did you stop eating hot dogs?”. Of course not! If one writes about hot dogs, one has a passion for hot dogs, and ipso facto, one devours hot dogs as if it were one’s job. I am the one, friends. I am the one who eats the hot dog. So, without further ado, I present a review of Citi Field’s wondrous weenies. Upon conclusion, I will post a picture of every hot dog consumed on my “break.”

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Overall, Citi Field is super nice. I highly recommend it as a baseball park. However, it doe seem more expensive than others. Even Yankee Stadium is cheaper. That being said, the weenies are Nathan’s brand, and they have a topping section that is superb. Jalapenos are an option, and I did not leave them hanging. Accompanying the Jalapenos were center fielder sauerkraut and first baseman sauteed peppers. What blew my mind about this was that all of these toppings were self serve, and I didn’t think that was gross at all. They run an efficient topping supply chain and I was pretty pumped about it. As expected, there was no yellow mustard, but the spicy brown variety offered was not terrible. The bun was lightly toasted and the hot dog was pretty high quality, but as you’d expect with a ball park hot dog, it was not grilled to perfection. I finished the jalapeno mustard dog and while “watching” the game, could not stop comparing it to the Yankee Stadium dog I reviewed. So, naturally, I went for another.

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Forgive me, friends. I forgot to mention the short stop of the topping lineup: relish. God Bless relish. Eating this second weenie was like that time in high school when Ms. Morrison let us go to the library for our project, but we got Chick-Fil-A instead. I felt a little bad, but it was totally worth it in the end. This is a really good weenie. Yankee Stadium’s was bigger, but Citi Field has a higher quality dog with a more diverse range of toppings. Therefore, I hereby present the weenie crown for the best ball park dog in New York to: Citi Field.

3.25 weenies

Now, I’ll play the poke flute and awaken the Snorlax that is me in order to show you the hot dogs I’ve eaten the last few weeks. I gave them all names, because when you care about something, it’s polite to give it a name. Be polite. Name things.

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Jacinto. (Spanish for Jack) Named for the pepper jack cheese adorning a mustard-glazed weenie.

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Sybil. This guy just couldn’t find his true identity.

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This one already has a name. These are the legendary Cannibal Dogs from The Cannibal, currently the best weenie in Manhattan. Stop what you’re doing and go to this restaurant now. If I had to start a restaurant, it would not be much different from The Cannibal. Amazing.

Cheers

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Daddy-O

After 30 or so hot dog blogs, one would think that this craft would get boring. Well, one… you are wrong! There is always something new and exciting out there, especially in the wonderful town of New York City. This time, it’s a pure, unadulterated, uncured, unsmoked concoction of pork, beef, and veal. It’s Tom Cruise in a sauna. It’s boiling milk. It’s as if the island of Nantucket went up in flames. It’s a White Hot. They’re from Rochester, they’re delicious, and Daddy-O imports these bad boys from Zweigle’s for our eating pleasure. Hallelujah. Somebody give me an “A-men.”

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The Daddy-O “pop-open” hot dog, topped with Norm’s Beef Hot Sauce, Mustard, and Diced Onions. I don’t know who Norm is, hopefully Norm MacDonald, but whoever he is, he made some epic sauce. The mustard is not my favorite French’s yellow, but I’ve gotten used to this fact, and I’m pretty sure most New Yorkers will disagree with my preference anyway. The spicy brown accompanies the hot sauce well. After the mustard and hot sauce comes the onions. Normally I am against onions on a dog, but here they compliment the other strong flavors with grace. There aren’t so many that I am drowning in a Vidalia tear pool, but there are enough for an onion fan to enjoy. The toppings are on point, Daddy-O. Well done.

The best part of the dog however, is the dog itself. White hots are awesome. Kudos to Zweigle’s for producing a very high quality sausage. The only reason they are white is their uncured nature, which many may find appealing. They’re all natural. That’s trendy these days. Sure, they don’t have Kale, quinoa, and coconut oil, but this is about as close as you’ll get to vegan or healthy with me. (Sorry “by Chloe,” we eat real food here.) The folks at Daddy-O char grill the sausage to perfection, leaving a juicy, savory wiener inside a decently toasted bun. White hots tend to be bigger than other wieners as well (although this may not be true in other aspects of life), so this particular dog was very filling and could certainly be a meal. You also have the option to go for a normal frankfurter from Zweigle’s if trying the white hot isn’t your thing. However, doing so would be lame and uncouth. This is the first white hot I’ve seen in the city and it’s incredible. Go eat it. Don’t be uncouth.

4.25 weenies

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Tell me you’re not hungry. You won’t.

P.S. I hope everyone had a weenie on opening day. Baseball basically exists for hot dogs, not the other way around. Sooooo, there’s that. Wieners for the pennant!

Cheers

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Papaya Dog

It’s 7:56 PM and I haven’t had dinner yet. I’m fresh off of a bar crawl, getting off the subway to meander to my friend’s apartment. There, on the horizon, shines bright like a diamond, a beacon of hope. For 4 dollars I could devour 2 of my favorite things in the world and be completely full, recharged, and ready for the night. Of course I stop in. In my opinion, you have to be outside of your mind to not stop in. Look at the picture above. It is a paradise of culinary delicacies that one could only hope for in heaven. The best part about this paradise is it won’t cost you any money! This place is literally helping society by providing low cost health plans to the general public. I don’t care how much money you make, you can afford Papaya Dog. Bernie Sanders loves this place.

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Political jokes aside, look at those bad boys. I don’t know about the readers, but I’ll take that image over the SI Swimsuit cover any day. I mean, let’s be honest, Ronda Rousey and the Dove bar soap girl make up two thirds of the covers now. Regardless of your preference, I ordered a nacho cheese and a chili dog. The “nacho” cheese was exactly what I was looking for: melted Kraft singles. The chili, however, had the most appeal, because unlike many other types of hot dog chili, this one had beans. Loads of beans. Let’s take a step back and really take a good look at the bean, or the legume, if you will. It is one of the healthiest, tastiest, most abundant sources of nutrition on the planet. There are many types of beans, all of which peacefully coexist. Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, and even lima beans, all offer a different flavor and appearance to those lucky enough to consume. In a way, beans are the humans of the earth. This is why we should love them. Any way, I was excited about that bean loaded chili.

The bun is nicely toasted, and the wieners came out quickly. The wieners were hot, and with nowhere to sit I wasted little time diving in. Much like the other rival papaya hot dog joints in the city, the sausage itself is relatively thin, but flavorful. The difference here is the consistency. I felt a little bit like I was eating a slim jim. Now, before that sounds terrible, I love slim jims, obviously, because I love all things cheap and loaded with preservatives. However, it is a negative observation in this case because when compared to the other papaya joints I’ve reviewed (Papaya King and Gray’s Papaya), the sausage just doesn’t compare. The King of the Papaya’s is still the aptly named Papaya King on the Upper East side. But, I will never speak poorly of a place that offers decent cheap dogs at all hours of the day. I have been to Papaya Dog many times before, and I will go again.

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Now, because this is a NY Weenies @ Night edition, I have to tell a story. After I ate the two dogs, I was still hungry because I always seem to be hungry and I had been consuming adult beverages earlier in the day. My friend told me he would buy me a corn dog if, as I ate it, I asked the next person I saw a question. This question had to be, “would you like to taste my wiener?” So, I’d like to apologize to the person on the street I embarrassed that day. Just take solace in the fact that I slathered that corn dog in French’s yellow mustard and downright cherished it. Thank you, stranger.

Cheers

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Deli & Dogz

Any real New Yorker knows that Midtown isn’t a very desirable place. You have to merge into the flow of humans like you’re on I-95, there’s homeless people at every corner, euro tourists with strange fashion sense, American tourists with even stranger fashion sense, etc. etc. There certainly aren’t many great restaurants in Midtown, but since there is such high demand for a quick lunch, there are a lot of decent cheap eats. One of my favorite types of cheap eats are the quintessential food trucks. Fridays on 46th street bring in at least 5 food trucks, one of which serendipitously served hot dogs. So, I left the office with the Stable crew, put my blinker on, merged on to fifth avenue, passed a gallery of talented Asian tourist photographers, and found my way to the first food truck I’ve ever reviewed. 

  

What is that? What is that green stuff on the weenie? Ladies and Gentleman, let me introduce you to relish. I can’t believe this is my 13th post and this is the first time I’ve had relish on a hot dog. Relish is one of the best condiments to ever be placed on a dog. It’s the only condiment for which the following sentence is gramatically correct: I have a relish for relish. It’s a classic that I fear may be fizzling out. Kind of like pogo sticks – what happened to those?! They’re amazing, just like relish. Sweet, yet tangy, juicy, yet smooth, relish is a wonderful compliment to mustard. Relish. Say yes to the dress…ing.

Now for the sausage itself. This was a fat boy. I’m reminded of Big Nick’s, which I recently reviewed, but this one is juicier. It is literally too big for the bun. That bun can’t feel good about itself. I am willing to look past this obviously unhealthy relationship and just think about taste. The dog itself has a kind of unique smoky flavor that I definitely liked, but it was almost too meaty. There was no snap, and it didnt seem too fresh. The bun was pretty good, but not great. It reminds me of that friend you have that you only invite to big events, but you never really just hang out. He or she doesn’t leave a lasting impression, but you say “oh, it was good to see _______”. They get picked somewhere in the middle in backyard football. For 3 dollars this was also a bargain. You would be straight silly to not spend three George Washingtons for this hot dog. 

 

I also was able to eat my first knish from this place. I know it’s off topic, but those things are pretty awesome. They are just a fat fried Jewish hunk of potatoes. (No, I’m not talking about Eli…) Anyway, the staff at the food truck were great and they definitely specialize in pastrami, which we were allowed to taste, which was very good. Overall, I enjoyed the hot dog and was happy to see that relish was a featured condiment. This to me was like seeing Eddie Murphy being funny again. I was elated. I would definitely return. Thanks Deli and Dogz.

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My favorite moment of this lunch was when I looked down at the last bite of my hot dog and it was sitting vertically, with a small piece of bun and relish sticking off the side of the sausage. I couldn’t help but think that it looked a lot like Donald Duck. I’ll leave you with that.

Cheers

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Katz’s Delicatessen

“Oh. Oh, God. Ohhhh. Oh, yes. Yes. Ohhhhhhhh… yes. God, oh, yes, yes. OHHHH God. OHHHH YES. YES. YES. YES. OH YES! OH GOD YES!” – Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. That happened in Katz’s Deli! Sorry if my words didn’t exactly match the scene, but if you have any knowledge at all of old movies, you know that scene. The only unfortunate part about it is that she wasn’t talking about her hot dog. Well, I was about to find out if a man like me could have a reaction like that to a hot dog in one of the most famous eateries in New York. By the way, I’ve never been a big Billy Crystal fan. Dat Meg Ryan, doe…

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Such a scene. I took the above picture at 8 PM on Sunday. It was jam-packed… and they think they’re so cool because of it. What follows are random sentences to describe the “fame” of this place. Every picture on the wall is of a celebrity that has been there. When you enter the restaurant, you get a ticket. On that ticket is a price that gets written by hand by the servers behind multiple counters. You pay when you are done. There are a lot of neon signs, and half of them don’t work. You are surrounded by tourists. A guy at the door greets you and tries to put on a show. He asks if you’ve been there before and if you know how to order at Katz’s. He told me I looked like a stranger. He even commented on my shirt. HIs shirt was bland and crappy. I will only tolerate such behaviour (feeling British today) for a truly incredible dining experience. How was this experience? Meh. The Gus Frerotte of hot dogs.

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I spend a lot of time writing about the restaurant itself instead of the hot dog, because, well, there’s not much to say here. I feel that the best way to review this hot dog is in a stream of conscience form: … Sauerkraut? Nahh, come on, man. OK. Damn them, its not even good ‘kraut. No yellow mustard? Kinda overcooked. Not bad? Bun, eh, kind of like the buns you buy at any store… ever. Frankfurter sign? Dope, I’d hang that in my room… hmmm kind of wrinkly. No snap. A little dry. Flavor is OK. Meh… Meg Ryan? Nice. OK time to leave.

Essentially it was a pretty average hot dog. On the positive side, it was cheap and served very quickly. So, if you’re craving one late night in the East Village by all means go. However, if I were you I probably would steer clear of this place for a hot dog. Maybe they can do sandwiches, but I really didn’t like being told what to do by the dude at the front who “could tell that I hadn’t been there before.” Give me a break, man, I know for a fact that I know my way around weenies better than you.

1.5 weenies.

This has been maybe the most disappointing review yet. This place was supposed to be one of the best according to some websites out there. That’s what sets me apart from the rest. I actually go to the place, and bring you the truth. I’m a modern day Nellie Bly. Joey Pulitzer. Sanjay Gupta. I don’t know, but I’m doin’ it for the people. The weenie fans out there – you guys deserve it. One love.

Cheers

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P.S. Katz’s, your sign game is poor. If you were an animal you’d be a camel. Everyone loves you until they actually meet you, realize you stink, there’s a big gross hump on your back. Also, you look dumb. Yeah.

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