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.”

IMG_0005

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

IMG_0007

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

FOLLOW – Instagram     LIKE – Facebook     FollowMAP – BobbyPin

 

 

Ben’s Kosher Deli

I am ferociously dedicated to hot dogs. My devotion to the weenie is undying. Just about 2 hours ago, I walked 20 minutes from work… to a deli I had no enthusiasm for… in 10 degree wind chilled temperatures… alone… simply to eat a hot dog, take pictures of it, and write about it. If I told that to a psychiatrist, I’d be in a straight jacket right now. In fact, I heard about this deli because I’m pretty sure a dude I never met before in an Uber pool told me about it. Thanks, guy. Regardless of the struggle and the insanity, I can honestly tell you all that this was indeed the highlight of my day and I’d like to tell you about it.

IMG_1891

Behold. The frank from Ben’s extremely commercial, Jewish, and Kosher (I guess that’s still Jewish) Deli. Now, you may remember that I wasn’t a fan of another big commercial touristy Jewish deli. (Katz’s Deli) So, I wasn’t incredibly enthused about Ben’s, especially since it is just south of Times Square on 38th and 7th. The place was a little bizarre, and definitely huge and commercial as I feared. However, when I told them I didn’t want to sit down and be waited on, and I only wanted a hot dog at the bar, they looked at me oddly, but were very accommodating. For $9.95 the hot dog comes with a drink, 3 different types of pickles, coleslaw, sauerkraut, and a huge knish. This is an epic deal, especially if you’re poor. A quick side note on the knish: I love this invention. Whichever lovely Jewish man with gorgeous curls invented it must have been a sweetheart.

Let’s get into the weenie details. The dog comes out with ‘kraut on the side and no toppings at all. They only have this odd spicy brown mustard that I’ve never seen, called Gold’s. It is no French’s yellow, but it is pretty good, and I’m a little surprised by it. I applied it with incredible precision, and even added kraut because I was feeling the whole NYC Jewish vibe. The bun is nicely toasted, but maybe a little on the light side, as in I couldn’t see any grill marks or bun browning. That’s a new one: “bun browning.” It sounds like something the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders do as a pre-game warm up routine.

IMG_1894

Anyway, the first bite is marvelous, because the snap in this weenie is next level. You can tell there’s some real intestine on the outside of this bad boy and its glorious. There is a strong, 100% beef flavor, that is the tell-tale sign of a high quality frankfurter. This is a pure hot dog. If you are a plain weenie person, I think this would be on the top of your list. One unfortunate thing that happened to me, however, happened over time. Towards the end of eating the hot dog, I got a little tired of the snap. It was as if there was too much casing, and I had to chew through the sausage. This goes to prove that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Moderation in life is key. I didn’t think it could happen with the snap, but it did. I would definitely recommend this weenie, though. “One flaw a mistake does not make,” Yoda once said.

3.5 weenies

Is eating a hot dog alone at the bar of a huge time square deli sad? Am I a pathetic human being? To the haters I say nay. I say, in the words of Kelly Clarkson, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unfortunately, eating a ton of hot dogs my eventually kill me. Eh. YOLO.

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram     LIKE – Facebook     FollowMAP – BobbyPin

The Bearded Lady: Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. Rather than get in the Christmas spirit by listening to Christmas music, baking cookies, and stuffing socks full of useless trinkets, I am choosing to write about a hot dog. The story of this hot dog, in my opinion, truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. It all began on a Saturday morning. I had purchased a Santa suit in preparation to run a 4 mile race called the jingle bell jog, where my plan was to don the suit and attempt to make it across the finish line with my coworkers. Given that I write about a hot dog once a week, y’all know I can’t be in great shape. Well, Saturday morning race day comes along, and I wake up to multiple missed calls and texts. It is 10 minutes to race time and there is no way I make it to Brooklyn on time. Epic fail. Rather than stay in and sulk, however, I make it out to Brooklyn to participate in the post race bar crawl. Part of that bar crawl took place at a bar called the Bearded Lady, which, by some sort of Christmas miracle, served hot dogs. Santa is real, and he presented me with this gift even though I was a bad boy. No coal this time, just a weenie for me. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, indeed.

IMG_1754

Behold the Chicago dog. As I’ve mentioned before, Chicago dogs are great, but usually mood weenies. What is a mood weenie? Every once in a while, you get in a strange mood and crave chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, right? Imagine that chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is a Chicago dog. It’s not your go-to, but when you’re in a weird mood, it’s money. Luckily, given the events of the morning prior, I was in a weird mood, and a Chicago dog called my name. Chicago dogs are essentially gardens on top of sausages. You have your tomatoes, pickles, onions, peppers, and most importantly mustard. My favorite part about the Chicago dog is the way the yellow mustard (always yellow, obviously) interacts with the pickle to form this graceful, harmonious marriage that is most definitely legal everywhere in the US except for Alabama.

gifMill

Now, remember, we are in Brooklyn, so this is not a traditional Chicago dog. We have here a very thin toasted bun which allows for emphasis on the toppings. The toppings are diced up and covered in black pepper, which is very rare for a Chicago dog. In fact, I’ve never seen this before. It is almost as if there is some form of pico de gallo adorning the sausage. I have to say it works very well. Then, the weenie itself. Let me give a shout out again to the Brooklyn Hot Dog Co,  serving up another delicious sausage. They are long, tasty, and of incredible quality. I still long for a little more snap, but definitely some of the best sausages around. This is a very bold weenie, at a very bold place, with very bold cocktails. I highly recommend both the bar and the hot dog they serve. If you’re ever near Prospect Park, this is a great rest stop to shoot some pool and enjoy a cocktail and a dog.

3.5 weenies

Now, in honor of Christmas, a poem. This is a mashup of some of your favorite Christmas hits, entitled “Hot Dogs for Thee”.

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Schnippers, Papaya

On Comet and Cupid, The Cannibal and Rudy’s

A hot dog comes for thee, oh yum yum yum yum

A king weenie we seek, oh yum yum yum yum

Deck the halls with loads of weenies

Fatty fatty fat, we get so fat

A hot dog comes for thee, oh yum yum yum yum

A king weenie we seek, oh yum yum yum yum”

From the middle of my heart (the bottom makes no sense), thanks for all of the support in 2015. See you in 2016, as there are still many weenies to try! God bless you all and have a wonderful holiday! 

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram      LIKE – Facebook      FollowMAP – BobbyPin

The Rusty Knot

This review took me to the annals of the west village, on the water where the Pirates gather to discuss their recently discovered booty. I was nautically inspired, and drank a Montauk ale among the seamen. Ahoy, indeed, mates. Then, I realized two very important things. First, that it is very easy to make crude pirate jokes. Second, that a knot physically cannot rust. A knot is usually made of rope, which is not a metal, meaning that it cannot oxidize. Without oxidation, there can be no rust. Similarly, without a good bun, there can be no good hot dog. Enter the Rusty Knot and the pretzel dog.

FullSizeRender

When I read about the pretzel dog I was very excited. Pretzels are generally quite good, and pretzel dough is fat and excellent. Hot dogs are obviously also fat and excellent, so when you mix two fat and excellent things you get a double fat and excellent sandwich. Salt is also a great component of a pretzel which could go well with the savory hot dog flavor. However, the end result of this creation was not how it was supposed to be.

The number one rule of wrapping a pretzel around a hot dog is to ensure that the pretzel is soft. This pretzel was crunchy on the outside, like a stale popcorn shrimp. Even worse, think of a hunk of cheese that sat out overnight and you accidentally bit into it without realizing it. That’s some next level imagery. The number two rule of wrapping a pretzel around a hot dog is to keep it on the hot dog. This one fell off and moved like a hybrid slinky-accordion. If I put this on the top if the stairs, it would gracefully slink down the stairs to the tune of “Play that Funky Music White Boy” because apparently that is a song that is commonly played on the accordion. Then, the hot dog itself wasn’t cooked enough and had nary a snap. As Boomer says on Monday Night… c’mon man. Overall, the pretzel idea was poorly executed.

In the above artsy, tiled, picture gallery contraption you can see the accordion figure of the pretzel a little better. You can also see a few positive things. You can order a pickle for 2 bucks. That’s phenomenal. There is guacamole in play. Stellar. Then, there is yellow mustard dipping sauce. This is the only thing that saved this dog from being absolutely demolished in the ratings.

1 weenie

Quite honestly I feel bad that this is the lowest dog ranked yet. I enjoyed the bar and the experience overall. I even took this guy I met on the street from Arkansas there because I thought it would be good. I would go to the bar again for certain. They have a pool table, and a campy nautical vibe that is very appealing. There’s a real fish tank! Regardless, (and not irregardless, that’s not a word so stop saying it America), it wasn’t a good hot dog and that’s just a fact.

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram     LIKE – Facebook       FollowMAP = BobbyPin

 

Harlem Shake

How does one make something better? This is a question that has been asked since the invention of the wheel, the cotton gin, and sliced bread. Improvements to the already existent are what have driven the advancement of mankind. Plato, Aristotle, Galileo, Da Vinci, Edison, Jack Black, and more have wandered down the path of enlightenment for us before. But have we as a society become stagnant? Has our ability to improve, innovate, and invent gone by the wayside? I think not, my friends. Because, in Harlem, there is a hot dog that is bacon wrapped, deep fried, and topped with cherry relish. Thank you, Harlem Shake. My faith in humanity is restored.

IMG_1656

On 124th st, off of the 2-3 train stop in Harlem, sits this diner style restaurant that is a homage to Harlem history and culture. They serve shakes (obviously), burgers, fries, hot dogs, and Cheerwine. For those that don’t know about Cheerwine, it is the greatest soft drink ever invented. Go south and you’ll find them everywhere, so it is very refreshing (no pun intended) to see one in NYC.  On the walls of the diner are signed pictures of Harlem celebrities, Harlem mementos, and an old school back-lit menu like something from the movie Grease. The music is funky, upbeat, and there to preserve the mood. But, most importantly, when I asked about their best dog, I got the right answer.

IMG_1659IMG_1653

The Sonoran Dog. Bacon wrapped, deep fried, topped with cherry and pickle relish and a spicy chipotle sauce. Even better, a well toasted Martin’s potato roll is the chassis for this well-oiled machine. At first, I was hesitant on the deep-fried portion of this frank. Luckily, they didn’t add any breading, so it wasn’t too heavy. In fact, it just added a layer of crispiness that essentially enhanced the already existent snap. The quality of the sausage was on point (credit to Boar’s Head), and you’d have to be a fool to complain about bacon wrapped around your weenie. The mixture of the relish and the sauce then basically escorted you through St. Peter’s gate into hot dog heaven. Go eat the Sonoran dog, it is one of the best in NYC hands down.

Accompanying the Sonoran was the Jerk. This guy is adorned with Jamaican Jerk coleslaw, creole sauce, and pork rinds. While very good, I basically don’t want to talk about it because the Sonoran completely overshadowed it with its prowess. Then, because we could, Mike and I split a Snoop Dog. That’s right, a Snoop Dog. Sippin’ on weenies and cheese.

IMG_1664

Simple, yet elegant. I’m on a cheese streak lately. This dog had much more cheese on it than the Shake Shack Shack-Meister, and did the whole cheese thing even better. The cheese topping was like an entire pack of 24 Kraft singles melted and condensed, blessed by the Pope, and poured over the dog. Fantastic dessert.

4.5 weenies

Go to Harlem, eat a Sonoran Dog at Harlem Shake. Go to a jazz club (I recommend Minton’s), and have yourself a night about it. I sure did.

P.S. This is the best Harlem Shake I’ve ever seen. The Banana Shake: Banana Shake

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram         LIKE – Facebook       MAP FOLLOW – BobbyPin

 

 

Shake Shack

There are two things in life that I have dreamt about, yet hadn’t done before this review. They are: eat cake by the ocean, and eat at Shake Shack. One of these has been accomplished in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, no, I did not eat cake by the ocean (sorry Joe Jonas). I am very happy, however, that my first time at Shake Shack I was there to eat a hot dog and not a burger. I’m also very happy that everything about Shake Shack was better than expected. I went in thinking I was going to have a touristy, commercial, type of vibe. In the restaurant, everything changed. I came out stuffed, with both a cheese stain and a mustard stain on my shirt. That, my friends, is how life should be.

IMG_1618

The Shack-Meister. That is exactly what a hot dog should be called, because I want my sausage to sound like my college frat buddy who partied the hardest. Ooooh, the Shack-meister, look at him gooo, chug a beer, he’s the Shack-meister. Besides its already epic name, it apparently is the most popular dog on the menu and according to the man behind the counter “made them famous”. This is a very unique dog. It’s the first I’ve reviewed that is split open. It is also the first I’ve reviewed with fried shallots (elegant onions). But, most importantly, it is the first I’ve reviewed with cheese. Poured in the crevasse of the weenie is a delicious cheese that tastes like 7 Kraft singles melted and condensed like Campbell’s soup. It is glorious. For some reason it reminds me of molten steel being poured in the forges of the industrial age. I’m basically Andrew Carnegie building America one weenie at a time, pouring my molten steel on wieners across the nation.

IMG_1614

The bun is of the potato variety. It’s dense and yellow, well toasted, and compliments the rich flavors of the toppings well. The sausage is maybe my least favorite part of the dog. There is no char, no snap, and the split open presentation helps with the cheese, but takes away from overall enjoyment. It does have a nice smoky flavor, however, which works well with everything else. The crispy fried scallions (elegant onions) add a nice crunch and appearance. Every element of the hot dog compliments each other in a different way, combining for a delightfully rich and savory experience. This dog is not to be laughed at. Don’t mess with the Shack-Meister, he’ll steal your girlfriend.

4 weenies

shack

Oh my goodness I totally forgot. Shake Shack has yellow mustard everywhere. It’s on tap, it’s in packets, it’s underneath the chairs, and it oozes from the light fixtures. Y’all know how I feel about my yellow mustard. It is incredibly refreshing and completely correct that spicy brown is not in the entire restaurant. Thank you, Shake Shack, may the tides forever be in your favor.

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram        LIKE – Facebook             FOLLOW – BobbyPin          Download BobbyPin

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.

3 weenies.

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

FOLLOW – Instagram                     LIKE – Facebook
  

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…

IMG_1452

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.

IMG_1445

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

FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM               LIKE MY FACEBOOK

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.

IMG_1457

The Cannibal

Very often these posts will center around something perhaps more interesting than a hot dog. I’ll find a theme or some sort of joke to center the post around. At The Cannibal in the Gotham West Market in Hell’s Kitchen, there is no need for a theme or a joke. Let’s do an experiment. I am going to suggest an action. After performing the suggested action, describe your emotions, privately. It’s therapeutic. Here’s your action: scroll up a bit on the page, look at that picture again, then scroll back to me. What?! How insane is that?! My mouth is watering, my stomach grumbling, and my pupils are dilated into the shape of hearts. Like that emoji guys try to use to be romantic. That picture is just downright pretty. This post needs only words of praise, centered only around the hot dogs. Jokes? Where we’re going, we don’t need jokes.

IMG_1403

IMG_1415

This place has a fleet of hot dogs all with epic names. I felt like they were all part of an Italian mob. The guy in the middle? Oh, that’s Jimmy the Tulip. He’s the tough guy of the bunch. Super meaty because he’s dressed in pork rinds. But, he’s the negotiator of the crew because he’s also covered in Kale and a special sauce. He’s a total flip-flopper, and would be a great politician. The guy on the right? That’s Captain Sharp. He’s got style. Always polished and matching in the highest fashion, he’s got 3 different kinds of mustard on top with coleslaw. What a pretty boy. Then there’s that lanky guy on the left – the Cannibal Dog, we call him. This dude is nuts. When he dresses up like this, they call it “Tiger Style”, with spicy chili, Chinese mustard, and scallions (aka elegant onions). He can snap at any minute, and he does for however many bites it takes you to eat him. Lovable and loyal, he’s also wild and unpredictable. He’s my personal favorite. OK, so I did a little bit of a theme thing. Whatever, it was fun. Read it with a Tony Montana accent, you’ll thank me.

Each of the two dogs I ate (I didn’t eat Jimmy the Tulip – KK was all over him – I couldn’t split them up) was phenomenal. Let’s get into the details. Captain Sharp was a white sausage. Popular in Rochester, “white hots”, are uncured and unsmoked and usually contain some veal. Nice and meaty, they also offer a kind of rich flavor that is quite enjoyable and makes you feel fancy. Then, and this is a huge positive for The Cannibal, it was topped with Yellow Mustard. That’s right, the good stuff, classic French’s yellow mustard – the best in the world. They then added whole grain spicy brown. As a big mustard fan, I was pretty damn happy. Great sausage, great toppings, great bun. The only negative piece was there may have been too much mustard. I couldn’t taste anything else. (Not really a bad thing for me, but for you ketchup n00bz out there consider it a warning.)

IMG_1426

The Cannibal Dog! I can’t put into words how good this was. The chili was really spicy, but didn’t kill you. The Chinese mustard was also potent, but went along so perfectly with the chili and the elegant onions (aka scallions) it laid on top of so gingerly. The toppings were great, yes, but I think what really set this wiener apart from other, similarly trendy wieners, was the frank itself. (To be frank.) I’ve written before about the snap. This one had the perfect snap. The best snap I’ve ever been lucky to be a part of. Please understand how important this is: it had the snap. Then, just to put pile more epic passengers on the already epic train, our waiter kind of looked like Tom Morrello. I also had a raspberry ale that was delicious. It was open to the street, so we got some outside air. They even had the Jets game on a projector inside. Gotham Market is cool. The Cannibal is cooler. Trendy hot dogs, Yellow Mustard, chili, and the snap heard ’round the world. Come to the Cannibal as soon as you can.

4.5 weenies.

For the record, the Cannibal Dog is currently the best hot dog in New York City.

*mic drop*

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram            LIKE – Facebook

Gray’s Papaya

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!

IMG_0028

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.

IMG_1379

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.

IMG_1393

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.

4 weenies

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.

Cheers

FOLLOW – Instagram       LIKE – Facebook

IMG_1392