Although hot dogs (aka frankfurters) likely first came on the scene in some version in 13th century Germany, we associate them with New York City. As we celebrate America this week, we’re honoring this classic summer holiday food. These days we’ve entered into a golden age of putting tubular meat in buns, and the restaurants below serve some of the city’s versions. By Jessica Allen.
This standalone restaurant and food market favorite puts Asian-inspired toppings on its chicken, veggie, and beef dogs. Not only are the owners commenting on the diversity of the city, but they’re also producing some gosh darn good eats. Pictured at right: the Mash, a chicken hot dog smothered in sweet and spicy ketchup, jalapeno mustard, and crushed salt-and-pepper potato chips. Get a side of Korean yam fries with kimchi aioli and a fresh-squeezed limeade, and you’ve got yourself an ideal meal.
If you’re going to open a glorified hot dog stand and call it, on occasion, “Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage System,” you better be ready to deliver the goods. Fortunately, Dogmatic does, serving some of the most original dogs in the city, with all of today’s restaurant must-haves: grass-fed beef, house-made sodas, and locally grown vegetables. The emphasis on the purity of their products encompasses the design of the restaurant as well: it contains one giant butcher block table with nifty little pull-out stools hiding underneath.
The beef-and-pork “Crif dog” comes smoked and deep-fried to order, while the grilled “New Yorker” is all beef. After you’ve decided between the two, you have to think about customizations: the Temptee Dog has cream cheese, while the Spicy Redneck wraps your dog in bacon, then covers it with cole slaw, chili, and jalapenos. If you’d rather create your very own, you can add such toppings as avocado, ham, baked beans, pineapple, and lettuce. FYI: “Crif” is the sound of one of the original owner’s names (Chris) being said while eating a hot dog.
Los Perros Locos
Los Perros Locos specializes in Colombian hot dogs, i.e., taking “all of the delicious guilty pleasures you loved as a little niño or niña and rolling them all into a toasted bun with an all-beef frank.” El Perro Perdido, for example, takes a dog, smothers it in melted Swiss, strawberry Ancho jam, and smoked ham, then sticks it into a bun made from deep-fried French toast. Or you can try one of three types of salchipapas, which blend a hot dog and waffle fries with such toppings as quail eggs, chicharrones, fried bacon, and salsa.
Bark Hot Dogs
This Park Slope eatery makes “just good food,” including veggie dogs, beef/pork dogs, chorizo dogs, chicken tenders, chicken wings, burgers, milkshakes, and fries. (There’s a kale salad too, in a nod to 2013.) Bark offers American comfort food run through an artisanal lens, standard fast food fare elevated with seasonal, organic, and local ingredients, street food cleaned up and made better. Perhaps our favorite, the NYC dog (pictured) comes with sweet-and-sour onions and yellow mustard.
Ditch Plains Restaurant
Here’s a handheld breakfast for you: American cheese and an egg any way, served on top of a frank. If a morning meal isn’t your aim, try one American classic on top of another – Ditch Plains also offers Sloppy Joe Dogs and hot dogs smothered in mac ’n’ cheese.