In case you didn’t know it, July is National Hot Dog Month. And happily, New York has a lot more to celebrate with nowadays than shriveled ballpark franks and dirty water dogs from street carts.
In fact, fancified franks are becoming just as popular at local restaurants as haute hamburgers — from the Green Papaya and Quail Egg-topped links at DBGB Kitchen & Bar to the fiery curry-injected Phaal Dog at Brick Lane Curry House. There’s even a dog made with Foie Gras at Prospect in Fort Greene. Here are just a few other stellar, globally inspired sausages you’ll want to sink your teeth into this summer…
DBGB Kitchen and Bar’s DBGB Dog
This Bowery bistro is not nearly as fancy as Daniel Boulud’s revered flagship restaurant, Daniel, or any of his other uptown spots, like Café Boulud. But he gets just as creative with the tavern-meets-brasserie inspired fare at this funky downtown spot, replete with a killer beer and cocktail selection. Particularly praiseworthy is the charcuterie program, featuring a variety of links, bangers and sausages, made with heritage meat and all natural ingredients. Every single frank is worth sampling, including the “DBGB Dog,” an ode to the American classic, topped with sautéed onions, ketchup, mustard and relish, but why not try the more exotic options, too? There’s the “Thai on a Bun,” a Lemongrass-Infused Pork Sausage topped with Green Papaya, Chili Sauce and Cilantro, or “The Chipolata,” laced with Black Truffle and Pommes Mousseline. And the best part is you can order any of the sausages with a beer at the bar for only $10. Eating for a 10-spot at a Daniel Boulud restaurant? That (along with National Hot Dog month) is reason to celebrate.
Brick Lane Curry House’s Phaal Dog
Hot dogs are hardly a staple of Indian cuisine, but Brick Lane Curry House is getting in on the frank trend with a seriously spicy Phaal dog, made with chicken (instead of the holy cow or pork). It’s injected with the restaurant’s signature Phaal Curry, made with a combination of peppers so powerful — including the notorious Ghost Chili, which tops the Scoville scale at over a million units — that the chef wears a gas mask while preparing it. True story. Though you won’t need to take as many precautions before chowing down. Thankfully, the searing heat of the incendiary hot dogs are tempered just slightly by a cooling Mango and Pineapple Relish.
Prospect’s Foie Gras Dog
Talk about high-low cuisine: The humble hot dog has gotten an upmarket makeover at Prospect in Brooklyn, where chefs Kyle McClelland (Caviar Russe) and Vinson Petrillo fashion their links out of majorly luxe foie gras, and buy most of their produce from urban farms. Originally created for the Great Googa Mooga food festival, the Sweet and Sour Relish and House Made Mustard-topped dog is now a favorite on the regular bar menu. And although the fancy frank commands a steeper price than your average wiener ($9 each or $16 for two), you can get try one for free if you order two cocktails, or for only $3 with the purchase of a beer! That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Crif Dogs' Spicy Red Neck
Inspired by the hot dogs the owners grew up eating in New Jersey, this St. Mark’s Place favorite was one of the first to dabble in funky franks. Crif Dogs’ beef and pork franks are all smoked and then deep fried to order. Diet fare this ain’t. You can pay your respects to the Garden State by ordering the melted American Cheese and Taylor Ham-topped concoction, or stay a little closer to home with the “Jon-Jon Deragon,” a New York deli-style dog, uniquely smeared with Cream Cheese and Everything Bagel Seeds. Though our particular guilty pleasure is the Spicy Red Neck, wrapped in Bacon and loaded with Chili, Coleslaw, and Jalapenos. Because when it comes to deep-fried hot dogs, you might as well go big or go home.
Bark Hot Dogs’ The Bark Dog
Bark is adamant about listing all of their quality purveyors right on the menu — from Hartmann’s Old World Sausage, who make Bark’s private label dogs, to Deep Root Cooperative, which supplies the cabbage and carrots for coleslaw. But don’t go looking for particularly off-the-wall toppings at this Park Slope eatery. The eponymous Bark Dog is an exercise in simplicity: a lard-basted Pork and Beef frank, accented with housemade Sweet Pepper Relish, diced Red Onion, and that decidedly less highbrow favorite, French’s Yellow Mustard.
The Asian fusion trend shows no sign of slowing down, so it was only a matter of time before the wave hit America’s greatest, trash food guilty pleasure. Visit ASIADOG’s tiny Nolita shop (or their stand at Smorgasburg) for a wide variety of Far East-inspired flavor combinations. Try the “Ginny” with Kimchee and Seaweed Flakes, the “Wangding” with Chinese BBQ Pork Belly, or the “VINH,” a clever take on the Banh Mi featuring Pork Pate, Cucumbers, Cilantro, Jalapenos, Pickled Carrots and Daikon, and a zesty Aoli.
Hot dogs tend to be more closely associated with backyard grill parties than legit pit barbecue. But Fletcher’s in Gowanus has just added two new tube-shaped steak specialties to their smoker, and they more than stand up toRead More
BBQ classics, the likes of caramelized Burnt Ends. Enter Fletcher’s “Fatty Patty Sandwich,” featuring Sweet Sausage meat mixed with Peppers, Onions and Sun Dried tomatoes, then topped with Spicy Ketchup, Dill Pickle Relish and Provolone Cheese. If that’s not your guy, sample the “BBQ Hot Link Sandwich,” a traditional frank, tinged by the smoker, smothered with Peppers and Onions.
Why should carnivores have all the fun? Celebrity chef Marc Murphy offers both classic Beef and Tofu dogs at his string of beach shack-styled restaurants, so vegetarians don’t have to miss out on the flavor this summer. But don’t mistake the soy bean-based frankfurters for health food. They’re oddly as good as the beef franks. Take your pick of a beef or tofu “Backyard Dog,” loaded with good-for-you veggies or a “Ditch Dog,” paved with ooey gooey Macaroni and Cheese. What could be more decadently American than that?Read More