Hot dogs are probably the last thing you’d expect to find on the menu at Huertas; a Basque-inspired cider bar and tapas hotspot, which took the East Village by storm with its convivial, family-style feasts and elegant, passed pintxos last year. But in a playful stroke of seasonal genius, the team decided to institute a summer-long, weekends-only hot dog takeout window, which kicked off mid June and will continue to run until Labor Day.
And rest assured, these are a far cry from your standard sauerkraut-topped, ketchup-slathered dirty water dogs — instead, chef Jonah Miller uses housemade links of slender Cistorra Sausage. Nested into plush potato buns, these minced pork sausages, liberally flavored with smoky paprika and garlic, flaunt their Spanish origins further with a slick of smooth aioli and a vibrant pool of punchy piquillo pepper mostarda.
In addition to the dogs, passerby can sample a duo of frosty drinks — including creamy Horchata, crafted in-house from toasty, buttery tiger nuts. There’s also a rose-colored Sherry Cobbler, thick with fruit, which can be ordered spiked or no, but what’s the harm in getting a bit tipsy on a sunny August Saturday? Even the price is right, especially considering the high-end origins of the offerings; $6 per item, or $10 for a combo of a hot dog and a drink. Especially from a restaurant known for its $14 cans of Black Anchovies, $15 tendrils of pimenton-dusted Octopus, and $12 coils of Mangalica Ham, Huertas’ homage to the All-American hot dog (not to mention that NYC staple, Gray’s Papaya) is utterly affordable and entirely charming, and yet another reason we’ll be terribly sorry to see the summer end.