I am an American and I Eat Hot Dogs

Dog Crawl NYC Stop 2: Crif Dogs, St. Mark’s Place, NYC
 
Filed under: General — paul @ 2:58 pm

1 x Spicy Redneck, wrapped in bacon with chili, coleslaw and jalapenos for maybe like $4.50

Crif Dogs is one of those nouveau/hipster hot dog-only joints. They’re popping up all over the country and are recognizable by their penchant for “extreme” and “wacky” hot condiment combinations and cartoony graphic design that occasionally seems to have been done by tattoo artists. I’m not really complaining here, just pointing out some commonalities that I’ve observed in my travels. In actuality, these are the places that are generally pushing hot dogs into new directions. These are the guys who, by dedicating themselves entirely to the hot dog, free themselves from convention and pave the way for truly unique creations. It’s true that many of these hot dogs are maybe motivated by a novelty factor, but hey, I play in a band about the Harry Potter books so who am I to criticize someone for being novel.

Anyway, Crif rocks things out Jersey style and that means these hot dogs are deep fried in grease. What’s more, they subscribe to the adage that bacon makes everything better. Nearly all of their hot dogs are wrapped in bacon, and then given the Jersey treatment. While I’m not huge on the grease-dog, the bacon added just the right flavor and depth that the oil just doesn’t quite provide for me. Throw a line of mustard on this and it’s good-to-go.

Mine came with some coleslaw, chili and jalapenos and their menu proclaimed that this hot dog was so good that it would “make you want to hump your mamma.” While I wasn’t very interested in that, I was definitely intrigued by a hot dog that considered itself worthy of such a bold claim. While I don’t think that it quite lived up to its own hype, this dog was pretty darn good. While the chili-slaw combo may have it’s roots out in West Virginia, this is a totally different beast than the elegantly flavored creations out in Appalachia. This focused more on the bold and spicy versus the hot/cold harmony of the more simple chili-slaw dog. They heavy flavor of this dog was accentuated by the greasy prepwork and NYC’s favorite flavor component, bacon. It was all around satisfying, and thankfully not quite as spicy as I had expected.

The highlight of the trip, though, was the Sourcheese dog that a couple of other folks on our trip went in for. Deep-fried with bacon and slathered with cheese sauce and laid up with a pickle spear, it was simple and probably super-hazardous to your health, but holy crap was it good. This was indulgence taken to extremes. I’ll tell you right now that this place was the highlight of our hot dog crawl.

One note of caution when visiting Crif Dogs (which I recommend): there are two Ms. Pacman machines in this place. One is a table-top, which I didn’t get to play. The other is a slow abomination with a washed out screen and a flippant joystick. Plus, the player is given 5 lives at the start, which is simply excessive. Someone needs to get inside this thing and flip some dipswitches ASAP.

1 Comment »

  1. you finally visited crif dogs! yay! did you grab a magnet?

    Comment by jolene — 3/6/2008 @ 10:57 am

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