Hot Dog Days
By Amy Zavatto
From hot dogs and burgers to fried chicken, it seems Gothamites have an endless appetite for comfort basics—and why not? With so many energized eateries using high-quality ingredients, even the hot dog no longer has to dwell in the dietary doghouse. Here are a few of our finger-lickin’ favorites.
Crif Dogs was way ahead of the hot-dog craze, opening several years back to serve a combination of grilled, all-beef, deep-fried, bun-bound delights. The place seems to take giddy pleasure in making the most outrageously stoner-worthy combos known to man, like the bacon-wrapped Good Morning with a fried egg and cheese or the Taylor-ham-wrapped Garden State with American cheese and pepperoncini. Tip: Get a reservation at the next-door speakeasy PDT and you can get a (Wylie) Dufresne dog with deep-fried mayo, a spicy (David) Chang dog, a (Daniel) Humm dog with Gruyère and truffl e mayo or a Hummer, a grilled veggie dog topped with hummus, pickles and peppers. 113 St. Mark’s Pl., 212-614-2728
CHAR NO. 4
Those who know this chicly rough-hewn Cobble Hill spot are probably more familiar with it for the incredible, shelves-high selection of American whiskies. But the fl avor experience isn’t limited to the bottle here. Although much of the menu goes for twists on Southern staples, there’s also some big comfort-minded deli love happening. The best? Amazing house-cured lamb pastrami with coriander-spiked mayo on rye toast and a take on the tried-and-true fried-bologna sandwich—this one on grilled bread with house-smoked meat and olive salad. 196 Smith St., Cobble Hill, 718-643-2106
BARK HOT DOGS
On the long communal tables inside Bark sit triangular shaped, recycled-paper teepees that list every source for the ingredients on the eatery’s menu. The heirloom Marifax beans come from Maine; the organic eggs from Feather Ridge Farm in Elizaville, New York; and the snappy skinned, juicy mouthfuls of hot-diggity dogness? Those are Bark’s own private label made from Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, New York. But pedigrees aside, these are seriously haute dogs. 474 Bergen St., Park Slope, 718-789-1939
DBGB KITCHEN & BAR
Daniel Boulud may be more well known for his God-like ways with haute cuisine, but if you’ve ever seen the cover of his book Cooking in New York City—on which he defiantly (and happily) holds an NYC hot dog—then you’ll understand his foray into burgers ’n’ dogs at DBGB. Hightail it to this stylish spot on the Bowery dotted with copper pots and sundry items (a nice nod to the kitchensupply history of the street) for hearty house-made sausages and thick burgers layered with slender slabs of pork belly. 299 Bowery, 212-933-5300
With its lo-fi vibe, nicely worn red velvet antique banquettes and smart staff, The Redhead is the restaurant version of slipping into something comfortable. Of course that something comfortable would need to be sized extra large because all we want to do here is eat the salty, honeybrown, crazy-juicy buttermilk fried chicken. The place also has peanut brittle with bacon (!)— well, more of a spiced nut-pork mix than a brittle, but delicious all the same. 349 E. 13th St., 212-533-6212
PHOTOGRAPHS BY NOAH KALINA (CRIF DOGS INTERIOR); MILNE (DBGB INTERIOR); THOMAS SCHAUER (THE FRENCHIE BURGER); ROBERT ACAMPORA (BARK HOT DOGS); MAGGIE SEARCY (THE REDHEAD)
We go behind the scenes with the sexy British actor on his Gotham cover shoot.