My search for the best hot dogs in New York continues….
When I learned that Ditch Plains’ signature hot dog is topped with macaroni and cheese, I thought it sounded weird, but potentially delicious. It wasn’t until I bit into the dog that I remembered that this combination has been around forever (at least since my childhood) and is a classic American pairing.
Ditch Plains sort of focuses on American classics, serving updates of seafood comfort food. Stuff you would certainly recognize if you lived near a northeastern seaside town. The restaurant (which now has two and a half locations) is named for a surfer’s beach on Long Island. If you sit far enough from the big windows and stare at your overpriced lobster roll, you could almost imagine you hear the ocean.
I wouldn’t have picked to come here on my hot dog journey, but research has shown that Chef Marc Murphy’s (a regular host on Chopped) hot dogs are touted as some of the best in the city. At $7 each (they normally are served 2 for $14) with chips, they’re on the high-end of the hot dog spectrum. I don’t mind paying that for some special toppings or a high-quality frank. But it is hard to put them in the same league as Gray’s Papaya’s $1 hot dogs.
The Ditch Dogs was served with fries, although the server was gracious enough to let us substitute sweet potato chips. The chips were rather limp and soggy, which is always a disappointment.
Fortunately the dog did not let me down. This wiener was much thicker and fatter than most wieners (every single one of these reviews will have at least one snicker-worthy sentence for you teenagers out there). The Sabrett all-beef dog had a big snap and a deep, smoky salty flavor. Frankly I was amazed that the flavors didn’t get lost underneath all that rich, cheesy mac and cheese. The white sauce could actually have been more decadent, but I appreciated the restraint.
And the flavors worked in perfect harmony. And after I ate a few bites, I realized I’ve had these flavor combinations before. I think when I was young, my mom used to cut up hot dogs and mix them in with my Kraft dinners. And my pre-pubescent taste buds certainly approved. My grown-up ones do too.
Does Ditch Plains have the best hot dog in NY? The sausage is full of big salty, meaty flavors and doesn’t get lost under the unusual, but perfect mac and cheese topping. 9 out of 10.
|29 Bedford Street (between Carmine and Downing Street),