My search for the best hot dog in New York continues….

SADLY, NYC HEALTHY BITES IS NOW CLOSED.

I don’t care what anybody says but if you’re eating a hot dog, you can’t be too concerned with your health. At least not for the moment you’re eating the hot dog. That’s why I’ve limited myself to one a week during my search. I’m not searching for the best cardiac arrest in NY.

NYC Healthy Bites is a relatively new cart that often parks amongst the fustercluck of food trucks and carts on Union Square West. Unlike the nearby Squeeze Truck, they’re not serving healthy food like kale and quinoa, but instead healthier versions of food that is just terrible for you. Like hot dogs.

Great! I love a hot dog as much as the next person and like I said before, I’d like to not die with a bun in hand. However, I’d rather eat a bacon-fried dog that tastes delicious over a fake meat dog that tastes like cardboard. In the case of wieners, flavor should always trump health.

So I was eager to see how NYC Healthy Bites did with flavor and health (or lack of unhealth, as would be more apropos). There are three dogs to choose from (organic, all-natural chicken, or vegan) and then a number of styles and/or toppings.

Beef was a no-brainer for me and I decided to have them make it German-style, which includes sauerkraut, diced onions, and paprika. Germans brought hot dogs to this country and so I thought it was only appropriate. But if the Germans of yesteryear knew that this cart was offering to serve their namesake dog completely vegan, they’d probably be rolling in their graves.

I took my $4.50 wiener to a bench in the park before taking a bite. The first thing I noticed was the bread. Sure, it was whole wheat but it looked like a slice of regular store-bought whole wheat bread. Healthy or not, I think hot dogs belong on buns. I know there are whole wheat buns out there. And they should have toasted it while they were at it.

The second thing was the heavy handed mustard. This actually ended up being more offensive than the sweet bread. Ok, Germans love their mustard but this prevented me from tasting the other flavors. The mustard totally overwhelmed the raw onions and sauerkraut. It was sloppy, messy, and hard to take. And I’m a mustard advocate, believe me.

The dog itself was alright. It was soft without a pop or any char. It didn’t taste any better than most of the mediocre lackluster dogs you get from your typical street cart in the city. And maybe that’s what they were going for – to make this overpriced hot dog taste like any other. In their defense, I did not have the usual indigestion associated with tube meats. So that’s certainly a healthy plus.

But with mustard all over my fingers and a napkin full of excess red onions, I was disappointed. This so-called healthy dog was thrown together without any thought for presentation or flavor. Perhaps if the bread was toasted or the hot dog had been grilled or the toppings were restrained, maybe then the healthy bites would have been worth it. Until then, I’ll take my heart attack, thank you very much!

Does NYC Healthy Bites have the best hot dog in NY? Maybe they have the healthiest, but certainly not the tastiest. It’s a sloppy unbalanced mess of toppings with a hot dog that’s nothing more than just alright. 6 out of 10.

NYC HEALTHY BITES
Various Locations
Check Twitter: @NYCHealthyBites
nychealthybites.com
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Category: Hot Dogs

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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