My search for the best hot dog in New York continues….
I sure hope in some twisted, alternate universe there is not a bar called The Cannibal where pigs and lambs are eating human flesh, while guzzling beer and checking in on Foursquare. But I suppose it would be what we deserve for being so carnivorous.
Thankfully, the meat at The Cannibal does not make us cannibals but simply hungry meat-eating fools. And while they use less desirable parts like beef heart and pig’s head, they’re certainly honoring the animals by pairing them with an extensive craft beer selection.
The only local beer on draft was Bronx Brewery’s pale ale, which I’ve reviewed and tasted many times before. So I’ll have to return when the lineup changes to do a beer review. And that’s when I’ll talk about the cool beer shop in front. This review will focus on the butcher side of things.
In addition to serving food and beer, The Cannibal is also a working butcher. Is there anything this place doesn’t do?
I first and foremost came here for the hot dog, but we made a meal out of their meat and vegetable dishes. The lamb tartare was featured on Time Out’s 100 Best list (the one that I’m not officially eating my way through), but was a bit underwhelming to me. It tasted more mild than a quality steak tartare without much gamey lamb flavor or heat from the promised harissa.
Ironically enough, we most enjoyed their vegetable dishes. The beets with a horseradish yogurt sauce was spicy and earthy. And the brussels sprout salad was tangy and complexly flavored with orange, eggs, and dijon mustard.
The Cannibal dog, which is a take on a coney dog (actually more of a Michigan speciality than a New York one), comes two to an order. I convinced the bartender to just let me order one dog. I’m not sure they always do that, but it was a slow night and I assured him it would just be wasteful.
The truth is, I could have eaten the two dogs. I shouldn’t have, but I certainly could have. It was really that good. The wiener was grilled to perfection so that it had both a crisp snap and a meaty interior. A rich and warming cumin heavy beef heart ragú stood in for chili and along with the raw onions and the right amount of yellow mustard, the dog was balanced with smokiness, saltiness, and spice.
If human hot dogs are as good as this beef one, then let the pigs and lamb enjoy it on that nightmarish alternate universe. For now, I’ll stick with the beef!
Does The Cannibal have the best hot dog in NY? It’s not a traditional NYC style, but the rich and spicy beef heart ragú makes a perfect topping to a wonderful grilled frank. 9 out of 10.
|113 East 29th Street (between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue),