My search for the best hot dog in New York continues….
I almost turned around once I stepped into the very hipster-centric Rosamunde Sausage Grill in Williamsburg, the center of hipster-centricity. Among the long list of sausages at this Brooklyn location of a popular West Coast transplant were gourmet-sounding concoctions like chicken habañero and duck with figs, but no “hot dog”. I was looking for something plain and simple. Something to measure against all the other frankfurters in this city.
The bartender pointed me toward the knockwurst. Of course! But is the German all-beef seasoned wiener the same thing as a hot dog? Sure, the Germans introduced the wursts to this city and no doubt they evolved (or devolved) into the dirty water dogs we have today. But are all hot dogs considered a knockwurst?
Upon further research, the answer is probably yes. Knockwursts are soft and salty like a hot dog, usually a little thicker and perhaps more aggressively seasoned. The big difference is most knockwurst probably contain better ingredients than your pedestrian hot dog. But if you examine the fancy sausages in the photo above, only one looks like it could pass for a frank. And that’s the knockwurst (second from the top on the left).
So for $6.50, the butcher bar in the back grilled up my sausage, placed it in an oversized bun and allowed me to choose my condiments of choice. I usually skip the ketchups and mayonnaise (even if they have fancy adjectives like curry and garlic), but I can’t resist the mustards. There were 3 varieties and I got a cup full of each.
I was also tempted by Rosamunde’s other specialty, craft beer. Check out this other review for my thoughts on Brooklyn’s Scorcher ale.
My big complaint with the knockwurst was almost comical. This bun was just too damn large! The fat wurst looked puny in the bun and a good deal of my bites resulted in all carbs and no meat. Fortunately, the bread was pretty extraordinary – soft, tender, buttered, and toasted. If it was more compact, I think it would have been the perfect vehicle for the knockwurst.
And the dog was great too. It had a consistent snap, which is always impressive, with a very smoky meatiness that puts generic dogs to shame. As much as I enjoyed trying each mustard (the honey-wasabi was my favorite), this pup didn’t need much.
Really, everything was great about this sausage except the annoying bun which became more of a hinderance than an enjoyment. The bread was so tender that it began to fall apart with each chomp. And maybe therein lies the difference between hot dogs and knockwursts. The real stuff should probably just be eaten with a knife and fork. Do the hipsters in Williamsburg know how to use those utensils?
Does Rosamunde Sausage Grill have the best hot dog in NY? If not for that ridiculous (but tasty) bun, the answer would be more resounding. Either way, it’s a pretty great snappy, smoky link and gets a 9 out of 10.
|ROSAMUNDE SAUSAGE GRILL|
|285 Bedford Avenue (between South 1st Street and Grand Street),