Tag Archives: Bark Hot Dogs
My search for the best beer in New York continues….
The day will come that if you walk in to any independently owned Brooklyn restaurant, you will find a beer brewed just for them by Sixpoint. In a span of a week, I was at two of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants for a meal and discovered that they both had a special beer that you could find nowhere else. Talk about local and exclusive. But also pretty cool.
My search for the best hot dogs in New York continues….
SADLY, BARK HOT DOGS IS NOW CLOSED.
I’m slowly learning that the majority of the hot dogs in this city come from one company. You may have heard of the little known Sabrett. If you haven’t and you’ve walked around NYC, you need to open your eyes. Some, but very few, of NYC establishments are actually making their own hot dogs from scratch – casing and all.
The newish and hugely popular Bark, located on the outskirts of the family friendly neighborhood of Park Slope are certainly not making their own dogs in house, but they do have a “private label” with Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in Rochester, NY. Private label makes me think of wine. The nose on this smells like hot dogs!!!
People love to tell me what I should tackle on my next food journey. There are so many options in New York. But the one that seems to get recommended the most often are hot dogs. It’s clearly a New York dish and I suppose I’ll have to get to them eventually. But I’ll admit, I’m not looking forward to it.
I like hot dogs, sure, but childhood memories of badly boiled wieners and the knowledge of all that goes into making a frank, has me putting off the hot dog challenge for as long as possible. I do like them once in a while (and it usually has to do with an event or holiday or something), but they’re not a food that I want to eat on a regular basis.
Now, proper sausages on the other hand, I could eat all the time (Thank God I don’t). And when the lines between a hot dog and a sausage tend to blur, then I’ve got some eating to do.
Bark Hot Dogs in Park Slope is one of the many new spots in New York that is trying to blur that line and turn the hot dog from a dirty water floater to a gourmet dish.
Although unlike at Crif Dogs or Dogmatic, Bark doesn’t really try to re-invent the hot dog. They just use the finest ingredients (as related from their list of sources on the table) and add some tasty toppings to their Classic Dog. Time Out called for us to try the House Dog so we just got a plain dog (minus any chili or cheddar), added some mustard and bit in.
What a snap! Just as much as flavor, I think a hot dog should be judged on its snap. And this guy exploded on each bite. It’s an exciting sensation and a slightly laborious work-out for your teeth. In a good way.
And the flavor of this pork and beef blend was hearty and complex. It had a meaty, rich beginning and a surprisingly smoky finish. I’ve never deconstructed a hot dog like this. And I haven’t even gotten to the bun which was perfectly toasty giving way to a soft interior.
The veggie version that we got (made of mushrooms and chickpeas) didn’t fare quite as well. There was no snap (I’ve yet to have a veggie version that’s successfully re-created the snap sensation) and the flavors and textures were a little muddied and soft.
But stick to the meat here and you’ll be happy. And it’s definitely gotten me thinking about the best hot dogs in the city. You might see a hot dog episode sooner than you think.
Would Bark Hot Dog’s House Dog make my Top 100 of the year? The link gets an 8 out of 10, much higher than I anticipated, but this frankfurter is fresh, flavorful, and fantastic.
When I received the egg sandwich from Bark Hot Dogs, I couldn’t help but think of all those early morning fast food breakfasts I had on family road trips. This thing looks like it could have come from a McDonald’s microwave. Did Time Out really send me to taste this?
But knowing that this casual eatery in Park Slope focuses on local and farm fresh ingredients (if you didn’t know, just check out their resource list), I imagined that looks could and would be deceiving. I’d be surprised if there was actually a microwave in house.
Bark feels just like a local fast food joint. It had the bar stools, the walk-up counter, and the greasy food to make you feel at home (if home were Burger King). So it was no wonder that the sandwich brought back those memories of eating on the run. But, of course, this is gourmet Brooklyn so even the fastest food is still cooked to order (and no longer qualifies as being fast).
We ordered our egg sandwich with all fancy fix-in’s: the house sausage (a ginger-flavored meat patty) and sharp Grafton cheddar cheese. The cheese was sadly a bit sparse on the sandwich, but we got to experience its rich, creamy sharpness on our cheese fries.
And really it was all these extra things that made the sandwich anything other than what you would find at your local fast food establishment (and I mean one that doesn’t convert its kitchen grease into diesel fuel). The buttery, crunchy English muffin was a perfect complement to the egg, which looked as if it had been scrambled in a mold (the menu says it’s slow-cooked). It was flawlessly formed, but rather bland and underseasoned. The sausage was the most interesting item between the bread. It had a dark pink hue and was rich, meaty, spicy, and even a bit sweet. The ginger flavor was a pleasant surprise.
The ingredients were all fresh and well-prepared, but the sandwich itself was really only exciting for one reason: It proved that you can make those classic fast food dishes with good ingredients, unique flavors, and you probably couldn’t tell the difference. Except of course, you’d have to double the wait time.
Would Bark Hot Dogs’ Egg Sandwich make my Top 100 of the year? It wasn’t much different than an Egg McMuffin, except it had freshness and flavor behind it and so earns a 7 out of 10.