March 18, 2009

Crif Dogs/PDT

When I used to work near downtown in Nashville, there was this amazing place where we would always go to get hot dogs - Hot Diggity Dog. Every dog was $2.50, regardless of what you got on it, and I was always completely satisfied and stuffed. (I actually just looked on their website, and their hot dogs cost 25 cents more now...hmm, stupid recession.) The people who worked there were from Chicago, and knew how to grill a dog, not to mention how to smother it with unhealthy things. And they had veggie dogs, which is hard to come by.

So when I moved to New York almost 2 years ago, I was excited. Hot dogs are New York's specialty, right? However, after getting a cart dog, I was grossly disappointed. No flavor, who knows how long the dog had been sitting there, and no selection of toppings. That's when someone at our office mentioned Crif Dogs.

You can get your dog with literally anything you can think of on top, and you can also get it wrapped in bacon and deep fried or, like Hot Diggity Dog, as a veggie. I've ordered from this place more times than I can think of, and also stopped by for a snack in the middle of the day, as well as late at night. Honestly, I haven't ventured too far from how I like my dogs: covered in chili, onions and slaw. My favorite thing to order is the Spicy Redneck (a house dog wrapped in bacon, with onions, slaw, chili and jalapenos, $4.50). I've also tried the Chihuahua (a bacon wrapped dog with sour cream and avocados, $4.50) and it was one of the best things in the world, and I've had a corn dog ($4.50), which might have been the largest corn dog I've ever had in my life. The breading was delicious and deep fried golden brown, and slightly sweet. The fries are delicious, fresh waffle fries (which I have had plain and covered with chili and cheese), and the root beer float is good too, but one time we ordered, the girl forgot the float part, and only sent the root beer.

PDT (Please Don't Tell) is a bar connected to Crif Dogs, and although some people don't know about it, it's not a super exclusive club, just hard to get into (literally and figuratively). We finally did one fateful night and snagged a booth. I had a There Will Be Blood cocktail with chocolate liqueur, blood orange liqueur and bourbon. It tasted like bourbon, until I got to the cocktail part, but I wasn't complaining - it cost $13. And you can get special hot dogs in there - I remember reading that one of them had hummus on it. YUM.

Go here. You will be a changed person. - Jennifer

Crif Dogs is a place I have admittedly never seen during the light of day. Actually, I'm not sure I've ever eaten here before 2 AM. But boy does it sound like a good idea at about 2 AM.

They offer a myriad of options, but all of the hot dogs are cooked in the deep fryer. Some are wrapped in bacon and then fried (for good measure). Toppings include chili, onions, cheese, peppers, avocado, sour cream, and a host of other combos. Last two visits I've had a Philly Tubesteak (with cheese and onions, $3.75) and a Chili Dog (mustard, onions and chili sauce, $4). They also offer corn dogs, fries and burgers, along with shakes and beer.

All of the dogs are admittedly tasty, and the topping combos are excellent. There's really nothing better when you're hungry and it's late, and that's why you can find us there in these situations. Another thing about Crif Dogs is PDT (Please Don't Tell), a bar hidden inside the hot dog joint. It's hard to get into and we've tried multiple times to no avail, but on this particular night we struck gold. And possibly sat at Justin Timberlake's table (eh?). The drinks are a bit pricey ($13 cocktails), but are interesting and stiff. You can even order dogs in the bar.

Craving something meaty late at night? Then this is where you should be. -Laurel

Address: 113 St. Marks Pl (Near Ave. A)

Payment: Credit ($10 min) , Cash

Delivery: Yes!

Open Late: Sun-Thu, noon-2am; Fri-Sat, noon-4am

Large Group Friendly: Not really, but sometimes there's a little space

Bar/Happy Hour: Cheap beer at Crif Dogs, amazing drinks at PDT

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