Tuesday, March 11, 2008

East Village Food Adventure - Part 4

The next stop on the cheap eats East Village food tour was the one I was looking most forward to before we started this whole thing. Since I don’t eat red meat or pork, my hot dog intake is pretty limited to an occasional turkey hot dog during a summer BBQ. I feel like I miss out on the whole hot dog culture in NYC…eating them at a Yankees game, Coney Island, or the famous Grey’s Papaya. So, I was really excited to learn that, at Crif Dogs, all of their creative hot dog concoctions are available for both their deep-fried beef franks as well as veggie dogs.

I stared at the menu board debating what to order. My brother works at a family friend’s Chicago-style hot dog shop in Atlanta when he’s home from college. He’s a huge foodie and would always tell us about the crazy combos of condiments and fixin’s he’d come up with when it was slow at work. So, I was prepared for some insane combinations, but Crif Dogs takes it to a whole new level. After deciding I couldn’t stomach a fried egg, avocado, or cream cheese on my veggie dog at this juncture, I decided to go with the veggie corn dog.

I have no clue why I was imaging it to look like frozen corn dogs that were served in my elementary school. But, when they called our name, my jaw dropped. This thing looked like a mini football with a wooden stick at one end. The batter had a great taste, only problem was it wasn’t fried long enough, so the inside of it was still a little soggy. The veggie dog itself tasted pretty good, but probably could have stood another few minutes in the fryer as well.

Ok, so I was a little disappointed. But, there was something else at our table that I knew would turn my frown upside down…TATER TOTS!!! I’ve only seen them served at one other place in NYC, at Big Daddy’s Diner. Needless to say, nothing bad can come of tater tots. That, combined with a fountain orange soda, arcade games, and great music, and there I was like a kid in a candy store.

NYC Food Guy went with the Chihuahua dog, and seemed to like it a lot. Think bacon-wrapped hot dog topped with sour cream and avocado. I may have to experiment with that one veggie-style on my next trip to Crif Dogs. But, with the way I was feeling after walking out of that place, it may be a while before that happens! A much-needed breather in Tompkins Square park was in order before moving on to the next and final spot.

Crif Dogs
113 St. Marks Place
b/t Avenue A & 1st Avenue
Menu Pages listing

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