This new york trip was all about Wylie & Mr. Chang... and nothing could transition between the two better than a trip to Please Don't Tell (PDT), the secret (shhh, even though it's been featured just about everywhere) bar attached to the notorious deep fried hot dog joint Crif Dogs.
Being a true LA Girl at heart, I love me some Pink's hot dogs, and was hoping that this "Gray's Papaya" everyone had been raving about would be the NYC equivalent. Oh boy was I wrong. Cheap hot dogs with conventional toppings and maybe a fruity drink or two does not make for a world class dining experience.
Insert the hushed rumors in my freshman film class... there's this place in the east village that DEEP FRY'S their hot dogs. Gluttony at it's very best. I knew I had to try this place, but being fearful of anything east of 3rd Avenue (yes I know I'm a spoiled Manhattanite, I'm slowly getting over it after 7 years) I had to rope in a bevy of boys to take the trek there. And they were rewarded by fat & grease & deliciousness. The seedlings for my love of crif dogs were planted.
Fast forward to 2010, when Food Network plays 24/7 on the telly, and Alton Brown awards PDT with a best in America of some sort award. I gasp and ask Punky, PDT? What? How? When? Still, HOW? How did I miss this? I guess not living in New York helps.
Anyway, aside from the cool secret entrance, the prohibition vibe & the bacon bourbon, what really made this a must on my list is a trio of celebrity chef crifdogs only available at this joint. The Chang Dog, The Wylie Dog & The Choptank.*
Let's start with The Wylie Dog. Deep fried Crif Dog topped with WD 50's hot dog bun battered deep-fried mayo, tomato molasses, shredded lettuce and dried onions. "The food goes molecular before the drinks." Deep fried mayo? Yes. Tomato molasses? Yes. Shredded lettuce? Meh. And I'm not sure if I even tried the dried onions. I'd give it a 6/10. I'm kind of hoping deep fried butter is similar to his mayo stick :-)
And to finish it all off... I had a nice bacon-y drink to wash down the spice. Benton's Old Fashioned. Bacon Infused Four Roses Bourbon, Grade B Maple Syrup, Angostura Bitters. "The crossroad of haute barnyard and barroom: using his connections to the artisan commodities market and science, Don Lee combined one of the foodstuffs we all crave with our beloved bourbon. Thank Momofuku for going whole hog on this one." Yes, thank you Momofuku, it was delicious!
All in all, I think this is going to become a staple of future trips to the NYC, although the 3pm reservation line does make this a commitment & as our generation knows, schedules are a hard thing to keep.
*Choptank didn't make the final cut for this trip... perhaps next time Bobby Werhane.
Please Don't Tell || Crif Dogs
113 st. marks pl
New York, NY