Sweet Jesus, it’s just been too long since I’ve visited NYC. Sam and I went down to the Big Apple mid-December for a holiday celebration at Jay & Tom’s (her uncles) and to hit up some righteous hot dog stands with Ali and Alex. Along with the great times I got to see the dirty and pan-handling horde of Elmos and Santas that milled around Rockefeller Plaza, found out that NYC may have the best Chinese food, pizza and bagels but the city can’t do justice to German fare, and stayed up way past my bed time!
Alex and I had admittedly over-ambitious plans to visit at least three hot dog stands in one day (we only got through two on the list) and the first visit was to Willie’s Dawgs, Alex’s favorite Brooklyn hot dog stand. Willie was a great guy to talk to, very welcoming and willing to talk shop. The stand uses all beef dogs, grilled on a griddle, and comes up with some wild topping combos along with their awesome variety of buns (including challah, rye, and multi-grain).
In addition to getting to meet some new hot dog vendors, I got to meet Alex’s friend Hans. Below, Hans is showing off his “pickles jalan” hot dog which has peanut sauce, Indonesian pickels, and jalapenos on a challah roll. I had one too and can testify to its fiery power. Testify, brother, testify!
Hans had some great stories and kept me laughing throughout the meal. In fact, I think the picture of Sam and Ali was taken just after he finished telling us about his struggle with a herniated belly button, which is why Ali is looking a little anxious . . . .
I asked Alex what his stand-by dog was when visiting Willie’s and he told me he eats most anything here on a regular basis, but returns to the “Grady” often. That beautiful dog is pictured below, smothered with peppers, onions, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard, and mayo on a rye roll. I’ve never had ketchup and mustard together before (actually I had considered it an abomination) but the Grady changed my mind. Thanks for popping my cherry, Willie!
I can’t figure out which was more impressive about Willie’s–the condiments or the rolls. The challah roll was about the most delicious bun I’ve had, but the long and well-thought out combination of flavors that went into the condiments was a delight. You better believe that Alex and I will be making another trek back here next time I visit, and I’ll report back on the other specialties Willie’s has to offer.
I promise to post soon about the second half of our weekend weenie excursion, where Alex and I proceeded to stuff ourselves with encased meats before meeting our significant others for dinner. Bleargh!
UPDATE 1/6/09: Alex sent me an email with some corrections that need to be made. I can’t believe I flubbed on these! Next time, I promise not to drink so much that night that I forget the name of the hot dogs I ate. And I really didn’t introduce myself to the owner of Willie’s Dawgs, so I was just assuming. From Alex’s email:
“as co-administrator, i must alert you to some error in details. first, willie is the owner’s previous dog. i don’t actually know what the owner’s name is. second, the picture of the hot dog is not a grady; i think it’s a frankie. plus, if you wanted to add it, ali is eating a chilli dog, and it was delicious.”