Asia Dog at the Brooklyn Flea
You know, I think that since I brought Ali to the Great Hot Dog Cookoff and sampled many possibilities of hot dog cuisine, she is more enthusiastic about signing on as co-pilot on my outings. When I told her over the weekend that it was time to go try Asia Dog, all signs pointed towards ‘Go!’ As always, the experience is made better by a mere 5 minute walk to the location.
I can’t tell how long Asia Dog has been around, and I think they have a stand in Los Angeles. But my previous research has indicated that Asia Dog is a pop up stand that has occupied many locations in NYC such as the Trophy Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, SummerStage in Central Park, and concerts at Terminal 5 on the west side of Manhattan. Brooklyn Flea is located about 6 blocks from our apartment and located in the basketball/handball court of the Queen of All Saints School (which I think is where Notorius BIG went to school as a child). It’s a great and weird flea market with 150 vendors selling things like the vinyl soundtrack to Thundercats, Star Trek playing cards, rams horns, and brand new silk pillows. There are also a number of great food stands selling items like pupusas (stuffed tortillas), pizza, ice pops, coffee, and milkshakes. But I was there for Asia Dog, a stand that sells dogs with a variety of toppings from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cuisines.
The first step when you order is figuring out if you want your dog to be chicken, beef, veggie, or organic beef. I ordered 2 beef dogs. I was immediately drawn to the Wangding which is topped with Chinese BBQ pork belly, onions, and a thin slice of cucumber. My stomach also told me to order the Ito which is topped with Japanese curry and homemade kimchi apples (and I think onions as well).
The first thing I noticed about the skinny and nicely charred dog was its springy snap. I agreed with Ali when she observed that it was very firm. I wondered if the organic beef dog would ease up a little on the snap. But the dog was very enjoyable. The curry was not too strong, but provided some nice heat. It slightly overpowered the apples, but I got some occasional bites of sweet and tangy from what I think were granny smiths.
I particularly liked the Wangding dog. This is like the HD version of a steamed pork bun. The pork belly had a nice balance of meat and fat with that delicious Chinese BBQ flavor. The green onions added a nice mini-crunch and sharper counterpoint to the BBQ, while the cucumber added some cool and mild to the combination.
While I waited for my order, another patron had just received her two dogs. I can sense that Ali may be on her way to becoming a ghost writer and fixer for my blog entries. She started talking to this woman and asked her what she had ordered. It’s interesting how people get a little confused and guarded when you ask what they are eating and if you can take photos of them. I’m sure I would be the same way. But I’m glad she thought it would be ok to show up on a hot dog blog. She had ordered the Mel & Steve which is topped with the bright purple Asian sesame slaw and green onions. The other dog is the Mash which is topped with spicy ketchup, jalapeno mustard, and crushed salt & pepper potato chips.
We’ll be away visiting friends this weekend so I’ll have to wait to go back to the flea market. Maybe I’ll get a different dog and explore some other food options. And buy those Star Trek playing cards I can’t stop thinking about.
Asia Dog at the Brooklyn Flea 176 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn NY Check for other locations at http://asiadognyc.com/