An Ole’ Dog Admits Liking New Tricks At DBGB
I’ve been very pleased to have various family members be excited to make a contribution to the blog. But this one has special significance for me. This one is written by a guy I refer to as ‘my dad’ but we can call him Mr. Vega. What you will read is an account of an ex-pat New Yorker, and even though he has lived in New Jersey for a longer amount of time, we can still see his loyalty to the NY style frank. For me, this is a fiercely NY perspective, occasionally at the expense of other areas of the country. So what do you have to say, Mr. Vega?
The first thing is that for 66 years no hot dog has ever been better than a Hebrew National. Not only is that a cultural phenomenon, but a source of pride for New Yorkers who absolutely could not accept an all meat, lips and whatever-other-garbage was put into a casing that approximated something almost edible. You don’t put anything on a grilled hot dog (Not boiled. That’s for people in every other state of the union that didn’t know jack about hot dogs. If it looked like a hot dog they ate it. No discriminating tastes. Just that boiled crap that the underclass ate). New York Hebrew National were priceless for they snapped when you ate them. No mush. Real meat. Mustard-the deli type that came from wooden barrels and made fresh was de rigueur, and maybe some sauerkraut. But no ketchup, catsup or other crap.
Reading the blog only confirms the heresy of the hot dog. Those of you who write in with all your tasty abominations and desecration of the hot dog should be fined, sent to Devils Island (if it still exists) and tossed into overcrowded jails for defaming the one pure piece of Americana (invented by a German guy) other than jazz that has not been desecrated.
Up until now.
I yield to my son and the rest of you who claim that there is more to a hot dog than what I just described. On Monday October 1, I had a life changing experience at DBGB on the Bowery in Manhattan. Vicki and I went for dinner at this restaurant through the graciousness of Alex and Ali with a gift certificate.
Now while free normally tastes great, it is not an absolute.
However, the Hot Dog Trio at DBGB were absolutely the best hot dogs I have ever eaten…bar none. This is such a soul and culturally wrenching experience that I am still suffering through the shock and awe of it all. We even met chef Eli Collins to rave about the 5th food group. Nothing of the tubular-encased-meat-stuffed-into-a-roll such as this has ever passed my lips on the way to my stomach. Where did this anomaly come from? Who thought about how to put this together? How did Hebrew National not notice this upstart?
Life, as I knew it gastronomically, is over. The 20th century is dead. Welcome to the 21st. I praise the sausage makers who have defined the art for future generations to behold. As I now have high tech products and have met the challenge of an old dog learning new tricks, I applaud my kids for opening my eyes to the eighth wonder of the world.
DBGB Kitchen & Bar 299 Bowery, NYC