The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hot Dogs (#atozchallenge)













The original Papaya King at 86th St. and 3rd Ave.
The original Papaya King at 86th St. and 3rd Ave.
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hot Dogs

      In my previous post I briefly discussed the vast array of food available to those in Manhattan.  One thing for certain, there are a myriad of foods available when you're in the city.  As I also mentioned in the last post, the first thing food-wise that comes to my mind is pizza.   The second thing is hot dogs.  Hot dogs are everywhere from street vendors to fancy restaurants.

        The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council recounts how the earliest hot dogs in America may have been sold from a pushcart in the Bowery section of Manhattan during the 1860's. (source)   In 1871 the first Coney Island hot dog stand was open and was a hit from the start.  Hot dogs have taken the country by storm since those first weenies were sold right in the same Manhattan that is my April A to Z topic.

        Who doesn't like a good hot dog?  I sure do, but sometimes good hot dogs aren't all that easy to find.  Sometimes I buy wieners and buns at the grocery store so I can fix my own dogs at home, but since it's usually just my wife and I eating them we have to eat hot dogs several days in a row so that it all doesn't go bad.  If I'm in a big enough mood for hot dogs though, I'll gladly eat several meals worth including hot dogs for breakfast.  Haven't done this in a few years so maybe I'm due for a home hot dog binge.

        When we last visited Manhattan several years ago now, we had a rapid paced day to see what we could.  One of my must try destinations was either Gray's Papaya hot dogs or Papaya King hot dogs.  Either would be fine as far as I was concerned.  I had recently seen a public television show about best hot dogs in America and these were the two I recall being mentioned in Manhattan.   I insisted to my sister Joy who was acting as our guide that I had to have one of these hot dogs.

        Due to where we were when we were ready to eat, we ended up at a location of Papaya King. The experience was not only as I had expected, but overwhelmingly so.  However, the day was overwhelming so it's easy for me to understand how I have forgotten the food.   We all got dogs, fries, and papaya smoothies.  No one complained and we all seemed pretty satisfied so I think it was probably really good.  We stood at a crowded counter looking out at the passing sidewalk parade as we devoured our lunches.  Come to think of it we were really hungry.

        A person could spend a week on a hot dog holiday in Manhattan if they were so inclined.  There are the hot dogs at Coney Island and don't forget the baseball games.   Might as well try some of the available street dogs while you're out walking off the pounds from all those previous hot dogs you've been eating.   If you really want to splurge on a hot dog, you can try 230 Fifth's $2300.00 hot dog.  You've got to give them a 48 hour advance notice on that one.

         As for me I'll think I find a neighborhood bar that sells decent reasonably priced hot dogs and guzzle a couple beers as a enjoy my food as well as some local color.

         Where did you get your favorite hot dogs?    What are your favorite hot dog toppings?  How is the best way to cook a frankfurter in your opinion?



60 comments:

  1. I am sure the hot dogs in Manhattan are delicious. I do enjoy street vendor food from time to time. I don't generally like Hot Dogs with the exception of a baseball game.

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    1. Mike, I don't go to ball games and rarely get dogs at other events. Not sure if I've ever gotten a vendor dog. Sometimes I do crave a hot dog and will get one and then the craving is satisfied til next time.

      Lee

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  2. Wonderful account about the Hotdogs in Manhatten Lee, You have made me hunry.
    Enjoy your week-end.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, I just had fajitas for lunch and hot dogs don't sound too good to me now.

      Lee

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  3. This was delightful to read, Arlee! I'm going to share it with a friend who is from Brooklyn. :)

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    1. MLQ, wonder what your friend will think?

      Lee

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    2. He replied below about Nathans! ;) I thought of Nathans too as I was reading your post. Then I figured it was Manhattan hot dogs you were referring to. Nice dialog between you two.

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  4. I wish I had a million dollars "HOT DOG"!

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    1. Ha!-Ha!
      I got it, JEREMY.

      ~ D-Fens(hot)Dog
      'Loyal American Underground'

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  5. I have sympathy and empathy for you, Arlee. How in the world can you talk about hot dogs and not include in the same sentence Nathan's? As one who grew up near that 'famous' stand that was busy 10 deep at 3 AM on a hot summer day in Conney Island, as millions and millions of people attest to the expanded Nathan's stands across the country, and as millions and millions buy these hot dogs in their neighborhood supermarket, how, how dear Sir can you avoid this inclusion? I have sampled the wares way back from Papaya King. My comment: "Are you kidding?"
    Please, dear sir, enjoy the real King. And please, when you next go to New York City, visit the original Nathan's. Some of the luster of yesterday still is in the air (enhanced by the saltiness of the Atlantic Ocean)

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    1. Arthur, believe me, Nathan's was indeed on my mind while I was writing this and though the subject here is Manhattan Hot Dogs, sadly the topic in this case was not "Nathan's". I guess to be fair I'd have to have one of each hot dog at hand for sampling to make my final call, but you being a New Yorker do have the upper authority.

      My sad Nathan's experiences consist of buying the wieners at the supermarket when they were on sale and fixing them at home (good but probably lacking in what I'd get at the stands in the city), a poorly managed Nathan's in a NJ mall where everything was subpar, and the Nathan's at New York New York casino in Las Vegas where I don't think I ever actually got a hot dog but was instead was seduced by the allure of pizza slices that were lacking what I would have gotten in the city.

      If this had been a longer post Nathan's would have been included and indeed I was neglectful in not giving at least a passing mention. But thankfully you appeared to right the wrong with an excellent comment. Thank you!

      Lee

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  6. I was surprised you didn't mention Nathan's too, and their annual contest. Personally I don't care for them. I will eat maybe one or two a year. I do like them at the ballpark though. The only toppings I like are mustard and cheese.

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    1. JoJo, I guess I did allude to Nathan's with my mention of Coney Island. Sometimes I will have a hot dog with mustard only. My wife likes them with mayonnaise.

      Lee

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  7. No hot dog is worth that much.
    Around here, Bright Leaf hot dogs are popular. They dyed bright red. I said popular, but really not that great. Usually the ones at the ball park are the best hot dogs.

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    1. Alex, don't hot dogs have enough artificial ingredients without adding red dye? I'm not sure why a bright red hot dog would be all that appealing anyway.

      Lee

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  8. Why Stewarts Rootbeer Stand of course! And they make the best chili for your dogs.

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    1. Lynda Grace, a root beer stand sounds like a good place for a hot dog.

      Lee

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  9. Interesting stuff! Over here we don't really have hot dogs - we have the German Bratwurst which is a must try if you ever get over here. There are all different varieties, so expect to gain a few pounds during the tasting :)

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    1. Nicola, I've tried the various wursts at German restaurants in the States and they've been pretty good. I can eat them in moderation, but they seem pretty overpowering to me--I'm not as much as a sausage fan as when I was younger.

      Lee

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  10. Replies
    1. CW, if you say so. Are they in Indiana?

      Lee

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    2. CW, oh wait, nevermind--my curiosity got the best of me so I looked it up. Sounds good! If I'm ever in Toledo again I'll have to look them up.

      Lee

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  11. I love a good Hot Dog once in a while. I have one place nearby staked out as my to-go place, and now I'm marking down your recommendations for NY. Not the $2300 one though.

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    1. C.Lee, I sometimes get on a hot dog fixation--not as much as I used to though. I still haven't tried Pink's in Los Angeles. Guess that's one I should try.

      Lee

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  12. I've actually never had a hot dog in Manhattan! I don't even really know why. Maybe it's because I just like ketchup on my dogs and I think that's generally frowned upon by hot dog connoisseurs...mustard makes me gag.

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    1. Sarah, I've known lots of people who like ketchup on their hot dogs. I've been known to do that as well. My wife likes just mayo on hers. Hot dog toppings are a personal thing and in my opinion there is no right or wrong, only what I like for me.

      Lee

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  13. Have you ever heard of glacier hot dogs? My husband loves those. I myself go for a chili dog smothered in onions and cheese.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thea, no I've never heard of glacier hot dogs. I like a chili dog like you described when I'm in the mood.

      Lee

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  14. I must say I prefer the German wieners to those of North America, but I do enjoy hot dogs now and again. However, my husband doesn't like them, so I rarely get to eat them. Don't hot dogs freeze? Regular sausages do and bread/buns certainly do so I would have thought you could stock your freezer when you feel like eating them.

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    1. Jo, I have this thing about freezing stuff--especially bread. I just don't like doing it. German sausages can be mighty fine, but I find myself getting tired of them quickly. In fact after a few bites of most things these days I've had my fill.

      Lee

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  15. Skin's, http://www.skinshotdogs.com/ Barrett's, and The Dump (not it's real name, but what it is near). All are in the Upstate of South Carolina. We live in Texas now and, as big as this state is, we have yet to find a hotdog stand. The ones they sell at Sonic just aren't the same.

    Chili, mustard, and onions.

    I heat the wieners in a frying pan (no oil or anything added) until they get charred a bit. It's almost like they were cooked on the grill. It's good enough for me anyway!

    We've had our share of those home hotdog binges that you mentioned. :)

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    1. Suzanne, I don't usually look for hot dog stands, but if I get a craving we have a Wienerschnitzel place across the street from us. Sometimes they are pretty good while other times not so much. Probably mostly my mood though. I've had the same experience with Sonic. Recently tried the hot dogs at Burger King but didn't care for them, but again maybe it was the mood I was in.

      Lee

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  16. I like hot dogs but $2300 for one?? That's just flat out crazy! My favorite hot dogs are from Buffalo NY and they're called Sahlen's (http://www.sahlen.com/products/hot-dogs-sausage/). They are the best hot dogs ever! My brother and sister in law just brought down 20 lbs of Sahlen hot dogs for us! So we've been eating a lot of hot dogs lately.
    I have to have onion on mine. Sometimes I like relish, sometimes not. Chili once in awhile is good too. But usually just mustard, ketchup and onion. Pan-frying is the way I do my dogs... How do you do yours?

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, sometimes I boil them like my mother used to do. Often I put them in the microwave because it's fast and easy. I like them best cooked on the grill with slight char marks on mine, but my wife prefers them kind of burnt.

      Lee

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  17. $2300 for a hot dog! Wow! On a mission trip to Mexico, we wrapped hot dogs in bacon and offered a wide array of toppings for the local youth. I tried one with cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado slices and it was delicious!

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    1. Elizabeth, wrapped in bacon is good. I've had them like that fixed Mexican style and they are excellent.

      Lee

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  18. I've only been in Manhattan once for a few hours and I didn't have an hot dog. But if I ever go back, I'd like to try it :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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    1. Sarah, I'll likely opt for pizza in most cases, but if I'm in a hot dog mood then I'll probably go for one of those.

      Lee

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  19. If and when I have a hot dog I'd put a good mustard sauce on it and sliced tomato. I love US/NY moves where you see the actors picking up a hot dog from the vendor, no matter the weather. Thanks Arlee I enjoyed this ... puts me in the mood now for
    one..

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    1. Susan, yeah, it's not totally out of the picture that later today I might go to the hot dog joint across from my house and pick up a hot dog or two. Right now it doesn't sound so hot to me.

      Lee

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  20. I hate to admit it, but living in Milwaukee, I'm more a brat guy. Klement's makes the best. My personal favourite is the Polish Sausage. I think they may even sell hot dogs, so that would be my brand. Favourite toppings include mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut and relish. And yes, they are GREAT at a baseball game, even if the Brewers aren't. :D

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    1. Jeffrey, you left me hanging with your story. Polish sausage is good when I'm in the mood and with mustard and kraut it can be divine.

      Lee

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  21. Wow, what a blast from the past! I lived around the corner from The Papaya King! But I have to say those Hot Dog carts around town (especially the one across from the 5th Avenue NY Public Library, is the best hot dog I've every had! Now I'm hungry for one!

    NOTE: Enelinwen is my Blogger ID. I am doing the A to Z from Wordpress: https://fimnorawestcaw.wordpress.com

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    1. Enelinwen, I've heard good things about the cart vendors, but I've always been a bit hesitant to buy from them. Of course I haven't had that many opportunities to buy from them so I guess it's a rather moot point for me.

      Lee

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  22. I like visiting the local "Lowe's Hardware." There's a vendor outside who sells Hot dogs and they're great - chili, mustard, & slaw for me, sir!

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    1. Dixie, no vendors outside my local Lowe's which is essentially across the street from where I live. If there was a food vendor of any kind it would probably be a taco vendor or something like that. I'm really starting to think about hot dogs for lunch today.

      Lee

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  23. That picture brings back memories! I had a hot dog at Papaya King when I was in New York years ago.

    @HeatherJacksonW from
    WriteOnSisters - Masterplots from A to Z

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    1. Heather, someday maybe I can do a more extensive taste comparison test, but I'd need the time to go from one stand to another. What a day of hot dogging that would be!

      Lee

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  24. Surely you have misplaced a decimal point on that one hot dog?? I'm not a hot dog lover but recently I did hear from some Norwegian American friends about some hot dogs or links or whatever that I am curious about. They are available from a place called Willy's in Ft. Lauderdale. Sounds like a road trip!

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    1. Lissa, That's what the article I read said was the price. It's crazy, but I've read of similar burgers, sundaes, and margaritas with similar prices. I guess if you're super rich you might spring for something dumb like that, but then again a smart rich person would likely spend their money more wisely. Not familiar with Willy's but I'm rarely in Florida.

      Lee

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    2. I guess I can see a dumb rich person wanting bragging rights that he once ate a $2300 hot dog (or ONLY eats them if they cost $2300), like those fools who like to eat endangered species. I can think of way better ways to spend $2300.

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  25. Quite an informative post. I am so curious now, about 48 hours per-order hot dog by 230 fifth! I mean the cost is , obviously, high! I am baffles why!

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    1. Karnika, it's the ingredients. There are some very high priced ingredients from what I read. And the hot dog is probably enough to feed at least 4 people with some very expensive toppings on it.

      Lee

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  26. Hot dogs, at the moment, are a dinner staple for me. Easy to cook (nuke two for a minute) and I put all kinds of things on them. I rotate every couple of weeks, so for the next few weeks it will be diced chiles, sweet onions, spicy mustard and chipotle ketchup. I've been also known to use different hot sauces range from a mild green pepper to the white hot Ghost Pepper. The proper way to cook a dog is over the grill.

    My favorite dogs are usually the most expensive. We have a local hot dog place that uses Muckes/Grote&Weigel (one and the same since Muckes bought G&W), so theirs cost something like $5.50 for a pack of 8.

    Father Nature's Corner

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    1. GB, I'm starting to get a hot dog craving so will probably get some next time I'm in the store. The other day I saw a pack of 4 Hebrew National dogs for like $4.50. I didn't want to spring for it at the time, but maybe next time I will.

      Lee

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  27. Who, in their right mind, would order a hot dog for $2,300? That's crazy!! I haven't had a hotdog In years but I believe my first one was a Crystal Beach Amusement park that was open for 101 years before they closed their doors. I always wanted ketchup and mustard

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    1. Birgit, if you've got money to burn then maybe. Like if you want to impress friends or in-laws?

      Lee

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  28. There's a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council too! Woah!
    Here in India Hot Dogs aren't that much of a sensation. Burgers yes, wraps yes, rolls yes, pizzas yes, but not hot dogs. Hot dogs are more of a home-made dish, not something you'll find at a road-side eatery or hotel. :)

    Checking in from
    Fabulus and The Blue Life
    I'm participating in the #AtoZChallenge too! Do check out my posts under the theme - Weird Words!

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Lee