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