Monday, June 7, 2010

In My 'Hood - Bark Hot Dogs

Hey, all!

Welcome to one of the features I'll be having here on Trying Anything Once called "In My 'Hood." Since I live in Brooklyn (woo hoo!) a pretty emerging (if not already a) food destination, I love the fact that I've got some fun and fabulous places to eat right at my doorstep. I'm still trying to figure out if my 'hood will just be Brooklyn or heck, maybe even all of NYC? I'll keep you posted. But let's begin with my first featured joint in the 'hood, Bark Hot Dogs.

Some of you who know me well are going to probably gasp that I'm even writing about a hot dog place since, well, I don't really eat much meat. A food blogger who doesn't eat meat? Yeah. I know. That's for another post, and I'd like to say that I am still a pescetarian with flexitarian tendencies. :) I know some of you will now stop reading this blog after reading that, but bear with me anyway.

Bark Hot Dogs is located on a cute stretch of stores and restaurants on Bergen Street right next the 2/3 Bergen Street subway stop at the northwestern edge of Park Slope (or maybe the southern edge of Prospect Heights, you decide). This place ain't new, but it's new to me.

Being a fan of modern design, I loved the light, airy space that seemed to be more akin to a relaxing sushi place or Chipoltle branch than one serving food that will possibly clog your arteries when consumed on a regular basis.

For a Friday afternoon late lunch this place was pretty packed with everything from families, couples and people who somehow can find a way to eat hot dogs at random times in the middle of Brooklyn (like me!). Perhaps a testament to the goodness that was awaiting me?

As usual, I scouted out the menu before rolling up to Bark, but then totally forgot to order their baked beans, which are apparently fabulous. After considering the different types of hot dogs from the basic Classic with nothing added (you can always add mustard, ketchup or mayo for free as well as other condiments such as oak aged sauerkraut and cucumber relish from 50 cents to $1) to the Bark Dog (sweet pepper relish, mustard and onion) and other options in between, I decided on the Bacon Cheddar Dog, the basic french fries and one of the lighter beers made by Six Point Craft Ales of Brooklyn (available in Growler size too). By the way, a beer with lunch is key when you're not doing a 9 to 5. Just sayin'... Anyway, there are also non-hot dog options, but that's like ordering a cheesesteak sandwich at KFC? Why?

My meal sans beer

The dog gets its close-up.

At first bite, I fell in love with the crispness of the hot dog itself. Think of biting into a crunchy yet tender pickle, and you know what I mean. The small bits of bacon mixed together with the cheese and the onion made for a great mix of salty, smokey, cheddar-y goodness. That being said, I felt like I wanted more. More of what? Well, more flavor.

I guess going out to eat hot dogs in a restaurant made me think of my childhood days of eating chili dogs with my mom in a greasy spoon near her office. Those hot dogs were piled to overflowing with amazing chili. The Bacon Cheddar Dog was definitely made for dainty eating, which I should be favoring as woman who likes to eat pretty healthy food. I could pick up my dog and take bites without anything oozing out from the bun. But I was at a hot dog joint! Relatively "healthy," "only one napkin needed" eating was for another time! The flavor was strong and present in my old reminiscent hot dogs, but this Bacon Cheddar Dog just didn't convert me back to full time meat eating like I thought it would. I wanted the dog to pack a punch, and instead it just gave me a love tap.

Also this isn't your corner stand hot dog prices either. The Classic Dog starts out at $4.25, so if you want the approximately $2 and under experience, I would stick to the dudes on the street. A dog with stuff on it, regular fries and a beer set me back about $15. After living so many years in New York, I didn't even flinch at the prices. Sad, isn't it?

While there is a major difference in price from the local guy on the corner, it's more than made up by the fact that Bark is super eco-friendly. In addition to participating in a corporate composting program, the restaurant buys green power (which I am thinking about doing too!), and sources much of its ingredients from local farms. They want you to know this too! They put a list of their purveyors on each table so you can't miss it.

Anyway, I am glad I made the decision to hit up Bark. It's great to see a restaurant selling well-made, well-sourced, "fun" food in the neighborhood even if it may not bring me back to my greasy chili dog childhood daydreams.

Bark Hot Dogs
474 Bergen Street, Brooklyn


Ali @ His Birdie's Nest said...

I love hot dogs, but I haven't eaten one in forever. I teetering on becoming a pescetarian, but my flexetarian ways take over too often ;-)
If I lived near Brooklyn I would definitely try this place out soon. I love this feature!

TwoWishes Tara said...

Aw. I used to live on Bergen Street (but at the other end, near Smith). Brings back memories!


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