Yesterday, a great group of Serious Eaters came out to the Astor Center for the Hot Dog Hootenanny. The whole afternoon was devoted to tubular meats in many shapes and forms, from all different regions. Thanks to everyone who came out, including hotdoglover himself! He's already put together an awesome, expert recap.
Tables were set up to try four dogs: the Chihuahua from Crif Dogs in the East Village, the Bulgogi Dog from New York Hotdog & Coffee in the West Village, an authentic Chicago dog flown in from Vienna Beef, and our good pal, the Papaya King.
The Chihuahua is pretty intense, but definitely a crowd favorite. First the wiener is bacon-wrapped, then deep-fried, then covered in avocado hunks and a sour cream swirly.
Tray after tray of Chihuahuas kept coming out.
Upon entering, everyone got a strip of paper with images of each of the four dogs to be checked off at each table.
The gang from New York Hotdog & Coffee cooked up vats of bulgogi to layer on top of the franks.
Meat on meat! With a couple flecks of green (lettuce and pickles).
Faked ya. Those aren't real. Just plastic toy versions of the wild combos at New York Hotdog & Coffee.
Papaya King remains a classic.
Not too fussied-up. Just the dog, the ketchupy onion goop, kraut, and mustard.
Ed chatted it up with many Serious Eaters and made sure they were all tagged with our signature pink pig sticker.
There was a keg of Nut Brown Lager from Kelso of Brooklyn. Mmm, malty and refreshing—a great pairing with the dogs. Prosecco was also available, which surprisingly wasn't that bad with the Chihuahua.
Lots of poppy seed buns.
The Chicago Dogs are great and all, but does that huge pickle spear really need to be there? I like pickles, but it's a mouthful.
In the kitchen, wooden boards were plated with meat slices for a tasting led by Bruce Kraig, a hot dog historian and author of Hot Dog: A Global History.
All three tastings were packed! Everyone got a sampling of seven different dogs: Thumann's beef and pork natural casing, Hofmann's German franks (beef and pork), Hofmann's natural casing "Snappy" (spicy white dog—sort of like a bratwurst), Usinger's wieners (beef and pork—a classroom favorite), Oscar Mayer Wieners (beef, pork, and poultry—tasted like a salt lick), Carolina Packers skinless red hots (whoa, that's red), and Koegel's Pickled Red Hots (very vinegary and tangy).