Friday Food-Eat Me! Why Crif Dogs is way cooler than Totally Baked
Posted by jhochstat on April 4, 2008
This week a new restaurant opened in Chelsea with a catchy name and a concept based on a basic food product. The name of that restaurant is Totally Baked. We all get the stoner pun, we know all of the jokes “Let’s get Totally Baked for lunch” (haha). Only time will tell if TB lasts, we will see…
However, there are other places in New York City that have been around longer that also take a basic food product and match it with a catchy phrase. One of those places, an East Village favorite for the 7 years it has been open (That is a long time in New York City restaurant years) is Crif Dogs.
From it’s Eat Me motto to the sit down table game of Miss Pac Man, the hip music blasting from the speakers and the catchy phrases found throughout the menu board, Crif Dogs has become an integral part of the East Village food scene.
Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal said the best Hot Dog in New York City was The Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. With all due respect to Danny Meyer, the people who voted on that need to travel 15 blocks further downtown and 4 avenues east to find what is truly the best Hot Dog in New York City.
Basically, there a two types of dogs that Crifs serves, The New Yorker (all beef dog, cooked on the grill) & The Crif Dog (handmade, naturally smoked dog, deep fried). There are both the usual and unique variety of toppings available for you to choose from. Even David Chang, owner of the growing Momofuku group of restaurants has a dog named after him (bacon wrapped, topped with kimchee). This place is the definition of what comfort food is and should be. Along with the multitude of custom dogs and available toppings, Crif Dogs serves items that bring you back to your childhood; Homemade milkshakes, Root beer floats, Stewart’s root beer & red birch beer on tap!, RC Cola, corn dogs, house made chili and tater tots (yes tater tots).
The counter staff is fun, friendly and very knowledgeable about the entire menu and you can tell that the guys in the kitchen take a lot of pride in what they do by the presentation of all of the dogs that leave the kitchen.
I only wish that there were more Crif Dogs around the city so I would not have to travel from the Upper East Side to the Lower East Side, but I always wind up making the trip when I am jonesing for a Crif Dogs fix.
My favorite dog? The Spicy Redneck (a house dog, bacon wrapped, with chili, cole slaw & jalapeños).
Crif Dogs 113 St. Marks Place (near avenue A) 212.614.2728
Here is the house dogs section of their menu
(psst….there is also a secret bar next door but Please Don’t Tell)