*NOTE*: Crif Dogs didn’t ask me to write this review; as a Foodie, I’ve decided to share my experience at Crif Dogs with all of my fellow Foodies of the world! Photos captures with an iPhone 5s, and were edited with Instagram and Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended.
Ever since I watched The Layover New York City episode, where Anthony Bourdain and David Chang both dined at Crif Dogs, I knew that someday, I needed to make a pilgrimage to New York City to eat said hot dog.
Low and behold, my opportunity had finally arrived! During the first night of my NYC vacation, my Mom and I decided to call an UBER car, and head over to the East Village for some hot dogs!
When we walked in, the restaurant was much smaller than expected (literally a “hole in the wall” type of place), but as my Sex & The City Tour Hostess said to my tour group: “in New York City, you pay for the luxury of living here- not the size of the space”. Man oh man, she was right.
Anywho: my Mom and I walked up to the counter, and were greeted by a very nice young gentleman with stylish black hair. He explained to us the method of ordering your hot dog at Crif Dogs: first, you choose your “hot dog type”. This means: do you want either a Crif Dog (the restaurant’s handmade & naturally smoked beef & pork dog), a New Yorker (the classic snappy grilled all-beef dog), or a Veggie dog (which I would image is probably a tofu hot dog). Next, you decide if you would just like to add toppings, or try one of the “signature dogs” (which are all the Crif Dog, pork & beef blend).
My Mom chose the classic New Yorker Hot Dog (right), with mustard, relish & onion. Of course, I went for one of the signature dogs (specifically, the Tsunami Dog)! The Tsunami Dog (left) is a Crif Dog that is bacon-wrapped, with teriyaki, pineapple & green onions. 😀
I must say, this hot dog may just be THE best hot dog I EVER had! I am a HUG fan of ham & pineapple pizza; thus, the pineapple worked for me. I am also a fan of green onions, and I love it Teriyaki sauce. Thus: Crif Dogs really hit it out of the park with my hot dog! I really enjoyed the pork & beef custom hot dog blend; in my opinion, that tastes better than your average all-beef hot dog.
As soon as I noticed waffle fries on the menu, I knew we had to order them! Waffle Fries are very nostalgic for me- when I was in college at Edinboro University (of PA, not Scotland. Although, that would’ve been pretty cool!), I used to sometimes order the chicken tenders and waffle fries with honey mustard sauce from John’s Pizza. After a fun “night on the town”, this was one of my two late night snacks of choice! Anytime I see waffle fries, it always brings back fond memories of Edinboro.
Luckily, Crif Dogs didn’t disappoint! These might just be the best waffle fries I’ve EVER had!
My only somewhat critical comment: I kept comparing Crif Dogs to Pittsburgh-based restaurant chain Franktuary; in my opinion, Franktuary has a more witty and original take on the gourmet hot dog. Plus they offer other items on the menu (such as poutine, salads and chili), and host a Sunday Brunch (pretty much every Sunday) at their Lawrenceville location.
Perhaps this would be something to think about for the future? I would love to see Crif Dogs make a chilli, using the custom Crif Dog blend of meat!
Cheers to food & health,
-Friendly Fitness Foodie