If you ever see a list of the best hot dogs in NYC, Crif Dogs Truck is invariably on the list. Not only do they have some creative toppings, but every frank is deep-fried, and most are wrapped in bacon. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Crif Dogs started out on St Marks Place in the East Village, then expanded to another location in Williamsburg. Their latest venture is a food truck, which put them on our radar. Just look for a Jewish Mr. T on the side of the truck. We kid you not.
As we always do with a new vendor, we ask what they recommend for a first timer. A Tsunami was suggested, which would have probably been our first choice anyway, as we love pineapple. A plain Crif Dog is $5 and all the other choices, including a tsunami, are $6.
Crif Dogs is in that Twilight Zone area for lunch. One is probably not enough, but two may be too much, both in terms of food and lunch money.
The only side dishes at Crif Dogs is tater tots, which cost $4. We passed on the tots this time, but will probably try them down the road.
The frankfurters at Crif Dogs are a mixture of beef and pork. Their signature preparation is deep-frying, which makes the outside crispy, and the inside still retains its juices. Deep-fried frankfurters are popular in some parts of NJ, but you don’t see them in NYC very much.
The Tsunami is a bacon-wrapped hot dog with teriyaki sauce, pineapple and scallions. It looked and smelled so good that we took a bite before taking the photo above. Oh well, sometimes the food gets the best of us. You can still get a pretty good idea what the Tsunami is like from the picture.
The hot dog was so loaded that on our first bite, a bunch of pineapple chunks and scallions fell onto our pants. Luckily it was a pair of jeans, and there was no sauce involved, so it was easy to stand up and still be clean. Be careful out there though! These dogs can be dangerous.
Ah, sweet and tart pineapple, fried bacon, a bite from the scallions, teriyaki sauce and a juicy hot dog. Delicious! We can see why Crif Dogs is usually on most “Best NYC Hot Dogs” lists.
The Tsunami is a little outside the box, but the best things in life often are. Middle of the road may be safer, but you don’t hit the peaks and valleys that way.
The Crif Dogs truck is just getting going, so they don’t have a set routine yet. Things will become clearer after the New Year, so we suggest you follow them on Twitter here or on our Mobile Munchies Twitter feed.