Today I made a trek through the snow globe that has become the northeast to Bark Hot Dogs, a newish(?) semi-upscale hot dog spot in Park Slope.
The interior is nice, modern, sparse, and sort of fancy what with its wood panelling, plain white brick walls, and long communal bar benches, which I always think is a crucial set up when ever hotdogs and burgers are involved. But enough about the interior, I’m here to talk about the dogs, and they were…ok. I got my usual litmus test dogs, chili cheese and sauerkraut with mustard, and a lemon-lime FoxOn Park soda. After a 5 or so minute wait, my order came out on a nice little metal tray lined with butcher paper. The first thing I noticed was that they went for the “just right” approach with the toppings. As opposed to some hot dog places like say, Happy Dog in Cleveland who overload your dog to the point that you need a knife and fork, Bark put just the right amount so that things were spilling out all over the place while you ate or overpowering the fairly slender dog (oddly enough though, my chili cheese dog sort of ended up leaning to one side of the paper tray it sat in and the chili and melted cheese ended up adhering to the tray so I used a knife and fork anyways). The second thing I noticed was that the dogs were longer than the bun and curled up on the sides. The weiners had a nice snap and fairly mellow hot dog flavor, which I think could be attributed to the use of a pork blend as opposed to the heavier somewhat spicier taste of all beef, which I prefer but I’m not complaining either. The cheese was a melted white cheddar and the chili was a beanless meat sauce (yes!) both of which were decent. The kraut dog was pretty straightforward, nothing really notable to mention, but one thing that did stick out to me about both dogs was the bun. They were toasted really nicely and had a nice chewiness to them, a real quality piece of bread.
All in all the meal was pretty good, leaning more towards decent as opposed to awesome, but something that kept ringing in my ear from the second I paid to my walk home was that 2 hot dogs and a soda came out to about $15. A while back there was a small discussion in the comment section here about people paying way too much money for what’s supposed to an everyday man’s meal, and I honestly leaned towards the “sometimes you’ve just gotta pay a little more for a quality product”. But after eating at Bark, and I am no way saying it’s a total rip off or anything, I couldn’t stop thinking about the David Cross bit about eating at Jean Georges and then while eating you realize “WAIT A MINUTE…THIS ISNT WORTH $______!” I mean, I think Crif Dogs makes a more quality product and they’re at least a dollar cheaper across the board. Five Guys, despite being about $12 for a burger, fries, and a drink, fills you up and gives you enough fries to feed a small family.
So there you have it, my all over the place review of Bark Hot Dogs. Pretty good, definitely worth a stop in if you’re in the area, and possibly worth a second visit (they serve breakfast on weekend mornings, as well as burgers and fries which I didn’t try), but nothing really mindblowing.