Sunday, April 18, 2010

New York Hot Dog & Coffee - Bodacious Korean Hot Dogs

New York Hot Dog & Coffee - 245 Bleecker Street, New York NY 10014
A/B/C/D/E/F/V Train to West 4th Street/Washington Square

Only recently have I gotten into Korean food, tasting it for the first time at 8st Kitchen.  It made such a strong impression on me that when I was invited to try New York Hot Dog & Coffee, a unique hot dog place with a Korean twist, I was intrigued.  Dan accompanied me on my hot dog journey, and I think I sold him on the amazingness of Korean food. We both enjoyed ourselves and I was glad that we got him to open up to hot dogs a bit more (he doesn't usually like them).

Located in trendy West Village, New York Hot Dog & Coffee is positioned on a lively street, in the company of legendary food institutions such as Amy's Bread, Murray's Cheese and Rocco's Pastry Shop.  It's really a wonderful place to be for the time being, but I hear that it's going to be moving to a more central location in the future to accommodate a more prominent lunch crowd.

The overall vibe at New York Hot Dog & Coffee is funky and modern.  The front of the house has a long counter where you order your grub and a couple of casual tables with high stools for you to relax and chow down.  On warm days, the front windows are open to enjoy the sunshine and the buzz from busy Bleecker street.

If you choose to take your food to the back of the restaurant, you'll enjoy a quirky vibe with modern white furniture that looks like it came out of anime.  I especially liked the comfy couches in the back, which were nice for unwinding after a long work day.  The back area is a bit more quiet so if you want more privacy, I'd suggest it.

Just like its decor, the style of the food is unusual and innovative.  Hot dogs and hamburgers are spruced up with interesting Korean toppings such as kimchi, bulgogi and various Korean seasonings.

Hot Dogs - Although not all hot dogs have Korean flavoring, some being more Americanized options such as BBQ Chicken, Chili Cheese and the Texan, we chose to sample the Korean varieties including the Kimchi Bulgogi and the Dak-Kalbi.  The first was a hot dog with marinated beef with Korean-style pickled cabbage (kimchi) on top and the other was topped with marinated chicken with a Korean sweet sauce.

Out of the two, I had a strong preference for the chicken topping due to the flavorful sauce and the tender chicken.  It reminded me of the fabulous chicken dish I had at 8st Kitchen and I loved pairing it with the light-tasting hot dog, which was comprised purely of beef brisket.  The beauty of it was that it really felt unbelievably light for a hot dog, and didn't leave me feeling overly full.  The fluffy, slightly toasted bun was also rockin'.

While I had a thing for the chicken hot dog, the Kimchi Bulgogi (beef) was also great.  I loved the clean crunch of the kimchi and the fresh feeling that didn't have a tinge of fishiness.  I don't like when kimchi has a fishy aftertaste and during my experience at New York Hot Dog & Coffee, I found out that the fishiness of kimchi depends on the region of Korea - the further South you go, the fishier the kimchi.  Interesting.  In terms of the actual bulgogi (beef), it was also tender and slathered with naturally flavored sweet/tangy sauce that comes from freshly pureed fruits such as pears and apples among other ingredients.

The Burger - The bulgogi burger was really similar to the above-mentioned hot dog, except for the patty, of course.  Made out of 100% beef, the burger tasted fresh and just like the hot dog, it was infused with sweet/tangy Korean seasoning.  I liked that the meat was tender and not overcooked, with nice char marks from the grill, which I always enjoy.  Once again, importance was placed on the bread, as it tasted fresh, slightly warm and peppered with plenty of crunchy sesame seeds. If you don't love hot dogs, I think this one's for you.  And for the record, the burger makes you a lot fuller.

Fries - How could we not order a side of fries with all this protein?  Yum! We were very satisfied with this rendition, as they were really, really crispy on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside.  In fact, the outside seemed like it was battered - I'm not really sure in what but whatever it was, we dug it.

Service and Cost:
Since this place is super casual, there's no wait service.  You order up front and then pick up your food and bring it to your table of choice.  The employees however seemed really friendly and accommodating.  Given that the place wasn't busy when we walked in, they were happy and eager to serve us.

Costs are moderate for hot dogs and burgers and I'd go as far as saying inexpensive for the West Village area:

Hot Dogs: $3.25 -$5.50

Hamburgers: $6.49 - $7.25
Korean Tacos: $2.25 -$6.49
Fries: $2.49 -$3.29

3 Mmmms


  1. The korean-ization of american (and mexican) street food is a fantastic thing. I was skeptical at first but the Kogi BBQ taco truck made me a believer.

  2. Have you ever been to Woorijip? The most amazing place...take out, comfort Korean food, cheap and sooo good. It's on 32nd near fifth

  3. Hot Dog Carts - I'm with you. I love this hot dog revolution!

    Crystal - I need to try that place. Thank you!

  4. I am a Sabrett's girl with kraut and mustard, but his look tasty... I am intrigued.

  5. You gotta try it Casey. It's worth it - unusual but super good.



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