Downtown Lunch: The $1, Quarter Pound, Jumbo Hot Dog!
Making Downtown office workers jealous is something this blog has been doing for awhile now. To even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (insuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food), and seems to be particularly fond of Chinatown (my dream lunch location). This week Daniel hits up one of the best deals in the city… the $1 Jumbo Hot Dog on Canal St. in Chinatown. Coincidentally enough, the same little stand popped up on Ed Levine Eats Wednesday- leaving me to wonder if there is something in the air causing bloggers to crave giant Chinatown weiners…
The price of food is going up everywhere, but there are still good deals to be had in this city. If you happen to have spent your last $15 on a bootleg Gucci bag, or on a Fung Wah Bus ticket to Boston, you can probably still scrounge together a buck, which in Chinatown will get you one HUGE hotdog. If you’re near the entrance of the Manhattan bridge, you can find this window located at 149 Canal street next to what else… a Pawn Shop.
I’m not really sure if the place has a name or if you are just supposed to refer to it as one of the numerous proclamations written on the signs. Who cares though, I just call it the “dollar hot dog window”, where for the past 4 years I’ve been getting an enormous dog for a buck. Despite only being $1 you’d be hard pressed to consider one of these hot dogs a “snack” (sorry Zach), and much like how “99 Cent Fresh Pizza” in Midtown offers you toppings at an extra cost, the signs at the hot dog stand encourage you to “try it with sauerkraut, relish, or our famous homemade onions,” for a tempting 25 cents apiece. But then it wouldn’t really be a dollar hot dog!
How often can you eat these? Well the woman who works at the pawn shop and rents the space to the hot dog lady will tout the quality of the dog, but only has a “bite of one every so often.” I think even hot dog champ Kobayashi himself might get full from too many of these things. Weighing in at a 1/4 pound, it’s almost too much processed nitrate laden meat to eat regularly… almost. As far as good lunch deals go though, there really isn’t a better deal downtown.
Is it the best hot dog in the city? Of course not. That distinction would probably go to Criff Dogs in the East Village or my personal favorite, Willie’s Dogs in Park Slope, but this thing is 1/3 of the price and double the portion… and it’s for sure better than the most dirty water dogs in the city. Of course, I had to ask about the price and how long it would stay that way, and just like with most food spots in this city, she is talking about weiner inflation…but really who isn’t? So go and get one while they’re still a buck because the ¼ pound $1.50 jumbo hot dog just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
$1 Jumbo Hot Dog Window, 149 Canal Street (near the Manhattan Bridge), no phone
Post & Photos by Daniel Krieger