Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mad about hot dogs. Again.

Not in like, the "in love with" sense. Although actually me and the boyfriend truly are in love with hot dogs, we are just actually mad about NYC gourmet hot dogs. Pissed, actually.

I NEVER YELP, but I must admit, we filled a whole night giggling and writing nasty reviews about places we hate that pushed us to our limit. I am telling you...when people, places, and things aren't very good, they just don't register with me. When they are spectacular or downright offensive, I am moved to post my feelings via the internet and so help me god, register for a Yelp account.

If you scroll down, I raved about how delicious Hot Doug's in Chicago is and also made an informative video. (believe me, you'll take away something from this video) and over the holidays in Michigan, I am planning a trip to Lafayette Coney Island and Lipuma's to eat nitrate riddled, hershey squirt looking coney dogs and document the adventure.

In the meantime, NYC, not satisfied with having superior pizza and bigger buildings has decided to attempt the gourmet hot dog craze after perfecting dirty water hot dogs from a street vendor cart. I introduce you to BARK hot dogs in Brooklyn which, well, sucks. They don't get it. It looked like a Chipotle with hot dogs instead of "burrito bowls".

Here is an edited review:
(for the whole friggin' thing, click here )

My boyfriend and I, well, we love hot dogs--- the nostalgia factor of a ballpark frank with yellow mustard and white onions or the new insurgence of hot dogs being prepared creatively with artisanal toppings is all good with us. We love these tasty, encased meat gems. Like, seriously love them.

This review is unfortunately about the gimmick of the place far out-shining the meager little trays of food we received and the main event, the HOT DOG, not being a highlight of the meal.

On the upside, we really enjoyed being able to order Disco Fries. It was cool to have that as an option and have it deliver well in the taste/texture department--very yummy! Chili Cheese Fries and Plain Fries were pretty good as well. We opted for booze instead of milkshakes, but I would potentially go back to try one.

Chili Cheese Dogs were ordered. Nobody outside of the mid-west can make a good chili-dog. It's just impossible to find in NYC--- we don't fault any of you, you just haven't experienced the best--- and they were over twice the price of what they should be. The chili was more like loose meat and didn't have much going on in the flavor department. The dog itself was just a tad lackluster and call me crazy, but they looked small too!

We want this place to do it's own thing despite all of our "Midwest hot dogs are superior" posturing,(even though they are), and for it to be a good neighborhood staple.

The enviro-friendly everything is cool and all but, after dropping 50 bucks for hot dogs, you have to then spend 5 minutes bussing and recycling the remaining contents of your tray before you can even leave. I kind of lost it at that point. Goddammit, I just want a good hot dog and I am not concerned about my health or the environment when I get a hankering for some tasty tube meat!

If you are going to charge this much money, you have to step it up big time because right now, a street vendor hot dog is equally appetizing, always consistent, costs 2 bucks and the sauerkraut is free.

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We were very honest. I think some things have changed over at Bark since some people started reviewing which is great, but my main problem is that the hot dogs which are not only tasteless, are super vegetarian friendly. Not my crowd. I eat homemade vegan fare at home all the time -- whole grains, steamed veggies, seaweed & azuki beans over field greens, but I NEVER want a VEGAN hot dog.

I know I am about to eat some good grub when vegans can't hang. Get your priorities straight, assholes and have fun munching on your 3rd helping of tofu for the day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

And then there's this:

The name of this photo file on my computer is "pure terror".

This my friend, is a mustache bug. In NYC, people call it a silver fish but I beg to differ. The words "silver" and "fish" evoke a sleek, futuristic image or at least hearken to mind an aquatic creature, which last time I checked cannot crawl across my ceiling in the middle of the night. I will get back to this dead beat in a moment.

In the past week, I've had a few too many unpleasant run-ins with insects.

I am currently being terrorized by cockroaches. It is just the sad truth about NYC. It doesn't matter how clean a joint you work in with amazingly high quality standards and zero health code violations-- cockroaches can happen to anyone.

I had to stay behind after work one night and help seal up dry-goods, silverware and the like for the next day's bug bomb that was hopefully going to take care of the mounting roach problem.

For the most part, customers have been spared. The roaches like to hang with the waitstaff in our dark stations near the garbage and slop buckets. Up until last week, the "rachas" did not dare disturb diners enjoying a well-earned $26 loin of lamb, when some little upstart, decided to hitch a ride into the dining room inside of one of our impeccably folded linen napkins. I will credit the unlucky customer for not shrieking like he had a vagina when he saw that loser on his lap, but still, no one feels too confident about the meal they're going to consume after an incident like that.

Later that week, some lingering mosquitoes also decided to set up camp at my restaurant and bit the christ out of me. I was in the midst of my usual panic as we were way beyond capacity and the restaurant was in full tilt when I looked down to see 4 consecutive, largely swollen and irritated bites now lining my right and left arm. I always think something is going to cause me to go into anaphylactic shock or cause my throat to swell up and cut off oxygen, and so naturally i started to get light headed and freak out.

In addition to the work bites, I have a small family of mosquitoes living under my bed who I cannot smoke out during the day. I always hunt for them before bed time, give up after 10 minutes and then wake up with more bites covering my left calf, ankle and foot--- the leg closest to the wall.

I have so many scabs from bug bites that I look kind of ill--- or like I'm addicted to junk. It's not a great look either way.

Only 3 nights ago, I had a weird feeling in my gut--like I was about to be violated by a stranger who had been camping out in my apartment for a day waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I got up from my desk and walked into the kitchen sensing a "presence". I didn't even need to turn on the light to see the outline of what can only be described as the biggest cockroach I have ever seen just chillin' on the outside of my cupboard. I of course flipped on the light to confirm my worst fear and there it was--- a "racha" the size of a mouse.

We don't have cockroaches in my apartment. I've been here for well over a year and we have not had a single problem. Even with my massive pile of recyclables that I collect each week, still no rodents or the like. I was in pure disbelief. Did this miscreant smuggle himself home with me from work a few months ago all the while living under cover, strength training and carb-loading off of my poorly rinsed dishes to balloon up to the size of a toddler's fist? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.

I indeed screamed like a vagina, waking my drunken roommate from a white wine coma and scaring the daylights out of my boyfriend who I forced to kill the thing with an empty paper towel tube and ripped out pages from my stack of New Yorkers I never read.

Finally, they were being put to good use.

Even after being squashed, smashed, impaled and pounded for a full 30 seconds, the thing was still lucid and fighting to escape as we escorted it to the bathroom and deposited it into a swirling, watery grave. It's more than likely living in the sewer system now and harboring a grudge like those dreaded albino alligators, but whatever. Get it the fuck away from my sundries.

As trying as all of this has been, it brings me back to the silver fish aka "mustache bug". These things are a code red for me on the terror list and I am about due for another visit. I feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it comes to destroying these losers. I have a highly developed sense for them. I have awoke from deep sleep with a premonition that one of these monsters is cavorting across my ceiling. This has happened three times now. I sit up in my bed, flip on the lights, and sure enough, one of these total zeros is out on the town, tearin' it up and wildin' out on the middle of my bedroom ceiling. Their very presence is disturbing as is, but after observing and familiarizing myself with their scummy habits, I watched in horror as these asshole bugs just stop what they're doing, decide they'd rather be on the floor and just....let go of the ceiling.

PRESTO! The mustache bug turns upright in the air, mcuh like a cat, tucks and rolls, and is back on track with his agenda for air diving in to land in your sleeping mouth.

I lost it when I saw that and played a psychotic game of cat and mouse with one of these freaks until about 4 am. It took me hours to catch it on the move before I could smash it to a segment-y pulp.

The next time, I knew better and acted fast while one was still on the ceiling. I was not quite able to reach it even standing on my desk, so instead I fumbled around on my dresser to grab a can of extra firm, aerosol hairspray and plastered that piece of shit with Aqua Net. I felt powerful and screamed a little bit as the mustache bug violently struggled but then only tangled his sticky, now cemented legs together to be frozen for all time on my ceiling. I was shaking from adrenaline and didn't clean it off my ceiling, but instead left it there to serve as a warning to other creepy crawlies that they were messing with a pro.

I've had enough. I am ready for the ground to freeze and for these insects to all die. It would be nice if mother nature would help me out here, because I can't take much more and if anyone out there from the Lepisma Saccharina genus is reading this blog, I'd suggest you take your business elsewhere unless you'd like me to make an example out of you.