“I’d like to try a Deputy Dawg.” I heard myself saying after mentally chowing down on the menus lined up on the wall, behind the serving counter. This was a new concept for me. Normally I would pop to the Ikea counter when shopping and order a skinny dog, then smother it in ketchup and mustard. This was my first experience of eating a completely different kind of hot dog. One with a filling as well as onions.
“Pick the type of sausage you want first.” James the owner told me. When on his invitation I popped down to check out NY Hot Dogs opposite Adventure Island and Southend Pier. The eye catching sign and moody black exterior being the initial thing to attract me. Wanting to pop in and find out what this little piece of foodie heaven was all about. I didn’t need to be asked twice.
From a classic american frank, to a traditional Cumberland sausage. Bratwurst or chicken. There was a little something for everybody – even a 100%, 4 oz Beef brisket, minced in house daily-for those who’d prefer to stick with a burger. There is also a Vege burger option if desired.
“I couldn’t really find what I wanted to eat when I went out.” James told Vince and Me, as his partner Lori served behind the counter and Garrod the chef prepared Vince’s Top Dog – served with a generous helping of NY Hot Dogs sauce, smoked streaky bacon and crispy onions and my Deputy Dawg – topped with cowboy brisket chilli and smoked applewood cheese.
“I was tired of going up to London on the train to eat and have always enjoyed american food programmes like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, presented by Guy Fieri. So decided to open something myself. I was also going to do the cooking but when I met Garrod, his ideas took things to a different level and so he is now my Chef.”
Lori and James, just two months ago, gave birth to daughter Olivia and already have a Son, Harry 4 – so I’m sure they both have plenty on their plate (if you pardon the pun.) I did fall in love with Harry, just a little, as we played giving the toy Giraffe CPR, after it had been attacked ferociously by the cuddly lion and whilst singing “Nelly the elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus.” I was enamored by the little boy. It also gave me a chance to sit and allow the hugely filling portion of Brisket Chilli fries, as well as my Dog go down.
I discovered that there is an art to eating one of these. As it’s served in a torpedo roll, rather than the normal hot dog roll – it allows a bit more room for the filling. I didn’t need mustard or ketchup this time as ‘my style’ – Deputy Dawg and Vince’s Top Dog, gave them all the flavour we could have wanted.
The only thing I mentioned to James that I would have liked a little more of, was the salsa sitting on top of the chilli fries. I like a bit more salad with my meat.
For dessert – Oh yes we did try a desert. James proudly served us up a home concocted skittles milkshake, made with gelato ice cream. I really could taste the rainbow.
“We make our own peanut butter, as well.” James continued. This, I thought was fantastic. What a great idea for an ice cream flavour.
“I’m open to ideas for the milkshakes.” James Said. My mind settled very quickly on what I would like to try. “I wish you could make a chilli mojito milkshake.” The thought of mojito in a milkshake was heavenly for me.
We finished off our visit with a freshly ground coffee, made from Peruvian coffee beans. A delightful blend which James spent thinking time over, sourcing what he thought was right. Every little aspect of what he believes is important, for what he is trying to achieve and offer to the customer, even comes down to the coffee beans he buys, grinds and serves.
NY Hot Dogs is open from Midday till 8pm. So why not pop in and say hi to James, Lori and Garrod. Ask about the Po’Boy if you fancy trying a fish dish-something a little bit different. I know this is what I will be eating the next time I pop down.
Also find out if they’ve sorted out their takeaway arrangements yet. What more could you want than to sit in front of the footie during this world cup and enjoy a Reservoir Dog or an El Diablo – which puts the HOT in hot dog and if you’re a more classical kind of person then maybe you’d like to try a good ol’ Underdog.
What ever kind of Dogs you like to eat – just make sure you get down to NY Hot Dogs and make it one of theirs.
P.S – National Hot Dog Day is the 23rd of July!