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Aug 12, 2009 06:15 AM

Bark Hot Dogs

A new hot dog restaurant opened recently in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn called Bark Hot Dogs.

The dogs served are from Hartmann's in Canandaigua (formerly Rochester) New York. They are high quality and available in New York and New Jersey at certain Wegman's supermarkets. The beef dogs are well seasoned with a slightly tangy flavor. The beef and pork wieners are fantastic. One of my two favorites in this style along with Thumann's. This place seems worth checking out.

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  1. Had a bacon, cheddar & onion dog and a baked heirloom beans, smoky pork & mustard dog as well as chili cheese fries. Everything tasted great and was clearly of good quality but portion sizes were a bit small and the prices were ~$1-1.50 more per item than I'd like to pay considering the serving size. I hope their shakes are good. I'll try one my next time around. Note they have a breakfast menu too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: prcentauri

      the shakes are very good, rich, thick and full of flavor. Breakfast is also solid with a variety of egg sandwiches, sides, etc. My favorite was the Chorizo sandwich and the biscuits with sausage gravy or lemon curd.

      1. re: ginsbera

        oh my god i want a milkshake. i'm going to check this place out today.

        1. re: oystersallday

          lemme know which u got.... im pretty sure theyre made w/ il laboratorio products... just wish they incorporated some of the other il laboratorio flavors such as strawberry or vanilla choc chip, etc or even some of the more exotic flavors.

    2. Do the hot dogs have natural casings? That makes such a difference.

      1 Reply
      1. Went last night for the first time. Had Bark Dog with Spicy Relish and the special Crispy Pork sandwich. Dog had good flavor, nice snap and the the relish was sweet and spicy. Pork sandwich was a croquet of sorts made with different parts including belly I believe. Very tasty. Accompanied by cheddar fries and two house Six Points. Solid comfort food for the nabe and reasonably priced. Can't wait to go back for breakfast.

        1. had half a dog with normal garnishes. It was a good dog but $5??
          bun was small and flaccid (need a better source) ; maybe the relish, catsup etc is homemade, but the taste didnt persuade me of the worth of that effort.

          Heres an extract from a Franny's email on the place

          For those fans of franny’s and Bklyn Larder,
          our good friend Brandon Gillis has opened his new restaurant, Bark,
          right here on Bergen Street.  Check it out!

          Bark Hot Dogs opened this week in Park Slope, bringing with it a new
          approach to fast food that relies on local and sustainable ingredients
          of the highest quality. The pride of Bark is, of course, its dogs,
          produced exclusively for Bark in upstate New York by an Austrian
          sausage maker. They are made with no fillers and only from whole cuts
          of beef and pork in a natural casing. Each dog is natural smoked and,
          at the very end, basted with smoked lard butter. There are 10 popular
          hot dog creations to choose from, featuring various combinations of
          homemade condiments – all made from local, seasonal produce – like
          sauerkraut, pepper or cucumber relish, house pickles, and chili. And
          Bark has more to offer than just hot dogs, with an ever-changing
          selection of seasonal dishes and sandwiches; favorite sides like fries
          and onion rings; homemade milkshakes; a selection of craft beers in
          bottles and on tap, including Bark Red Ale, Bark’s signature beer from
          Six Points Brewery; and sparkling, red and white wines offered by the
          glass, half-bottle and bottle.
          Bark serves breakfast, lunch and dinner
          and is open seven days a week.

          474 Bergen Street between Flatbush and 5th Aves.

          10 Replies
          1. re: jen kalb

            One correction: the dogs are not produced exclusively for Bark's. You can get their excellent German style natural casing 6 to a lb beef/pork dog (called a wiener) at most Wegman's supermarkets. While some producers do make a special recipe dog, this is exceedingly rare. Claiming that their dogs are made exclusively or to a special recipe is the biggest lie in the hot dog business. I've posted on this numerous times and can give you many examples. Go to Wegman's, ask for the Hartmann's wieners, and see if they aren't the exact dog sold at Bark.

            1. re: hotdoglover

              hotdoglover –

              You are my favorite poster hands down. Please let me know if you add hamburgerlove, pizzalover, sushilover, baconlover, etc. to your repertoire - CH would be a much much better place.

              1. re: MShapiro

                Thank you. I love bacon, pizza, and hamburgers, but not as much as hot dogs. I have opinions but have not sampled anywhere near what I have with hot dogs.

              2. re: hotdoglover

                In other words Bark's hot dogs, made by Hartmann's, has the same Nitrates and preservatives I saw listed on the Hartmann's website. Correct?

                1. re: bigmackdaddy

                  nothing about Bark but I thought this was an interesting discussion. about the hotdog nitrate/nitrite preservative issue.

                  great post from hotdoglover but he does not know definitively that Hartmans does not do special production runs for Bark. Note the above statement came from the Franny's email not from Bark directly. I will be interested to see if someone tries to clarify this.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    My money is on Hotdoglover. He's got this stuff down cold.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                      I agree Bob, but the Franny's people are compulsive - it would not be like them to get on board an exaggerated sourcing claim.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        Many times people report what they are told. I can give you many examples of people claiming to have hot dogs made specially for them when this has not been the case. Go back and read some of my posts. People often claim that they make their own dogs on premise. When I have been told this I asked to see the sausage making equipment. Without fail they have had to admit that they do not in fact make their own.

                        I know many people in the business including distributors, plant managers of hot dog producers, ex employees of hot dog joints, etc. I have found out that many New York establishments such as Papaya King, Gray's Papaya, and Katz's use the same exact recipe Sabrett natural casing frank although they claim to have proprietary recipes. Papaya King claims this, but it is false. This has been confirmed to me by distributors, a person whose father delivered franks there for 41 years, and the person in charge of private label at Sabrett. I was willing to discuss this on a television program at the risk of being sued. The piece was cancelled because the producers were afraid of a lawsuit.

                        I know the plant manager at Best Provisions in Newark. Their wonderful beef franks are made to the same recipe since the company was started in the late 1930's. I was told that while they do private label, the franks are all the same recipe. This has not stopped several hot dog establishments from claiming that Best makes a special recipe for them. It is false. My friend at Best's laughs whenever I tell him of these claims. One guy even admitted that he made these false claims after I told him that I knew people at Best's. The reason people do this is that they want you to believe that they serve a unique product that you can only get from them and no one else.

                        I have been told by someone in a position to know that there is no special recipe frank for Bark. There are instances where some have the dog made special for them. But as I said, this is rare. The Galloping Hill Inn in Union, N.J. for years got their franks from a local butcher shop. Then they took the recipe when the shop was sold and had the dogs made at Grote & Weigel of Connecticut. It is a different recipe from what G&W makes for other places. This is the exception rather than the rule. I have been told that it is too labor intensive to make different recipes for each client. The equipment must be cleaned to prevent mixing of flavors. Marathon Enterprises (Sabrett) makes only 2 recipes. All beef and a beef/pork blend. They do make franks in many sizes and either natural casing or skinless. But only 2 recipes. The beef franks go to the many pushcarts as well as places like Papaya King, Gray's, and Katz's. The beef/pork dogs go to N.J. establishments like The Hot Grill in Clifton, The Windmill, and Callahan's (R.I.P.)

                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                        The man really loves hot dogs. Implicit trust here.

                      3. re: jen kalb

                        Glad to see that this thread has been revived. Jen, I can say definitively that Hartmann's does not do special production runs for Bark. I've gotten to know someone who works for Hartmann's who is definitely in a position to know. This person says the dogs are NOT made special. Buy a package at Wegmans and see for yourself.

                2. Quite good but overpriced. I got the plain hotdog, salt & pepper fries (basic fries really), and a chocolate milkshake. $15!!
                  A hotdog, fries, and shake for $15??? Come on...

                  Don't get me wrong. It was good. But the items were slightly overpriced in a way that really added up. The same combination for things just under $12 would have felt like a good deal. In this case I just felt like I had overpaid.

                  27 Replies
                  1. re: MBET

                    I agree, but if I am getting a drink the prices all seem to even out. I mean $3 for a beer of any caliber above a Bud is good with me!

                    1. re: ginsbera

                      The beer is a great value - $3 for 12 oz. of Six Point is pretty good. I may just go out for a night of drinking there, and then just go up to the counter and order a hot dog when I get the drunksy snacksies.

                    2. re: MBET

                      I agree that these dogs are overpriced. $4.00 for a 4 to a lb dog at the Windmill or Max's is steep. The dogs at Bark are 6 to a lb and cost $5.00. I paid $7.49 for a lb of these (6 dogs) at Wegman's. I make dogs at home now more often then I go out for them. You can have the EXACT same dogs that these places use and pay less. Even the specially made dogs at the Galloping Hill Inn I was able to buy from a Grote & Weigel distributor.

                      Just before I found out the truth regarding Papaya King dogs, I paid $35.00 for 5 pounds of franks with the Papaya King label on them that I bought at one of their N.Y. locations which has since closed. Afterwards I found that 5 lbs with the Sabrett label (same dog, same id #) cost $17.00. You live and learn.

                      1. re: hotdoglover

                        But do the dogs have milk by products as a filler? Us lactose intolerant folks would love to know.

                        1. re: MOREKASHA

                          I wish I saved a package. It appears that they do not according to their website. I would ask.

                          1. re: hotdoglover

                            You keep mentioning Wegmans, but where is there a Wegmans near New York City?

                            1. re: elecsheep9

                              closest is probably Cherry Hill...or upstate NY.

                              If I buy a dog, fries/onion rings and a beer, it's about the same as getting a burger and a beer elsewhere, so if you're getting the "adult happy meal" it is priced accordingly. Of course this means you just need to drink all the time to make it properly priced.

                              1. re: ginsbera

                                Exactly, so I am going to travel 2 hours just to get hot dogs from Wegmans. Now don't get me wrong, I love Wegmans. I went to school upstate and know it well. But I just don't understand the relevance of mentioning that you can get the same hot dogs at Wegmans for x dollars.

                                1. re: elecsheep9

                                  The point hotdoglover is trying to make is that the hot dogs that are purported to be made exclusively for specific venues is just not true and can be found in your local supermarket, which in hotdoglover’s case is probably Wegmans. I also believe hotdoglover is from the Land of Springsteen where Wegmans has seven stores.

                                  1. re: MShapiro

                                    I mentioned Wegmans because it is the only retail establishment near me that sells Hartmann's franks. They are also the only place that sells Sahlen's (Buffalo), Zweigels (Rochester), and Hofmann's (Syracuse), all excellent franks. Yes I live in N.J. and wasn't aware that Wegmans isn't around New York City and/or Brooklyn. Since Wegmans moved south to Jersey, I thought they were in New York City as well. The Woodbridge, N.J. Wegmans is a half hour or less away from Manhattan.

                                    I was also making the point that these dogs can be bought from supermarkets that carry them. They are not exclusive to Bark. You can also order from Hartmann's website.

                                    The popular Pink's in LA claims that their dogs are made special for them. This is also false. You can get the Hoffy's dog they use at local stores.

                                    Superdawg in Chicago is another popular place that claimed exclusivity. Their dogs were Sinai 48's that were available in stores and Costco's. I don't know if these dogs are still being made because Sara Lee, the company that made Best Kosher, a popular Chicago brand, stopped making them (Best's). Don't know if they are still making Sinai 48. They own/owned that brand as well.

                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                      I bet if you made friends with the owners they would save you the trouble of renting a car (for those of us without one) and driving to NJ just to buy hot dogs by selling you a package. They may mark it up a buck or two, but who cares.

                                      1. re: hotdoglover

                                        More great information. I love this. Thanks!

                                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                                          don't quote me on this, but they are friendly and likely purchasing the dogs by a boatload!

                                  2. re: ginsbera

                                    No need to travel to Cherry Hill. There's a Wegman's in Monmouth county about 1 hour 15 minutes from Brooklyn.

                                  3. re: elecsheep9

                                    There's one in Woodbridge, just across one of the SI bridges.

                                    1. re: lambretta76

                                      hartmann's dogs are available at the following area places, according to the folks at the factory: islip meat market in islip, all wegmans, koglin's royal ham in grand central station, and they're also used by cafe select in soho, blaue gans in tribeca, koenig's in floral park, for starters.....

                                  4. re: hotdoglover

                                    Thanks. Try asking the guys @ Grays Papaya or Papaya king and see what happens....LOL

                                    1. re: MOREKASHA

                                      Hotdoglover, have you ever tried Abeles and Heymans dogs? They are all beef, kosher dogs. They come in two packages--a standard 8 pack and a 16 pack, where each dog is in it's own individual plastic wrap. The dogs in the 16 pack are thicker, so it's the one I buy. I urge you to try it and report where it ranks in your hot dog hierarchy.

                                      1. re: abu applesauce

                                        I've had the Abeles and Heymans franks on a couple of occasions. They are unique and I can see why people love them. I would rank them somewhere in the middle of my hot dog hierarchy. These franks have a sort of weird (some call it unique) herbal spice that I'm not crazy about. My favorite kosher franks are Romanian Kosher Sausage Company in Chicago and good ole Hebrew National with the collagen casings that are available at kosher butchers and also at Wegmans.

                                        1. re: hotdoglover

                                          Thank you hotdoglover. My backup when I can't find A&H is Hebrew National, particularly the jumbo or quarter pound dogs, or even better, their knockwursts (I love A&H knockwurst as well). For some reason 4-packs of Hebrew National knockwursts have been on sale all summer, cheaper than franks, so I've been buying those of late. In fact, I will grill some tonight!

                                          1. re: hotdoglover

                                            So off topic a little. Why is lamb or other meat casing (except pork obviously) not kosher for a kosher hot dog?

                                            1. re: bigmackdaddy

                                              A hog or pig casing is not kosher. I believe a sheep casing is not kosher because it comes from the intestine, which is the back part of the animal. Not positive on that one.

                                              1. re: hotdoglover

                                                How is this different from beef intestine? Stuffed derma (kishke) is a kosher delicacy.

                                                1. re: bobjbkln

                                                  That's a good question. I don't know the answer. I'm not really familiar with kosher law and I know there is a lot of disagreement over what is and is not kosher in the Jewish community. I've asked why sheep casings aren't kosher and have been told it's from the hind quarters of the animal. But that would seem to make beef intestine not kosher.

                                                  I once went into a kosher deli and asked for a reuben. I was told that because the deli is kosher, they could not mix meat and dairy. But yet I noticed that this particular deli (near where I work) is open Saturday which is the Sabbath. I asked about this and was told that they can open on the Sabbath because they are not Glatt. Yet when I went to a kosher deli near where I live to get some Hebrew Nationals with casings, I was told that the other place is not Kosher because they are open on the Sabbath. Some people also do not consider Hebrew National kosher. To me it doesn't matter. I just eat what I like and leave these questions to others. I would be interested to know why sheep casings (which I like) are not used for kosher hot dogs.

                                                  1. re: hotdoglover

                                                    Following your post I did a Google search (as I assume you have done as well) and it's pretty clear that no one knows what they are talking about. Front of the animal/back of the animal so sheep casings are not OK but derma is. Perhaps I'll ask on the kosher board and post back here.

                                                    1. re: bobjbkln

                                                      Sorry it's taken me so long to get back. I checked on the CH Kosher Board and got an simple (but obvious) answer: Sheep casings are indeed Kosher if they come from and Sheep slaughtered and butchered according to Kosher law. The problem is that there is not enough demand for Kosher sheep casings and therefore (almost?) no one in the US makes casings from Kosher sheep. See:

                                                      1. re: bobjbkln

                                                        Thanks, bobjbkln. This question comes up from time to time. I've had kosher hot dogs with collagen casings quite a few times. None with sheep casings though.