I haven’t really paid enough homage to the hot dog this month. (Don’t worry, you’ll see some major doggin’ action later this week!) It is, after all, National Hot Dog Month, and last week we saw the humble dog take center stage at America’s Playground, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. So today we’re gonna talk about some frankfurters!
….with beans, of course. 😉
Today is Beans N Franks Day, and while it’s not a “national” holiday like National French Fries Day, it’s a special kind of American comfort food that deserves some recognition. I remember when I was a kid, and a dinner of Nathan’s frankfurters in a heated can of Bush’s baked beans was a treat, a sweet and savory meal that felt like I was getting away with something just by eating it. (I didn’t realize it was one of those “Mommy’s exhausted and doesn’t want to turn on the stove” kind of dinners!) I haven’t had beans N franks for years, so tonight, I may treat myself to an easy dinner that may not be all that nutritious, but it sure does taste good! (It’ll go with the theme of the completely unhealthy French fries I had for lunch, heh.)
You can get yourself into this unofficial food holiday by heading to Bark in Park Slope. Much as the name suggests, Bark is a hot dog joint for those with a more refined palette than the Papaya lovers in Manhattan. High-end dogs are nestled between lightly toasted buns for a food experience that’s both new and familiarly comforting. But of course, Beans N Franks Day can’t be all about the frank, and Bark’s definitely got you covered there. They offer a specialty dog aptly named the “Beans & Frank,” which is a hot dog topped with homemade baked beans. The beans themselves are slow-stewed to perfection, in a ham-based sauce that puts Bush’s to shame. (Ever since I realized that the “secret formula” their commercials go on about is high fructose corn syrup, I’ve shied away from Bush’s and other canned baked beans.) You can get your beans drizzled atop your hot dog, or go for the full-on Beans N Franks stew experience by ordering each separately, and breaking up your frank into an a la carte bowl of baked beans. Mmm, just thinking about Bark’s particular brand of Beans N Franks makes me nostalgic…and hungry!
Bark Hot Dogs
474 Bergen St (between 5th Ave & Flatbush Ave)
“I’ve always thought of baked-bean topped hot dogs as something the stands in Delaware or Florida might erroneously call a “Boston Dog” (not a true regional variation). But the house-made baked beans were so good I almost ordered a bowl (which you can do for $3; all of their toppings are available a la carte). Chock full of pork flavor, tender and swimming in a thick sauce that can only be the product of long, slow cooking, and topped with finely diced red onions and yellow mustard, these are hands down the best franks and beans I’ve ever had.”–Serious Eats
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“After much deliberation, I went with the beans & franks dog and salt and pepper fries. I got a tumbler of tap water and waited it out. I’m not sure if it felt like it took a long time because I was super hungry or if it actually did take a long time (they obviously grill each hot dog to order), but, fortunately, my dog finally came! And it was good. The baked beans were smokey, the mustard cut it with it’s vinergar-osity perfectly, and my ‘furter had the perfect snap.”–Loreal M.
“We also got the Beans and Frank – topped with baked Heirloom beans, smoky pork, onion and mustard. The beans were homemade and they were really good! I am not a mustard person, but I actually liked the mustard here.”–Sandy C.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!