No visit to New York is complete without a day trip out to Coney Island and a visit to the Original Nathan’s Hot Dog stand. Rain or Shine it is a day out that I look forward too. If I am honest it is more fun out of season when there are now crowds and the diners are few and far between huddled inside the restaurant sheltering from the elements. On those days you feel as if you have really earnt your hot dog and that you are there amongst the diehard fans.
So this might not look all that pretty or photogenic but when you have just walked along the boardwalk from Brighton Beach through the driving rain and bracing breeze from the shoreline they are the best thing that you will have ever seen.
I like my Nathan’s very simple with just a drizzle of yellow mustard to smear along the frank. At Nathan’s they smoke their 100% beef hot dogs and then they are lightly seared and reheated on the flat griddle top. When it is busy you can see the guy on the grill flip an entire row of hot dogs maybe 10 or so at a time with a pair of tongs. In the summer when I have been here the dogs disappear pretty quickly from that flat top to feed the long lines. Off season it is a more casual affair and seats are plentiful and there are no lines.
The dog has just the right amount of char and sear, the snap of the bite is just right and there is a nice smoky and salty taste in each mouthful. I like that they toast the bun for a couple of moments on the grill top as well, it just gives it all that little bit extra flavour
I don’t think that any of the participants in the annual Hot Dog eating contest have anything to fear as I can only just about manage two dogs on a good day and that is after a good walk along the boardwalk. I prefer to savour my dog, although I confess that I did wolf them down pretty quick this day!
On a good day you get a good view of the Luna Park, the Wonder Wheel and the Rollercoaster from the train. Today was not a good day!
To get here on the subway you have a few options. I like to ride the Q down to Brighton Beach and then walk to Coney Island along the beach. You can ride direct to the Coney Island stop on the N, you can pick both up at Time Square which is good interchange point.