Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When I refer to a 'hole in the wall' and hot dogs, people usually look at me funny. But I'm actually talking about AsiaDog. When I talk about asian fusion, that could be AsiaDog too. When I say I want a hip, cool, different take on something familiar, this is the spot I can go to find satisfaction. Will it be my go-to spot for when I need a funky hot dog? Probably not, the seating is limited and feels more like a takeout/delivery spot than where I might go to hangout and munch on tasty treats, but the food is good and varied and worth popping into if you're on the edge of soho/china town and want a variation of the classic New York street food.
A delicious and gooey mess, this one.

The Dog 4/5
If someone asked me how I liked the dog, I'd have to answer, which one? Variety is the name of the game at the place, and that alone will have me stopping in again if I'm in the area. There are beef, chicken, veggie, and organic options, a myriad of topping combinations, and corn dogs. Of the four dogs tried during my visit, they were described as light, fresh, and somehow 'healthy' (Except the last one with a thick layer of deliciously heart clogging mayo). I am, of course, completely skeptical of any hot dog that seems healthy, but the dog, by itself without other considerations, was pretty good. What really makes the meal, though, are all the toppings for each dog style. So.....

Why is there purple on this hot dog?
Accoutrement 5/5
This was the big win at this place. Each menu item comes with an astounding array of toppings or spreads or additions that boggle the mind but balance on the palate quite well. Simple combinations with a twist like curry kraut and yellow mustard to more complicated mashups like pork pâté, spicy aioli, cucumber, carrots, daikon, jalapeños, and cilantro. And just for fun, you get an option of white or wheat buns. There doesn't, however, seem to be much flexibility in the topping options. This is both an up and downside. The downside is, no personal creative flourishes on your meal, but the upside is a reassurance that each dog has a perfectly grouped collection of toppings as finely crafted as a bonsai tree (or other ambiguously Asian metaphor).

Value 3/5
Expect to spend about $12-15 if you arrive with an appetite. It's not the worst (certainly not a $16 wiener) and for the price you definitely get a unique hot dog experience. Still, when you hit that $5 mark, organic or no, for a hot dog (not a sausage mind you, which is an additional dollar or two) it starts feeling pricey. There is also little flexibility in the pricing, so don't expect to play cheap and go with the 'plain' hot dog, that ain't a choice (and go get a job while you're at it, you parasite on society). This isn't a basic hot dog kind of place, and offering one unadorned of toppings would be against the ethos of the establishment, so expect a more catered, classier, slightly higher-end experience. They do have some combo specials that'll run you about $9, not bad for a light lunch.
It looks like cheese, but it's carrots and daikon radish.

Other 4/5
I'm torn by this category. There have a great selection of sides including sesame kale, wasabi potato salad, and Korean fries (that come with this aioli sauce that should probably go on everything). I like organic, chicken, and vegan options, and the drink selection and generally clean atmosphere are nice. Would it kill them to have a couple more seats though? We are talking luxury hot dog here. It's not my place to suggest (though that doesn't stop me), but these are classy dogs and they could take this to whole new level by making a holistic experience out of their product. I mean, not just Asian toppings, but go all out with table service by kimono clad waiters, Shaolin chefs, manga wallpaper, incense, and a gong after every order is complete so I can taste the entire Asian continent with my skin when I sit down for a bite. Ya man, that'd be awesome. Just sayin'.

Overall 5/5
Korean Yam Fries, and a sauce to die for.
The more I write about this place, the more I think that it's worth making a special trip to check it out. It isn't the kind of place I can see myself visiting on the regular, but in a world where every wiener starts to look and taste the same, AsiaDog stands out as as stroke of color in often drab landscape of hot doggery. There's enough variation, and its all interesting enough, that I'll definitely drop in again the next time I pass by, and I'd even make a special trip out there if a hot dog loving friend (and all my friends have to like hot dogs) was visiting and wanted something different, I might take them here instead.