Unpretentious and delicious. That's how I'd describe this place. I've been hearing about BARK Hot Dogs for a while, but a general lack of hype around it, which is odd for anything in Park Slope, the area in which hype seems most prevalent. Instead, when people talk about Bark it's like they are referring to the solid neighborhood staple, an obvious place you would go for a classic and delicious dog without all the fancy trappings of a hipper establishment. And they're absolutely right. The first day I went into Bark I got two dogs, and I went right back the next day to get two more. Here's how they were:
The dog: 5/5
|Nice and plumpy, just like mama used to make|
The Bark dog is all about rustic quality. If Nathan's is your beach bum surfer cousin then Bark is that eccentric but lovable and wholesome uncle who moved out to the country with his beard and overalls to start a farm. I can only barely describe the pure beefy quality of these meat tubes. At first they look like a plumper version of your standard Coney Island fair, but once you take a bite, the combination of strong and subtle flavors, the delicate snap of the dog, and tasteful pinkish coloring, all come together in a marvelous experience.
|A good place to hang out a while|
Here's the thing, they claim to be an updated and higher quality version of the fast-food model, but that can be a deception and lead one to believe they'll also deliver fast-food prices. It's not the case, but it's also not terribly expensive. The dogs are in the $4-$5 dollar range, and you can get a reasonable meal package for about $10. If this were a food cart, I'd be more upset, but this is a sit down establishment with plenty of seating, and a more extensive menu that In 'n' Out or Shake Shack (actually, it's sort of on par with Shake Shack, but is way better). This is more of a restaurant experience then your typical fast food.
|A tray full of meaty happiness|
As a said before, this isn't one of those over the top trendy spots that offers cream cheese relish and crystalized beer sprinkles, it's just a solid hot dog joint. They've got all the condiments you want, plus a couple of great extras like their Habañero hot sauce, which burns oh so good. They also have some quality sauerkraut, bacon, and chili options, and a cucumber relish (their nod to trendiness) that looks pretty enticing.
BARK wouldn't be a Brooklyn establishment if it didn't specialize in local and sustainable foods. Nearly all their food (except a few condiments and drinks) is made locally or in house, and they will tell you exactly which farms they get their food from. Check out a full list here. The staff is super friendly and helpful, and they cultivate a welcoming atmosphere with big tables and free-wifi so you can hang out as long as you like.
|Mmmm, just line up that goodness|
BARK is the kind of place that is better for getting a 4 out of 5 rating. It's not necessarily the spot I'd take my friends visiting from out of town to show off New York, and that's what I like most about it. It's the perfect example of what a hot dog stand should be like, and stands in contrast to the Papaya Dogs of the world. Instead, we see that you don't have to be high-end and fancy to have quality and sustainable food. This place is going to be one of my new go-to spots, and it should be yours too.