Crif Dogs is not a spot for those watching their caloric intake or alcohol consumption. Whether you’ve come in here stone cold sober or after a late night out. This tiny hot dog joint may just change the way you eat hot dogs… forever. You walk in (or stumble considering they’re open till 4am) and take notice of hot dog eaters adorned in plaid flannels and cut offs, sipping PBR’s and playing original table top 80’s video games (for some its nostalgic, for some it’s just cool that some things can still cost a quarter). This place has given hot dogs new life and new side kicks (move over ketchup).
Smell the hot oil? Oh, that’s just a deep-fried hot dog tightly wrapped in a bacon blanket and then dropped into the fryer. The hot bubbling vats of oil fry these babies up and the bacon takes on a crunch that’s like no other. These dogs come out glistening and proud. What’s a proud hot dog? Well, anything wrapped in bacon becomes a super hero (don’t try it on living things though, outcome not the same).
As if deep-fried and bacon wrapped wasn’t enough, Crif Dogs dares to go a step further with their other popular varieties. Get this. One of the fan favorites, the Chihuahua, is a bacon wrapped dog with avocado and sour cream. One bite, you’re sold. If you’re a spicy kind of person, the spicy redneck will kick yo ass (and who doesn’t want a good ass whooping from a redneck). It is a bold dog with chili, coleslaw and jalapenos. The Tsunami is just that, but in your mouth. It’s a burst of pineapple, teriyaki sauce and chopped scallions all on a bacon wrapped dog. The buns are pretty nice here too, they are fresh and squishy and offer that perfect textural contrast with the crunchy fried bacon.
Not only are the hot dogs and toppings creative, but they make a mean tater tot (we say mean because the tots are upset that the hot dogs normally steal the spotlight, of course). Don’t overlook these little deep-fried potato morsels. They pack a power crunch on the outside and you absolutely should get them drenched in cheese. They use that fake movie theater nacho cheese that people won’t admit to liking, but would secretly bathe in if given the opportunity (was that creepy?). Anyway, they are really good and after devouring them and licking your fingers you will want to throw up, in the best way.
Like I mentioned, Crif Dogs stays open late, so when you’ve destroyed your liver at every bar on the Lower East Side or on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, stumble over here to do some more damage. Walk in, meet your topping dilemma, and then realize everything you order is shockingly delicious. It’s a real “crifhanger”.
555 Driggs Avenue, Crif Dogs