After weeks of telling us about how amazing Crif Dogs is in the East Village, my friend Joe finally rallied up the troops and we headed down there for Wednesday Friendsday. Â Crif Dogs specialty, as the name suggests, is hot dogs with all different kinds of toppings. Â It is a bit of a dive, but has that old school diner feel when you walk in. Â The five of us were able to pull together a table and after 10 minutes of debating what to get, we finally were ready to place our orders at the counter.
I will admit it was difficult to pick a hot dog – varieties ranged from the “Good Morning”, which was a bacon wrapped hot dog with egg and cheese, to the Phillytube Steak, with cheese and onions, to the BLT with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo, all with the hot dog. Â My friend Alison and I decided to split the Good Morning and a corn dog (about $5 a dog), and our table got a round of tater tots and cheese fries ($4 for a large). Â I had been craving a strawberry shake since my trip to Joy Burger Bar when I tried Ben’s and loved it, so decided to drop the $5 and go with this.
We were soon called up to the counter and picked up our dogs and quickly waited for everyone to get served so we can dig in. Â While waiting, I sipped on my milk shake, and was immediately disappointed. Â It tasted familiar – kind of like when your mom makes you strawberry milk with Hershey’s Strawberry syrup in order to get you to finish what’s left of the milk before it goes bad tomorrow. Â I opened up the cup just to make sure my mom Joanne wasn’t working in the back kitchen and surprisingly, there was a frothy top to the milkshake. Â I quickly was able to drink it, because it was not cold nor thick, and as I came to the bottom of it, actually ended up with strawberry particles in my straw.
The dogs were okay. Â Honestly, if I was creative after I got out of work, I probably could think of some clever combinations and make them myself too (but with a turkey dog – I much prefer turkey dogs). Â I did like the Good Morning hot dog and thought it was a unique combination, but the corn dog had way too much batter on it. Â
The fries were an utter disaster. Â Cheese fries to me means slices of cheese melted onto the fries. Â This was cheese wiz. Â But it was cheese wiz dumped on the fries in such a way that I actually had to use a knife and fork to cut and eat my fries because it was too messy. Â But don’t worry, I didn’t have to be messy for two long – between the five of us, it was pretty much like you got two fries per person because they were waffle fries and the portions weren’t huge.
Crif Dogs was an interesting experience and as a result, I will think outside the box when making hot dogs at my next BBQ. Â But I have to say, there’s really no reason for me to head back here ever again – unless I’m in the East Village and want a hot dog real bad.The Basics Name: Crif Dogs Location: 113 Saint Marks Place (between 1st Ave and Ave A) Who to take: Friends Price: A little pricey for a dog. $$. Overall: Give me a dirty water dog instead. Â 2 stars.