9 Aug, 2016
Crass meets class at this oxymoron of an establishment. A fast food joint celebrating all the unashamed glory of the ‘dog in a bun. Crif Dogs is loud and proudly present with a huge wiener protruding from above the door declaring “Eat Me”. Subtle and secretive it is not but it is the subterfuge for its polar opposite. A bar so clandestine, so classy and so sought-after that we were compelled to arrive at an achingly, uncool hour on a Tuesday evening in order to secure access. Entering through the home of the hotdog, the faithful and those in the know head toward a retro phone booth, close the sliding door and dial “one” on the big red wall-mounted phone. The opposite side wall of the box gives way rather surprisingly to a super stylish hostess who is only a (literally) small clue of what lies beyond. Declare your business and your numbers and you may or not be sanctioned into “Please Don’t Tell”. A bar to end all bars with great stuffed bear heads and bambi’s, leather booths, speakeasy low-lighting and bearded, be-aproned curators of killer cocktails. My choice was me-in-a-tall-glass with a special kick and deserves to be transcribed as per the menu. “Mezcal Mule. Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Lime Juice, Boiron Passion Fruit Purée, House Ginger Beer, Cucumber, Chili. A backyard barbecue in a glass, this spicy passion fruit and cucumber buck gets its smoky quality from mescal distilled from agaves roasted in a handmade underground oven heated by wood-fired stones.” A flawless fluid that implored for more. As the evening skips along, you may utter a bark of joy to discover that the epic dogs of The Crif are in fact available to order right here in the inner sanctum of Please Don’t Tell. All wieners are deep-fried in great cauldrons of bubbling oil and the finest are wrapped in bacon or ham. A calorific celebration, The Spicy Redneck is highly rated by those-in-the-know and features a bacon-wrapped dog lying in a cosy bun cocoon of chili, coleslaw and jalapeños.
Sniff out this secret of the Lower East Side.
113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
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