City Paper is not for tourists
First, we just want to welcome you to the neighborhood. It took guts to take over Burrito Brothers’ old spot. That place was an institution. We have no doubt that given enough time, your establishment will become just as beloved for your cylindrical food products. We are so hopeful for your success that we didn’t even mind having to listen to the piped-in classic rock—-not even the Billy Joel—-while we ordered our veggie dogs. Still, we have some issues we thought we’d address before it’s too late.
On a sign you’ve posted, you acknowledge that you’re still working out the kinks of your “Dawg” operation. We admire your honesty. We didn’t realize there’s much more to making hot dogs than sliding pressed-meat tubes into boiling water. And you’ve certainly made it so with your fixings bar of buttery mushrooms and fruit chutneys.
That being said, we got a problem with the veggie dog.
Let’s start with the taste. It’s a taste that brings back bad memories of the first tofu dogs we tried—-the pudgy, oversoft, mealy tofu dogs of ’94. Thankfully, your fake dogs aren’t burdened by an tough outer skin. But they still are the equivalent of Burger King’s veggie burger—-you know, the ones still using watercress. That might seem harsh, but tofu dogs have come a long way. Might we suggest experimenting with a veggie-sausage-type product?
Additionally, don’t you think the price is just a little bit steep? You’re charging $4.50 plus tax for a sausage that’s made out of beans and over $6 if we want to take it “uptown” with lentil-veggie chili. It only takes 30 seconds to consume one of these veggie dogs but over 30 minutes for us to make enough money to buy one. When compared to the more substantial offerings of the neighboring Amsterdam Falafelshop, this is kind of a raw deal.
Also, do you have to call it a “Virgin Dog”? Please don’t make us say that out loud, OK? It feels a little creepy for one thing, but it also unnecessarily implies wussiness. No, we’re not about to spend $20 to eat your “Kobe Bryant” dog—-deal with it.
Final complaint is that one of the undersigned waited almost 30 minutes on her birthday for a veggie dog and fries and her boyfriend’s half-smoke. Almost all the kids in line behind us got their dogs before us, in clear disregard for the “take a number” system. She chose your hot-dog joint on the festive day because she was looking for novelty and speed. At least some of the dogs in your many, many photos were cute. (She had plenty of time to judge the decor.)
It’s nice to have a new veggie-friendly restaurant in the neighborhood—-Lord knows we could certainly do without another week of empanadas. But as you refine your services we hope you will address our concerns. We very much want to eat your veggie dogs; we would just like them to taste better, cost less, arrive faster, and not require us to identify ourselves as sexually inexperienced.
Kim Rinehimer Jason Cherkis Aaron Leitko