If presented with the temptation of a deep fried hot dog, wrapped in bacon some people will flee in terror, others will come running like ravenous dogs. My friends and I are members of the latter group and quickly made plans to try the heart attack inducing dogs after reading about the kimchee slathered Chang named after personal favorite, Momofuku Ssam chef David Chang.
Crif Dogs reeks of long black t-shirt, wallet chained, tattooed dudeness. reminiscent in this way of Providence's Spike's Junkyard Dogs; the food itself has a bravado and swagger. Deep fried, wrapped in bacon, smothered in everything from chili to cream cheese, topped with everything from fried eggs to avocados, the food and the sign hanging from their front door scream Eat me! like a riled teenage boy daring you to not be a pussy.
In line with that vibe, PBR's are served in the garish, cozy, and retro dining room. As for the speakeasy behind the dark door, that is another story and one you can read in this week's drinks category.
I am here to talk about the food. Very simply, Crif Dogs gave me the best hot dog I have ever had. Jim and I split a cream cheese smothered beast sprinkled with everything bagel spices and a cheez whiz and fresh jalapeno masterpiece. Laura got that fantastic kimchee dog, that was, not surprisingly, very good and very intense. There are veggie options too, so no need to leave that friend at home.
We ate in PDT, the aforementioned speak easy where the menu is a bit more limited, but not in the least bit disappointing. The owners claim to not know what they're doing on their website, but if that is so, they do ignorant oh so very, very well.