As I stated in my last post, I was trying my best to live up to the tremendous birthday standard I set last year. For my 32nd I was in Sydney, LA, Chicago and Philadelphia, which may not mean a lot to 99% of the people out there, but I got a huge kick out of it. So for my 33rd I had XL come to town to join me in a noble, yet massively foolish quest. As we left York PA at 10:00 AM on Saturday, It was our quest to fill ourselves with weiner. By which I mean: we had a progressive hot dog lunch at a few of the best places to get tube steak in the world.
Our first stop was at Yocco's, which is Allentown Pennsylvania's famous doggery. I told XL that if we left my place at 10 we would get to Yocco's Rt. 100 location at 11:30, and that's exactly when we rolled up. It's OK to be impressed, XL was. Knowing we had a long day of dog goodness ahead of us, we eschewed our normal order of 3 dogs and two small orders of pierogies each and went for a more petite spread. We each got two dogs with everything (a well done dog in a steamed roll with chopped onions, tangy mustard and their famous chili sauce) and one order of pierogies which we washed down with a Cherry Coke. Below, I enjoy one of my dogs:
After jumping back into the car we made for the Garden State and got to Hoboken at just past 1. We took a bit of a detour to walk on to Pier A, which is an old shipping pier next to my Dad's old office that has been covered with grass and turned into a park. On such a glorious spring day as this, you get a great view across the river to the towering Empire State building. Also on offer: tons of sunbathers who don't want to leave their urban splendor for a beach, but really want to put on a microscopic bikini and catch some sun.
Our next stop was the West Village, home to NYU, Washington Square Park and one time home of Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac. It had only been 2 hours since Yocco's so we walked around a bit before our next stop. We happened upon a street fair on Waverly Place and we did a bit of looking around, but no eating
We didn't eat at the street fair, because our next stop was the West Village location of Grey's Papaya, and there were more dogs to eat. We each stuffed down two Grey's dogs and chased them with an orange drink. Now those are some damn good dogs!
There are literary hundreds of great places to get a hot dog in New York. We also thought about heading to the Lower East Side to pick up a dog at Katz's Deli, but the F train was diverted and we didn't feel like doubling back. So we headed to the one place that has become synonymous with New York hot dogs: Coney Island.
Nathan's has been dishing up dogs on the corner of Surf and Stillwell for almost 100 years. So you can't go on a dog eating sojourn without making a pilgrimage to this shrine of red-hots. Despite the fact that we are two pretty big guys, we can't eat like we used to, and so we were slowing down a bit at this point. So we each had a dog and a half, and split an order of fries. They don't really taste all that different from the ones available at any other Nathan's location, but sometimes it's not just what you're eating, but where.
I must confess, I had an alternative motive for dragging XL out to Brooklyn. Don't get me wrong, Nathan's is a great reason all on it's own, but it also set me up for my birthday present. On the way back from the beach we were able to jump off the train in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn and get our hands on some other top level grub, but this time to take home and eat later. We went to Dub Pies on PPW and 15th and I bought a dozen frozen Down Under meat pies. These things are like heaven baked into a flaky crust, and no trip to the city can be made without bringing some home. If I wasn't so stuffed with lips and assholes, I might have chowed down on a pie or I might have had a dog at this place:
With the clock ticking and the pies thawing we made a bolt for the ice laden cooler in XL's trunk. We hopped back onto the F train and passed Obama's motorcade on our way from the 4th St station to the 9th St Path station. We caught the Path back to Hoboken and jumped in the car to head home. We thought we may never eat again, but once we spent an hour and 20 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic on the NJ Turnpike we made our way south to Harold’s's in Edison where we split a big ass pastrami sandwich
In all, it was a great trip and a pretty damn great birthday. Maybe next year I'll do a cheese steak tour of Philly or... ouch! My stomach and digestive tract just vehemently objected.