Brooklyn has a new hot dog, and this wiener comes from wicked far away — Massachusetts.
Wicked Good Franks on Myrtle Avenue at Classon Avenue, the borough’s only purveyor of New England style hot dogs — which are juicer than the average frank and come with a surprise snap when you bite into them because they’re steamed in their own casing — is ready to make mark on Brooklyn’s growing, international hot dog scene (see sidebar).
“I don’t mind the competition, I know that my hot dog is superior,“ boasted Bruno Iannotta, Wicked Good Frank’s proud owner.
But Iannotta’s facing an uphill battle: few Brooklyn hot dog aficionados know that New England has its own hot dog. On top of that, natural casing franks are pretty common place — Nathan’s Famous has been selling them in Coney Island for more than 90 years.
George Shea, spokesman for the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which holds a Hot Dog Eating Championship at Coney Island’s Nathan’s Famous every Fourth of July, says there is no comparison between the Nathan’s Frank and a New England hot dog. And he should know — he grew up in New England.
“As much as I honor the area, no New England hot dog could ever beat the taste of a Nathan’s hot dog,” he said. “New England should stick with lobster and scenic vacations. Hot dogs are too aspirational for them.”
Yet Iannotta believes that his hot dogs, made from his own family’s recipe, and its many toppings, including the Southern (a hot dog wrapped in bacon and covered with Gorgonzola cheese and coleslaw), the Buffalo (a frank slathered in hot wing sauce, carrots, celery and bleu cheese), and the Cuban (a dog covered with mustard, swiss cheese, pickles and red pastrami) will make him Brooklyn’s top dog (hot dog, that is) in no time.
“[Our frank] is catching on,” Iannotta said. “People like good quality food in this neighborhood.”
Wicked Good Dogs [579 Myrtle Ave. at Classon Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 398-2000]. Open seven days, 11 am–7 pm. For info, visit www.wickedgoodfranks.com.
Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2525.