Meat Madness: Slope hot dog shop pits franks against burgers

for The Brooklyn Paper
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At the end of this tournament, Park Slope will have a true top dog — unless the burger wins out.

Bark Hot Dogs is taking on March Madness with its own version of the multi-seeded play-off, replacing college basketball teams with brats, patties, French fries and chicken wings.

“We based our bracket off of actual sales, making a Sweet 16 list with our top-selling items, except for beer, ’cause that would win, of course,” said co-owner Joshua Sharkey.

Bark fans can vote online for their favorites — and if their choice wins it all they can expect a big prize on the day of the big game.

“Winners will have specials to go along with them, which will get better and better as we go from eight, to four, to two, to one,” Sharkey said. “The eventual winner, which will coincide with the NCAA Finals, will have a really cool promotion to go along with it. If it’s a lower priced item, we’ll probably offer it for free. If it’s higher, we’ll just make it crazy cheap.”

Just like in an actual tournament, the Bark Madness bracket staged some serious David vs. Goliath match ups — and as is often the case in the Big Dance, lower ranked entrants didn’t stand a chance.

In the first round, which wrapped up on Saturday, the No. 1 seeded Bark Dog mopped the floor with the No. 16 seeded Veggie Burger, while the No. 2 seeded Bark Burger smashed the No. 15 ranked Heirloom Baked Beans.

But there were some upsets, with the No. 3 ranked Veggie Dog losing handily to the No. 14 seeded Cheddar Brat, and the No. 10 seeded Bark Wings barely squeaking by the No. 7 ranked Kraut Dog.

“I think the wings just might be a sleeper pick,” the frank peddler said. “We’ve only been doing them for a year or so, but people really love them. I think if you paired the wings against the Bark Dog in the end, the vote could go either way.”

Sharkey says the sportsman in him can’t help pulling for the underdogs, but he fears a big win is in the cards for the eponymous house dog or burger.

“I would like the pork burger to win, honestly. That’s my new favorite on the menu right now,” Sharkey admitted. “It’s something we’re really proud of, and I’d kind of like to see it upset the other ones.”

Bark [474 Bergen St. between Fifth and Flatbush Avenues in Park Slope, (718) 789-1939]. To vote, visit

Updated 7:09 am, March 13, 2012
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