Recently I had the unique opportunity to try a different twist on America’s favorite sandwich, the Kimchi bulgogi burger is gorged by droves of young Korean students, sports enthusiasts and professionals alike. With over 240 locations littered across Korea, New York Hot Dog and Coffee company lived up to their namesake in 2008 and showed up on American soil to put a Korean twist on an American tradition. With a somewhat of a cult following that I was unaware of, my grand entrance into this stark modern dog and burger emporium brought a pleasant surprise to my face as well as taste buds. With flash bulbs popping, I walked into a horde of happy friendly tourists jostling for positions to get photographed against the backdrop of press and NYHDC food models in-cased in futuristic glass bubbles.
Bulgogi ,which literally means, ” fire-meat” because of the way it’s grilled over an open flame, originated in 37 BC and was served up to the King during the Josean Dynasty. Bulgogi consists of slivered sirloin which is marinated lovingly in freshly pureed fruits such as pears and apples among other savory ingredients for about 3 days. The meat is then piled high on top of a 7 ounce beef patty and assembled with pickles, lettuce and sesame seeds. An optional choice is Kimchi, which is a spicy crunchy fresh marinated cabbage.
The menu also consists of various different gourmet dogs, such as the Perro dog; with fresh tomatoes, pickles, jalapeno’s and bacon, the Dahk-Kalbi dog (54 calories) with tender marinated chicken in a traditional sweet sauce, lettuce and pickles, and the Texan dog with chili, cheddar and pepper jack cheese and crushed potato chips. The gracious staff including the owners daughter Jayne made me feel like a King. They ushered me into the sparsely designed rear dining room, with stark minimalistic decor and larger than life graphic images of people chomping on their signature burgers and dogs.
Today I was trying the Bulgogi burger, and the Bulgogi dog with Kimchi, even though my site is about the quest for the best burger, I couldn’t resist trying one of their gourmet dogs. Famous in Korea for being a healthy alternative to street food, NYHDC prides itself on using fresh quality ingredients in their products. For their hotdogs they use 100% beef brisket franks which are steamed and then grill over an open flame, which any hot dog connoisseur knows, gives the perfect fresh juicy snap when crunching into the frank, also these puppies weigh in at 190 calories which is easy on the midsection.
The burger was an explosive unique international flavor which can now be experienced outside of Korea, the hotdogs were fresh and tasty and the inclusion of the Kimchi was a definite plus. I was sold on NYHDC approach to these classic American favorites, and definitely enjoyed the people and flavors of Korea even if just for a short while. I believe the all food is to be savored and enjoyed, and in my opinion NYHDC achieved that with their complex native flavors.