T. Michael Keza
Golden Local trophy Michael Nathanson heads to Crif Dogs to present the Golden Local award.
It was a rainy evening in the East Village of New York City, but a Golden light was cast over the victorious Crif Dogs, the winner of me, The Golden Local. For those of you living in a cave of late, nbcnewyork.com has graciously called upon my services as the arbiter of taste and all things local, to conduct monthly online polls to determine what really is the "best" here in New York City.
This month's contest focused on the New York staple: the hot dog. In an epic battle of guts, determination, and pork, the downtown favorite Crif Dogs beat out the always crowd-pleasing uptown Gray's Papaya by a vote of 56% to 44%. Brian, the owner of the glorious winner, said proudly, "We grew up in Jersey riding our motorcycles to get these kind of hot dogs, and then I thought, I can do this. I always knew my wiener was the best."
I started the evening off right, inhaling two of the finest culinary creations known to man in NYC: the "Tsunami" dog (a storm of pineapple flavor in my mouth) chased by the barking dog "Chihuahua" (bacon, sour cream, avocado—the sign said "don't be scared" and fear took a backseat to golden taste and flavor.) Afterwards, a delicious, frosty libation of root beer washed my meal down.
I asked the fearless leader of the Crif, what it felt like to have me grace his establishment with my goldiferous goldocity: "Almost as good as gold fronts." He thanked God first and foremost, followed by Mom, and then wife (whom he lovingly referred to as his "manager"). I decided it was best not to delve any further.
As the night came to a goIdificent end, I thought about asking for a hot dog named after me. Then I realized there would be no need for such a thing. When you're the Golden Local, you don't have to brag. You're already in the know.