If you were to ask a foodie for the highlights of Manhattan's Lower East Side, you'd likely get a slew of different answers. Most will tell you of the claim-to-fame Jewish deli food, namely the likes of poplar Katz' Delicatessen. Some might describe the current place-to-be, and as of early 2013, that's moderately priced, uniquely good Mission Chinese. On any other day, I personally would tell you about the best donut of my life, purchased at Doughnut Plant's original location. But today -- today is a day to tell you about Colombian street food, namely hot dogs, that've been given a distinctly New York twist and are found on the menu of Los Perros Locos.
Now, you should know that I am no sort of hot dog connoisseur. Sure, I ate them cut up and mixed into my macaroni and cheese as a kid (and maybe occasionally in college, too), and yes, I have consumed one (or two) at a baseball game in proper fashion. But hot dogs and I don't often meet, which made the invitation to join fellow food bloggers at this tasting event a good chance to be especially investigative.
What I found was a small, warm establishment with around 15 seats, and a vibe that felt especially "late-night" with a wall of neon lights a-glow. I found a menu posted next to the ordering counter, and some of the most friendly staff I've ever encountered at a casual joint. And then I found hot dogs, layered with ingredient upon ingredient. Like this "Pablo Escobar," an all-beef dog topped with sweet slaw, pineapple salsa, and crushed potato chips.
I was full after about two bites of the salchipapas. This is a dish I would save strictly for, oh, maybe a meal after a night out at the bars freshman year of college. But nonetheless, the ingredient combinations at Los Perros Locos are crazy-intriguing and certainly shed a new light on both the cuisine of the Lower East Side and that of Colombia. I'll certainly return to the Lower East Side for another culinary investigation, but I think I'll wait until I make it to Colombia to indulge in my next crazy hot dog.