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Thursday, October 13, 2011

NYC's Little Secrets III

I figure while I am on a roll, I will continue my NYC's Little Secrets topic and move on to the next hidden jewel. 

Do any of you ever crave a hot dog? What about at 3am? I know at 3am I'm pretty much craving anything that is edible. Dudes are possibly always up to chow down after a rock concert. Especially, if they were part of that rock concert. Well, you're in luck if that rock concert happens to be in the city that never sleeps. 

Last year, after one rockin concert at Webster Hall, some friends of mine, along with half the band, decided we needed a little grub. Since I was the only chick hanging with sweaty dudes, I figure I would pass on the option of giving suggestions and let the dudes take control of this one. Where did this land us? Crif Dogs, the East Village hot dog spot. 

Crif Dogs is conveniently located on Saint Marks Place just within walking distance of the Lower East Side, the party location of everyone who can eat at 3am and not regret it the next day. Other wise known as everyone under the age of 25. Sadly, I'm no longer a part of that category. 

This retro hot dog joint has very few tables, a counter with some stools, arcade games and just enough napkins to handle these messy yet tasty wieners. 

The dog portion of the menu is quite extensive. I was impressed. They all sounded fabulous, especially at 3am. Along with dogs, they also have burgers, shakes and floats, fries and tots along with beverages including beer. 

Along with letting the dudes choose the joint, I also let them take advantage with ordering, since I'd never been there before, I wanted them to order what should be ordered. I'm pretty sure we knocked down a round of hot dogs and some tots in less than five minutes. Dudes.

I promise, I didn't forget about the real topic of this post, NYC's Little Secret No. 3! You know I just like a good story, so why not tell the story on how I found out about this little secret? 

After sitting at this tiny little table, eating as fast as I could to make sure I got a bite before the dudes devoured each and every little scrap, dudes, I noticed someone come out of what looked like an old fashioned phone booth. Now, normally someone coming out of a phone booth wouldn't be considered such an odd situation. However, never seeing anyone enter or occupying said phone booth since our arrival, is an odd situation.

It turns out, that phone booth isn't really a phone booth at all. Well, technically it is a booth and there is a phone, but that phone only calls one place. And, that place happens to be located on the other side of the wall which is also the back wall of the phone booth. Sneaky!

Which brings us to NYC's Little Secret No. 3...


PDT is the hot-dog joint for grown-ups. Actually, it’s the cocktail-lounge annex to Crif Dogs, an East Village mainstay known for its deep-fried Jersey-style franks. Accessed through a vintage phone booth within Crif Dogs, PDT (short for Please Don’t Tell) is a snug, sexy speakeasy with a twist: Along with its high-quality classic cocktails and a well-chosen selection of beer and wine, patrons can order food from Crif’s kitchen next door. Oddly, it works: A paper boat of foil-wrapped waffle fries goes nicely with the Astoria Bianco, a refreshing martini derivative. PDT’s abbreviated menu offers a smallish, bowling-alley-style burger, and four kinds of deep-fried dogs—although you can put in special requests from the full Crif Dog menu next door, which includes our favorite, the New Yorker, Crif’s sole grilled all-beef frank. The idea is genius and a time-saver: food you eat when you’re drunk, served while you’re in the process of getting that way.
As well as rendering classic cocktails with unparalleled expertise, mixologist Jim Meehan (formerly of Gramercy Tavern and Pegu Club) offers up irresistible seasonal creations (an old-fashioned made from bacon-infused bourbon and maple syrup) and delicious seasonal infusions (buttered-popcorn rum). A highlight is the Staggerac, a potent Sazerac made with 140-proof bourbon and absinthe.

This swanky hidden little joint is kind of a pain to get into. Either be smart and make a reservation to guarantee entry, or arrive for happy hour. Kidding, not that early but you get the gist. 

If there was one term I would use to describe PDT, it would be date place. It's small, cozy and dark. The perfect place to spill your deeply hidden secrets to people you want to keep hidden. Or, it's the perfect place to hang with some chill friends. Until the later hours of the night when you need to let loose and have some fun and a hot dog. 

I've only been once and I'm not sure when I'll be back. I'm not really one to hit the hard to enter places, however, they are fun to visit every once in a while. I'm more of a laid back kinda gal who likes to hang out with dudes, listen to metal and eat hot dogs. So, this place was kind of perfect.

How many other New York City's hidden little secrets can I come up with? I guess you'll have to hang around to find out! Wish me luck! 


  1. The use of the term "Cheap-Ass" on the specials menu is enough to make me want to eat there. It seems like a fun place. :) And since I never seem to get heartburn (knock on wood), I could probably handle it at 3 AM.

  2. Love the hot dog place!! You are making me hungry & wanting to buy a ticket to NYC!