Union Squared


Dogmatic Sausage System | 26 East 17th Street, Manhattan | 212.414.0600 | eatdogmatic.com

Dos Toros Taqueria | 137 4th Avenue (13th St.), Manhattan | 212.6776.7300 | dostorosnyc.com


SOBRIETY HAS OFFERED ME MANY rewards so far. It’s given me extra boosts of enthusiasm, explosions of creativity, and hours of productivity. I’ve been able to fill in some of the peripheral Pages of this site, update some old posts, and better organize and archive all of my photos.

Yet, as I was looking over the site today, I realized that it had been 3 days since I posted a new update. Spoiled and sated since Sunday’s late brunch, I had been remiss in my follow up. So, at around 1 p.m., I started to sift through the Rolodex of my head of restaurants I didn’t get around to trying last year.

First one I came up with was a place called Dogmatic, a little shop that was making a rep for itself doing upscale versions of the pedestrian hot dog. I first found out about this place from my friend, Karie, and had planned on more than one previous occasion to go with her. Alas, other clients and life in general got in the way of that.

I sent her a text anyway and didn’t hear from her, so I consigned to having to PHUDE it alone, wondering if trying more than one of their “dogs” would agree with my system and my resolutions. As I put on my coat, I checked in with Facebook one last time, and came across a link that another foodie friend of mine, Marcy, had just posted to her wall. It was the New York Times’ positive review of a taco place called Dos Toros and, wouldn’t you know it, it was itself a 5-minute walk away from Dogmatic!

So onto the downtown 5 train I jumped trying to figure out in what order I would hit these spots. As I was getting out at the Union Square, it was nice to know that if I needed divine intervention, it was, this day, readily available.




If it wasn’t for my family needs, job sitch, personal uncertainty, addiction, health problems, etc., I might actually have time to pray…!

I walked along the west side of Union Square Park, camera in hand, snapping away as I made my way towards 17th.




I felt a little bit of nostalgia walking by Coffee Shop; I had a few friends work there in the 80s, when it was actually advantageous to have good looking people work for you, regardless if they knew how to do their job.

Blue Water Grill I have been at before, only once. It was about ten years ago, at around the time of the birth of our present foodie Renaissance.

I turned the corner at 17th; under some scaffolding I found Dogmatic.




Walking in, the first thing I noticed was how clean—in an almost clinical way—it looked. It was very Kubrickian.




Although I already knew what I wanted (and not being able to remember what Karie had recommended), I took a look at the huge, lit up menu as a formality, and then ordered the Pork Dog with Truffled Gruyére, and a Coconut Soda.




The dogs are served in what can best be described as pocket bread rolls, that get toasted once they sheathed onto heated metal “spikes”, then get stuffed with the dog and fillings.

They come out on a tray right out of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.




The outside of the tasted bread pocket had a sturdy crunch to it, and didn’t overwhelm the nicely porky and spiced hot dog secured inside. The Truffled Gruyére, however, kind of did, which I maybe should have expected, but I still have a giddily Pavlovian response to anything that says “truffle”.

The cheese was also more of a cheese “sauce”, and although the flavors were there, I will definitely have to make a return visit and have the hot dog unadorned, to get a better taste of the meat.




The soda, by the way, tasted as advertized. It was coconut juice/water with seltzer, and only made me wish it was a lot more like the “Coconut Champagne” they sell at any of those Papaya places.

I left with my stomach pretty full, fretting having to soon consume a whole taco. I convinced myself that this was one of the sacrifices I would have to make for the “job”. I walked back downtown, by the park, by the now world-famous Farmer’s Market, where I was briefly distracted by someone skillet-grilling some homemade sausages…




…and this guy getting interviewed by God-knows-who about his pickled vegetables.




I was quickly past 14th and 4th, and espied the outside of Dos Toros from across the street. It appeared to be a more innocuous eatery than Dogmatic once I walked in.




I decided to order a carnitas (pork, diet be damned!) taco. They give you the option of soft or hard taco; I went with soft. I ordered one to stay and one to go and a soda because I thought they’d have a minimum charge on a credit card of at least $10, but they have no minimum at all. (They’re located in the heart of NYU, so I assume that had to be a bit more flexible with broke-ass students.)

I also wanted to video tape them putting this eventual thing of beauty together, but my low camera battery made that an impossibility.

So pictures it would be, and they handed me a brown paper bag containing my to-go taco, and another—in a red plastic, cafeteria style basket—for me to slowly enjoy by the street-side window.




Yes, this was as good as it looks. The pork is prepped in-house, slow-roasted then stewed in it’s own juices with some nice spices. The meat was mad tender, yo, falling apart into sweet, salty soft strips in my mouth with each bite.

The accoutrements (salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, etc.), also made in-house, were dandy as well, very fresh and flavorful, and maintaing their texture so they rest of my mouth could still tell what was what even with the taste buds getting involved (although they were so glad they did!).

Heading back uptown on a surprisingly empty 6 train—which got to 86th street at the same time the very crowded 5 train from Union Square did!—I remembered I had posted a video from the Daily Show of John Stewart interviewing Michael Pollan, the author of a very informational food book called Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. I would eventually stop by the new Barnes & Nobles on 86th Street and pick up the newly available paperback, helping me to commit to my resolution to read more books this year.


Barnes & Nobles

Two restaurants in one posts, two posts from one trip; only CLEAN and SOBER living could I have pulled that off! So maybe these resolutions can help me with my “health food” resolution…! :/

Bun Apple Tea!

.kac.

| DOGMATIC Dogmatic Gourmet Sausage System on Urbanspoon | DOS TOROS Dos Toros Taqueria on Urbanspoon |


Dogmatic Sausage System | 26 East 17th Street, Manhattan | 212.414.0600 | eatdogmatic.com

Dos Toros Taqueria | 137 4th Avenue (13th St.), Manhattan | 212.677.7300 | dostorosnyc.com


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