New York Hot Dog and Coffee came to me on a humid summer day.
I was exploring downtown Chungju with Daniel. I had heard about New York Hot Dog from some people at work, who claimed the hot dogs were actually as good as anything you could find in the states. An unbeliever, but curious I walked through the doors.
I was first greeted by a very cheerful teenager who offered to translate for Daniel and me. Although I was unsure if he was an employee or not, I was happy to let someone help me with the ordering. (I always feel like an idiot pointing at pictures on the menu.) It turned out our translator worked across the street at a clothing store, but he was hoping to work as a travel guide and translator after graduating high school. Trust me, he’s well on his way.
I saw the sign for coffee and immediately ordered “hanna copee americano juseyo.” Then I decided on the classic dog. After all, I was here to compare a translation to the real deal. Daniel ordered and our food was on the table in about five minutes.
The hot dog looked right, my coffee looked incredible and the french fries looked real! I couldn’t wait to dig in! The hot dog was also a welcome surprise. Although it wasn’t any Chicago dog, it was certainly passable as a hot dog with pickle relish and mustard. The coffee was the best cup I’ve had outside my home in South Korea. Absolutely what you expect from coffee–strong, black, flavorful and wonderful. I could’ve stayed for hours and sipped that coffee. The fries were fantastic! I wish fresh cut fries would catch on in the rest of the city, but alas, New York Hot Dog remains the only establishment to cut and fry their fries when you order. Next time, I’ll have to figure out how to explain fry sauce.
It was quickly apparent and proven true to me that someone has worked extremely hard to bring an authentic hot dog joint experience to Korea.
New York Hot Dog lived up to the rumors. I think I speak for all Americans in Chungju when I say, “I heart New York.”