my daughter k. might be one of the most limited eaters on the planet. she could easily live on a diet of all carbs all the time so anytime there is an addition to her repertoire there is excitement in the house. a year ago it was pizza. this summer, hot dogs entered her world and given that the rest of us are dog lovers that was very good news. and now we have bark, definitely the best dogs in the neighborhood and beyond.
and better yet, bark has become an easy dinner option on those nights when we are just too tired to cook but it is too late to go to a proper restaurant. we feel like we’re going out somewhere nice –bark’s design is clean, simple and warm with great looking high wood tables (done by knight architecture). there is plenty of seating and the stools are great for the kids. we can dine with other adults, but don’t worry too much that we are impinging on those childless couples with our not always mellow children.
the family standard is the classic, a griddle roasted dog, plain for the kids, and with cheese for the adults. j. will sometimes go crazy and add bacon and onions. other toppings include saurkraut or pickles or a combo of beans, smoky pork, onions and mustard. there’s also a veggie dog — not surprisingly given the store’s location — with roasted mushrooms, chickpea, lentils and pickled garlic mayo. it actually sounds pretty good. bark’s dogs are either pork and beef or just beef. they have been perfect every time. no wondering what mystery meat is in there. they are bursting at the seams, and taste as if they have been at a backyard barbecue. these dogs meet my all time standard of very best dog which i had from katz’s, grilled outside. the cheddar cheese sauce was also spectacular. it’s a little gritty, and it has been liquidified a bit to be more like a nacho sauce then just a layer of cheddar.
bark’s sides have not been as impressive. i’ve been especially disappointed with the onion rings. they are just too fried — if that makes sense — they taste greasy and have little flavor. i am wishing they could import the onion rings from willie’s dawgs the hot dog shop down the street across from j.j. byrne park (also they have pretty good dogs). the coleslaw is brisk and biting, but the baked beans didn’t quite do it even for j. a real lover of baked beans.
bark is very into the sustainable, green theme here with the most serious trash dispensing system i’ve ever seen – many different holes for each kind of item (the straws go here, the cups go there) so you can feel very good about yourself when you leave your trash behind. the food is locally sourced as much as possible and bark has a detailed list to prove it. the hot dogs come from hartmann’s old world sausage in rochester, and the carrots come from j. glebocki farm in goshen, and they even give pepperidge farm credit for their hot dog buns (guess they couldn’t find someone local for that). we’ll definitely be back en famille for the dogs, and i’d love to check out breakfast (on the weekends only) too sometime, especially the special of corn grits with braised bacon, egg and preserved tomato. bark, 474 bergen street just off flatbush avenue, brooklyn, new york, 718,789.1939.