Dining on a frankfurter at the landmark Nathan’s Famous stand on Surf Avenue in Coney Island is considered a tradition in Brooklyn, where I was born and raised — but travel to and from New York has not been as easy as it was before the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic was officially declared last year…
Review: How to Ruin a New York Frankfurter.
…so when I found out that boxes of Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Bagel Dogs and Pretzel Dogs were available in the frozen food section at the local supermarket at half price — more specifically, buy one get one free — I had to try them.
Four frankfurters are included in each box; and each frankfurter is individually wrapped for freshness.
The instructions call for first placing them in a microwave oven on high power for 60 seconds — 90 seconds if you would like a softer pretzel or bagel crust — before placing them in an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for three minutes for the dough to become a softer crust; or five minutes for a crispier crust.
The bagel dog is on the top left and the pretzel dog is on the bottom right in the photograph shown above. The crust did turn out to sport a nice golden brown color.
When we tried the Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Bagel Dogs, the texture of the dough was indeed crispy on the outside and nice and doughy on the inside — but despite the flavorful frankfurter, the taste and aroma was overwhelmed by an imitation butter flavor, which was subtle at first.
A similar experience occurred with the Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Pretzel Dogs.
We then tried them with deli mustard. Lots of deli mustard. Not authentic mustard which is found in a real delicatessen in New York — but a reasonably formidable facsimile nonetheless. The mustard did help to drown out the flavor of the “butter flavor” — but once the strong mustard taste dissipated, the faint “butter flavor” returned.
Who in the world thought to add artificial butter flavor — or, more specifically, maltodextrin and “natural flavors” — to ingredients which would have stood quite well on their own?
In the meantime, the following photograph shows the nutrition facts for both products — and let’s just say that they should not be considered health food.
New York and Chicago have always competed pertaining to who has the best hot dog, as they are significantly different — but two things upon which seem to be universally agreed: putting ketchup on a hot dog is considered sacriligious; and you do not put either artificial butter or real butter on a frankfurter. You. Just. Don’t. Do. That. Ever. Period.
Each box of Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Bagel Dogs or Pretzel Dogs costs $8.99; but two of them were purchased for that price, as they were on sale. They are not even worth half that price, which is what was paid for them.
One would think that taking three foods which are distinctive to New York — bagels, pretzels, and Nathan’s Famous frankfurters — and combining them would create a winning combination which any New Yorker would welcome…
…but unfortunately, both of these products fall rather short of being good and simply do not cut the mustard — to be frank.