Photo: Liz Steger
New York City's Serendipity 3 restaurant has a history of doing stunts to make the Guinness World Records. They've scored twice before -- with the World's Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae and the World's Largest Hot Chocolate -- and on Friday, they did it again with the World's Most Expensive Hot Dog, which will sell for $69.
So how do you get a hot dog to cost nearly 70 bucks? First, you start with a regular Serendipity 3 foot-long beef hot dog, which already sells for $8.50 -- a little more than your average street dog in New York (and a lot tastier, I'll admit). Then you use the tried and true pre-recession stunt of chefs around the world: Add foie gras, then add truffles, repeat as necessary until the price tag explodes. (The other surefire fancifier -- caviar -- would taste a little gross on a hot dog, though Serendipity 3 puts it on a burger.)
To be more specific, this particular "Haute Dog" (as it's being marketed) is grilled in white truffle oil and is served on a chewy pretzel-bread bun (sort of like a cross between a soft pretzel and a baguette) that's toasted with white truffle butter. It's topped with foie gras pâté with black truffles. Condiments (served on the side) include Dijon mustard with black truffles, caramelized Vidalia onions and ketchup made with heirloom tomatoes (more like a tart tomato relish).
I tasted the dog this morning (breakfast of champions), and I've gotta admit, it was darn tasty. My notes, after the jump.
The wiener itself was high quality and would have been great with just a little mustard. But the combo of flavors and textures -- the smokey, firm yet juicy hot dog, the creamy, pungent foie gras, the earthy truffles, the chewy, salty bun, the sweet onions, the bite of mustard, and the bright, tart ketchup -- played together remarkably well. My minor complaints: I found the bun a bit too salty and the occasional visible glob of truffle butter was over the top (or perhaps I should say "over the top of the top").
The dog, which was created in honor of National Hot Dog Day (and, I presume, in order to garner just this sort of press attention), debuted for the press Friday and will be available to the general public as soon as new menus are drawn up, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant (note that the haute dog has to be ordered 24 hours in advance).
So is this stunt dog for you? Only if you love foie gras and truffles (their flavor, not just the "I'm a big roller" factor -- though that'll play a part in your decision too) and you've got an extra $70, plus tax and tip, burning a hole in your pocket (hey, we heard the recession was over...right?).
Would you pay $69 for a hot dog? Leave your reply in the Comments section below.
Think foie gras is a weird hot dog topping? Check out these other hot dog toppings from around the world, like meat sauce and fried eggs.