We finally made it out to Coney Island yesterday (we've had an amazing run of rainy Saturdays) and tried Feltman's. It's located on Surf Ave. hard by the Cyclone. It's a good location and about 3 or 4 blocks from Nathan's.
The place was middling crowded - the people seemed to come in waves. The ordering system is different than Nathans' where you pay and get your food almost immediately. Here you pay, get your drinks, and wait about 15 minutes for your food. They only had 2 guys making hot dogs. They worked hard and efficiently but they had a tough time keeping up with the demand.
The hot dogs were of the kitchen sink variety. Unless you ask, they are routinely served with mustard, sauerkraut, and onions. Somewhere there's a hot dog under there.
Deb ordered hers with the condiments, I opted for mustard only.
The dog itself is a natural casing frank with a nice snap. The flavor is milder than Nathan's. Some people will like that and think that Feltman's is more refined. To me that's like listening to the Ramone's at low volume. I want the Ramone's played loud and I prefer Nathan's more assertive spicing.
On the positive side they use a toasted Martin's long roll, the same type I love and use at home. On the down side they applied double the amount of mustard I like. Mustard is a background spice, not a foreground instrument.
Deb thought her's was OK but thought the onions were a bit much. She likes Nathan's more.
Verdict - Get the dog plain and put on your own condiments. It's a good dog but a 9 vs. Nathan's 10.
Fun fact - on their website Feltman's quotes the writeup that Gothamist gave their St. Marks branch last summer. "... it's likely to be the best hot dog you'll ever eat in your life."
The article was written by Scott Lynch and that is breathless hype.
"I don't understand what's wrong with thinking of correlation as a pricing convention the way one thinks of Black-Scholes vol. I mean, vol curves aren't "real" anyway, but nobody uses local vol models to price vanilla options." - Taion
"But this is blatant ultracrepidarianism on my part." - Taion
I have a dream of a multiplicity of pastramis.
"once the penis came out, there was discussions as to why we didn't order the testicles" - Daniel describing a meal in China