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Coney Island: Feltman's vs Nathan's hot dogs

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in which Steve Cuozzo awards Feltman's a half dog increment over Nathan's. He notes that the Coney Island dog is superior to those provided in franchised locations. But the casing was a little tough, the toppings a little off, and the wheat bun just OK. Feltman's, in contrast, offered a less snappy casing of lambskin, and better toppings. Feltman's also uses a Martin's potato roll bun...

 

 

http://nypost.com/2017/04/16/this-is-the-top-dog-on-coney-island-and-its-not-nathans/

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so funny as when i went to Coney Island last year, i had a Hot Dog at Luna Park Nathan's Stand and at the Original Location and felt the Hot Dog at the Stand was much better than the Original Nathan's.. Original Location is so gross.. everything is precooked and soggy.

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With all the sauerkraut and onions it's a wonder he can taste the hot dogs.

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I've only had Feltman's out of the window, more or less beneath Orik's old apartment. It is pretty good for a hot dog, and the sauerkraut was definitely a step up.

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I've only had Feltman's out of the window, more or less beneath Orik's old apartment. It is pretty good for a hot dog, and the sauerkraut was definitely a step up.

 

I hadn't realized they were still being sold prior to their return to Coney Island. I have a dream of a multiplicity of frankfurters.

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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.

 

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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.

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More about hot dog maven Scott Lynch. He recently wrote a Gothamist article about the 12 best dogs in New York. Katz's is on the list - Nathan's didn't make the cut. Decide for yourself if he's credible.

 

This spring Sietsema and Cuozzo both compared Nathan's and Feltman's. Sietsema narrowly favored Nathan's while Cuozzo leaned towards Feltman's. Neither one mentioned Katz's.

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I thought it was fine too - I just prefer Nathan's but if I was on St. Marks I'd buy a couple.

 

Sitesema and Cuozzo rated them as nearly even. I think those are defensible positions. Listing Katz's as one of the top dogs in the city and leaving Nathan's off the list isn't.

 

I know, I know. Jobbing journalist.

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I wish I liked hotdogs more, they looks so good and they are cheap and convenient. I have never made a hotdog at home. and maybe eat less than 3 a year.i know we sell Brooklyn cured very well

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I've never had a hot dog at Katz's. It's not like I'm there once a week and need to change things up. I go for the pastrami and that's what I have.

 

At one point the people on Chowhound wrote extensively about Katz's until they all simultaneously burned themselves out on the topic. That happens on food boards. Anyway occasionally questions about the hot dogs arose. Were they good? Worth ordering?

 

The answers from posters I trusted were that they were fine but not remarkable. A small minority disagreed because the Internet abhors consensus. My conclusion was that if Katz's hot dogs were sold instead at Louie's Frank Shack they would never be mentioned.

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Katz's is sourcing from one of the major hot dog makers. Can't remember which one. So there's nothing truly exclusive about the product. I know I've bought a hot dog at Katz's for someone not into pastrami.

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Yep, having a hot dog is one of the things one can safely recommend at Katz's if someone is adverse to pastrami or corned beef. But if those hot dogs are some of the best in NYC, then I feel so reinforced in not eating hot dogs from anywhere in NYC. Well, except for an occasional dirty dog or stopping by a Papaya King to have (be?) "one with everything".

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