It might have surprised some people when an uptown, fine-dining-focused French chef like Daniel Boulud decided to open a sausage restaurant, DBGB, on the Bowery a few years ago. But Boulud, it turns out, is something of a hot-dog connoisseur: "I used to go and grab one on the way from Caf Boulud to Daniel. There used to be a guy on Park Avenue; it was a street dog," Boulud recalls. Late night is a different story: The toque tells us he'll often pop into PDT for a dog. And of course, Boulud has eaten hot dogs and their sausage brethren all over the world, but since it's summer, and Bastille Day, Grub Street asked the French chef to focus on the nouveau dogs of New York City (plus one outlier pick: a classic New York Papaya dog). We brought the chef signature offerings from Crif Dogs, Bark Hot Dogs, Papaya King, Dogmatic Dogs, Shake Shack, and Fatty 'Cue's Battery Park kiosk, and had him evaluate each one on a five-point scale, taking into account texture, flavor, and overall fixings.
Here, in order of preference, is Boulud's list.