|Strictly gourmet hot dogs, indeed. At Gray's Papaya.|
The other day I was running errands in the West Village when, lo!, my stomach rumbled. (We should all know by now that I must follow the immediate and abundant demands of my stomach lest I become hangry and irritable.)
At first I thought of stopping into a deli for a salad, but salads are weirdly expensive in Manhattan. Like, $11 for iceberg lettuce and half of a mealy tomato. Kill me.
I was crossing Sixth Avenue and saw there was a Gray's Papaya on the corner. WTF?! I have been laboring under the assumption for the last 27 and a half years that the only Gray's Papaya in existence was on the Upper West Side! Well slap my ass and call me Sunshine, because there it was, shimmering in all its scrap-meated glory.
I had to have a hot dog, obviously.
|If you're hungry or broke or just in a hurry: Gray's Papaya.|
If you've never had a Gray's Papaya hot dog then, well, you're missing out on what is likely to be a spiritual - possibly transcendent - experience. Gray's even got a shout-out on that 1997 Matthew Perry-Salma Hayek vehicle, Fools Rush In. (Which, for the record, I still think is kind of a cute movie. I don't really go in for rom-coms, but I just love Salma. And Chandler will always have a special place in my heart.)
Gray's hot dogs are just a snappy as their service: none of that half-done, boiled crap here - these babies are grilled. Throw a little sauerkraut, caramelized onions, and ketchup up in that piece, get yourself a pint of papaya juice chaser, then eat the whole thing standing on a corner - and you've got yourself a quintessential New York moment right there.
Gray's Papaya is located at 402 Sixth Avenue, at the corner of 8th Street, New York NY 10011. They're open 24 hours, like everything else in this city.