Cleaning up the 'dirty water dog' experience

- A Long Island man with a rich history in the food business is trying to clean up New York City's hot dog carts.

Keith Dorman's family started delivering cheese by horse-drawn wagon in Manhattan back in 1896, so it's really no surprise that he'd get involved in the cart business.

What is surprising? What some of the hot dog carts out there are trying to pass off as beef franks.

In that sea of hot dogs, in the middle of Times Square, Keith Dorman says he is on a mission to elevate every component of the New York City hot dog experience, one hot dog at a time.

After working a cart himself, he was pretty grossed out by what vendors were selling, so he started his own brand, Snap Dog.

Dorman's hot dogs are made with 100% premium beef. He says they're smoked the old fashioned way, in a real smoke house. Every hot dog has the name 'Snap Dog' and the word 'beef' on the side.

While a lot of other carts promise all-beef franks, there's no way to tell for sure.

Dorman says he went all the way to Pamplona, Spain to find temporary casings that write the words 'Snap Dog' right on the frank so there's absolutely no question about what you're getting.

The dogs themselves are made in New York at a facility in Troy, right outside of Albany. Dorman says the company that that runs the facility is huge in corned beef, pastrami, and roast beef. They use the trimmings from those quality cuts of meat to make his hot dogs.

The Dormans have a history of making food here in New York. Keith's great grandfather started Dorman Cheese on Hudson Street Downtown. They're credited with being the first company to put paper between cheese slices.

Keith Dorman, himself, is trying to clean up the quality of hot dogs and the entire food cart experience, even adding hand sanitizer to each cart he works with.

So how are the hot dogs?

We sent a pro to test them out, our intern Nicole, who you might recognize from the Good Day New York Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Nicole gave them two thumbs up.

Right now, Dorman says Snap Dog is an expensive undertaking. He sells to just 30 of the 3,000 carts licensed in the City, but sees a lot of upward potential. Their current business model involves spending more than they're making but he hopes in time that will change.

Dorman is set to sell his one-millionth hot dog in a couple of weeks and he's well-positioned to capture millennial dollars and appetites.

That generation spends more money on food than their predecessors, but they want better quality products.

WWW.SNAPDOGNYC.COM

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