Gray's Papaya dogs just can't be beat

 

Spring is a budding, and if there's one thing that I absolutely love about New York in the spring, it's the abundance of hot dogs (and some baseball too). And if you aren't doing the Dirty Water Dog (read: hot dogs from  street vendors which spend their days sitting in hot - and very highly likely dirty - water. Hey, I'm not judging...) or the ballpark dog, really the only other way to go is the Gray's Papaya dog.

A New York City staple, Gray's Papaya can be found in multiple locations around Manhattan and are open around the clock. Hot dogs are all they do and they do it well. If you know what's good, you'll get 'em fully loaded - saurkraut and relish with a little mustard.

And if you're going Gray's, you must be going Recession Special style - $3.25 for two dogs and a 14oz drink. Oh, and I should mention that really the only acceptable drink in this scenario is the papaya "drink". It's creamy and anything but of the diet variety, but when you're eating two hot dogs covered in salty saurkraut, relish and mustard, is a diet drink really necessary?

Grilled to perfection on a huge griddle, these dogs are juicy and wonderful. And I mean, really, can you beat this deal anywhere else in the city? Especially when they look good enough to eat, as they do pictured on the right.

Adding to the fun is that there are absolutely no seats at Gray's. Besides some super small silver countertops on which you can lean, you're pretty much forced to find the nearest park bench for your chowfest. And I'm not complaining. It's been the home of quick lunches, the best hot dog in New York, and even some movie sets (You've Got Mail) and in my opinion, fantastic New York City eats.

So there it is...a simple and delicious lunch in Manhattan for under $4.00. Can you beat it? But what I really want to know is...how do you take your dog? At backyard barbeques only? Covered in ketchup? Boiled on a stovetop? Do tell!