Several weeks ago I watched a segment on the new Cooking Channel featuring Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn. Ever since watching this I have been concocting various ways to get myself to Brooklyn so that I could try everything on Bark's creative menu. When the chance arose for a road trip that would conveniently pass directly through Brooklyn, I jumped at the offer.
Bark is located at 474 Bergen Street in the heart of Brooklyn. With a very simple idea the owners/chefs Joshua Sharkey and Brandon Gillis have set themselves apart from the many choices of hot dogs in the New York City area. They are gaining popularity and press by the day. Within moments of their noon opening the dining room was full of patrons.
Choosing your hot dog is not an easy decision with them ranging from the classics NYC style, Kraut Dog, and the Chili-Cheese Dog to the unique House Made Pickle Dog, Beans & Franks Dog and the Bacon-Cheddar Dog. My husband and I both settled on the classics and were very satisfied with our decisions.
A big draw to Bark is that the chefs make most of the condiments in house including the Heirloom Baked Beans, Brisket Chili, pickles and Sweet Pepper Relish. On each table there is a card that informs diners as to where menu items are from, literally everything on the menu is listed on this card. Small farms, bakeries and butchers from all the country supply the chefs with their hand-picked quality ingredients to ensure full flavor and freshness.
The other very interesting thing about Bark is the sustainability that the partners are striving to achieve. Diners are directed by signs on which bins to toss trash; one for compost, glass and plastic. The tables and stools in the dining room are all made from local recycled wood and metal. Even the oil used for cooking is recycled into fuel.
The Heirloom Baked Beans which can be served atop a hot dog or as a side topped with yellow mustard and sprinkling of red onion are extra special. Surprisingly the beans keep their texture despite the long cooking process they undergo. They are a perfect combination of a smoky, sweet and savory mixture of beans, mustard, red onion and generous chunks of bacon.
My replication is a little sweeter then Bark's but wonderful all the same. Its a family favorite of ours and I really think it will be become one of yours too. It takes beans from being a "side" to being a being a highlight of your barbecue plate. I hope you enjoy.
Neal Family Baked Beans
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 c diced yellow onion
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c bbq sauce
1/4 c ketchup
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbs molasses
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 16oz cans pork & beans in tomato sauce, generic is fine for this recipe
1 15 oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
10 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
Combine all ingredients and place in a lightly greased casserole dish. Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes or until the top is bubbly and caramelized a bit. Enjoy.