Bark in Brooklyn Goes Beyond Hot Dogs with Great Burgers

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[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

Bark

474 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217; 718-789-1939; barkhotdogs.com
Cooking Method:
Short Order: Hot dogs might be the main draw at Bark but the burgers are are definitely worth some consideration.
Want Fries with That? Hand cut fries are even better when topped with chili and cheese but the onion rings are downright incredible.
Price: Burger, $6.25; cheeseburger, $7.25; fries, $3; onion rings, $3.50; soda, $2.50; shakes, $6.50; beer, $5/pint, $15/growler

Since opening last summer, Bark has been my go-to place in Brooklyn for hot dogs, cheap beer, and amazing onion rings. The place won me over with their locally sourced ingredients, eco-friendly lean, clean, modern design, but above all, their fantastic lard-basted hot dogs. Having eaten my way down the list of dogs (more than a few times) on a recent visit I decided to see how the burgers measure up.

Made from Meyer's Natural Angus beef the Bark Burger falls into the fast food-style burger category. The four ounce patty is griddled, served on a squishy toasted Pepperidge Farms sesame bun, and piled with shredded iceberg lettuce, house made pickles—chopped and coined—diced red onions, and a tangy mayonnaise-based sauce. If you opt for cheese, a slice of Grafton Cheddar is melted on top of the patty.

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Being a fast food-style burger, no temperature options are given when ordering and the burger is cooked though to medium well, leaving it not quite as juicy as it could be. Although I prefer my burgers a little on the rarer side, it's well seasoned with a nice salty crust and is plenty beefy for a burger of this size.

Both flavor-wise and texturally, the combination of toasty bun, crunchy iceberg, and pickles, and creamy sauce is pretty ideal. The sauce is really intriguing, by my estimation a mix of mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard that's tart enough to balance the burger. Size-wise this burger is spot on: It's big enough to satisfy, but depending on your appetite, adding a hot dog to your order wouldn't be crazy.

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Burgers and hot dogs aside, the sides at Bark shouldn't be overlooked. The hand cut fries can be ordered plain, seasoned with salt and pepper, or topped with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce, gravy, or a smoky housemade brisket chili. The onion rings are some of the best I've ever had—thin, crisp, and batter-fried golden brown.

Sixpoint Craft Ales custom brews a red ale for Bark served on tap either by the pint or growler. Glass bottled sodas come from Foxon Park of Connecticut in unusual flavors such as Iron Brew (tastes like root beer meets cream soda) and White Birch Beer. The shakes are made from Il Laboratorio del Gelato's gelato and are predictably incredible. The peanut butter shake is sweet creamy vanilla and salty peanut perfection.

Pricing at has been a common point of contention at Bark, but with a place that concerns itself so greatly with sourcing local ingredients and sustainable practices, I think they deserve a break. Supporting local farmers and doing their best to make sure that every last piece of refuse is either composted or recycled is more than most fancy restaurants do, let alone hot dog joints.

Whether it's the locavore vibe, the prime Park Slope location, or the great burger and dogs, Bark has become incredibly popular—especially with the stroller set. Be prepared for hoards of Park Slope moms and wandering toddlers (sometimes in pirate costumes) on weekends and early evening on weeknights. But after 8 p.m. the place calms down and spots at the long wooden tables open up where you can enjoy some of the best hot dogs and burgers in Brooklyn.