Bark Blog

Who Invented Relish?

relish old; barkRelish got its name from the French word “reles”, which means ‘something remaining’. This concoction was called this by  farmers who around the 1700’s would take the summer’s fruits and vegetables that they couldn’t can whole, and add vinegar or wine, sugar, and water to the finely chopped produce to create a side that could be served along side meats and sausages.

Soon, this technique of jarring spread to France’s neighbor England. From there, French and British settlers introduced the condiment to the new world. During this period in time, relishes became popular, and food companies starting bottling and selling it at local grocery stores.

The first company to bottle and sell relish is up for debate. Some say it wasTYorkshire-Relish-(AA_1_5_114) Heinz Ketchup Co.,  the British believe the company John Osborne’s was the first, others believe that the French did not create this condiment at all, but that it is a rendition of Indian chutney. However, according to a Heinz Ketchup ad featuring a pickled relish, the US has been able to buy jarred versions since 1865. So, no matter which story you choose to believe, Americans have been enjoying at least some type of relish for at least a 154 years.

Now, that you have some food for thought on the origin of this zesty condiment, here are some fun facts to relish with your friends.

photo1. In Canada relish not only tops hot dogs but hamburgers too.

2. Chow-chow, which is made with cabbage, and is most popular in the south of the United States, is often eaten with a bowl of pinto beans.

3. Relish doesn’t have to be tangy, savory, or spicy; it can be sweet too. Common nectarous ones are corn, cranberry, and papaya.

4. Don’t limit relish to just a hot dog topping; it’s also great in deviled eggs and potato, tuna, egg, or pasta salad.

5.  Bark relishes are now available in store and at a couple of cool Brooklyn retailers like BKLYN Larder  and Greene Grape.

Where in the Devil is the Chili Cheese Dog From?

CHILICHEESEFDOGresize Across the country, there is a number of different versions of the chili cheese dog. In Detroit it’s referred to as the Coney Island hot dog, and is piled high with chili, onions, and mustard. A Texas dog is a weiner with chili and hot sauce. In New York, we like ours with cheese sauce, bean-less chili, and then a sprinkling of raw red onions. No matter how you like your chili dog, or where you hail from in the United States, there is no denying, who ever decided to top a hot dog with chili and cheese is a genius!

No one knows for sure who put the chili on top of a hot dog first. It seems obvious, right? 1104609_origChili, originated in Texas, therefore, it must have been created in the Lone Star state. But this is far from the truth, the weiner that hails as a Chili Dog was supposedly created in Altoona, Pennsylvania by Peter “George” Koufougeorgas in 1918. However, though he references Texas in the name, the chili added has a stronger Greek cuisine influence due to the ethnicity of the restaurant owner who created it, and that the sauce is sweet like in Greek spaghetti.

So, it appears that the origin of this topped weiner is what happened to the hot dog as it spread from New York to the midwest; It took on a southern identity. And though it appears that this dog has quite an identity crisis, either way, it’s delicious, and a yummy way to enjoy a dog.

 

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Blueberries: An Original North American Treat

blueberriesIt’s blueberry season! And great farms like Davenport Farm in Stone Ridge, NY have been cultivating and pruning their berries for a long time getting ready for the harvest. This is a great time of year for us as we take advantage of the fairly short season by turning the little blue flavor bombs into marmalade four our milkshakes.

This little berry is one of the few fruit species native to North America and has a colorful past dating back thousands of years. Food historians estimate early strands burst on the scene an estimated 13,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest fruits consumed in our neck of the woods.

Native Americans believed the blueberry was sacred and referred to them as “star berries”, because of the blossom-end, or the calyx, forms a five-point star. Tribal elders would recount to their tribes how the Great Spirit sent “star berries” to them to help ease the suffering of children during times of famine.

The blueberries eaten by the Native Americans were the wild, or low bush variety that Barkblueberrysignresze
grew wild in forests and on mountains. You can still find this strand of blueberries along dirt roads and mountain trails, especially in Maine. However, most blueberries that are cultivated today are the high bush variety. This strand of blueberry is larger in size, brighter in color, and yields more berries then the wild species. However, the low bush version is smaller, and more flavorful than their cultivated cousins.

Native Americans developed one of the first blueberry baked goods, which they called Sautauthig (pronounced sawi-taw-teeg). This dessert was a pudding made with blueberries, cracked corn, and water. Sautauthig became popular with the settlers too, they added butter, milk and sugar to the recipe. Many historians believe it was part of the first Thanksgiving feast.

Now, that you have a little history on these little blue dynamo’s we want to leave you with some fun facts on one of North America’s national treasure.

1175552_10151821047259916_1468340094_nBlueberry Fun Facts!

1. Blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in color.

2. The United States is the number one grower and consumer of the berries.

3. If all blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread-out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway that would stretch from New York to Chicago.

4. The official state fruit of New Jersey is the blueberry.

5. The cultural group the Shakers, use blueberry skins  as dye.

Sources: The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Wildblueberries.net

The Man Behind The Bark Dog

Hartmann's Logo_0When we decided to partner with Austrian master sausage maker Josef Bruner to create our Bark dogs, we knew we had found something special in this New York state purveyor.

Bruner built his company around the principle that quality always comes first; which is why just like us, they only use the finest ingredients when making their hot dogs.

It all started like this, after years of training in his native Austria, Bruner became a certified Master Sausage Maker. Soon after, he began working with other artisans in Germany and the US where he honed his craft and learned even more about modern ways to make sausages. While developing his skills, Josef never lost sight of his dream to one day own a place where he could create truly authentic Austrian and German-style franks that showcased the true art of sausage making past and present. Therefore, when Hartmann’s Sausage, then owned by Mrs. Hartmann, was looking for a passionate sausage maker to purchase her business, Bruner knew he had to jump at the opportunity.

Once he purchased the facility he quickly updated many aspects of the operation; adding a12
natural smokehouse and a vacuum-pack machine so that he could guarantee the freshness of his frankfurters. Once the equipment was to his liking, he felt the next step was to develop strong relationships with regional growers. “This is how it is done in Europe,” he says. “We would bring together ingredients that were local so we could create a truly unique flavor that represented the area and it’s farmers”.

Using refined versions of classic recipes, all Bruner’s sausages are made by hand, not mass produced. Select pieces of meat are trimmed, ground, and seasoned with authentic ingredients. You won’t find any fillers, artificial ingredients, additives, or MSG in their products. Each small batch is smoked over apple and hickory woods, and a blend of wood imported from Alpine forest, therefore the smoky flavor is genuine.

Josef combines traditional production techniques and handmade care with modern precision. They are still making their links the way it’s been done for hundreds of years, which in turn produces items truly worthy of the title “artisan”.

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Celebrate National Hot Dog Month with these Fun-Facts!

DogIconIt’s an exciting time here at Bark. Why? Because it’s National Hot Dog Month!

While frankfurters are delightful to eat year-round, it was in 1957 that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce officially named July National Hot Dog Month. Our nation’s hunger for weiners is all in the numbers. It’s estimated that Americans eat 20 billion hot dogs a year with close to 150 million consumed on the Fourth of July alone!

The next time you sit down to enjoy a dog with your friends and family, why not peak their
interest with a little hot dog trivia. Here are some fun facts that you might not have known about our nation’s favorite hand-held food.

16689571. Mustard is the most popular topping for a hot dog amongst adults, with a whopping 87.6% preferring the condiment over the others. On the other hand, kids prefer ketchup.

2. Hot dogs were the first food eaten on the moon. Apollo’s 11 astronauts including Neil Armstrong and “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., all ate hot dogs on their 1969 journey to outer space.

3. The first word Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse uttered  was “hot dog” in the cartoon “The Karnival Kid” in 1929.

4. More hot dogs are eaten in New York than any other city in the US.BARKDOGresize

5. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt served hot dogs to the King and Queen of England at a picnic in Hyde Park, New York.

6. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records” the world’s longest hot dog was 65.6 feet.

Sources: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council; The Guiness Book of World Records 2014, Hot Dogs: A Global History By Bruce Kraig

Who Invented French Fries?

History-of-FriesExactly who introduced the french fry to the world isn’t entirely known. Among the various theories, it’s widely accepted that Paris food vendors created these golden strips of goodness. On the other hand though, Belgium food historians argue that fries were in fact invented in the Meuse Valley between Dinant and Liege.

Historical accounts indicate that villagers in the southern region of Belgium were frying up thin strips of potatoes as early as the eighteenth century. At this time in history, it was common for villagers to fry up small fish as a staple for their meals. However during the winter, when the river would freeze, they would substitute the opaque meat with starchy white potatoes cut into long strips.

To give this theory a little extra validity, the Spanish ruled much of what is now modern day Belgium fries-sidebarimagewhen Christopher Columbus first introduced potatoes to Europe. So, at the very least, Walloons might have had more access to the tater.

The French, at first, did not except the potato as food. They used the tuber to fatten up farm animals. However, after the Seven Year War, soldiers that were forced to eat potatoes in prison camps came back to France praising the root vegetable. In 1772, the Paris Faculty of Medicine proclaimed that potatoes were edible for humans. Shortly after, the popularity of the vegetable sky rocketed, and started to be prepared numerous ways in restaurants all over Paris. Within that span of time, the French either invented or learned to make fries. It is said that they were sold by pushcart vendors on the streets and called “frites”.

Whatever the case, there is no denying that Americans associate fries as a French food. Not only because of the name, but because the Parisians were the ones to inspire the world to eat frites with meat. Coincidentally, It was the American fast food chains, that have made the golden strips a mainstay as a side to hamburgers and that our nation consumes more fries then anywhere else in the world.

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Who Did it First? The History of the Hot Dog

HotDogvendoroldLike most great events in history, there are varying accounts on how it all began and who invented it. The history of the hot dog is no different. And even though the brat in a long slender bun is undeniably as American as apple pie, the sausage itself traces its lineage to Germany.

One legend goes that Johann Georghehner, a 17th century Bavarian butcher from the German city of Coburg, created it.  Another account has it that in 1852, the butcher’s guild in Frankfurt, Germany introduced a spiced and smoked sausage which was packed in a thin casing and called a “Frankfurter”. This sausage was sold as a “dachshund” or in English, a Badger Dog.

The credit of putting the hot dog into a warm bun and topping it with various condiments
teeters between two men. The first man, per se, is German immigrant Charles Feltman, of5-cent-hot-dog
Feltman’s Garden at Coney Island’s amusement park in 1871. Another sentiment is that Harry Magely, catering director of New York City’s Polo Grounds, reportedly instructed his vendor to cry out, “Red Hots! Get your red hots!

No matter who invented the hot dog, it truly is a food that has woven its way into U.S. culture.  Representing the true nature of what makes the American dream so unique, and attainable at the same time.  The story of this hand-held sausage sandwich shows us that when a person couples a creative concept with hard work and diligence, it can become an empire that continually feeds the American people generation after generation.

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Strawberry Season is Now!

photo-91We are in PEAK strawberry season! For us, the best strawberries this side of the Mississippi come from Rick Bishop’s Mountain Sweet Berry Farm. We’ve been using MSB’s berries since we first opened, and of course, it is time to bring them back. This year, not only in there most popular incarnation, our Strawberry Shake, but also with Bark’s new Strawberry Lemonade.

The standard berry you find at the  grocery stores are the result of crossbreeding the wild Virginia ilovestrawberrytype with a Chilean genus. This intercross creates hardy berries, which makes them easier to pick and ship. However, the version usually sold by farmers at Green Markets are of the European Alpine variety. They’re considered by many to be the “queen of strawberries”. In general, the flavor of the smaller version is better than that of the larger varieties since the latter are often juicier.

Strawberries are emblematic of bright and cheery summertime days, but there’s more to them then meets the eye. Here are some fun facts about the fruit that you might not have known. 

6984507532_2249b0f525_zFun Strawberry Facts

  1. On average there are 200 seeds on a strawberry.
  2. Strawberries aren’t really a berry but a member of the rose family.
  3. The actual fruit part of the strawberry is the tiny yellow seeds on the outside, not the sweet red fleshy part.
  4. Belgium has a museum dedicated to the strawberry named de la Fraise: The Strawberry Museum.
  5. In France, strawberries are served to newlyweds at a traditional wedding breakfast in the form of a creamy, sweet soup.
  6. The ancient Romans used strawberries medicinally to treat everything from depression to kidney stones.
  7. The Strawberry Festival in New York City is May 9th on West 3rd and LaGuardia Place. Each year they present the city’s largest strawberry shortcake.
  8. The acid in strawberries can lessen the appearance of stains on teeth.

Picnic Planning Tips

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Summer has finally arrived! It’s time to break out the barbecue and hit the outdoors for fun in the sun. But before you arrange your picnic basket, here’s a few tips on what to pack to help make your outing safe and enjoyable.

1350613368A comfortable blanket or ground covering to sit on. If you are worried about ruining your favorite quilt or blanket, brink along a vinyl tablecloth to serve as an under layer. A great option is the Botanica Blanket Tote from freshpicnic.com.

A cooler for items that need to be kept cold. Use plenty of ice packs to keep everything chilled. You can also freeze bottled water, lemonade, or fruit juice to double as ice packs and save space-just be sure you have the time to let them thaw prior to serving. Last but not least, don’t put the cooler in your trunk during transport, as it’s the hottest part of the car. Orcacoolers.com has great coolers that will keep your food at a cool temperature for up to 24-hours.

Keep the party going with wireless speakers. Nothing gets the party started like tunes. The Jam’s bluetooth speakers hx-p230pu-jam-wireless-speaker-purple-in-the_boxconnect easily to any smart phone and provide hours of music listening for a very sweet price.

Bring Bug Spray!!! No one can be comfortable with mosquitoes buzzing about. Insect repellent is a worthy addition to any picnic. Choose a natural repellant like Quantum’s Buzz-Away Extreme. 

Grab sunscreen. Fun in the sun is good, burning from the UV-rays, not so much. Apply block that contains titanium and zinc oxide like Alba’s all-natural sun screens.

Nice-Picnic-BasketPack a sturdy picnic basket.  Transport all your food, drinks, utensils, and service ware in a picture worthy basket from picnic-basket.com.

Small first-aid kit. Overboard, perhaps-prepared, yes. Your kit should include band-aids, gauze, triple anti-bacterial wipes, a flash-light and extra batteries, insect anti-itch cream, and aloe vera gel.

If you want to make preparing food for your picnic easy, order a Grill Pack from us. Each pack includes all you will need to grill up a hot dog feast for your party. Each pack feeds up to 4 to 8 people. Check out what’s inside here.

Bottoms Up! The History of the Milkshake

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Long before frozen yogurt, the smoothie, or the icee, there was the milkshake, our nations favorite treat. However, this creamy concoction wasn’t always so kid-friendly. In the 19th-century, the frosty beverage was more cocktail than dessert, with the earlier recipe calling for whiskey in addition to milk and eggs.

Over time, sweet syrups were added, then malted milk powder, followed by ice cream.  In 1922, according to food historian Dr. Jennifer Berg of New York University, Walgreens’ employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson made the first modern day milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to their standard malted milk recipe (chocolate syrup, malt powder, and milk). The drink was an instant hit, and soda shops across the nation started selling it as “Horlick’s Chocolate Malted Milkshake”.

With the invention of the blender in the 1930s by Steven Poplawski, milkshakes began to 13033880-milk-cocktail-with-cherry-and-straw-in-stripped-paper-cup-illustrationtake their modern, whipped, aerated, and frothy form. This sweet, cold beverage was referred to as the frosty. In 1937, the Denton Journal in Maryland stated, “For a ‘frosted’ shake, add a dash of your favorite ice cream.”

By the 1950s the most popular place to get a milkshake was Woolworth’s. This establishment served the shake as it is recognized today, mixed in a stainless steel blender and poured into a 12 1/2 ounce tall, “y”-shaped glass, then topped with whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry. At this point, a drink called the “concrete” was introduced to the list of milkshakes served at Woolworth’s. This hearty beverage claimed to be so thick it had to eaten with a spoon or the customer might risk breaking a rib, or at least that is what the soda jerkers would say jokingly to the patrons.

il_fullxfull.220981173Pop culture has embraced the milkshake in a number of different ways, including Uma Thurman drinking a $5.00 version at an old fashion diner complete with classic movie star waiters in the movie Pulp Fiction, and Kelis’s catchy rap song “Milkshake” off her album Tasty. These odes to American culture past and present remind us that this thick, creamy beverage is a symbol, not only of American casual cuisine, but us as a young nation.

Milkshakes we drink today are ever-evolving. Old school fans will go for chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry, but now this creamy beverage is offered in every sweet flavor under the sun. With the milkshake continuing to evolve we wonder what the future holds for this frosty concoction. Will the original recipe see a return? or maybe we have only scratched the surface with different flavors and textures. Either way, there is no denying a cold milkshake is the perfect cure to a hot day.

 

Soda_jerker_flipping_ice_cream_into_malted_milk_shakes._Corpus_Christi,_Texas

Kale, Too Cool For School

BARK sized
From salad to smoothies, kale is everywhere. Hipsters, have commandeered this leafy green to super food status. But, things for kale weren’t always glitz and glimmer. In the leafy green’s early days, it was generally smothered in fat and served a long side fried chicken legs. Cooked to an unidentifiable pulp that looked more like slop then celebrity. It was completely ignored by most; simply left on the plate to be scraped into the trash.

But then five years ago, kale became more well known for it’s micronutrients and versatile taste. It 61443778cf5f101339b65423947b7863started to show up in more stores, added to more recipes, and had numerous appearances at some great restaurants. From here, kale took it’s placate at the top of the virtuous food pyramid.

We must admit we too could not resist the textural and tasty intrigue of the green. But how could we not, it really is that cool of a vegetable. We find that the hearty green holds up great to rich creamy dressings.  So we toss Phillips Farm kale with a crisp blue-cheese apple dressing, mixed with roasted carrots, and toasted almonds for a dynamite salad! Definitely, a menu item not to be missed. So, here’s to Kale for giving us one more reason to eat our veggies!!!

 

Here’s To Dad!

If you’re thinking to buy dad a tie this Father’s Day; stop right now. I’m sure he has many in images-3his closet that he never wears.  Instead give him a gift that will satisfy his inner foodie. So whether dad likes to cook or just eat, this gift guide has something for every type of food-loving dad.

201102-r-smoked-salmonStovetop Smoker: A great way to add subtle flavor to meat is to use wood chips and a stovetop smoker. This technique is perfect for home cooking dads who may not have the space for conventional smoking gear. $33.00 at cameronscookware.com

Top Cooler: Does dad camp or go on frequent fishing trips? This cooler will keep dad’s brews or fresh fish cold as ice, even in 100 degree heat, for 10 days. $160.00 from yeticoolers.com

original-1Pizza Stone: Emily Henry’s ceramic pizza stone absorbs moisture to make perfect crispy pizzas. Plus, it can be used on a charcoal or gas grill. $50.00; emilehenryusa.com

Bark Gift card: Take the guess work out of where dad will eat for Unknownlunch or watch his favorite baseball game. Give him a Bark gift card so he can enjoy his widow_jane_straight_bourbon medalfavorite meal over and over again. You can purchase a card and fill it up at our Bark location on Flatbush Avenue and Bergen.

Window Jane Bourbon: Window Jane’s 7 year aged bourbon makes a great gift for dads that like to support local Brooklyn distilleries or indulge in a drink at the end of the work week. The finish is all citrus-zest minerality with a happy touch of char. This bourbon is ideal for easy sipping or warm-weather cocktails. $57.99, windowjane.com

 

Say Cheese! Celebrate National Cheese Day!

JvP_121711_0836_webDid you know that the average American consumes about 31 pounds of cheese each year? Seems like a lot, right? But the number one cheese consumers in the world: the French, eat 50 pounds a year. That’s a boat load of fromage! Today happens to be National Cheese Day, and though it may not be observed by all, it is an excellent excuse to hail the cheese.

Cheese lovin we heartily endorse here at Bark. If you have ever had anything topped with imagesour BARK Cheddar Sauce you already know how serious we take our cheese. It all starts with a Béchamel base that has a mixture of three different kinds of cheeses in it, including Cabot Monterrey jack, Cabot White Cheddar, and Smoked Grafton Cheddar, then we add a personal touch by finishing the sauce with our own blend of spices. It’s definitely a cheese sauce worth celebrating.

Where we source our ingredients is of the utmost importance to us. That’s why we get our smoked cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese in Vermont. This company is a part of the nonprofit Windham Foundation. Their mission is to promote Vermont’s rural communities. They do this in many ways, but their main focus is purchasing milk from small family farms. Grafton uses nothing artificial, no rBST, no antibiotics, and no adjunct cultures.

Naturally, the best way to celebrate National Cheese day is to order a Bark Bacon or Chile-Cheese Dog with a side of Cheese fries. But no matter how you celebrate we want to leave you fully cheese informed with a few fun facts.

images-1Five Fun Cheese Facts!

1. Cheeses are more flavorful at room temperature. Let them stand for a half hour before serving.

2. Cheese is an ancient food whose origins predate recorded history

3. A study by the British Cheese Board in 2005 showed cheese has positive effects on sleep, but not on nightmares (its the tryptophan).

4. Cheddar is a verb, which refers to the flipping and stacking of curd.

5. Artisan cheese, made in small batches from local sources, is growing at a pace that exceeds even the growth rate of general cheese consumption in America.

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Bark is Art with Ashley Alioto

Bark Hot Dog2Bark is stoked to be collaborating with Ashley Alioto, the uber talented Brooklyn based photorealism artist, to bring you paintings of, you guessed it, Bark’s food!

Ashley began her career working in pastry kitchens of fine dining restaurants throughout New York City including  Daniel and Le Bernardin. Ashley’s passion for creating edible art began when she started to construct sugar and chocolate sculptures. Later, wanting to grow her artistry, she joined a pottery and oil painting studio. This helped cultivate her talent and develop her oil painting skills into what they are today.

Bark Hot Dog1Ms. Alioto’s realistic oil paintings attempt to capture that moment when a person becomes fixated on a food and cannot help but “lick their lips”. You can purchase an 8×10 oil painting on a wooden panel for $150 at Bark Hotdogs in Park Slope. Alternate paintings can be purchased on

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CanvasByAshley . Follow Ashley by clicking the links below.

https://www.facebook.com/PaintingsbyAshleyAlioto

Look out for more Bark Art as Ashley keeps slinging paint on canvas.

Follow on Instagram @canvasbyashley

Sixpoint Brewery: Where Beer is Culture

icrxOl3Zp5yhxXlCpXB9dqhR_xn0eE5s_2Zft-uDJRcWe love Sixpoint Craft Ales here at Bark. Not only because it’s easily New York City’s best brewery, but for the reason that, just like us, they couple passion with quality ingredients to create a delicious product that never disappoints. The microbrewery founded in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2004 has become a prolific operation, run by a dedicated staff of brewers and beer advocates that have a real passion for what they make and do.

In the humble beginnings of Sixpoint, creator Shane Welch a Brooklynite originally from Wisconsin with a knack for the science of home brewing, went to Red Hook to start to create the local brewery that would some day become a Brooklyn commercial enterprise.

When you drink a Sixpoint draft you can see and taste the quality that makes this brewery unique. Most of their beers are unpasteurized, unfiltered, and contain live active cultures. Unlike brews from other companies, they leave the yeast in the kegs. This adds depth of flavor and a gut-healthy dose of probiotics.

You can order up a number of Sixpoint beers with your hamburgers or hotdogs here at unnamedBark. Here’s the seasonal suds we currently have on draft.

Bark Kolsch: a dry, light bodied beer, brewed specifically for us and sold only at our location!

Bengali Tiger IPA: the brewery’s interpretation of an IPA made with citrus hops, and smells of pine and grapefruit.

Seison:  an amber-hued farmhouse ale made with bold hops and amber malt.

Gorilla Warfare: a coffee porter made with Brooklyn’s own Gorilla Coffee.

6 Fun Sixpoint Facts!

1. Since at least the year 1300, brewers adorned their barrels and breweries with a six-pointed star. By the 1500s, the star became the official insignia of the Brewer’s Guild, one of the first trade guilds of Europe. The star symbolized the purity of the craft. Folklore claims the six individual points each represent six different critical elements of the craft itself: grain, water, hops, yeast, malt, and the brewer.

star-br-ol2. Sixpoint calls their brewers  Mad Scientists.

3. Bengali Tiger IPA was not named according to the origin of an IPA, but after hearty gulps of drinking the golden orange hued beer the mad scientists noticed the white lacing left behind were reminiscent of a tiger.

4. Sixpoint’s staff feeds grains to the company chickens, who cluck around in a rooftop coop.

5. 6 Point’s motto: Beer is culture works not only as a summary of how they feel about their wordmark-ojbrews and the beer enthusiasm around it, but on the microscopic level as well… because beer literally is culture. They inform fans on their website that “every time you drink beer, you are drinking the creation of a microscopic culture. Microorganisms, usually yeast but sometimes bacteria, are the fermenting agents of beer. Brewers cultivate these microorganisms and pitch them into the wort to make beer. Beer is therefore inoculated with a bacteria or yeast culture.”

6. Sixpoint has an app for both iPhones and Androids.  It lists the restaurants, bars and shops that carry Sixpoint by neighborhood, city, or zip code– or, with your GPS enabled, it will automatically show the places closest to you. You can explore the flavor profiles of the brews, directly call establishments with one click, and locate core, seasonal, and limited release beers. Bark is on the list too!

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The Story Behind the Salad: Caesar Salad

images-2 I think the Caesar Salad is the perfect addition to the Bark Menu, because it’s one of the simplest of dishes but needs impeccable ingredients to be great, much like the philosophy we have for all of our food.

Our version of the tangy salad includes only the freshest local ingredients and embodies Hearts of Romaine, tossed with our house-made version of the creamy dressing, then topped with crunchy croutons. It’s absolutely delicious, and a must have for anyone craving the notorious salad. But it’s not the ingredients that make this dish interesting; it’s the origin of the recipe that’s the real shocker here.

It seems obvious, right? Caesar salad must have been named after the ancient Roman rulerimages Julius Caesar; and therefore, originated in Italy. But this is far from the truth. The salad’s namesake has no connection whatsoever to Julius Caesar, or to any of the other Caesars who ruled Rome. It instead honors Caesar Cardini, an Italian born chef and highly regarded restaurateur who, according to lore, invented the dish at his own restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. Wow! Tijuana! Who knew? Well, besides his family, and everyone escaping to Mexico during Prohibition in the twenty’s.

Caesar tossing his famous creation.

Caesar tossing his famous creation.

Joie Warner’s Caesar centric book: America’s Favorite Salad, informs us that according to Rosa, Caesar’s daughter, her father invented the dish when a Forth of July rush in 1924 depleted his kitchen of almost every ingredient. Cardini, forced to make do with what he had on hand, tossed lemon juice, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, coddled eggs, and salt and pepper together to make a thick, savory sauce. Then, he filled Romaine leaves with the dressing and sprinkled Romano cheese on top. To make-up for the lack of entree options he decided to blind his customers  with drama and toss the salad tableside for everyone to see.

Word of mouth spread quickly about the tasty appetizer and soon every celebrity in Caesars_original_or_hotel_restaurant_-_Tijuana_c.1930Hollywood was venturing down to Tijuana for cocktails and Caesar Salads. Legend has it that Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson, wife of Prince Edward VIII of Wales adored the dish and told every chef in Europe about it: demanding they make it at their own eateries so that she didn’t have to go without her favorite tasty green delight.

Craving a Caesar right now? Come on over to Bark and order one up! Devour it as an appetizer before you dive into your hot dog or add our FreeBird organic buttermilk chicken tender bites to make it a meal. Either way, our version of Caesar’s acclaimed salad is an adaptation not to be missed.

 

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Buffalo Wings

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Chicken Wings are probably not the first thing you think of when you think of Bark (but hopefully you think about us all the time!).  That said, we crank out some seriously tasty hot wings.

And like everything we make, our wings are pretty traditional all the while using some pretty amazing ingredients to get them to your plate, like Free Bird Chicken.

So, we thought it would only be appropriate to throw you all some knowledge about where these little fried flavor bombs originated.

As the story goes, Teressa Belissimo invented the Buffalo Wing in the namesake town in 1964.   Depending on which story you stick to, either her son and his friends came by late night in need of a snack; or, as many of the patrons were Catholic and it was Friday night, Mrs. Belissimo wanted to treat everyone to meat at midnight.

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Either way, wings were the only thing left in the kitchen, and like any cook worth their weight, she made the most of them.  After frying them, she tossed them in a buttery hot sauce, and bam, history is made.  She served them up with their house salad dressing (blue cheese) and some celery sticks.

Of course, other cultures have been cooking chicken wings long before the Buffalo wing was born (the chinese fry them up and toss in oyster sauce).  This sparked a ton of new iterations of the chicken wing here in the states (if you haven’t tried the wings at Pok Pok, do yourself a favor and add them to your wing crawl pit stop right after Bark).

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Our wing sauce is a simple blend tomato, a few different hot sauces including the Bark hot sauce, garlic, onion, butter, and seasoning.   For the simplest way to make wings at home, just toss some Frank’s red hot in a pan and warm up with butter and a squeeze of lemon, you’ll be good to go.

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Hawthorne Valley Sauerkraut

When we first opened in 2009, we were making barrel loads of Sauerkraut in some pretty cool old Bourbon and Chardonnay barrels.  We quickly learned there was no way in cabbage hell we’d be able to keep up with the amount of kraut we go through here at Bark.

Then we met the guys at Hawthorne Valley Farm.   Their lacto-fermented sauerkraut is ridiculously delicious.  Our lesson learned; if it’s too tough to make in house, better find a damn good alternative or suck it up and cut the cabbage.  Luckily, we found our alternative…

Check out the clip below for a sneak peek into the Sauerkraut cellar at Hawthorne Valley  farm.

Ketchup- a brief history for your reading pleasure

Here at Bark, we use an obscene amount of ketchup.  Not surprising considering how popular the stuff is in America alone.  Did you know 97% of Americans have a bottle in their fridge right now!  If you’re into that etymology stuff, here’s some fun food for thought…

blog_heinzketchup02Henry J. Heinz made the sauce famous, starting to mass produce ketchup in 1876.  But it was actually Jonas Yerkes who is credited with first bottling and selling it on a large scale in America.

But Ketchup goes back way before Heinz and Yerkes.  Of course there’s some controversy over the actual origin, but a pretty common theory puts it’s origin in 17th century China.  They made a sauce called kôe-chiap or kê-chiap, made from pickled fish and spices.  Yes, we know, doesn’t sound much like the tomato concoction we know today.

Fast forward a century, and the sauce makes it’s way to Indonesia and Singapore.  There it evolved to mean any fermented savory sauce, and they called it Kecap.    Kecap “manis” is still around today, and we actually put a little in our burger sauce…

While the British were expanding their empire with their East India Company in the 18th century, they spent a lot of time in the far east.  That’s where they learned about the sauce and brought it back home with them.  It made it’s way to America in the late 18th century (most likely through NYC ports), and the first know recipe comes from American Sandy Addison in the Sugar House Book in 1801.   Another recipe comes along from Mary Rudolph (cousin of Thomas Jefferson) in the Virginia Housewife Cookbook in 1824.

We could go on for pages about this stuff, but this is a blog, not a book, so here’s some links for more fun facts if you’re interested…

 

Onwards and Upwards

Flaming LipsMoving forward, we are excited for Amnesty International to bring their show to the Barclay’s Center this week, and they are bringing a line-up so stacked, it’s difficult to tell who is “Headlining”. A couple of acts we’re excited to see come to Brooklyn are The Flaming Lips (above) who always go the extra mile,The Cold War Kids, and Lauryn Hill! Don’t miss out on a night of music for a cause and be sure to snag a Bark Dog and Sixpoint Hi-Res Triple IPA beforehand!

Super Success!

Bark Watch PartyThough the Super Bowl may not have been the most exciting game ever, we here at Bark celebrated in high fashion and, with the majority of our patrons donning Seahawks pride, spirits ended a mile high! Plus, a lucky few left with four-packs of Sixpoint’s brand new Hi-Res Triple IPA and a cool leather coozy for winning at Super Bowl Squares, and one lucky Seahawks fan won a tour of the Sixpoint Brewery! We had a great time serving up our classics and want to thank everybody who chose Bark as the place to be for Super Bowl XLVIII!

 

Super Bowl Party Tips!

 

 

Super Bowl XLVIII is right around the corner! We are excited for many reasons, but our Super Bowl Watch Party is the pinnacle of our football watching dreams! Reserve your seat now and enjoy all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink good times during the game! Want to throw your own watch party? Let us cater to your needs! Just looking for a good time and don’t know what to watch out for? We’ve got you.

Fans celebrating Seattle’s Win over San Francisco

The Super Bowl brings together all different kinds of people, so you don’t have to be a die-hard Denver Broncos fan or a life-long Seattle Seahawks supporter to enjoy the festivities; you can undoubtedly find something that interests you about the Super Bowl. First, for the sports conscious, you must pick a team! This is a non-issue to the fans of either team but others may be on the fence about who to root for, so we’ll simplify some things. If you like to see Touchdowns, root for Denver, they have the number 1 offense EVER. If you like interceptions and big hits, root for the Seahawks, who have the number 1 defense in the league.

If you like to root for the underdog, go with the Seattle Seahawks, who have a Super Bowl record of 0-1, which is meek in comparison to the Broncos 2-4 record, with their two wins coming back-to-back in 1998 and 1999 at the end of another Hall of Fame quarterback’s career. In addition to their statistical underdoggery, Seattle players like Derrick Coleman have lived the underdog lifestyle (he’s deaf) and prevailed, serving as a great inspiration for anyone with a handicap or with loved ones with handicaps. In addition to the records, the betting line coming out of Las Vegas has the Broncos winning by 3, so while it is no David v. Goliath mismatch, there is a definite favorite and with a favorite there must be an underdog.

Sometimes people root for odd reasons. If you like Horses, root for the Broncos mascot, Thunder (II). If you are calling the matchup the Hash Bowl, Pot Bowl, Packed Bowl, or any other nickname to recognize that the two states having legalized marijuana, are the only two in the Super Bowl stay in the kitchen and cook for your friends (and Ricky Williams). Or just come to Bark and we’ll keep you eating and drinking!

Hot Dogs inside, Cold Dog outside

The Super Bowl is also a staple in the entertainment industry. A star-studded half-time show is planned, with Bruno Mars as Ringmaster, so even if you hate football, this is fifteen minutes you will undoubtedly enjoy! The main attraction for most football non-fanatics, though, is the Commercials. Watch every major company you know, vie for your business in 90 seconds or less. Maybe that couple down the block is a finalist in one of the various commercial contests. Root for them and maybe they’ll share some of their million dollar winnings. And if they don’t, at least get them to host next year’s Super Bowl Party with catering done by us!

-Woof!

 

 

In 2014, Eat Good Food to Save the World (and Money)

It’s the beginning of January. And if you’re anything like us, that means your jeans are feeling a little too full (but man, those pies were worth it), your wallet a little too empty (gifts and travel and bar tabs, oh my!), and your ambitions for 2014 sky-high. Happily, if your resolutions including eating better, saving money, and doing good things for the earth, you can kill three (free-range, grass-fed) birds with one stone. Here are 5 tips for eating green and local without breaking a sweat:

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1. Join a CSA.  CSA’s were all the rage a few years ago when they first emerged in cities, but their value is far from a fleeting fad. Signing up for a CSA gets you ultra-fresh, locally-grown produce, introducing you to weird and awesome new foods, connecting you more concretely to the rhythms of the seasons, and saving you some dough. Find one near you.

2. Shop smart. Sure, shopping lists are useful, but it also pays to be flexible. Instead of being tied to those string beans for dinner, why not hit the market and see what’s fresh and on special that day? Also, don’t forget to buy in bulk in season, and then freeze, can, or dry what you don’t eat.  Here’s a super useful rundown on freezing fresh food.

3. Eat the whole thing. We’re so accustomed to tossing certain parts of foods that it never occurs to us to ask why. Turns out, some of those compost-bound scraps are not only edible, but delish! Check out these great recipes for radish leaf pesto, Tuscan carrot top soup, and broccoli-cheddar hushpuppies made with broccoli stalks.

4. Use fewer ingredients. In this world of jalapeno-infused, Frito-topped, garlic-slathered food, it’s easy to mistake more for better. But if you’re shopping locally and sourcing fresh, organic ingredients, it’s a pricey crime to cover up their flavor with accouterments. If you need convincing, try our Classic Dog or Bark Burger, where the glorious meat speaks for itself.

5. Become a farmer! Or, at least a quasi-farmer. These days, there are all sorts of ways for city-dwellers to get more involved with their food production, and shaving a few bucks of their grocery bills while they’re at it. You can plant a windowsill herb garden (or a rooftop garden, if you’re so blessed), check out pick-your-own opportunities at nearby farms, or even invest in a share of a real farm animal!

5 GREAT BURGERS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL HAMBURGER DAY

Okay, so it’s the shortest day of the year, and that’s lame. But on the bright side, it’s also National Hamburger Day (not to be confused with International Hamburger Day in May or National Cheeseburger Day in September)! So bury your dark solstice sorrows in a juicy patty of beef, and celebrate the occasion by checking out some of our favorite burgers around:

Bark Burger

Not to toot our own horn, but the Bark Burger deserves to be here. After all, when we were dreaming up the burger for our menu, why wouldn’t we make it the best possible burger we could imagine? Our classic burger starts with hormone- and antibiotic-free beef from Meyers Beef Cooperative (Burger Rule #1: Though Shalt Know Thy Meat Source), which is then ground daily by Main Street Meats. After hard-searing the patty to get a crisp exterior, we slather on Bark Sauce, a twist on the traditional ketchup-mustard-mayo combo, add some lettuce, tomato, and diced onion, and serve it up on a bun. No bacon, no donut for a bun, no foie gras filling: it’s a burger. A great burger. And darn it, that’s more than enough.

Akaushi Cheeseburger

Akaushi Cheeseburger from ABC Kitchen

Akaushi (literally “Japanese Red”) is a type of Wagyu beef known for its high levels of monounsaturated fat, so if you need a side of virtue with your indulgence, this is your burger. Chef Dan Kluger uses 8 ounces of the stuff (house-ground chuck and short rib), which comes from a Texas ranch, for this burger, adding an arugula-basil-chive mayo, pickled jalapenos, Cato Corner Bloomsday cheese, and a perfectly crusty bun. Health benefits or not, this is a burger worth trying.

The Office Burger from Father’s Office

Don’t ask for extra cheese or no lettuce when you order here: Father’s Office has a strict no substitution/no addition policy. Not even ketchup. As condiment lovers, that seems a bit strict, but we understand: chef Sang Yoon has created a burger with the perfect ratio of condiments to bread to meat, and he doesn’t want you tampering with the experience. The meat is dry aged to concentrate the flavor, and topped with arugula and blue cheese that, in Sang’s words, make beef “the star of the burger.”

The Yankee Burger from DBGB Kitchen and Bar in New York

There are three burgers on Daniel Boulud’s menu at DBGB Kitchen, and our favorite is the simplest version. It’s got straightforward ingredients that stay true to their roots: no gimmicks, no shortcuts, the minimalist elements speak for themselves. You can add bacon or cheese if you’d like, though with 7 ounces of incredibly fresh beef, there’s really no need.

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Bark-B-Cue Burger

Call it nepotism, call it bias, or call it a simple sense for what tastes good, but we had to include our Bark-B-Cue Burger. It’s got the same high-quality meat and cooking technique as our original burger, but with a little extra flair (it’s a bit of a diva). Smoky cheddar sauce and BBQ sauce complement the beef without stealing the show, while Nueske’s smoked bacon and crispy rye beer-battered onion rings add the perfect crunch to set off the juicy burger and soft bun.

The Bark Holiday Guide: 10 Local, Sustainable, or Just Plain Awesome Gifts for Your Food-Loving Friends

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Let’s be honest here, the holiday season centers around one thing: eating (oh, and drinking, if we’re being technical). Since gift-giving is a prominent complement to all that food, it’s also the perfect time of year to give some amazing gastronomically-themed gifts. For all of you who still have some shopping to do (no judgment), here’s our roundup of the best ones:

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1. The Beer Box from Nunu Chocolates: Naughtier than the Ganache Assortment but nicer than the Booze Box, this craft-beer-infused treat can go in everybody’s stocking. And since it’s made on-site at their adorable Boerum Hill shop, you can indulge while feeling virtuous about supporting local business.

2. Smoked Bluefish Pate from Mermaid’s Garden: This just-opened Prospect Heights sustainable seafood market is the stuff of fish fanatics’ fantasies, from lobster pot pie to Siberian sturgeon caviar. Picking the bluefish over the smoked salmon rillettes adds an unexpected twist to your gift (though the salmon is a stellar choice, too).

3. The Signature 4-Pack from The Jam Stand: With names like “Razzy Gabby & a Side of Jalapeno” and “Sweet WINO-nion”, it’s tough to pick just one of these jams (and that’s before we even get into flavors). Luckily, with the 4-pack, you don’t have to choose.

4. Adopt An Olive Tree from Nudo: Far from the let-down of sponsoring a star for someone (come on, it really doesn’t do anything), this ingenious program sends the giftee a bottle of oil made from their tree every season. And since it supports an olive farm in central Italy, your gift injects an international flair into supporting small farms

Back-to-the-kitchen

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5. Any of the Shortstack Editions: These gorgeous, hand-bound booklets bring attention and expertise to individual ingredients that are often taken for granted. Each edition provides background and recipes that reveal the transcendent power of, say, eggs, or sweet potatoes.

6. A Year of Bi-Weekly Kitchen Letters from Provisions by Food52: If you have a friend who needs inspiration to start cooking more, this is it: this subscription delivers your giftee two hand-written letters and two recipes from a prominent chef every month for a year. Make sure you offer to come taste-test!
7. Steel Triangle Dinner Bell from Best Made: Sure, it’s a bit pricey and perhaps a little too hip for its own good, but it’s got the right idea: meals should be a time when everyone comes to the kitchen and enjoys food together. And if you get to make a bunch of noise gathering people, even better.

On Bark’s Wishlist

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8. Pickles Every Month by Mouth: We make our own darn good pickles over here at Bark, but you know what they say about never having enough pickles. Plus, with an endless variety of pickle-able delights (Okra! Fennel! Cherries!) delivered each month, it’s sure to be a source of inspiration as well as tastiness.

9. Cyclone by Quirky: We’re not looking to mess with the magic of our dogs, but this spiral hot dog slicer just looks too fun not to try. And we’re always on board for something that allows for more condiments.

10. Mason Jar Ketchup and Mustard Containers from your crafty self: Speaking of condiments, how cool are these? Sure, mason jars are played out, but this is an iteration we’ve yet to see, and they’re pretty great. Though you can buy them at any number of online purveyors, the elements are simple enough that you can put them together from scratch.

 

…and a Bonus:

The no-fail, always-pleases, perfect mix of cool, practical, and delicious: A Bark gift card.

 

Give the gift of BARK! (and earn $10 bonus gift card while you’re at it!)

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Happy Holidays!!!  It’s that time of year again!

What better gift for someone you love then delicious Bark made bites!

Get your gift card today through Xmas and get a $10 bonus gift card FREE with a purchase of a $50 or more gift card.  That’s right, basically, get someone you love the gift of Bark, and come have a bite on us!

(must use your gift card in store or order through our website.  No seamless web or grub hub)

Get your gift card in stores or through or website via QuickGifts

Kabocha squash is back!!!

IMG_1306Crispy Fried Kabocha Squash, Cheddar/Maple/Hot pepper Dip

It’s a fan favorite and we are stoked to have it back on the menu.  Local roasted Kabocha squash is dipped in a rice flour batter and fried crispy.

We serve it with our version of a pimento cheese dip on crack.  Made with house picked hot peppers, Grafton aged cheddar, maple syrup, and other goodness, it’s got the heat to bring it home.

Come try for yourself, we promise this dish will turn anyone into a squash lover!

 

Slice_AhtanumSpice Of Life – Ahtanum

On Draught Now!

We have another great addition from the Spice of Life series of Brews from Sixpoint.  This month’s is an American bred hop from Yakima Valley, Washington, where 75% of American hops are grown.   The strain is named for the Ahtanum area near Yakima, where the first hop farm in Washington state was established.

Get More for Less

New and Improved Combo Meals!!!

Now you can get the same great combo meals with a little added value, just because we love you.  Any hot dog combo  can now be upgraded to a handful of our specially topped dogs (Bark Dog, NYC Dog, Kraut Dog, Pickle Dog, and Slaw Dog) or choose any of our cold toppings for no extra charge!

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We hope you come enjoy the savings and have a great meal with us soon.

 

Cheers,

The Bark Crew

Walking Dead at Bark

imagesEvery Sunday starting October 13th Bark is showing The Walking Dead for you Zombie apocalypse aficionados.

Enjoy $15 Pitchers of Sixpoint beers and $3 Classic dogs throughout the whole show!

Get here early, seats fill up quick!

If you are a zombie or any other form of the living dead, and can prove this, free beer on us.

Sixpoint Autumnation is in the House!

Sixpoint AutumnationThe seasonal brew from Sixpoint Brewery now in store is the Autumnation.

This is Sixpoint’s hop harvest ale.  It features a fresh “wet hop” which is actually chosen by all the Sixpoint fans.  This year’s hop choice is Mosaic.  That’s what gives this hearty copper ale it’s bright citrus, berry and pine flavors, along with aromas of earth, strawberry and stonefruit.

Gets to Sippin.