If a year of disguised cake videos has taught us is anything, it’s that America’s trust in desserts has been eroded. Now one of New York’s most iconic dishes has its own cake hack moment with a new menu item at Lower East Side cocktail bar Double Chicken Please, which looks like a hot dog but is far from it.
Earlier this week, bar owner GN Chan set up a street cart in front of the bar called “Ice Ice Weenies,” where he’s selling hot cocktails and hot dog-shaped ice creams. The deceptive dessert is the work of Double Chicken Please chef Mark Chou, who makes the frankfurters using dark chocolate and housemade vanilla bean ice cream. The $6.90 dessert can also be topped with “mustard,” made from salted duck yolks that have been blended with condensed milk, and “ketchup,” which is actually hot honey. The hot dog’s bun is — deep breaths — just a normal potato roll from Martin’s.
As part of the pop-up, Chan is also serving a hot cocktail, a riff on the hot toddy that’s made with brown butter, whiskey, and black raisins ($12). The cart will be set up in front of Double Chicken Please Fridays through Sundays, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. until mid-February.
Hot dogs made from ice cream could read as a gimmick, but the pop-up is actually a preview of the full menu concept that Chan and co-founder Faye Chen have planned for Double Chicken Please when they can reopen at half-capacity for indoor dining. In addition to the standout Taiwanese sandwiches the bar has been serving during the pandemic, Chan eventually plans to serve an elaborate, multi-course menu of “opposite” food and drink pairings.
“The food will be the drink, and the drink will be the food,” Chan said in an interview ahead of the bar’s opening. The full tasting menu will include pairings like shrimp tacos and Michelada, where the “tacos” are served as a mezcal bloody mary cocktail that incorporates shrimp shells and the “Michelada” appears as a peeled cherry tomato filled with Michelada mix.
Double Chicken Please started as a pop-up cocktail bar that roamed the country in a 1977 Volkswagen van in 2017. Before settling down on the Lower East Side last year, Chan and Chen made hot ticket appearances in Austin, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Columbus, Nashville, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Miami, along with venues closer to home, like Patisserie Fouet in Greenwich Village and Hunky Dory in Crown Heights.