Gray's Papaya - Upper West Side

Gray’s Papaya (Upper West Side)

Gray's Papaya - Upper West SideWould you like sweat with that? Yeah, you’re probably better off only eating at this joint if you’re shit-ass drunk. Watching those poor guys cook hotdogs in the 500 degree heat in slave-like conditions, listening to their dripping perspiration sizzle on the hot grill and watching them forgo the rubber gloves to wipe their foreheads on their shirtsleeves is enough to turn any sober patron’s stomach. Come to think of it, maybe that’s the secret ingredient that makes these little fat bombs so tasty. They are certainly full of sodium, no doubt, but we don’t eat hot dogs to avoid heart attacks; we eat hot dogs because they’re the perfect solution to the drunken munchies. The odd thing about this tiny place is that they seem to encourage rowdy, destructive behavior. Maybe the staff is just so downtrodden that any entertainment is fine, even if they have to pick up the husks of mangled hot dogs that have been thrown around like fleshy boomerangs. Juvenile as it was, I was in this joint with some people who decided, after eating their fill of dogs, that it would be more fun to chuck the things at each other and see if meat sticks to glass when hurled at speeds exceeding 50 MPH. The odd thing is that the guys behind the counter kept giving them freebies, and didn’t seem to mind the mayhem they were causing. We left the place stained but satiated–and only about two dollars poorer. [MF]

2090 Broadway (bet. 72nd & 73rd St.)