Last year, Australian entrepreneur Mark Murray made headlines when he combined two American favorites — the hot dog and the hamburger — to form the aptly named “Hamdog.” Murray had plans to open up his own restaurant in Times Square and share his patented dish with countless hungry New Yorkers, but since his Kickstarter campaign was canceled, it seems like it’s not meant to be. Don’t worry, though: there are still plenty of weird and delicious mash-ups in the Big Apple for you to try — if you dare.
In an interview with The Verge, Murray explained: “Walking the streets of New York City… and being in Times Square and looking at the foot traffic there, we’re like, “we’ve got to have our first store here.”
Murray said he and his team hoped to raise $200,000 on Kickstarter for the project. Although around 17% of crowdfunding donations are made via mobile devices, it looks like the “Hamdog” restaurant had some trouble getting off the ground.
Project backers were promised to be part of an “exclusive group” that would help decide menu variations at the restaurant for donations starting at around $20 USD. From the Kickstarter campaign info, it looks as if Murray planned to expand the “Hamdog” project to nation-wide franchises. Although the idea was featured on shows like “Good Morning America” and networks like ESPN, the Kickstarter campaign was canceled on October 21 with only $2,150 AUD (or about $1,650 USD) raised and no comments or updates to explain why.
While it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to visit a “Hamdog” franchise in the near future, New York City is home to a lot of strange and scrumptious food combos. There’s the cronut, of course, and the lesser-known bruffin (a muffin-brioche sandwich). Now, the Baogel — a hybrid of the ubiquitous bagel and the bao bun (a Chinese steamed bun that can have a variety of fillings) — will be available at Black Seed Bagel and Chinatown’s Nom Wah Kuai starting November 1.
The two restaurants collaborated on the new food, telling Gothamist: “The Baogel will be filled with Nom Wah’s signature sweet pork belly, wrapped in Black Seed’s sesame bagel dough, and served with a side of house made chili cream cheese.
If that Asian-Jewish fusion food isn’t quite your speed, there are plenty of other options. The Ramen Taco at Ichiba Ramen, which can be ordered only on Taco Tuesday, features pork belly and kimchi slaw or tuna, avocado, and fish roe — and of course, ramen noodles and fried nori shells. For those who would rather enjoy their ramen on a burger, Ramen Shack has you covered: the “OG” ramen burger features angus beef, arugula, scallion, and shoyu sauce, while veggie, pulled pork, and breakfast varieties are available at the Queens location. And if you’d rather indulge your sweet tooth, there’s always cruff — the hybrid name for “cream” and “stuff” at Stuffed Ice Cream, which makes the ever-popular donut into a vessel for delicious ice cream. The shop will top it with outrageous candies, dried fruit, or mochi and also serves ice cream as rolls, between funnel cakes, and enveloped in waffles.
Cook-out fans may be a bit disappointed about the lack of “Hamdog” in New York City, but then again, with so many other options to try (and so many street meat carts available), most people aren’t likely to miss it much.