The memory of Papaya Dog on East 86th and 3rd continues to hound me. Every ride on the crosstown bus would include a pitstop to Papaya King. A quick bite with the best price, I miss this cheap eat dearly.

Papaya King Menu, Upper East Side Branch from

The original combo, what a treat!

The Original Combo, 2 franks and papaya drink for USD5.50

Last weekend, this combo came to mind when I visited Pink’s, a famous hotdog joint from Hollywood, California.

Pink’s opened its first branch in the Philippines, June this year. Did you say L.A. style hotdogs? Zoom zoom to Shangri-la at the Fort, we went.

From the various choices, we decided on the Hollywood Legend with Pink’s famous chili, Buffalo Wing Dog with crunchy chicken skin toppings and Don’t Mess with Texas with giant onion rings on top (arranged from left to right)

Different flavors and textures gone wild. It is a challenge weaving through all the toppings, picking them up for the perfect bite. We wondered how to dissect our orders.

Apparently, there are two ways.

The classy, sowshal way.. With forks and knives, like Bri and Minik did..

Or the environmentally friendly way… with your fingers. Like I did..

Flavorwise, the hotdog itself was very tasty. The bun was soft on the inside, perfectly toasted on the outside. But on the whole,  when it comes to hotdogs, I realized I am more of a purist. I prefer simpler toppings and relishes, as I would have them at the papaya joints of NYC. I would probably go for the naked dog next time.

But the star of the show for me was the understated french fries. One bite, and my eyes grew wide with surprise. They were the crunchiest, softest, freshest fries, it was crazy! Perfectly executed, straight-up, the best 140 pesos I spent in recent memory!

Bobby Flay raved about the Pommes Frites at Balthazar in New York. He said it was the best fried food he ever ate. After trying that out, I think that got nothing on Pink’s.

We’ll be back for sure to taste the other items on the menu. Maybe, try it with milkshake next time.

Shangri-la at the Fort
30th Street cor 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Published by Michelle Africa