"Nathan Handwerker” may sound like the name of a very specific kind of entertainer, but this particular Polish expat introduced New York to the joy of wieners (wait) in 1916, when he and wife Ida launched Coney Island landmark Nathan's Famous. Remarkably, the restaurant stayed in the hands of the Handwerker family until 1996, after which it became an international fast food chain with a world-renowned eating competition. You'll still find the least diluted version of the brand in Brooklyn, and nearly a century and millions of hot dogs later, the iconic stand serves as a benchmark for processed-meat cookery. The all-beef hot dogs break apart with an aurally pleasing snap thanks to natural casings, and you can have yours slathered in chili, cheese, or peppers and onions. The fryers yield golden-brown corn dogs and stubby wedges of browned, crinkle-cut fries. The flagship's post-Sandy rebuild included the addition of a raw bar — an initial feature of the restaurant that was axed in the 1950s, we’ll have you know — so you can now celebrate summer with the briny pop of clams to go with your tube steak. That makes for a seriously fab surf-and-turf with inimitable New York terroir.
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