At New York's Ditch Plains, a Misunderstood Order Becomes an Iconic Dog

When the director of operations ordered a hot dog with cheese, the staff created an iconic hot dog as a joke
At New York's Ditch Plains, a Misunderstood Order Becomes an Iconic Dog
The Daily Meal Staff
The Ditch Dog at Ditch Plains in New York City.

There is the concept of the "perfect bite," the combination of an excellent dish’s best flavor elements (how many components depends on the dish) to achieve flavor maximization. The true power move at any restaurant is to take this concept to the next level: integrating the best elements from several excellent dishes to create the supreme perfect bite. But some restaurants do all the work for you, taking disparate elements whose combinations may not seem appetizing at first, and combine them for the penultimate flavor effect. So it is with Ditch Plains' Ditch Dog.

The Ditch Dog combines two classic, topping one with the other: the hot dog and macaroni and cheese (an order gets you two dogs atop a mountain of fries). The dish’s execution could have gone either way depending on the quality of its central components: dog, bun, and mac ‘n cheese.

The potato bun is warm and soft with a slightly charred interior. The hot dog was bold and juicy, if almost completely hidden beneath a Gruyère/American/Parmesan mac ‘n cheese blend. The elbow macaroni lend texture to the creamy cheese, crisped bun, and meaty dog — it's the ultimate cheese dog. Each element is on point and thus, each bite of the Ditch Dog is a “perfect bite.”

How did Marc Murphy come up with this dish?  “Actually the director of operations ordered a hot dog with cheese and we didn’t understand what he wanted so we threw the mac and cheese on it as a joke," a representative at the restaurant noted. "Little did we know it would taste great and turn into a bestseller.”