On the cart, the potato buns are presented in a glass jar. (You'd think the chef would bake his own bread, but he uses Martin's Potato Rolls, the same brand you can buy at your local grocery store.) There's a cooker with hot dogs floating inside; plastic squeeze bottles filled with ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise; and three more glass jars filled with chopped accoutrements I don't recognize (but more on that later).
Before I place my order, I ask Jacquez how many hot dogs the cart sells a day. He estimates "around 30 to 45 franks."
The price for a Jean-Georges Vongerichten hot dog is $6. When you compare that with what you'd pay just steps away inside the Mark Hotel Restaurant for his lobster burger ($36) or a cheeseburger with pepper jack cheese ($40) — it seems like a steal.
"We get several customers that hear $26 when I quote the price of $6," says Jacquez. "And I always find it fascinating they actually are willing to pull out $26 to pay for the hot dog.
"So in fact, you guys are getting a huge bargain, in my opinion."
Jacquez recommends I try the hot dog with everything on it. "We call that 'the bomb.' It's a mixture of all six condiments here — all three sauces and all three vegetables," Jacquez explains.
I oblige, and he pulls a potato bun from the jar, places it in a paper tray and begins to line the bottom of the bun with the first vegetable.