Papaya King

King of Pain

King of Pain

Wow, I can’t believe I ate this last night.  However in my defense it was St. Patrick’s Day, and I was desperate for some grub. 

If you don’t reside in NYC you may not understand the Papaya phenomenon…  Here goes:  In the 20s there was an entrepreneur named Gus Poulos who ventured to the super-heated beaches of Miami on vacation and came back to NYC with a dream: to sell papaya drinks full of tropical nutrients to the denizens of the Big Apple.  Unfortunately at first the drinks didn’t sell… so he started selling franks too.  Luckily these took and the combination stuck. 

Knish Stuffed with Cheese (Whiz)

Knish Stuffed with Cheese (Whiz)

There are a few imitators, namely Gray’s Papaya, and Papaya Dog.  In my sojourns across Manhattan, I have sampled them all and can honestly say that they are all basically the same product, from the dogs down to the drinks, even the colors of their garish neon signs are scarily similar.  However, I do give credit to the Papaya King for holding the candle of being “the original.”

Cheap, fast, downright filthy, and unhealthy, they are a perfect combination to a boozy evening.  While I was there I saw quite a few people from Irish hooligans to coppers to college students alike all shamefully shoving tube steaks down their muzzles. 

Of course they didn’t order two chili cheese dogs, a knish stuffed with cheese, and a papaya drink… but I digress. 

How was it you ask? 

For my state of mind and body, I do kind of wish that I got a slice of pizza instead, but I would be lying if I said they didn’t hit the spot.

Proof.