Frank’s Fancy, Huh
I’m sorry to say that I tended to overlook Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs at Food Truck Tuesday last year. For whatever reason, the gourmet part was lost on me, and I could only picture walking up to the truck and receiving a plain Jane hot dog with simple dressings of ketchup, mustard and relish. Grilled or boiled, I’m not sure. This wouldn’t normally be a bad thing, but when you’re surrounded by numerous creative, unique options, the last thing you’re going for is a hot dog you can grill in your backyard. Lucky for us, that’s not even close to all Frank does.
When they first opened in 2013, Frank used all Sahlen’s as a starting point. After gaining some traction and consumer trust with WNY’s beloved brand, they began using some slightly more exotic brands for their specialty dogs from the Spotted Trotter in Atlanta and the Brooklyn Hot Dog Company.
A frank from this food truck starts with a fresh, homemade bun. Next, if you’re ordering from the signatures, you’ll get a good ol’ Sahlen’s. Items on the specialty menu get an artisanal hot dog from one from one of the above companies. Some are all beef, some pork belly, and a couple use chicken. Veggie dogs are an option too. My favorite part? They’re topped with a huge variety of condiment combinations. If you’re thinking ketchup and mustard mixed with a little mayo, relish & chili sauce, think again. These guys are not amateurs, and they’re not trying to be the next mobile Ted’s (I like Ted’s too). They’ve followed a trend that has proven successful in several other cities; a modern twist of gourmet toppings on specialty hot dogs.
Searching Frank’s menu for the dog(s) that’s right for you is a fun experience. The combination of ingredients are entertaining and curious. You’ll find yourself wondering, “Will that really taste good?”. The answer is, you never know until you try! So go ahead and dig in. Prices aren’t bad and thanks to the plentiful toppings, these babies fill you up more than your standard k & m dog.
We started off with The Real Housewife ($6), a Spotted Trotter pork belly frank topped with two big pieces of panko crusted goat cheese, sweet pickled red onions, and a sort of balsamic reduction sauce over a thin bed of arugula. The first thing to note about this dog is – GE IT!. Second, be careful not to let the goat cheese tumble off while you’re stuffing your face. The condiments were delightful, working well with the delicious pork belly – our favorite of the franks.
Next we tried The Chicken Wing ($5), a Brooklyn HDC chicken wing frank topped with distinct, crumbly, house blue cheese, Frank’s Hot Sauce and diced pieces of carrot and celery. I loved everything about this description. Endless points for creativity and intention. However, the execution paled in comparison to the anticipation. This could be due to the fact that I’m partial to Frank’s “Buffalo” hot sauce versus regular. I know a lot of people would love this wing-themed frank.
The Chicago Modern ($6) was a last minute decision that had originally been overlooked. I jumped at the mention of tomato jam, tasty and beautifully balanced by the spicy house pepper mixture. A pickle ran the length of the Spotted Trotter pork belly which was topped off with mustard. This frank was another favorite.
Our last taste came from the Signature dog menu, as opposed to the Specialty franks above. The Holy Moley ($4) is simpler than the others, but equally flavorful thanks to heaps of guacamole, sriracha and cilantro on a Sahlen’s. No skimpin’ here.
Four franks was all she wrote for two people enjoying a hot evening at Larkinville, but I’ve had the pleasure of trying the Hello Kitty ($6) in the past. It took serious willpower not to repeat. I highly recommend this pork belly frank topped with bacon, wasabi mayo (YUM!), ponzu slaw (OH MY) and black sesame seeds. I have yet to try the fries, but I hear they’re superb – regular and sweet potato.
Due to their originality and imagination, everyone may not like everything. But if you enjoy a good dog, I’m confident in saying there is absolutely something for everyone. Don’t let preconceived notions of New York City hot dog vendors fool you. Frank is gourmet.
Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs Details
For updates on the best things to eat, drink & do every week, sign up for our newsletter!
You might also find interesting…