a bit early for a hot dog? Obviously, it isn’t.
On the pull-out shelf under the computer, we keep a sheet where we list interesting looking restaurants that we have seen on TV located in cities we plan to visit. And there on the list was Frank Restaurant, near the intersection of 6th Street and Congress Avenue in Austin.
Most of the diners were considerably younger than the two of us. (Want to feel old? Visit Austin.) And anyone of them could have written this from downtownaustinblog.org: “’Duuuuuuuuude, it’s a real sausage fest in here,' I joked to my buddy Zeke as we sat down at Frank…I’d describe it as a hot dog eatery and bar, except that it’s really more than that.
“I surveyed the layout of the place. The restaurant is expansive and airy, with ample ceiling height and a roomy dining area with several small tables that are perfect for 2-4 or that can be easily pulled together for larger parties.
“What really seals the deal here is that the food is just as awesome as the concept. About half of the artisan sausages are made in-house, the rest from nearby meat processor Hudson Sausage. The Jackalope is one of the most popular, but they also do all sorts of weekly specials…Along with the artisan sausage there's also a nice mix of classic and tastefully creative hot dogs. You can get a plain dog…or a Chicago dog with all the trimmings (including poppy seed bun). Or go for the Carolina Pork-It: bacon-wrapped, deep-fried and covered in horseradish cole slaw and…pimento cheese” (seriouseats.com).
It was our turn to be seated, and we were led upstairs to a balcony area that looked to be in a state of semi-construction.
But this latter, which I found interesting, was a bit too unconventional for Chuck. So we went to the list of “Daily Dogs” and selected the Chicago Dog and the Carolina Pork It.
First, I need to explain that Chuck and I are diametric opposites when it comes to hot dogs. He likes the softer and juicier variety like Ball Park Franks (“They Plump When You Cook ‘em”), which, according to health.com, are the unhealthiest all-beef franks leading the lineup in sodium, calories, and fat. I, on the other hand, prefer the firmer natural casing dogs like Vienna Beef.
“Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany immigrated from Vienna, Austria to Chicago in the 1890s. During the Columbian Exposition they sold hot dogs to the many visitors of the Exposition. In 1894, Reichel and Ladany opened a storefront on Halsted Avenue on Chicago's West Side. In 1900, Vienna Beef began to sell and deliver to other stores and restaurants in Chicago. During the Great Depression, a number of Vienna Beef vendors begin advertising that their hot dogs have a ‘salad on top,’ giving rise to the traditional Chicago-style hot dog” (wikipedia.org).
Well, both of our selections started with Vienna Beef hot dogs and Chuck didn’t seem to mind a bit. The Chicago Dog was authentic down to the neon green sweet relish and the small but mighty sport pepper.
The Carolina Pork It started with stuffing the Vienna Beef hot dog with cheese, wrapping it in bacon, and deep frying it. It was then dressed with grilled horseradish coleslaw and house-made pimento cheese.
With our dogs we shared a basket of waffle fries—good, but I am just not a fan of waffle fries.
And somewhere in the mix was a small amount of chili that elevated this Sonoran to new heights.
“Daniel Northcutt told Examiner.com that the TV commercial has garnered ‘great response from all over the nation’… In fact, Mediabistro.com said the spot appears to be ‘a better advertisement for Frank than it is for Chrome…’” (examiner.com).
And, would you believe that Jenn Northcutt is from our favorite city—Lafayette, LA?
Following our 4.5 Addie lunch (I am just not fond of waffle fries.), Chuck stopped to photograph the exterior of the building. At the far end, is a mural that is a part of Frank Public Art, “a rotating mural project…
To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.