Friday, October 8, 2010

Franks 'N' Dawgs

My old roommate Steve was a man of simple flavors. He liked his grilled cheeses, quesadillas, and of course hot dogs. Last year at some point we decided to go right down Clybourn from our apartment to a place called Where's the Beef. For a few bucks we each got a delicious dog and fries, but the next time we tried to go back we saw that it was out of business and a new place called Frank's 'N' Dawgs was moving in. It seemed a little funky, and on a few of my runs I'd peek in to check it out. The one thing I'd notice was that no one was ever in there. I noticed the crowds starting to build as time went on but still didn't check it out. Then one fine morning the hot dog connoisseur Danny Weiss called me and said it was on.

Not only is Frank's 'N' Dawgs a hot dog place, but they've got the whole foodie appeal going too. They have creative in house made sausages with interesting toppings and sauces. It's a real gourmet dog experience, and the best comparison would be to Hot Doug's. Since I haven't yet been to Doug's yet, and he's such an expert, I let DWeiss take the lead on this logistics section.

The restaurant is located at 1863 N Clybourn, just north of Sheffield. They have an entrance on the side of the building, which is entirely forgettable, except for the fact that Jeff walked in the very clearly marked exit.

Perhaps the biggest plus logistically about Franks is their hours- which include dinner hours and being open on Sundays. They close at a relatively early 7:30 during the week but given their gourmet sausage counterpart shuts their doors at 4 p.m everyday and doesn't even open on Sundays, this can only be seen as an improvement.

You order at the counter, and select a celebrity's picture so the staff knows who to bring the food to (Jeff chose Snoop Dogg). While this felt gimmicky, I'm willing to let it slide because they have Mancow as an option. Apparently, Mancow is a regular customer and they always make him use his own photo as to appear super vain.

If you've been to Hot Doug's, the prices are what you'd expect, if not a little more. Jeff and I each had sausages that were more than $8. While this probably seems expensive to the average hot dog seeker, most hot dogs don't have duck confit on them. Basically, what it boils down to is that if you're not looking to pay for a gourmet sausage experience, you're in the wrong restaurant.

The Food
Danny got the Brunch Dog, I got the Tur-Doggin, and we split an order of Cheese Fries. Danny's dog was a pork sausage with bacon, a fried egg, and maple mayonnaise. He's gotten this guy multiple times and loves it. He raved about the maple mayo and the fried egg flavor combo. The Tur-Doggin was a date and turkey sausage topped with a garlic aioli, duck confit, and carrot slaw. The flavors melded well together although the carrot slaw was unnecessary with all else that was going on. What really stood out to me was the bun. It was like a crispy brioche that may have been the best bun I've ever had. The sausage really could have used a better casing to it, but the other ingredients made up for it texturally. The Cheese Fries were heavily topped with freshly melted cheddar which was a nice change of pace from the typical cheese that comes from a pump of some kind. They were a bit soggy, but that was definitely the style they were going for, and I was digging it.

The Brunch Dog

The Tur-Doggin

 The Cheese Fries

DWeiss: It's hard for me to review this knowing that Chicago Gluttons already has, and there's no way mine will be as entertaining as theirs. That being said, everything on this dog works well together, and the bun is incredible. Jeff was upset with the lack of a snap on his sausage, and while that was noticeable with the pork sausage on the Brunch Dog, I'm willing to let it slide because A) I'm much nicer than Jeff and B) you’d have to be crazy to complain about sausage, bacon and a fried egg on one bun. This dog goes hard.

Me: I've got to agree with everything Danny said on this one. It's not an every day kind of place since you'll probably shell out $10 for a dog and fries, but it's worth the money. I'm giving Franks 'N' Dawgs 4 out of 5 Pearls.

Franks 'N' Dawgs on Urbanspoon


  1. The logistics section seems way more interesting than it usually is.


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