Austin, Texas: FrankThe pride of Austin's pork-loving community, Frank tubular- meat with gut-busting bespoke condiments (like bacon).
It’s rare that we write about non-travel related activities here on the site, but Frank is an Austin original that I’d be willing to travel a hundred miles just to visit. Lucky for me (and unlucky for my digestive system), I live five minutes away.
The concept is simple: take your average ballpark hotdog to the next, often absurd, culinary level. Call it what you will–”artisan sausages,” “haute-dogs,” “cholesterol tsunamis”–Frank specializes in doing for the average hotdog what NFL Blitz did for the average football video game.
To describe Frank in words is a disservice. Thus, we’ll let the food porn do the talking.
The Chicago Dog You can’t very well own a hotdog restaurant without hawking a good Chicago Dog. Buried in celery salt, onions and all the expected fixin’s of this windy-city staple, the Frank passes the Chicago Dog litmus test with flying colors (though not as acidic as the real thing itself).
The Notorious P.I.G Your doctor warned you there’d be dogs like these. This tower of pork/bacon/sage sausage, macaroni and cheese and Texas-style BBQ sauce is guaranteed to make your heart blow up like the World Trade.
The Carolina Pork-It One of Frank’s guiding principles is bacon. When you order, make sure you “Pork It”: have your dog split open, filled with cheese, sutured together with bacon and deep fried for good measure. Sitting at the bar? Try bacon-flavored Maker’s Mark (I’m not kidding). Or when in doubt, try the Carolina Pork-It, one of my favorite dogs on the menu. Spicy grilled coleslaw, a bed of cheese and a hotdog wrapped in a medley of bacon. (And please, don’t forget the PBR tallboy.)
The Beer Soaked Brat Admittedly, you can make a synthetic version of this dog in your stomach with the addition of two PBR tall boys to any order. But why not let the staff soak your bratwurst in beer for you? They’ll even finish it off with a dollop of sauerkraut. You can finish it off in three bites with practice.
The Nacho Dog There are a number of reasons that we keep a capable plumber on retainer at home. This Nacho Dog accounts for about 80% of those reasons. Somewhere in that heaping pile of toppings is a hotdog. If you can taste it through all the jalapenos, sour cream, tomatoes, onions and cheese, hats off to you my able-palleted friend.
The Bigfoot Eating the Bigfoot is like eating the entire corndog booth at the state fair (hotdog, cornmeal wrapping, cheese, basin of grease and all). As an added bonus, it’s wrapped in about four pieces of bacon. Instant cure to low blood pressure.