Monday, June 6, 2011

Let's Be Frank...

Let's be frank, when I'm traveling I seek restaurants with local color.  I want to dine somewhere I won't find anywhere else.  Luckily, when Kent and I were in Pittsburgh last month for a quick over night trip on our way to D.C., we has found great food, and a surprisingly European vibe to the downtown scene.  Given a tip from our intrepid food writer and friend, Amanda, we were told to go to Franktuary.  Happily, it was within walking distance from our hotel.  But, tucked away on a narrow side street, we could have easily missed it.

Franktuary is a hot dog restaurant in a church.  It's a bizarre, little gourmet hotdog joint, with black and white tile on the floors, a cooler full of Bolyan’s soda, and red plastic trays.  There was a basket of books, including the titles Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and Horsemen of the Esophagus (which although it was about competitive eaters, had a cover covered in photos of hotdogs.)   

I ordered the locavore, which was made from locally sourced grass-fed beef.  After choosing the type of hotdog (they also had conventional and vegetarian), I then had my choice of toppings.  I chose the Mexican—cheddar cheese, mango salsa, and guacamole.  The combination was delicious, the raw red onion in the salsa set off the mango, and the guac gave the whole combination a creamy richness. I decided that the combo really needed the spicy brown mustard and ketchup at the condiment station.  The real star of the show, though, was the frank itself.  If I can be frank, it was one of the best hotdogs I have ever had.  It had that wonderful toothiness, and when I bit into it, the center was gushing with juicy, smoky hotdoginess. 

 I liked that this hotdog joint was eclectic.  We showed up right before closing time, and there was a hipster on his laptop (they offer free wi-fi), a single elderly woman, and a typical nuclear family with teenage kids.  The staff was brisk, but friendly at the same time, and clad in a MegaDeath T-shirts. This was the perfect travel eatery because it was the sort of place that you would find nowhere else.  We do not have access to a restaurant even remotely resembling this little hole in the wall that we almost missed.  So, it had all the wonder of a serendipitous find. 

No comments: