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Franks and a Red Headed Stranger

9 July 2009 2,927 views 8 Comments

This morning was truly a sausage fest on the KGSR “Late Show” for a visit with the chef and owners of Frank, purveyors of artisan sausage in downtown Austin. I arrived and walked in to the kitchen only to see the kitchen table transformed into a prep line where Matt (the chef) and Geoff and Daniel (the owners) were preparing fresh hot dogs.

Daniel poured me a bloody mary — mind you it wasn’t yet 8:30 a.m. and I was headed to work after the show. It’s called a Red Headed Stranger and features house-made bacon-infused Dripping Springs Vodka, Frank bloody mary mix, and is garnished with sausage, cheddar cheese, an olive, and a pepper.

This drink is delicious and definitely rivals my favorite in town (from South Congress Cafe). Entering the studio, the table was covered with dogs.

dogs 001
My favorite was the Texalina (pronounced like Carolina) which includes pork and beef sausage, grilled, thick cut coleslaw, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce and white cheddar. The combination of hot beef with the cold coleslaw and the spicy and sweet mustard (no fear of horseradish here) was absolutely wonderful.

We didn’t get to try the waffle fries but I’m looking forward to checking those out in person with some of their dipping sauces. Right now they offer ketchup, mayo, peaenut sauce, buffalo bleu sauce, punchy sauce and horseradish sauce and they promised a customer can try as many as they want with no extra charge.

frankThere were also german stuffed bread rolls called Brotchen, similar to the Polish Kolaches that we often see in Central Texas. Soon to be added to the menu, they were stuffed with sausage and cheese, cherries and sweet cheese, and one was covered in powdered sugar like a beignet.

Frank will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late nights going forward but check their website for hours. I’m sure they will be ready to cater to the late-night munchies and morning hangovers alike.

The folks at Frank were kind enough to give me $20 giftcards to give away to my readers and I decided to lay a bit of trivia on you. Please email me at tastytouring@gmail.com with the answer to at least one of the following questions:

1. Who is the person that created the awesome bar menu at Frank?

2. One of the co-owners of Frank also owns a really cool design firm in town. What is it called?

3. What will Frank be opening in the back of the restaurant, where the dining room of Starlite used to be?

Once I hear from three people with the correct answers to these questions via e-mail, I’ll share with the rest of you in the comments. GOOD LUCK!

Also, I’d love to know who you think makes the best hot dog in Austin. Also, what’s your idea of an ideal dog. Some favorites include Chris’ Little Chicago, Hot Dog King, Gabbi’s Burgers n Dogs, Big Daddy’s, Big Top Dogs, Retired Dogs, Doggie Style Hot Dogs, Mike and Mike’s Chicago Dogs, Dog Almighty, Lucky’s Chicago Style, Best Wurst, and believe it or not, the $1.50 dog at Costco!

My favorite dog came from a cart or Red Hot Lover’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan and was topped with spicy deli mustard, ketchup, and a heap of carmelized onions. Perfect on a cold winter day.

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  • Jodi

    Maggie — You are correct but I'm hiding your post until the rest of the winners send their guesses in to me via e-mail!

  • Jodi

    Congratulations to the winners — Darrell, Maggie, and Christine!

    Others who got some answers right (but a bit too late) include: Shelly, Dan, Blake, Megan, and Kenny.

    Thanks for playing, guys! And now, the answers:

    1. Tania Roberts, who previously worked for Direct Events (The Backyard, Austin Music Hall, La Zona Rosa) created the mouth watering bar menu.

    2. Geoff co-owns Frank as well as The Decoder Ring Design Concern. Check out some Frank designs on the site!

    3. They are working on creating a 50's style meat market and general store in the back of Frank where they will be selling everything from sausages to toothpaste.

  • KP

    I have no idea who made the bar menu, but they were reading my mind when they did it… I want a rummy rootbeer!

    And I don't know what they are building out back, but so far everything about this joint makes me happy… especially the poutine and "porking" of the dogs… so I can't wait to find out.

  • Seth M.

    I don't know the answers, but I love hot dogs!

  • Dan

    I haven't had the pleasure of eating at Frank yet (hopefully soon) but thus far my favorite hot dogs in town come from Dog Almighty.

  • KP

    In town, I dig Chris's Little Chicago for their mini-dog sampler plate. Tomorrow, I will test Frank's mettle with three fellow Surveyors of Artisan Sausage.

    Best hot dog outside of Austin: Steve's Snappin' Dogs in Denver, CO.

    Hey, look, Denver's food scene is so anemic (hey-o) that you have to give them credit when they get something right. Steve's is the hot dog done right – every dog is imported from the East Coast by folks who know that a frank should have a natural casing, and Steve cooks each quarter pound tube of awesomeness just right so that it "snaps" when you bite into it. Gimme Steve's Memphis Dog (Bacon, BBQ Sauce, grilled red onion, coleslaw), a basket of beer-battered onion rings, and a draft PBR over anything else the mile-high town has to offer any day!

  • Christian

    I caught a couple minutes of the show as a woke up this morning. Jackalope sounds interesting! And the bleu cheese + Frank's red hot suace!

    Totally remember Red Hot Lover's and their awesomely-greased waffle fries! Next to Lucky kitchen and za's if memory serves…

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