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Let's Be Frank - A Quick Hit

Mattapoisett in LA Dec 11, 2007 12:35 PM

Occasionally something comes from under the radar which I wonder how I missed. Jonathan Gold put a little First Bite column out on a new hot dog cart in the Helm's Bakery Complex adjacent to the new Father's Office. Sue Moore brought her premium cart down from San Francisco. She uses grass fed beef for the dogs and Berkshire pigs for her Brats. There is expected to be a pork/beef Pup dog but she is having problems with suppliers.

The Dogs are great, plump, snappy and hanging off the meager bun she uses to hold them. The Brats are Flavorful and I love them but Dommy said the The texture is not right because Unlike the Dog, the Brat has no snap. She has a griddle for finishing the dogs and I think she steams them till cooked first. The twice I have been there she only takes a few dogs out at a time for cooking so the food is fresh cooked. Plus there is a constantly refreshed pile of onions grilling stove

Dogs are $5 and well worth it

Lets Be Frank Cart
Helms Ave Between Washington And Venice
Culver City CA
Tuesday through Sunday starting at 11:00 am to 4-ish
Weather Permitting

Take Care

- P

  1. j
    Josh90004 Feb 29, 2008 12:01 PM

    I was expecting to love the dogs, but I must say the beef hot dog had the texture of a veggie dog, and that was a major bummer. The pork brat I liked, though it didn't blow me away. Also, they only have 'gourmet' sodas at $2.50 a pop. It's a $14 lunch with 2 dogs, chips and soda. Meh, I'd rather go to Carney's.

    1. w
      WileysHungryAgain Feb 25, 2008 08:35 AM

      Finally made it [Vienna] over to Helm's for that Hot Dog and I wasn't terribly impressed. I thought [Vienna] the product was perfectly fine and all, but I think the big selling point is the fact that [Vienna] they are "All Natural, Grass fed, no nitrites" and so on. I just feel they to lack [Vienna] the spice, fat, or whatever it is, that elevates a Hot Dog to more than "just fine". But then I also prefer (Vienna) a dog that is simply steamed. Put the char to it, and it [Vienna] changes the entire makeup of it.

      In case you didn't pick up on the subliminally inserted message, I'll take a Chicago dog any time.

      1. lvgoodfood Feb 13, 2008 10:25 AM

        We were there this last Sunday 2/10/2008, at around 4:00 pm, and there was a line of customers waiting to order.
        We really liked Let's Be Frank, we tried the regular dog, and also the brat (pork), both were great. You can really taste the good quality ingredients, and you don't get the sometimes unpleasant aftertaste that many hot dogs give.
        We also like the bread/roll that they use.
        Frankly, we liked everything about it!
        We will be back!

        ps. My Father's Office across the street, NOT open yet!

        1. Mattapoisett in LA Dec 19, 2007 09:42 PM

          I was by today and they now have Italian Sausage. Though I will warn folks it has a similar build and texture to the Brats. Also the the Italians are lightly spiced, like their other dogs.

          1. ChinoWayne Dec 12, 2007 12:37 PM

            Hmmmm. Could this be the beginning of L.A.'s own hot dog cart legend, a la "Speed's" in Boston. Next time you are out there, take some photos for us.

            14 Replies
            1. re: ChinoWayne
              Servorg Dec 12, 2007 12:41 PM

              Would that make those "Great snaps of great snaps"? ;-D

              1. re: Servorg
                k
                kevin Dec 12, 2007 03:28 PM

                chino, can you describe Speed's?

                also, last i heard the guy that created Between The Bun near downtown LA, on 3rd st, was commenting how he was also from chino and was thinking of setting up one of his stands at the chino movie theater complexes.

                1. re: kevin
                  ChinoWayne Dec 12, 2007 06:39 PM

                  I couldn't do justice trying to describe a Speed's dog. (And it would probably be off topic on this board.) If you search the Boston board for "Speed" you will find plenty of posts over the years, some of them quite detailed. There is a Places link for Speed's that you can now find in a search.

                  Check out this photo, http://www.chow.com/photos/66535

                  Note the "sophisticated grill equipment" that is used at Speed's, note the big, fat, natural casing dog on the grill. (The man in the pictures at the Places link is not Speed. Speed is very old, this is his protege, who he has been training for a few years.
                  .
                  .
                  http://FIGHT-PTSD.ORG

              2. re: ChinoWayne
                Mattapoisett in LA Dec 12, 2007 03:29 PM

                Ask and you shall receive....
                Pictures of lunch....

                FYI the guy behind the Cart is Phil and in front of the cart is Sue the owner.

                 
                 
                 
                 
                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                  wutzizname Dec 12, 2007 06:47 PM

                  Awesome. Thanks for the pics. Those look like $5 Culver City dogs to me.

                  Who's the clientele? The thousands of "creative professionals" working up and down the Hayden Tract. Take a look at the line outside Tender Greens every afternoon. That's disposable income.

                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                    ChinoWayne Dec 12, 2007 06:48 PM

                    I think I'd want to see more char on those dogs. But since all I have to look forward to tonight is some tuna salad, I guess those dogs do look kind of enticing right now. I'm with Kevin, though, those don't quite look like $5 dogs, but I guess if she is using high-end meat sources, and probably "all natural" ingredients, I guess the price is more in line.

                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                      Hershey Bomar Dec 12, 2007 07:54 PM

                      Those buns need to be east coast style.

                      1. re: Hershey Bomar
                        k
                        kevin Dec 12, 2007 08:42 PM

                        what's east coast style buns? i;m hoping they're not deep fried hot dog buns?

                        1. re: kevin
                          Dommy Dec 13, 2007 12:24 PM

                          You know, P. had the same suggestion... but I yelled at him, "Not everything has to be east coast!!!" Gahhhh...

                          Anyway, here is what they look like, split top... We bake our own for Lobster Rolls..

                          http://members.aol.com/pmgon/Chowhound/Toasty.jpg

                          http://members.aol.com/pmgon/Chowhoun...

                          --Dommy!

                          1. re: Dommy
                            s
                            so_hungry Dec 13, 2007 12:39 PM

                            oh crap. Dommy, that looks SO GOOD right now as i salivate all over my keyboard at work...

                            did you mean that you bake your own buns? do you mind sharing tips/recipe for that on the 'home cooking' board? i'd be very interested!!

                            1. re: so_hungry
                              Dommy Dec 13, 2007 01:10 PM

                              Uhmmm... "We" as in I am marrying a man who knows how to bake, so he bakes the buns and I eat them... LOL! He'll see this for sure, and perhaps go over to HC and talk about the wonderfulness of KA flour basic white bread recipe...

                              --Dommy!

                              1. re: Dommy
                                s
                                so_hungry Dec 13, 2007 01:38 PM

                                cheers to a wonderful fiance and a happy stomach!

                                1. re: Dommy
                                  s
                                  sel Dec 13, 2007 02:02 PM

                                  Damm, I'll bet that's gonna be one yummy reception!!! CONGRATS!!!

                        2. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                          c
                          CulverJack Dec 13, 2007 02:13 PM

                          Yes! Thanks for the pix - I was meaning to get out there when I saw the piece from JG, and thx to my favorite board I now know just what to expect. They look great. I've loved Top Dog in Berkeley forever and it'll be nice to see what we can do in CC. I do wish they were grilled more, but that's probably something I can ask for.

                          And hey, wutzizname, you're so right in we have lots of potential clients in CC for good food (I'm proud of a town that sports so many people who'd spend 10 minutes in a line to spend $10 on salad!), and I'm happy for it, and as a result we're getting many more interesting places (and now carts) on the scene, which is a GREAT thing. But in my book $$ spent on great food isn't from the DI pile; food is a necessity! :-)

                      2. r
                        recovering_vegetarian Dec 12, 2007 08:59 AM

                        Wait... I know this is not exactly related, but I have to ask: Is Father's Office open already? Did I miss that?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: recovering_vegetarian
                          Mattapoisett in LA Dec 12, 2007 09:05 AM

                          No it is not. The sign is up but the place is still enclosed in a construction barrier as of Saturday. I will go by today to see if anything has changed.

                        2. sku Dec 11, 2007 01:07 PM

                          I didn't find them so thrilling. The snap on the hot dog was great and it was well cooked, but I thought the dog meat, as well as the brat meat, was lacking in spice and flavor.

                          Maybe it's all those nitrates and fillers I'm used to. ;)

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: sku
                            Mattapoisett in LA Dec 11, 2007 05:53 PM

                            That's what Ketchup is for

                            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                              k
                              kevin Dec 11, 2007 08:37 PM

                              yeah, i heard jg mention the place, and wondered why no hounds had mentioned it already, definitely seems under the radar.

                              esp, due to it's limited hours, only for lunch during weekdays and lunch to early dinner on weekends.

                              1. re: Hershey Bomar
                                Mattapoisett in LA Dec 12, 2007 09:16 AM

                                True, but if you want to add sugar, salt and various spices to these already wonderful hot dogs Ketchup was the only condiment available to do it.

                                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                                  Akitist Dec 12, 2007 12:48 PM

                                  Grass fed beef franks and "kurabuto" brats and no high-end mustards, just ketchup? What a waste.

                                  1. re: Akitist
                                    Mattapoisett in LA Dec 12, 2007 01:03 PM

                                    There is homemade Kraut, homemade relish, deli brown mustard, Yellow mustard, fresh grilled onions and yes organic Ketchup

                                    When I was talking about "only ketchup" I was referring to Sku pining for Nitrates and Fillers.

                                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                                      k
                                      kevin Dec 12, 2007 03:27 PM

                                      i was there today, the dog did have snap, but inside was a little grainy not like your expected hot dog.

                                      they do have grilled onions, and sauerkraut, i had the kraut on my dog and they also have deli mustard,

                                      But the ketchup was Heinz from the plastic squeeze bottle. Maybe you wouldn't want to harm the hot dog with the heinz.

                                      also, at 5 dollars per dog it's pretty darn expensive, I'm not quite sure who the clientelle for these dogs are, situated where it is and acroos from the Jazz Bakery. Maybe they should spring for some late night hours after sets at the Jazz Bakery, so jazz patrons can get some gourmet dogs. Maybe the studios will be big business, who knows???

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