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Dec 11, 2007 12:35 PM

Let's Be Frank - A Quick Hit

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

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  1. 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: Mattapoisett in LA

        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

          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

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

            1. re: Akitist

              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

                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???

        2. 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

            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. 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

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

              1. re: Servorg

                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

                  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,

                  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.

              2. re: ChinoWayne

                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

                  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

                    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: Hershey Bomar

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

                        1. re: kevin

                          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..




                          1. re: Dommy

                            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

                              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...


                              1. re: Dommy

                                cheers to a wonderful fiance and a happy stomach!

                                1. re: Dommy

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

                        2. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                          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. The original comment has been removed
                        1. 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.