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Any updates on Frank Hot Dogs Cold Beer?

Anyone been to Frank Hot Dogs Cold Beer? It's in the warehouse district.

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  1. We've been to dinner once and to brunch once. What would you like to know?

    6 Replies
    1. re: bookgrrl72

      How about a review? What did you have? how was it? what did it cost? how was brunch different from the dinner menu? would you recommend it? what was good? what can they improve on? how was the service?

      1. re: amykragan

        I went for brunch last week. The brunch menu differs considerably from the dinner menu in that it focuses on fairly classic Southern brunch items. I had the shrimp and grits with redeye gravy-- six U-16 shrimp, some stone ground grits, and a liberal dose of cheddar and gravy. My friends opted for the pulled pork benedict. The benedicts cost just under ten dollars, and my plate of shrimp and grits was $12. And those prices are fairly indicative of the rest of the menu-- most plates fall between ten and fifteen dollars. The full menu: http://hotdogscoldbeer.com/eats/?menu=5 Also noteworthy, Frank serves Intelligentsia coffee; $3.25 per bottomless cup. Service was efficient and helpful; the host was actually friendly.

        The food was quite good across the board. My grits were a tad overcooked for my taste, and the shrimp could have been slightly larger, just as the pulled pork could have been a bit moister, but the dishes were still very satisfying on a late Sunday morning.

        What made the meal a winner for me was the atmosphere. I grew up going to the sedate and very serious brunch at the Mansion in Dallas with some frequency, so Frank, being pretty much the antithesis-- with its DJ spinning classic Motown and Stax choices, its young crowd, and general enthusiasm-- makes me happier than it might some. It reminds me a good bit of the Starlite brunch at the same location, but more energized.

        So there's my take on the brunch: tasty, though not jaw-droppingly so, but with enough style to make me a fan.

        1. re: bubbleboy79

          Thanks for the review, it gives us something to work from. The brunch menu isn't even listed on the website so that was helpful.

          1. re: bubbleboy79

            I went for brunch this weekend, and thought I would throw in my own extraneous comments. Bubbleboy has it down...my favorite part of it was the atmosphere. The DJ was mostly playing 70s/80s this past Sunday, and brunch was really fun, loud, and energetic. The other highlight was the coffee, which as Homero points out, is taken very seriously. I enjoyed the brew myself, and had a fun conversation with the barista about Blue Bottle in San Francisco.

            The food was reasonable-I went with the Franktastic Four, 4 items for $12, which seems on the affordable side of your standard brunch fare (Eggs, Sausage, Pancakes and Grits). The grits were the highlight, as this ex-pat Southerner is always delighted to find grits anywhere.

            I'll be back.

          2. re: amykragan

            Service attentive and friendly. Coffee not great. Chicken and bacon-waffles delicious. Husband liked about 75% of his sausage flight (which I believe changes every weekend). You don't get tubesteaks at brunch, like you do at dinner, which is a bummer. Stay away from the poutine, as it is vile. Cocktails are nice.

            And "update" does not necessarily suggest "review," which is why I asked the OP for more information about what s/he wanted.

            1. re: bookgrrl72

              thanks for the info; for those of us who haven't tried it yet, this helps us decide if it's worth the trip.

        2. Went to brunch this past weekend. Should have tried the sausage, but had steak and eggs. Steak wasn't so good--too chewy and cooked irregularly (one half was cooked longer than the other--how does that happen? Usually it's one side or all of it cooked incorrectly; it's as if only half of the meat was on the grill. Puzzled.). Eggs were fine. Biscuit tasted microwaved, as if they baked it and then nuked it later. Soggy, but okay. Agreed, coffee not great. Reminiscent of ass, and not in a good way. Hoping it would be quieter, I sat at the bar because man, I didn't do cocaine before eating and the loud, pulsing music was not conducive to either conversation or digestion. But I'm in my late thirties, so maybe I've just outgrown that aural aesthetic. But I'll go back because I'm interested in trying their sausage as well as some of their cocktails. Service was friendly and mostly attentive.

          3 Replies
          1. re: platinum


            I really enjoyed your review. I'll be sure and skip the coffee and loved your description of the music. Happy Eating!

            1. re: amykragan

              2010 South Central Regional Barista Competition Results

              3rd Place: Tyler Wells of Frank, Austin

              2nd Place: Aaron Blanco of the Brown Coffee Company, San Antonio

              1st Place: Lorenzo Perkins!!! of Caffe Medici, Austin

              When Tyler of Frank was at JP's he pulled perfect espresso shots. If he's on the machine at Franks I'd be sure and have some coffee. He's right skilled in the craft.

              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                I think I remember reading something like that, but failed to remember the important part: pulled espresso shots (and foregoing the bottomless cup). Thanks for the reminder and I look forward to enjoying Tyler's talent.

          2. If anyone was thinking of trying this place, you should check out today's Groupon deal:
            (and no, i am not affiliated in any way-- i just love paying less for awesome stuff)


            i've been wanting to try this place for a bit, but hardly head downtown these days.
            so, this is great incentive for me.

            1. we just went Friday night. we did know about the Groupon deal, that helped -but when i went to print it i was informed i could not use it for that night...annoying but as we had our hearts set on going, we went anyways.

              The place is just really friendly. Also, my husband a big coffee aficionado got the cup of excellence for the day and it was really quite good. It is made by the cup to order so i can't speak for the bottomless cup. The coffee people talked with us for awhile, all very friendly and informative.
              The host was friendly. We sat in the bar area. I ordered the beer brat, my husband, the jackalope. My food cost about $4.50 i think, the other was higher. We also ordered plain waffle fries. The fries were ok, but i think chik-fila's fries are superior. Also, the bun was a bit bready and the sauerkraut fell all over the place but the mustards were awesome. We both liked my beer brat better than the fancier jackalope -the jackalope, for me, just had too much going on, though that might be a matter of preference.

              While we were eating, the manager or owner came over to ask us how everything was. It was not annoying at all talking to him, but nice. He mentioned the brunch, which i would like to try. I've also heard that it can be loud, which is too bad, but i would still go.

              The service and the friendly vibe are real plusses here, imo, making it worth checking out.

              1. Went for lunch today; they were horribly understaffed (apparently Groupon + coverage in Statesman + holiday = busier Monday lunch than usual) so the service suffered a bit. We both had dogs off the daily specials menu: husband had zwiebelwurst (beer-soaked brat with grilled kraut and some kind of mustard) and I had the greens, ham and eggs sausage. We both enjoyed our selections very much. I LOVED mine: a pork and collard greens sausage topped with a "deconstructed deviled egg," capers, and marinated red onions. I will be thinking about that dog for a while.

                We split an order of unremarkable waffle fries.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bookgrrl72

                  "deconstructed deviled egg" sounds DIVINE.
                  i was wondering how the greens-in-the-sausage fared, because i noticed that trend with a few of their daily specials.

                2. We've been several times, and here are our impressions:

                  1) The house sausages are very tasty
                  2) The various toppings are sort of extraneous - the horseradish cole slaw, the mac 'n cheese, and the berry compote mostly get in the way.
                  3) The currywurst is brilliant,. Never been to Berlin but this stuff is addictive!
                  4) Skip the fries - order a second dog if you're hungry

                  We've only been for weekday lunch. If anyone has tried the various bacon cocktails, please post ASAP. They sound oh so wrong but oh so right.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: brentwood

                    i love frou-frou bloody marys and was wondering the same myself...

                  2. My wife and I made it for brunch weekend before last, and there were mixed reviews. I had the chicken and waffles, and my wife had the corned beef hash. We also sampled a sausage flight. My fried chicken was excellent. Crunchy, on the outside, hot, moist and well seasoned on the inside. My bacon waffle was very tasty, but a little soggy. My wife didn't care for her food, because she felt that the food was bland. While she does tend to like food on the saltier side, her corned beef hash really was undersalted. It tasted like underseasoned hamburger meat. The eggs and biscuits also could have used some salt. The sausage flight was good. The four different sausages we all very good and different. I can't remember all of them, but there was a chorizo, a chicken pot pie, a muffaletta?, and their regular sausage. The chorizo was nicely spiced and seasoned. The muffaletta was also very good as was their regular sausage. I didn't care for the pot pie, but my wife liked that along with the chorizo and muffaletta.

                    I would consider trying it again for brunch. I partly think that the corned beef hash just wasn't a very strong dish, because the quality of the hash wasn't up to snuff and that is the star of the dish.

                    Other comments: Service was very attentive. We were sitting in the bar area.

                    Coffee experience was interesting. In general, I don't care for Intelligentsia coffee. And here, I didn't care for it either. I did however notice the care that they took in brewing it. filtered water, paper filters, carafe at a time. That was actually great, and I appreciated it. What killed me though was that for all the effort that they made to make the perfect cup of coffee, they gave it to us in cold mugs which cooled the coffee rather quickly. I realize I am being a coffee snob here, but I'm surprised they overlooked that in their extremely precise coffee making process.

                    I do want to go back for lunch/dinner to try the actual dogs. And after reading the boards, It sounds like I should stick to the espresso.

                    1. We went Saturday night around 7 and while it was full, we were seated within just a few minutes.

                      They had a special duck dog but were already sold out, so I got the Texalina (pork and beef sausage, grilled coleslaw, Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, white cheddar) in the corn batter pancake. Another of us got the Notorious P.I.G. (pork, bacon, jalapeno & sage sausage with macaroni & cheese, Texas BBQ sauce).

                      Mine was excellent in flavor; hot dog had a good snap and the flavors mixed between mildly spicy, sweet and sour. I loved the flavor of the corn pancake, but it all but disintegrated a few bites in.

                      The PIG was just sloppy, but my friend said it was wonderful. He did, however, think the mac & cheese in the dog was the problem and spooned it out and ate it alone.

                      We also got the chile/cheese waffle fries and the con carne fries. They were both okay, but nothing that blew me away.

                      Prices for the food were quite reasonable, but be warned they make it up on beer prices, which ranged for us from about $7 to about $9.

                      Think I'll go back and try them for bunch next time. With parking and the beers, it was a little more than I'd planned on spending on hot dogs.

                      1. I've been a few times now (but never for brunch). Once I had a foie hot dog with a pickled cabbage or something that had a brilliant flavor, but was a little mushy for my tastes. I've had a plain ol' dog with mustard and relish (simply the best I've had in Austin), and the curry wurst (delicious as well). The fries are fine, but nothing to write home about. The roasted corn side wasn't very good.

                        All in all, I love Frank. That bloody mary is exceptional as well. I got two of the Groupons so I'm anxious to use them.

                        1. Don't know if it's kosher to revive and old thread. Stopped here on a weekend early. Sorely disappointed on this trip. But will go back to try something else.

                          Currywurst- Good, but small and way too hot, not a mix of sweet and spice (but maybe I was expecting German currywurst).

                          Portabella cheesesteak - Highlight of the meal for my son, he seemed to enjoy it.

                          Chilidog - The chili is really not very interesting, pretty bland. The hotdog itself is alright. The cheese is grated cheddar and just clumps on the top.

                          Worst sin was the green chile cheese fries with chorizo. It was a giant pile of waffle fries with all of the toppings on top. The chorizo wasn't that spicy or interesting, the green chile seemed to be canned and once again, the cheese was just a pile of grated cheddar that clumped together. If they'd made a simple cheese sauce, used some decent green chile and layered the pieces together, might have been pretty good.

                          I will go back to try the poutine because I've never seen it on an Austin menu and try some boudin balls and/or their sausage, but they really need to pay better attn to their product.

                          Service was passable, the food was expensive for what it was, decent beer selection.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hnewburn

                            thanks for the update, hnewburn.
                            this is one place i've been meaning to try, so appreciate the input.
                            i heard (maybe correctly or incorrectly) that the daily specials are where it's at.