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Speaking frankly about Frank

I don't have too much good to say about a hot dog bar that makes lousy hot dogs. But that is my impression of Frank at 4th and Colorado. The waitress was nice, incompetent, but very nice. There wasn't much of crowd when my buddy and I sampled their wares, maybe six people up front with us in the bar area, and a couple of tables in the middle section. It got a little busier, but still no excuse for lame service. My Schlitz tall boy was ice cold and a classic example of American brewing at its finest. After that it was all down hill. I had a Sonoran dog. It looked pretty awesome on Man v. Food, and looked pretty close to that in person. It was tasteless. The bun was unappealing, but the real question is how in the world can a dog wrapped in bacon and deep fried, then covered with jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, condiments, and pinto beans be virtually tasteless? I can't figure it out. We tried their gravy and curd covered waffle fries which were also tasteless. Not enough curds and not enough gravy to write home about. Pretty lame offering. We also had the fried pickles....pretty good, but really not much taste there either. I could taste the fried part but there wasn't much of a pickle taste to them. I hate to be such a grouch, but the two of us had two drinks each, two crummy dogs and two small apetizers and ended up paying over $60 with tip. I couldn't figure that out either.

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  1. Two drinks apiece at $7 plus a tall boy accounts for over half of the total. That's $31 + about $6= $37. That's where they make their money.

    Recently, I've noticed that my tastebuds can go "off." Not sure why - age, excessive consumption, or something. It's like everything is tasteless. It's horrible. Could it have been just an off day for your buds? Not trying to jack with you, I'm totally serious!

    1. I have the same opinion of Frank..

      1. I go there for the brunch and atmosphere. The service is still better than it was at Starlite.

        1. We like Frank; I think you ordered all wrong. Frank's hot dogs aren't very good--their sausages are where their greatness lies. Especially their daily sausage specials--you only ordered one kind of "entree" and are writing the whole restaurant off? My favorite special has been the fried catfish with bacon. Again this is a sausage with fried catfish. It was so different and delightful.

          I have not had the poutine because it has always sounded gross. I haven't heard any Canadians weighing in on it, but I assume they wouldn't like Frank's version either. Their waffle fries plain are pretty good and their 25-cent dipping sauces add some cheap, flexible, tasty options.

          We consider Frank a rare restaurant downtown where we can eat (unhealthy) for $20-25 for two people.

          Here are Frank's daily specials (which admittedly are focused on hot dogs this week). The green chile chicken sounds intriguing.

          http://hotdogscoldbeer.com/austin/spe...

          3 Replies
          1. re: Carter B.

            Carter - this sums is up nicely for me:

            "We consider Frank a rare restaurant downtown where we can eat (unhealthy) for $20-25 for two people."

            It's a good place to kick off an evening downtown w/o spending a fortune!

            1. re: rudeboy

              I think the hot dogs carts downtown are a better value and a much better dog.

              1. re: WSZsr

                Yeah - one of the best dogs I've ever had in my life was from a cart in the alley right across the street from Frank (back when Alamo Drafthouse was still operating).

          2. I go to Frank for the coffee...

            1 Reply
            1. re: SlickTheCat

              Yeah, I've never seen anyone more excited about coffee than their head barista guy. It's really fun to talk to him about it.

              And as for everybody else's critiques of Frank, I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I've had some dogs there that were great, and a couple that were less exciting, but still pretty good. I had the veggie chili cheese fries once, which were really not my cup of tea, but that was just because my gf at the time was vegetarian. Never again! (both to ordering veggie chili cheese fries and dating a vegetarian)

              It can also get a little pricey, but jeez, consider their location.

            2. "Frankly, Mr. Shankly, this position I've held
              It pays my way, and it corrodes my soul"

              Sorry read the post and couldn't resist. Love The Smiths

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chinon00

                Just saw the Google Chrome commercial featuring Frank. Awesome commercial.

              2. My experience differs somewhat. I find the sausages quite tasty (maybe not the hot dogs). I've found some of the buns to be pretty bad, though.

                The strength of Frank is actually at breakfast. Great coffee and very nice biscuit/egg sandwiches.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: bubbleboy79

                    third the buns. I went there and they served a blase Chicago dog on the wrong bun. I was told I was wrong and they always come on regular buns.
                    haven't been back.

                    1. re: shan

                      Don't blame you! That's grounds for me to never go there! No one corrects me on the proper architecture for a Chicago style hot dog.

                1. Ah, finally, a voice of reason. I really love the coffee, and I've had some fine brunches (minus the fact that the music is way too freakin' loud), but the rest of the offering to me are, Frankly, not very good. I've tried a few different things over the years from my plain mustard and relish only dog to the currywurst to a couple of interesting sounding daily offerings of sausage and I just don't get it.

                  The bread is always sub-par, to the point of it feeling like it's disintegrating as I eat, the sausage never quite lives up to the wonderful descriptions, and any variation I've had on the fries other than plain with dipping sauce have been flat out awful.

                  Love the concept, love the people who run this joint, but the food just doesn't do it for me.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: foodiegal71

                    Have you tried the hot dog buns from Man Bites Dog? I don't know where he sources them from but they are the best part of the place for me. Reminds me a little of brioche.

                    1. re: ebloom

                      +1 for Man Bites Dog...always enjoy my meal there...plus, tots!

                      1. re: ebloom

                        I completely agree, the buns are the best part of the already good hot dogs. I found out where he sources them. Kolache Creations (Formerly the Kolache Shoppe) on Burnet behind Dallas Nightclub. Good Stuff!

                    2. We went to Frank for Sunday brunch and our experience was mixed.

                      We chatted with the bartender a bit while waiting on a table. She was in the process of building their version of half a dozen bacon bloody marys. Unique, looked great but I had to pass... She was very nice and engaging.

                      Having already purchased beverages, we were seated and didn't see anyone for quite awhile... once he did find us, he was there.

                      Hubs ordered chicken and waffles and I ordered the Texas eggs benedict and we waited... and we waited... and... The entire time, our iced tea was topped off with fresh, good tea. And we waited...

                      So finally, the server came by and apologized for the wait (about an hour). It turns out that the waffle maker had failed (I don't know why we weren't told sooner) and they were subbing biscuits for his waffles AND they were so sorry... and then the manager came by, apologized sincerely and said she would be comping the entire meal. We actually had not complained at all, not one peep. The staff took it upon themselves to correct the problem. That's exceptional service and we will not forget it.

                      To the food, the fried chicken was very good, as was the sausage gravy (hubs allowed me a sample). The Texas benedict was good and the combination is something that I'm glad I tried, would not be displeased if served but may not be something I order again. The jalapeno hollandaise was flavorful and the cheddar biscuit the pork and eggs were served on was huge. The portion size is quite large and the dish is just too heavy for me...

                      We'll definitely be giving Frank another shot.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Rene

                        That's a great story. I had the Jackaloupe sausage a while back, very good. I like the place and hope they continue to keep building.