Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace — Photo courtesy of House of Hall
The name alone is a bit bawdy: Dirty Frank's. The slogan is also a tad risqué: "Nothin' Keener than our Wiener." So maybe it's not the most reverent place in Columbus, Ohio, to say grace over Thanksgiving dinner. But if you're a lover of dogs (hot dogs, that is), your palate will be singing praises to Dirty Frank's crazy concoction for the upcoming holiday: the Franksgiving Dog.
Open four years and now starting a second location on the west side, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace appeals to a wide array of folks. The restaurant serves the standard beef dog and also vegetarian and vegan alternatives, with the choice of the original steamed poppyseed bun or the gluten-free wrap. Winning Best Cheap Eats from ColumbusUnderground.com three years in a row, it's not so hard to believe that many times, especially in the early morning hours, there's a line out the door at this tiny downtown Columbus establishment.
Die-hard meat lovers will appreciate the owner's fascination with bacon, and perhaps choose the experimental bacon-wrapped dogs stuffed with cheese. The Sonoran is smothered with salsa verde, refried beans and other Mexican goodies, while The Doginator is topped with beef brisket and barbecue sauce. Wow!
A full bar offers a huge selection of draft beers from surrounding breweries, including Rogue Yellow Snow IPA and Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale. Other fun concoctions include Dirty Frank's house specialty drink, The Resourceful Wiener, and the non-alcoholic habanero-lime slushie.
Dirty Frank's dogs — Photo courtesy of rayb777
Located in the popular Gay Street District of Columbus, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace caters to shoppers during the winter's Holiday Moonlight Markets. Open until 2 a.m., the eatery is frequented by late-night folks craving some grub. They're sure to be satisfied with other addictive menu items, such as the famous Mac & Cheese and the bowl of Fried Leeks.
This time of year, however, the superstar is the Franksgiving Dog. Owner Elizabeth Lessner says that they had the idea for it their first year in business and have been making the dog ever since. The eatery is even open on Thanksgiving Day, and according to Lessner, people actually love coming in on the holiday to dine on this special dish.
Many students from Ohio State University and other surrounding colleges who maybe can't get home, along with other Columbus locals, love to make the pilgrimage to Dirty Frank's for this unusual Thanksgiving dinner. Filled with the day's traditional ingredients - stuffing, mashed potatoes and even a side of cranberry sauce - the Franksgiving Dog is something to write home about.
Lessner says they start serving the holiday dog on November 1 and continue through January 1, giving everyone ample time to get their unusual holiday fix. She justifies that the hot dog is versatile, and they are constantly incorporating holiday and seasonal themes into their menu. She says the Franksgiving Dog was an easy one. Last year, they even added a new version of the Franksgiving Dog, which has vegan mashed potatoes and gravy and is also very popular.
Sure, people have their favorites at Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace: the Hot Bollywood with Indian chutney, the Ohioana with spicy corn relish and the Seoul Dog with pickled cabbage, but during the holiday season, the Franksgiving Dog is what might send you over the edge and have you buying the t-shirt. They'll be thankful you stopped in, and so will you.