Dirty Frank's
 Columbus, Ohio        Date of Visit  08/30/14         
  http://dirtyfrankscolumbus.com

A recent article in Food and Wine listed the top dogs in the country. There were 28 places. We had been to five of them (Hot Dougís, Gene and Judeís, Pinkís, Setiís, & Benís Chili Bowl). With the impending and melancholy closing of Hot Dougís in Chicago, five is just not enough. Who knows how much longer the others will remain open before moving on to new challenges? Weíve had some greatsÖbut more remain. I targeted the three closest to us. Columbus today. Cincinnati next week. Pittsburgh soon.
 



 


 
 


There's Thin Lizzy
 

We met some fun locals who were as excited as we were about Dirty Franks. They go often. Still excited. That excites me. We managed to luck into a time where there was no line down the blockÖevery time we passed the place after the line was there. The inside is small and littered with interesting. We sat beneath a large painting of the band Thin Lizzy. Thatís never happened before. Itís got an artful punk feeling from stem to stern.

Our server was likable and patient as we waded through the many options and our table was quickly loaded with sausagesÖif not for the shape you may not have known they were hot dogs, as they load these things to the hilt. We were lucky to have experience at the table with us and we ended up with six dogs, tots and a strange beverage.

The beverage is the Buckaroo Banzai, which should be every bit as bad as the movie. Not kiddingÖitís whiskey and orange pop. And itís good. Having trouble believing I just wrote that. Whiskey and orange pop. Yup. Thatís what it was.
 

 
 

The tots were fried nicely crispy and were a great vehicle for the two sauces, which arrived with the corn dog. All of the hot dogs are all beef Vienna sausages, just like Gene & Judeís. All beef and all good. So, the corn dog was fried to a dark brown and has less sweetness than some you will find, making it more appealing to me. It came with a delicious cheese sauce and an even better and spicy sriracha mustard. I took to dipping everything I could pick up into both.
 

 
 


The Buckaroo Banzai
 


Nice Crispy Tots
 

 

The bunned dogs were fun and successful to varying degrees. My least favorite was the monster on the menuÖthe Doginator. Talk about a pile of ingredients. A bacon-wrapped dog topped with beef brisket, BBQ sauce, cheddar, & onion rings. The first problem was the poppy seeded bun couldnít contain the load or the moisture and quickly failed. It toppings also seemed to cancel each other out, resulting in more of a muddled mess than a pile of awesome.

The Whoa Nellie! was somehow improved by the absence of the bacon with just the  pulled beef brisket & a drizzle of BBQ sauce atop the dog. It managed to stay together and was a much clearer success on the palate. The Q has a light smoke and the sauce is balanced between sweet and a little heat. The dog itself has enough character to participate in the whole event. Tasty.
 


The Doginator Got Messy On Many Levels
 

But The Whoa Nellie! Took Similar But Fewer Ingredients Further
 

With a nod to Primantiís, Laraís Pittsburgh Princess is topped with slaw, fresh cut fries, & malt vinegar. Not bad, but I wouldnít go that route again. The dog didnít really stand up to the two mounds of slaw and the vinegar never materialized, probably a good thing or the bun may have paid a horrible price.

The Columbus Crew dog with sriracha cream cheese, banana peppers and black olives had a hint of greatness. The black olives disappeared and served more for color than anything taste related, but the heat and tangy richness of the sriracha cream cheese was fantastic. The tangy heat from the peppers helped keep the whole thing interesting.
 


Primanti's On A Dog
 

Spicy Cream Cheese Is Awesome On The Columbus Crew
 

Then there was my favorite. I feel splashes of shame as the waves hit the shore, but it was just so freaking good. Much like the Buckaroo Bonzai, itís ingredients are humble. Itís like the fist time I ordered a Philly Cheese at Patís King of Steaks in Philly and got provolone cheese instead of the neon orange wiz. I know better. Iím a food snob. I learned. The Classy Lady is simple. Cheese sauce & crushed potato chips on a good dog. The cheese sauce is the same stupendous gloop served with the corn dog. The crushed fries add crunchy texture and salt. The dog and itís juicy beefiness shine through. This thing would be addictive if I lived in C-bus. Good thing we have good friends and family to visit. Iíll have the classy lady (thank you very much) and try two new options on the next visit. Plus extra sriracha mustard.
 


Simple Low Brow Beauty, The Classy Lady
 

Corn Dog With Stellar Sauces
 
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