After a year's worth of delays, Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace was finally opened to the public today. The new Liz Lessner outpost combines haute dogs, slushies and an armada of booze into a colorful package that is a tasty as it is fun.
Although it's a hot dog joint, there are plenty vegetarian options on the menu. Most of the hot dog options can be made with a veggie dog, a veggie brat or a veggie Polish sausage.
Veggie sides include Sriracha cole slaw (which is as amazing as it sounds), macaroni and cheese with sport peppers, fries, onion rings, baked beans and fried leeks.
The first of the dogs I tried was the classic Chicago dog. Tomatoes, onions, relish, sport peppers, yellow mustard and celery salt are piled on a dog in a poppy seed bun. The fresh veggies make the Chicago dog tasty.
I also tried the Dog from Hell, which included a spicy giardiniera mix made from cauliflower and carrots with a liberal dose of cream cheese. The spicy pickled veggies provide a nice contrast to the cooling cream cheese.
One of the more interesting topping choices at Dirty Frank's is the dog that comes in spicy mango chutney. Although it isn't typically what you pile on a hot dog when you pull it off the grill, the mango chutney is interesting enough to make it work.
There are a number of other cool looking options including the Seoul Dog (made with kimchee), Beano (made with veggie chili) and the Nikola (made with Greek relish and tzatziki--yum!). At $3 a pop, it's easy for a pile of hot dogs to get eaten without breaking the bank.
The beverage selection is also very interesting. There are slushies available in a couple of different flavors. For those who like their drinks with a little stronger edge of fermentation, there are beers ranging from Old Style to Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, as well as cocktails like the Chris Sabo (cherry slush and orange vodka) and the Charlie Hustle (cherry slush, energy drink and cherry vodka).
The decor is bright. The wall art is rock music and baseball. I wish them success because few places Downtown stay open until 2 am. I know I'll be back.