Twitter/Instagram Handle: @letsbefrankto
Address: 460 Spadina Ave., Toronto, ON
When I visited: March 2015, Media dinner
Does Toronto need another hot dog shop? Yes it does! Let’s Be Frank not only serves gourmet hot dogs with fancy toppings, it serves tons of sides, sweets and has a fully stacked bar. A cold beer and a juicy dog go hand-in-hand!
Owners Christa Muio, Julie Ford and Simon Colyer opened Let’s Be Frank fall of 2014 with a great location close to U of T, Chinatown and Kensington market catering to various crowds. Customers who have late night hot dog cravings can be satisfied as the restaurant is opened until 3:00 am.
Having met the owners at the tasting, they came across as humble and genuine. Their journey started out in 2009 when their vision was to open a hot dog bar in Kensington market. They started with food festivals, a food truck, and a pop up shop on King St, before the Spadina location opened. During their food testing phase, choosing the wiener was the hardest decision they had to make. After several private taste tests, they went with Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, as it tasted best “naked” and because of their reputable brand.
At the dinner, bloggers and I had a chance to try out various cocktails and beers from the bar, a perfect accompaniment to the meal. I wasn’t drinking that evening, but enjoyed my virgin Rock and Roll Caesar that used Walter Caeser with a special blend of spices including the chipotle chili powder and Dine Alone Food’s hot sauce.
We sampled slider sized (3.5 inch) hot dogs including the Pulled Pork Po’ Boy with a tangy house made coleslaw. I enjoyed the meat-on-meat combination!
The Katsu Dog had a a thin and crispy layer of deep fried panko with katsu sauce, wasabi mayo and green onion. Next time, I will ask for more wasabi mayo as there was a thin layer on the bread.
Next, we tried the Corn Dog. Unlike the yellow batter that you typically see at the local fair, I enjoyed the more dense corn batter surrounding the dog. There is a veggie option available as well.
The Hot Dog Wings was a cool take on the traditional wing flavours with hot sauce.
On the side, we sampled the mac and cheese with a sharp chedder cheese topped with bacon bits and Southern blues BBQ sauce. I would have liked the sauce creamier and a side of BBQ sauce to add to the bowl. I could see this as a hit with the kids!
The Hot Dog Gravy Poutine was topped with cheese curds and their signature hot dog gravy. Surprisingly, the sauce was not too salty. I enjoyed this.
We couldn’t leave without a dessert. The Ivana Banana hot dog will bring out the kid in you, with a deep-fried banana served with peanut butter, Nutella and jelly.We had an opportunity to try anything off the menu, but I was stuffed after the tasting. One thing I appreciated about their menu is that they offer various price points depending on the size of the hot dog, which means I can get a slider-sized corn dog for $2.49 and then still have enough room to try something else on the menu. Here are examples of full-size portions and toppings you can expect during your visit:
When you got cravings for a cold drink and hot dogs, Let’s Be Frank will satisfy!
* The meal was complimentary but the opinions in the post are entirely my own.
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