First Look: Fancy Franks, a new gourmet hot dog shop on College Street
By Freya Hammond-Williams
The Fancy Massala (Images: PostCity.com)
With the likes of burgers and poutine getting the gourmet treatment these days, hot dogs aren’t about to be left in the dust. Fusia Dog brought its new take on the hot dog to the entertainment district last year, and now Fancy Franks has joined the fray, having just opened on College Street, just a few steps north of Kensington Market.
With a bright hot dog sign over the door and an eye-catching mural (featuring bold colours, fun writing and a giant, yellow wiener dog) on the outside wall, Fancy Franks is hard to miss. Upon entering, patrons are greeted with rough reclaimed barn wood and exposed brick, which are accented by a high ceiling and lots of natural light (Toronto designer Marc Kyriacou helped create the look).
Even though Fancy Franks has only been open for about a week, the concept for a Coney Island-inspired gourmet hot dog joint has been in the works for a while. And the menu has plenty of options, from plain to decked out.
The Po’Boy Gets Fancy ($8.25) puts a southern twist to the hot dog with panko-fried shrimp, lettuce, horseradish mayo and hot sauce. A big seller with cheese lovers has been The Frankaphone ($9), wherein a dog gets smothered in smoked gruyere, horseradish cheddar, squeaky curds and honey dijon mayo. If you’re feeling more exotic, Fancy Massala (pictured above, $6.25) will take you there with chickpeas, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, coconut curry and yogurt.
The Fancy PB & J, $5.25
We went with the Frankie Goes To Buffalo ($7.25): a panko-fried, all-beef dog topped with sliced carrots and celery and drizzled with buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing and, our favourite part, chicken bacon (made from fried chicken skin, which is arguably the best part of the chicken).
Fancy Franks’ all-beef dog is a good way to go, although, on any menu item, you can substitute it with a sausage (mild, spicy or chicken) for $1, or with a veggie dog at no extra cost. All the hot dogs are produced by a local butcher, and are made with a natural lamb casing (except for the veggie dog, of course).
You can choose from either an egg or whole wheat bun, which are delivered daily from Silverstein’s Bakery just a few blocks away. In addition, there are ample extra toppings to choose from, ranging in price from free (ketchup, sauerkraut) to $3 (pulled pork, Korean beef ribs). But Fancy Franks doesn’t suggest altering its recipes too much, as each dog was meticulously thought out.
Pair your meal with a milkshake ($4.25, made with local ice cream and milk), fries (cut in-house) or some mini-donuts (which will be available soon and will be made to order).
Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs, 326 College St., 416-920-3647