This week was exciting for Buffalo’s food truck scene, both The Black Market Food Truck and Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs hit the streets. Alli and I made a late night visit to Frank on Saturday and then I revisited again yesterday for lunch. I had some high hopes for a hot dog truck when I first saw their facebook page; they didn’t reveal much about the menu and I let my mind run wild with the possibilities. I was never completely happy with Lagniappes Lucky Dogs when they were down the street. Sure it would satisfy an occasional drunk craving, but I never thought their dogs or menu was that great.
Last week Ben Tsujimoto at Buffalo.com started posting some articles on Frank’s food, showed off a glimpse of their menu and revealed they were using Sahlen’s hot dogs. Part of me had been holding some hope that they’d be making their own hot dogs or have some interesting meats on the truck (basically I wanted a Hot Dougs on wheels). Yet when I finally saw their full menu, I was really excited to try a couple of the dogs and was even more excited when I heard about their Beglian-style french fries with various dipping sauces.
- Restaurant Type: Food Truck
- Cuisine: Hot Dogs
- Prices: Hot Dogs $3-5, Sides $3-5
On our first trip, Alli and I decided to try their French Onion ($3) and Proud Mary ($4) with a side of their french fries (pictured above). The first thing we noticed about the dogs were the rolls, they use large potato rolls that were toasted on the grill (and cooked by a local baker). They did a fantastic job of holding all of the toppings inside while I was trying to taste everything with each bite. The Proud Mary had spicy cream cheese, bacon and caramelized onions, while the French Onion had caramelized onions and regular cream cheese. The onions were cooked just right but both Alli and I ended up removing some of them because it was a bit heavy. The spicy cream cheese on the Proud Mary dog was delicious and exactly what I wanted after having a couple of drinks that night. Alli enjoyed her hot dog but really loved the french fries, they were hand-cut and perfectly crisp. The spicy aioli sauce made for a delicious dipping sauce.
Since Alli and I had near identical hot dogs that night, I decided I needed to go back and try a couple more before writing a review. For lunch yesterday I decided to brave the freezing temperatures outside and order the Holy Moly and Violet Beauregarde (both $4/each, pictured above). These dogs definitely had some strong flavor. The Violet Beauregarde has a homemade blueberry BBQ sauce with crispy fried onions and cheddar cheese while the Holy Moly has guacamole, cilantro and sriracha.
I thought the BBQ sauce on the Violet was incredibly sweet (almost like a jam), but had enough of a bite/smokey flavor to mellow the sweetness out a little bit. The crunch of the onions was a nice contrast. I wasn’t a big fan of the cheddar cheese on top but aside from that the dog was damn good. The only other dilemma was that the bbq sauce was pretty heavily piled on the bottom of the roll which then got so soggy that it fell apart as I tried to eat it. The Holy Moly was pretty good too; the sriracha was poured on just enough to give some heat without being too much. The guacamole had a really nice flavor and the cilantro gave just enough flavor to balance the entire dog out.
I really enjoyed the food from Frank and I’m happy that we now have another Buffalo food truck to go to for a late night, tipsy snack. I’d love to see the truck in Allentown in the near future and would definitely stop by the truck for some late night eats if I was within walking distance. It’s not exactly the crazy weird dogs that I might have been hoping for, but the dogs they have on their menu will make plenty of people happy (including a veggie dog). The truck has only been on the streets for 5 days but down the road I’d love to see the Tripi brothers offer some nightly specials and really start to play around with different sausages/dogs/toppings.