When: Sunday, September 27th, 2009
Where: Downtown Austin (5th & Colorado)
When I first heard about Frank I wasn't so sure. I wasn't sure that a place with downtown lease rates could sustain itself for very long on only the profits of hot dogs. However, as doubting as I was, I still had a inkling of curiosity about owners/operators that were bold enough to try a fancy hot dog place.
On Sunday I had the chance to satisfy my curiosity, in fact I think the curiosity almost killed me. I will never be one to doubt the mighty dog again. Flavors of Austin was throwing a kickoff party at Frank this Sunday and I happened to be lucky enough to check it out. I have been to a couple of the blogger happy hours before and let me say this before I get any further: Frank was the best Blogger event I have attended. I say this for many different reasons. They had an open bar, they had an open coffee bar, they sampled 3 of 4 different breakfast items (Which premiered the week of the event), they had a hot dog bar, and they sampled 4 out of 5 of their specialty sausages for the week. On top of that they may have had the friendliest servers, bartenders, and employees of any restaurant I have been to in Austin.
Yes, it was all free so it would be hard to talk bad about Frank after being treated so royally. It really was that great.
The ironic part was that the hot dog at the hot dog bar was the most disappointing item of the night. It was a Chicago style dog that lacked any pizazz. The hot dog confirmed my original suspicion of impending failure for any hot dog place trying to survive downtown. As the night progressed I was happy to forget these preconceived notions.
Each Kolache from the simple sausage and cheddar down to the sublime chorizo and potato was a step closer to making a believer out of me.
After Claire and I each tried 3 different cocktails we had established that the bartenders were creative and quite skilled. We ran the gambit and had everything from a take on a cherry limeade to the classic Manhattan with a bacon twist to a simple melon drink.
Claire was all to eager to try the drinks that involved Amy's Ice Cream. Of course, they were both delicious. My nod of approval goes to "Cream" over the "Rummy Root Beer".
Beyond the drinks and hot dog bar we got to sample the reason why I think Frank is something special: made in house specialty sausages. We sampled four of them and the Crawfish & Pork sausage was the best. All of them were excellent quality, super tasty, and one of the many reasons to go to Frank.
The main reason I can't say enough good things is that every staff member we talked to was informative, friendly, and more than happy to serve us. The bartenders were amazing, Tania is doing an amazing job so go visit her during happy hour (4-7). Tyler (the coffee bar Manager)
was more than happy to teach us the reasons why Frank coffee is the best in all of downtown Austin. He chatted with Claire and I for well over 45 minutes and let us sample about 5 different coffee drinks and I can honestly say it was some of the best coffee I've ever had.
Simply put, Frank is a place that you have to visit. From the warehouse feel with woods and brick to amazing cocktails and delicious sausage they cover it all. Plus it is presented to you buy one of the best staffs in all of Austin. Go check it out if for nothing else than curiosity! After all curiosity killed the cat not the dog.