Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace
Two local Columbus girls, Liz and Carmen, opened a little bar called Betty’s way back in the day. I don’t remember exactly when, because I wasn’t a short north commoner back then. From the beginning, Betty’s was a smash! Ohio comfort food, creative drinks, and a very cool, laid back pin up themed decor scheme. The place was always packed. These fine entrepreneurs opened a few establishments over the years including Dirty Franks. I moved out of Ohio before Dirty Franks opened, but after hearing everyone I knew RAVE about this place, I was in a hurry to check it out. Couldn’t wait. I LOVE hot dogs, but have trouble digesting meat. So, when I was told there was a restaurant that served vegetarian hot dogs that were dressed exactly like their porky counter parts, I was elated.
Overall: 3 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 2.5 out of 5
Ambiance: 3 out of 5
Value: 3 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
And then I finally had the opportunity to visit myself. We had heard about the constantly full restaurant, so we went early, like 11:00am on a Saturday. I was certainly glad we did because by the time we were finally able to place our order the place was JAM packed. Line outside the door. But much like all of the other establishments in this chain, the people waiting seemed happy to do so. Like it made them feel as though they were a part of something great, to stand outside of a hotdog stand on a rainy saturday and wait for a table. It’s like high school all over again. This certain type of person draws in a crowd while others are made to stand in line to be graced with even there mere existence. I didn’t get it then, and I’m not too keen on it now either. We were sat right away.
After waiting for a bit, a waiter came over to deliver our menus and the news that he would return shortly for our drink orders. He was in no hurry to do so. This also fits in nicely with the attitude of the servers in the Dirty Frank’s family. The servers will tend to you when they see fit. Our server was incredible, though. Very friendly, gave suggestions, talked to us about the beer list and his favorite choices of dogs. He was great with the kids in our party too, which is a plus at a bar style joint.
So what to order? They have a large selection if topping options and you can order gluten free, vegetarian, vegan or traditional food. Being a mostly vegetarian, I thought I’d give the veggie dog a try.
It was not great. The bun and toppings were good, but the dog itself was dry and difficult to eat.
Our gluten free young one ordered the bacon wrapped hot dog. Now THAT was tasty. The dog was moist and the bacon had great crunch. I would order that one for sure. The fries were pretty good too. Needed a bit of salt, but they were well cooked and very hot.
Another diner in our group ordered the onion and kraut dog as well as the chili cheese dog. She liked them, but stated that the bun was overwhelming and the food lacked flavor overall.
The other person in out party ordered the kraut and onion dog and an order of nachos.
The nachos were fine. It was a huge portion covered in ground beef, cheese, jalapeños and tomatoes. We all ate a little and enjoyed them.
The cocktail menu was interesting, and the bottled beer list was large. I was a little disappointed by the limited draft beer selection. I ordered a very tart beer that tasted like salt.
All in all, we all left saying we’d never go back. Just wasn’t something we felt we needed to pay for. Hot dogs are simple enough to do well that if you are going to have a restaurant that focuses on them, they better be amazing. For those of you that are big fans of Dirty Franks, don’t fret. I doubt they are going anywhere.