A funny thing happened when Angelos Economopoulos opened Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs on College Street, with no prior advertising. “As soon as I opened the door,” he told us, “the place was full.” Granted, locals have been eyeing the spot ever since a campy, nostalgic mural (painted by Andrew Kidder) showed up, livening the bleak corner of College and Major. A couple years ago, Economopoulos first heard of the haute hot dog craze that was spreading from Los Angeles across the States. After a few cross-boarder reconnaissance field trips, Economopoulos was sure the concept could take off in Toronto too.
The menu at Fancy Frank’s is made of up 18 different signature hot dogs with campy names like Frank’s Got Seoul (a Korean-inspired dog served with Korean beef ribs, kimchi, sesame seeds and scallions, $7.50) and the Frankathenapolis (feta, tomatoes, olives, green pepper, onions, olive oil and lemon, $7). The dogs themselves are 100 per cent beef, and have an all-natural lamb casing (sausages are a buck extra, and veggie dogs are available too). Don’t expect an answer to the failed M:Brgr’s $100 burger, however: there’ll be no foie gras–smothered, gold-flecked wieners here (although the Frankaphone, $9, does have smoked gruyere, horseradish cheddar cheese curds and honey Dijon mayo). For hot dog purists, there’s the Plain Ol’ Frank ($4.25), although this probably isn’t the place for hot dog purism—that’s what The Little Dog down the street is for. The shop stays open until 11 p.m., but isn’t intended to be a destination for post-boozing snacks; the beverage of choice here is the classic frank-accompanying milkshake ($4.25), available in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs, 326 College St., 416-920-3647, fancyfranks.com