Practically a hole in the wall of downtown Columbus, Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace has dozens of options for hot dogs the nation over. The massive menu of different dressings is modeled after singiture dishes in major cities all around. Built into an otherwise quiet block, the business attracts people to an area looking for attention, as a nearby local grocery store can attest. It’s a busy place during lunch hour and I’m sure natives of many other areas come here to see if they can get a little taste of home while in Columbus. While the hot dogs are delicious, I’m not sure I can call the attempt to emulate every good food in the country successful.
While I like the hot dogs and I like the atmosphere of the place, it’s hard to stomach the offerings considering what they are attempting to imitate.
- West Virginia Slaw: A meaty coney sauce, creamy slaw, & onion. Cool and refreshing, because that mountain of veggies packs a ton of flavor and it’s very filling.
- The Pittsburgh Princess: an attempt to make one of Primanti Brothers’ famous stuffed sandwiches. But it is no Primanti sandwich. The cole slaw isn’t right. The fries aren’t as good.
- Chili Dog: Inspired by the Cincinnati-style chili dog, this chili is thick and meaty but has no beans, topped with onions and cheddar cheese. The chili isn’t the same, but the dog does remind you of Cincy.
- Smurf Blood: A notable, bright blue cocktail with absolut Berri Açaí vodka, blue curaçao, & lemonade. Bright, fruity, and charming.
I suppose it’s unfair to try to compare the hot dogs here to the best of America’s cuisine, it’s really more of a fun thing for these hot dogs than it is a serious push to outdo hundreds of years of culinary mastery from around the country. The dogs themselves are good though. As are the side dishes. They make for a nice and quick, though messy meal.
The environment is pleasant, and the service is decent, too. I found a lot of people enjoying a hot dog for lunch, but at the same time the crowd was a mix of white collar types and the younger crowd alike.
All in all, it’s a very interesting concept, and definitely something at least worth a sample. With good hot dogs and other foods, and a big variety of beers, this place is an everyman’s paradise. If you’re feeling adventurous, or just craving some filling junk food, this is a great place to consider.
- The hot dogs are good, particularly the spicy ones. The variety of them makes for good eats, though.
- The food is quick and well suited to a lunch hour, but the hot dogs are generally very messy. I suggest a bib or something to that effect.
- If you’re a die-hard fan of your hometown food, maybe you ought to consider trying the hot dog suited to your town. It won’t be as authentic but it is a fun try.