Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Dog in Town: Frankie's Dawg House

Frankie's Dawg House in Baton Rouge
No matter how high my standards for food may get over time, I sure hope I never lose my love for a good hot dog.  I'm not talking about Oscar Mayer or those red colored franks you can buy by the 48 pack, I'm talking about serious, quality wieners (that's what she said).  Baton Rouge has a new spot to find just that: Frankie's Dawg House.  Located in a renovated building just off of Perkins on Cedardale, the gourmet hot "dawg" restaurant has a menu to meet anybody's taste buds.  From classic dogs to crazy combinations, and from all beef to alligator, Frankie's menu is as impressive as it is vast... and as it is pricy.  More on that later.  First, let's examine the food.
































The above menu is only a portion of what Frankie's Dawg House offers, though it does cover most of the gourmet hot dog selections.  The free toppings and side items are found elsewhere.  I stopped by Frankie's with Eusebio and Ashley and we decided to get an array of dogs to aid our judgement process.  I took a stab at the Dawg of the Month, "The Fatty" ($6.95, pictured above, top right).  This smothered frank came with chili, cheese, jalapenos, and Cajun fries.  The only way to eat it was with a fork.  While tasty, The Fatty ended up being my least favorite hot dog of the day.  Eusebio opted for the "Swamp Dawg" which featured alligator sausage with grilled onions and spicy mustard ($7.95, pictured above, bottom right).  This dawg proved easier to eat as it used the bun as a delivery mechanism to the mouth instead of a fork.  The onions and mustard went well with the gator sausage.  I found myself impressed enough to think this may actually be gourmet.

Drunk as Duck Dawg: Duck Sausage, Peppers, and Mustard
The "Drunk as Duck" Dawg ($7.95) had a plump duck sausage on a bun along with a mixture of grilled peppers and some mustard.  While very similar to the above mentioned Swamp Dawg, I think I liked the combination of duck sausage and peppers more than alligator sausage and onions.  Either way you go, I think both are pretty quality sandwiches.

Morning Glory: Dog, Bacon, Cheese, Fried Egg, and Maple Syrup
By far the most innovative, curious, and fascinating dog of the day came in the form of breakfast.  The "Morning Glory" hot dog ($4.95) contained plenty bacon and cheese as well as a fried egg.  To top it off, it uses maple syrup as a condiment!  Genius!  I only got one bite of this beauty, but it is actually will get me back in the door.  Everything actually played really well together.  The sweetness of the syrup topped it off after the taste of bacon, egg, and cheese hit my tongue.

For as good and relatively gourmet as the dawgs were, I'm still skeptical of the life of this business if the prices remain so high.  While they are using quality products and serving generous portions, they are pushing, or perhaps breaking through, the price limits of what people are willing to repeatedly pay for a hot dog.  The duck and alligator dogs were tasty but certainly not worth the $8 each that they cost.  Most people can eat two hotdogs, but if you try to down two gourmet dogs, you're not leaving for under $10 and could be paying as much as $16... for hot dogs!  While I like a good hot dog, I don't want to pay ballpark prices for them.  The base dog with a couple free toppings runs $2.95.  That's not terrible, but its also expensive for a plain hot dog.  To build your own with up to 5 toppings costs $4.95.  That's just a little too high for my liking.  While I felt the Morning Glory was approaching a fair price at $4.95 (only because at $3 less than the Drunk as Duck and Swamp Dawgs it is a bargain), there are others that just aren't worth the money.  There are also several sides worth eating but no meal deal to get a dog, side, and drink for a cheap lunch.  Hopefully things like that will change once the business gets going, but I'm fearful of repeat business when the ticket prices for hot dogs are this high.  Still, I hate to be too down on the place.  I enjoyed everything I ate and I liked the  little restaurant itself.  Baton Rouge needs more places like this so I really hope they figure out a model that will keep customers coming in and business doing well.  Best of luck, new dawgs in town!

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