In an afternoon filled with wandering around Lawrenceville for food and drink, a group of us finally found ourselves at Franktuary. With a church-esque theme, Franktuary fits right in to Pittsburgh, which seems to have more churches per capita than Vatican City. And it’s not just a little hot dog joint. Franktuary is a full-on restaurant specializing in hot dogs, but with a lot else to offer.
Take, for example, its Poutine, which comes in four varieties. We ordered the Poutine Quebecoise, a classic poutine in comparison to their other options like buffalo-style. Served with cheese curds and brown gravy, I was expecting the poutine to be pretty delicious, but sadly it turned out to just be decent. You see, the curds were good and the fries were as well, but the gravy was just plain strange. Unlike your typical deep brown and thin poutine gravy, this one was more tan and thick (no context needed here). It surely wasn’t terrible, but fell far short of its potential.
Another non-hot dog item we went for was their pierogies. For those of you who have never heard of pierogies, I first want to apologize because you are missing out. I also want to let you know that these are delicious Polish dumplings filled with potato and other goodies that seem to be a Pittsburgh staple, but can be found in other Polish parts of this sweet nation of ours. Here, the pierogies were filled with cheese and potato (there was a mushroom option too, but why would anyone do that?) and were different from any pierogies I had ever eaten before. Namely, they seemed to be fried, as opposed to what I always thought was the usual method of being sauteed. Despite this weirdness, they were pretty tasty.
Finally, I had to have me a hot dog. The place had a nice variety franks to choose from and even more options for toppings. I chose the Under Dog for my tube meat, which meant it was filled with grass-fed beef from New Zealand. Then, I combined that kiwi dog with the Texan toppings for a real clash of cultures. This meant grass-fed beef chili, sharp cheddar and jalapenos. It turned out that this was a good choice, as all those toppings were delicious and the grass-fed frank had a great snap and beefy flavor. The only trouble was that the bun felt poorly equipped to handle all that kiwi meat, which meant the hot dog was lacking in toppings around the edges. It’s a minor complaint for a good hot dog, but a complaint nonetheless.
Ultimately, Franktuary was a pretty good place to grab a hot dog. In fact, it’s not a bad place to grab a pierogie or poutine either, but don’t go expecting the best (or most authentic) of either.