A friend told my wife and I about Frankfurter Express, a fairly new place located near the St. Mary's area near 281 on a street that was once residential and now filled with small businesses.
We were told to expect friendly folks, interesting art, and wonderful hot dogs, and I am happy to report, we found all of the above.
The first order of business is parking. Good luck, but don't let it deter you. Just know that you may have to drive around the block a few times before finding a place to park.
When we walked in, the owner (or the co-owner - it is a father-son team), was chatting with another customer and he immediately welcomed us and gave us the lowdown on the hot dog operation. This wasn't that fake, forced "Welcome to Fill-in-the-Blank" that you get nowadays from so many chains, but a genuine enthusiasm by someone happy to see us. I swear, my wife and I started giving each other that puzzled "where do we know this guy from" look, because he was an instant friend. Surely, he isn't this friendly to everyone (and we would find out that he is not).
As we looked over the picture menu of all the possible combinations, he explained to us that they were trying to give customers something different than the fast-food experience we have all become accustomed to. I laughed when he imitated the accepted style of cashier at some fast food places, and I'm sure readers here have all encountered it. You walk into McDonald's and when it is your turn in line, the cashier just gives you a blank stare; none of the polite welcome and asking to take your order that was so drilled into those of us who worked fast food twenty-something years ago.
He told me about the need for people to smile and be happy and enjoy the experience, but confessed that he has had to throw two different customers out for misunderstanding what Frankfurter Express is all about. In one case, a guy came in and wanted his hot dogs ASAP/PDQ because he was in a hurry. The owner kindly pointed him to the direction of Der Wiener Schnitzel and simply turned and walked into the kitchen. I like this guy!
The atmosphere is that of a small converted house turned art gallery. The walls are bright, covered with original artwork and they offer free WiFi if you need to check out my Blog while you shovel a footlong down your gullet.
Outside, there is patio dining and apparently, they show movies occasionally. This Thursday I believe it is, they will be showing a movie in celebration of the owner's birthday.
Not ready to watch a film, but interested in a good dog? There is a huge selection of pre-designed dog combinations to choose from, or you can just order a dog and dress it yourself from the well stocked toppings bar. Oh, and a huge selection of mustards that you simply won't find at most places.
My wife decided to try the Cincinnati (as my late aunt would pronounce it, Cincinnat-uh) Footlong. This dog comes with a New York Hebrew National Kosher served on a long (fresh) bun with authentic Cincinnati chili, cheddar cheese and chopped onions. My wife thought the chili was different than what she is used to, but at least it was home made and enjoyed the dog - and ate the whole thing.
We ordered up a basket split with onion rings and fries. The rings have that harder, crispy feel that I'm not a huge fan of (I prefer the less healthy, beer battered fried rings), but the taste was simply wonderful. I do recommend them. More importantly, the fries were out of this world fantastic. If you go and do not order the fries, you are making a huge mistake. They are cut potatoes and seasoned with something to make them better than your normal fries from most places we visit.
I was extremely hungry and was contemplating ordering two different types of dogs when the owner suggested I give the Dogzilla a try. It is a monster sized half pound foot long covered half and half Cincinnati Style and New York style for a two city rampage. Whatever; it was huge and it was wonderful.
And yes, I ate the whole thing.
You'll like the company and the presentation and you'll really like the food. Frankfurter Express at 111 Kings Court near downtown is a Tasty Treat.
About Your Host
- San Antonio, TX, United States
- I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.
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