Let’s Be Frank: Overcoming Rainouts and Sellouts for Hot Dogs

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Hot Dogs San Francisco

Let's Be Frank draws crowds with their hot dog cart.

Larry Bain and Sue Moore, a former “meat forager” at Chez Panisse, founded Let’s Be Frank in June 2005, selling grass-fed beef franks outside PacBell Park (renamed AT&T Park in February 2006). The duo (or an employee) still parks a cart outside the modern ballpark before and during Giants home games, and they’ve added a cart at Crissy Field‘s waterfront Warming Hut, near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I visited the hut on three separate occasions in the past year, but due to rainouts or sellouts, this was my first frank.

Proponents of sustainable ranchers, Bain and Moore buy beef from Cliff Garrison at Hearst Ranch. Engelhart Gourmet then transforms “shoulder, chuck roll and plate” meat into franks. Since there are no additives or hormones, and the free-range cattle feast on California grasses, the beef is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, the “good” fat. All of these things are well and good, but finally, I was most concerned with whether or not the dogs held flavor.

The cart sports a dachshund-in-a-chef’s toque logo and usually hosts a short line. Happily, the grill man was skilled, and the line moved quickly.

Bridge San Francisco

Views from the cart: The Golden Gate Bridge in one direction, Alcatraz and San Francisco hills in the other. Not bad.

Hot Dogs San Francisco

Let’s Be Frank grills beef franks and pork brats. We were set to eat dinner in a couple hours, so we limited ourselves.

Hot Dog San Francisco

The grill man topped our all-beef Frank Dog ($5) with grilled onions. We dressed it with relish, ketchup and mustard.

I liked the frank’s fine coarseness and taut skin. Within my first bite, I could taste how Bain and Moore have developed a following.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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