By Denise Ortuno-Neil
I am pleased to announce, for those who may not already know, that there is a place in the Coachella Valley dedicated to the comforting, and foodie fun art of hot dogs and sausage’s. It is right on the cusp of downtown Palm Springs, whimsically called Frankinbun (Frank-in-Bun).
I’m not being sarcastic by any means. I believe that we in the Coachella Valley have long been deprived of hot dog and sausage slinging spots for way too long. I mean sure, you can find hotdogs on restaurants menus throughout the valley, but they are usually an afterthought, placed on the bottom of many menus along with kid meals. But the delightful tube meat deserves more than that, and at Frankinbun in Palm Springs, it is the main attraction, and takes a back seat to no menu item.
Opened in late 2015 by owner Tristan Gittens, the tiny indoor type hot dog stand has placed gourmet hot dogs and sausages on the desert food map. Manager Trevor Darmour kindly explained Gittens’ motivation for opening up the eatery, stating that he saw a void for the widely popular picnic food here in the valley, and decided to fill it. And fill it he did.
Frankinbun’s offerings teeter off the board of everyday tube meat creations, and that’s what makes the place so fun. As you approach the menu, you will be greeted by a selection of sausages. The weenie run down has the traditional All Beef Snap Dog, Bratwurst (veal and pork with black pepper), Kielbasa (pork smoked with black pepper), Jalapeno Hot Link (pork with jalapeno), Linguica (pork smoked with garlic), Italian (pork with Italian spices, served with grilled onions and peppers), Chicken Apple, Chicken Jalapeno and even a Vegan (black peas, mushrooms and brown rice flour). All the frankfurters come with your choice of toppings for free (yellow mustard, spicy brown, ketchup, relish, sauerkraut, onions, caramelized onions or grilled peppers) and some that require an extra .50 charge ( live sauerkraut, mango chutney, spicy ketchup and date chutney). They all come on a fresh bun, with a side of German style potato salad.
As for their own fantasy franks, they have plenty. A couple of which that were highlighted by Food Networks own Guy Fieri, on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, that aired earlier this summer. Fieri went for the Chicken & Waffle and the Vegan Chili Dog. The Chicken & Waffle is a weenie take on the southern favorite, served with two chicken apple sausages baked in Belgian waffles with a side of Maple syrup….who needs Fried Chicken? The Vegan Chili Dog is their meatless dog doused with their vegan chili and topped with live sauerkraut. I must say, I tried both of Frankinbun’s chili offerings on my visit there, and it was some of the best chili that I have had. The vegan chili was full of flavor, and that sort of watered down tomato taste that sometimes accompanies vegan soups and chili was absent. It had lingering substance, with all the chili cast members fully visible. Their meat chili was fashioned in the Detroit style. I actually have never had that kind of chili, where the meat is so ground down…but oh my, it was so chili-licious! I will go back just for the chili…both of them.
I did of course have one of their doggy creations. I ventured for one of their classics, the Chicago Dog. It has always been a favorite of mine, and theirs was fantastic. It was served traditionally with pickle spears, tomatoes, peppers, celery salt, onions, mustard, and relish on a poppy seed bun. Other link options include the Frankinflight (flight of 3 sausages with grilled bread and samples of their favorite toppings), Currywurst & Fries (your choice of sausage smothered with sweet tomato curry and fries) Chili & Cheese Dog (remember what I said about the chili) and the Frankinbun’s Monster (snap dog and Italian sausage, grilled onions, peppers, relish, sauerkraut, raw onions, ketchup, all served in a bowl). And if you want a little something more, order a side of their hand cut fries, you can even chili cheese them up if you want.
Prices at Frankinbun are very reasonable, especially for the portions that they serve. They even provide wine and beer for those who want a little buzz with their Frankinbun experience.
It’s thrilling in the world of foodie fun, to have a place like Frankinbun right here in the desert. Traditional or frankin fantastic, their creations will bring familiar flavor to your palate, with whimsical comfort.
Frankinbun is located at 540 S. Indian Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, 92264
760-318-4841 online orders available www.frankinbun.com.