Share This Page

Franktuary takes hot dogs religiously

And the meat shall inherit the earth. Franks be to God.

There's a good reason for all of the spiritual puns in this Downtown hot dog shop. Franktuary is in the back of the historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, along Oliver Avenue. The eatery also is associated with Three Nails, an Episcopal cell church ministry.

So, say your grace, then eat, drink and be merry at Franktuary for a snack or meal when Downtown. You'll be surrounded by cheery, nostalgic-style decor, and hot dog-themed decorations that show the place's sense of humor: One painting shows the Mona Lisa holding a hot dog.

"We don't want to be that greasy hot dog dive that some people associate with dogs," says Megan Lindsey. She co-owns Franktuary, which opened in October 2004, with Tim Tobitsch. "We're both ... very relaxed, very funny and quirky people, and that really comes out in how we run the place."

You can get a variety of hot dogs, ranging from The Standard ($2.50), your simple, everyday dog, to The Texan ($3), topped with cheddar cheese, chili and jalapenos. Other funky and popular dogs include The Pittsburgh ($3.50), which is covered with cole slaw and a mashed pierogie, and The Hypocrite ($2.50), a veggie dog slathered in chili. Franktuary also offers bratwurst, kielbasi and knockwurst ($4 each), each of which is cut in half and served on two buns with sauerkraut and brown mustard.

If you're not in the mood for hot dogs, though, there are plenty of other options at Franktuary. You can get four types of grilled chicken wraps ($4.50 each), salads ($2.50-$6.50), pickle spears (75 cents for two) and pierogies ($2 for two). Franktuary also offers dairy- and fat-free fruit shakes, made with frozen fruits and 100 percent juice, and sorbet ($2.50 small, $3.50 medium, $4.50 large). Ice cream and sorbet ($2 for one scoop, $3.50 for two) are available in more than a half-dozen flavors.

Lindsey and Tobitsch came up with the idea for Franktuary while they were students at Grove City College, facing graduation and not knowing what they would do afterward. Tobitsch had a dream of becoming "the Dave Thomas of hot dogs," Lindsey says, and she had done missionary training with Three Nails. The Trinity cathedral donated its storefront space to Three Nails, which allowed the entrepreneurs to open Franktuary there. Franktuary donates a portion of its profits to Three Nails, which has small groups that meet throughout the Pittsburgh area.

"We weren't sure how (Franktuary) would work out, but it's been a really great situation," Lindsey says.

"A lot of people just really rave about our food," she says. "People enjoy eating casual food in an atmosphere that's cheerful as opposed to a fast-food joint. We like people, and we're there to make sure everyone has a great experience at Franktuary."

Additional Information:

Franktuary

Location: 325 Oliver Ave., Downtown

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. The restaurant might expand its hours in the fall, and also does off-site catering.

Note: Franktuary delivers by bicycle and accepts credit cards.

Details: 412-288-0322

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.