Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hot Dogs are the Maine Attraction...

...but we are getting some great ideas for the sideshows.

Our Hot Dog research continues. Yesterday we had a great meeting with a food distributor. She came equipped with a multitude of great ideas for offerings that will set Yank's Franks apart from the competition, and send our customers away longing to return.

The next step in this category of our research is to try out some of these great ideas. Once we have verified the quality of these selections, we'll do our best to tempt you with descriptions of some of these delectable sideshows.

I would like to offer some advice to others going through this process. You've undoubtedly heard that you shouldn't go food shopping on an empty stomach. I'll take that morsel of advice one step further. Don't go food shopping on an empty stomach especially after getting some awesome ideas from a food distributor. Yikes, I bought enough goodies for a month. The problem is, I'll eat them in a day or two.

Frankly, we (will) serve the BEST dogs!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's For Dessert?

The votes for your Favorite Dessert are in and counted. The result, an unqualified tie all around. Another way of saying it is, statistically there was no significant difference.

We did learn a couple of lessons from this last poll. One surprise was that not everyone knows what a Hoodsie is. A little more thought and it makes sense. Hood Dairy is such an important part of the northeast, but people in other parts of the country don't recognize the name or their products.

The other lesson I learned was that many people love Brownies for dessert. While Brownies weren't on the list of choices, we did receive write-in votes for Brownies as well as a shipment of delicious brownies which further emphasized my mistake.

So the final result was a tie between the four choices, Chocolate Chip Cookie, a Hoodsie, a Whoopie Pie and a Chilled Snickers Bar. Add to those the write-in choice (which was further emphasized by the Fed Ex delivery of Brownies) a Brownie and it's clear that the dessert menu is still undecided.

Please vote on this week's poll, your Favorite Hot Dog Eating Music.

Frankly, we (will) serve the BEST dogs!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yank's Franks Clothing Line???

Could this be the start of the new Yank's Franks clothing line? The shirts look great...the models look even better.

To the right is Just Plain Sophia enjoying her choice for her favorite dessert Chocolate Chip Cookies (she only eats the edges). We couldn't get her to try the awesome brownies sent by DK from our Chicago branch.

On the left is Just Plain's little brother and future Hot Dogger, Mad Dog Miles. Mad Dog's designer shirt will be the perfect size for his visits to the beach this summer.

This amazing designer clothing is part of a line that is designed and produced by The Hot Dog King and Double Dog Dennis.

Frankly, we (will) serve the BEST dogs!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Yank's Franks ~ Hot Dog Bulletin!

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! ~~Yank's Franks has a Logo.

Our list of steps to launch our Hot Dog Adventure is long and detailed. One of the first items on the list is an image. We needed to develop a logo that would communicate our image, who we are and what we are.

To help us accomplish this objective, we went to the best. In our home, The CrossTrees Inn (yes, we live in an historic inn) we have beautiful art adorning the walls. Much of this art was created by Dennis Rafferty, aka Double Dog Dennis. We consistently get flattering remarks on Dennis' works. Where else would we turn for the expertise we needed?

Hot Diggity and I (mostly Hot Diggity) (with special mention to The Hot Dog King for his input) tossed many ideas to Dennis. He tirelessly took each idea and performed his magic.

Our goals for Yank's Franks include providing a clean and fresh decor while offering a whimsical and fun atmosphere with great food. Our intention is to communicate much of this message with this logo.

We are very pleased with the outcome and wanted to share it with our Followers. Now you know exactly what to look for when you travel along Route 1 in Wells, Maine in search of the BEST dogs.

Frankly, we serve the BEST dogs!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Deep Fried Bacon Hot Dog

I was doing a project around the house today and while taking a break (I take lots of breaks) I got a text from Chicago Hot Dog tester, Debbie K. She asked what kind of Dog is for lunch. I responded, just plain hot dogs. That's when the realization came to me, "what kind of Hot Dogger am I turning into?"

A decision was made...the Hot Dog test kitchen will open today. On the menu will be a special treat. Deep Fried Bacon Hot Dogs. I would surprise Hot Diggity and return with all the fixin's.

The preparation of these Hot Dogs took a little longer than usual, but was it ever worth it. The result were Dogs that were crispy on the outside but the inside was juicy and delicious.

As many of us "Foodies" know, there are two important principles when it comes to food; 1) everything tastes better with cheese, and 2) everything tastes better with bacon.

This epicurean delight was no exception. The crispy bacon caressed the dog and added an awesome bonus to an otherwise spectacular hot dog.

We topped off these master pieces with yellow mustard. Had I been thinking ahead I would have added sauerkraut or cheese (of course) but my mind was focused on thoughts of devouring this extraordinary delicacy. Oh well, something to look forward to.

Frankly, we (will) serve the best dogs!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

At Yank's Franks, the Customer is Always Right??

Of course! Yes, always. Just about all the time.

Well wait a minute, we do have to observe some rules. Rules, you ask. Absolutely, there are Hot Dog Rules. You already know some of them.

For instance, what toppings are allowed on your hot dog when it is served on Fine China? See, you saw that as a trick question immediately. Everyone knows you can not eat a hot dog (no matter what the toppings) that is served on Fine China. Hot Dogs are served on paper plates.

Okay, here's another more difficult one. After finishing your hot dog, is it proper etiquette to rinse the mustard and chili from your fingers with water or must you use soap and water? Careful, it's another trick question. The answer of course is...proper etiquette dictates that you lick your fingers. That makes sense right?

Well, there is another rule that, while important, is not very well known. Ketchup is not allowed to be served on hot dogs that are to be consumed by anyone over the age of 18 years. That's right, if you are an adult, even a young adult you must show ID if you expect to order a dog with ketchup. With regard to this ketchup Yank's Franks we have adopted the "Don't ask, don't tell" position. There will be plenty of ketchup available at Yank's Franks for your French Fries (or even for your Onion Rings)...okay, I've already said too much.

So, you see, we can be fairly liberal when it comes to the wishes of our customers. But please, I beg you, don't ever ask for mayonnaise unless we have a tuna sandwich on the menu as the Special of the Day.

For more about Hot Dog Rules click, "Mayo free zone!"

Happy Spring!

Frankly, we serve the best dogs!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We're Off to the Bank Tomorrow

Hot Diggity and I have been working overtime on the Yank's Franks' Business Plan and loan application (wow, an extra apostrophe. I wonder if it belongs there?). We are working on the final touches and expect to complete it this evening, and tomorrow we'll be off to the bank.

Why the photo of the Hot Dog? Because I'm starving and I wish I had a hot dog just like that one for dinner.

It will probably take a couple of weeks, but we'll soon know whether or not the banks are lending money.

Have no fear, if the banks are keeping their money to themselves I'll mention that to President Obama when we meet next month for the three-on-three hoop game at the White House. Luckily, he's asked me to be on his team.

Frankly speaking, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

With My Yank's Frank...I'll Have a Soda

Last week's poll resulted in the best turn out yet. Thank you all for voting.

When it comes to what beverage goes best with hot dogs, there is little doubt. The overwhelming majority (70%) chose Soda. This was particularly impressive considering there were 10 different selections.

Trailing well behind the first place choice, Iced Tea came in second with 18% of the ballots. And sharing the third spot were Bottled Water, Milk and Fresh Squeezed Lemonade each receiving 4% of the vote.

Goose eggs went to Fruit Juice, Sports Drink, Milk Shake, Hot Coffee and Iced Coffee.

While the results weren't surprising, they were very helpful.

My plans for lemonade will probably be altered to include a bottle of lemonade. There also appears to be no need to invest in equipment to make a tasty and creamy, vanilla milk shake. Probably good news all around about the milk shake, I undoubtedly would have sampled the goods every day.

This week's poll asks about my favorite...dessert! Please vote and if you have ideas, post a comment on any article and include your idea.

Frankly speaking, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Memories of a Hot Dog

It's difficult to remember my first Hot Dog. But, boy do hot dogs bring back great memories.

A 4th of July backyard barbecue with all the aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents?

Was it the beans and franks with brown bread (smothered in butter) that would make any Saturday night special?

Or, could it have possibly been when my father took me and our neighbor, Paul to Fenway Park? We arrived early that day and the Red Sox were playing the White Sox. To be honest I can't even remember the hot dog that day (although I am certain we had one) because all memories were overshadowed when my dad introduced me and Paul to his old teammate, Nellie Fox.

Years passed and hot dogs came and went. Those hot dogs weren't linked to fond memories as when I was young. Those hot dogs were relatively unremarkable.

Many years later, Hot Diggity and I, along with two little Hot Doggers, Top Dawg Dada (that's his hot dog name now. He's Just Plain Sophia's Dada) and Deputy Dawg Dan moved to Connecticut. Just to keep things clear, we were living in Yankee territory, but were always Red Sox fans.

It was the thirteen years living in Fairfield County Connecticut that turned us all on to what a hot dog could be. Whether we were standing in line at Rawleys, enjoying a casual lunch at Swanky Franks, relishing a split faced dog from Super Duper Weenie or catching a quick frank at Duchess on the way to Jennings Beach. All these Hot Dog Joints served franks that kept you coming back for more.

It is these years of "Hot Dog Heaven" that inspires what Yank's Franks will be...and better.

Frankly speaking, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Hot Dog Test Kitchen ~ Open on Saturday

Hot Diggity (aka photographer extraordinaire), The Hot Dog King (on the right, aka HDK), and The Big Dog (on the left) were on a mission in the test kitchen today. Actually, our goal was two-fold, we were testing a new topping recipe that was proposed by HDK and we were trying out a new hot dog from a nearby vendor.

The photo to the left captures HDK as he is preparing the ingredients for his Cheesy Chili topping. I am preparing a batter for our side dish today, onion rings.

The hot dogs we were testing were a switch from the all beef style that we have been experimenting with thus far. Today's dogs were also more substantial than most of those we have previously tried.

We each weighed in with our impressions of today's tests. The results were unanimous, we all agreed the Cheesy Chili topping was spectacular. It had a bit of a hot, spicy bite which we all concurred would be expected by anyone ordering chili. Combine that with beef and cheese and it can't help but be delicious.

The hot dogs were fantastic. In the words of HDK, "if you are served a hot dog like this, you feel like you are really getting an awesome meal!" He really has a silver tongue. Today, HDK also became a convert to the New England Style bun, toasted with butter.

After summing up the results of today's hard work, Hot Diggity declared, "this topping is definitely a keeper and we'll name the hot dog a Chili Cheese Dog."

As for the onion rings, they were good, but like our french fry tests, we need to return to the test kitchen until we get them perfect.

Before our hard day of work was over, we ended our meal with a dessert selection of Hot Diggity's fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and we tested a New Hampshire bakery's version of a Whoopie Pie. Now we all have that, I'm stuffed look on our faces.

The day's work is done. Now a nap.

Frankly, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hot Dog Stand Inspection Day

We took one step closer to the purchase and the grand opening of Yank's Franks. The property was inspected today and came through with just one issue. I don't think we've ever purchased any real estate without at least one issue so we are confident that we'll get by this and move on to the next step.

Since this is your first glimpse of the property you need to use your imagination a little.

First, you need to imagine a sign on the roof above the entrance, about two feet high and about 6 feet wide. The sign will simply say, Yank's Franks. The font will be exactly the same as the font used on our sign and logo (which hasn't yet been finalized, but we're getting close).

Next, picture three tables on the right side of the porch and two tables on the left side. There are people sitting at each, some are biting into their hot dogs, some are eating their french fries and rings, and some are talking and laughing. Boy, they're having fun.

Finally, picture a line of people spilling out of the door and into the parking area. They look hungry, don't they?

Now there you have it. You've just gotten your first glimpse of summer 2010, at Yank's Franks.

Frankly, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Oh, one more thing, if you haven't already done so, vote for your favorite beverage in this week's poll. So far, soda is really kicking butt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hot Dog Research Takes Us to Lawton's Famous Franks

It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. Today's research took us to a Hot Dog Joint ("HDJ") that has been serving the public since 1929. Or, as Lawton's Famous Franks likes to say it, 81 Doggone Years!

This is our first trip to a HDJ that cooks its dogs by deep frying them. If you're not familiar with this cooking method for dogs, check out the photo on our March 9th post. Those hot dogs were deep fried in our "test kitchen" and they were very good.

In the photo to the left, you see the dogs in the fryer with the buns waiting to be called to duty. The condiment wells to the right are filled with sauerkraut and cooked onions.

In addition to Hot Diggity and myself, we had along two other professional taste testers, "Just Plain Sophia" and her Mother, "Spicy Mustard Mama." Future Hot Dogger, Miles was a welcome addition to our expedition, but he just wanted a baba.

When asked to rate her hot dog, "Just Plain" declared her dog (she got hers just plain) good. The rest of us thought that was an understatement. We rated the dogs excellent. They were crispy and they were very generous in size, extending from both ends of the bun. The buns were toasted, but they weren't buttered. A small but noticeable detail.

The Onion Rings looked delicious however the oil wasn't drained off and they were very greasy. Not good.

The French Fries were very good by everyone's standards except "Just Plain." She loved them!

I just love a good excuse to visit a Hot Dog joint.

Frankly, Yank's Franks will serve the best Hot Dogs!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In the Side Order Poll ~ Onion Rings Are Tops!

The voting was extremely close and pollsters undoubtedly would refer to it as a statistical tie. I'll also admit that the results were a little surprising to me.
While I absolutely love Onion Rings, I would not expect them to garner the blue ribbon in our poll. The Rings, possibly bolstered by the tempting photos from our test kitchen, came in with 38% of the vote.
Second place, while supported by Hot Diggity's vote, was a shock to me. The Bag of Chips, with 33% of the vote, edged ahead of French Fries to take the consolation prize. That left French Fries in dead last place.
I tried to rationalize the results. I even briefly decided that there must have been several British voters who, when they voted for Chips actually meant French Fries. Heck, if you confuse the game of soccer with football, a little confusion in a side order discussion is to be expected. When I came to my senses, I realized the poll selection was a Bag of Chips which was unmistakable, and I decided to let the vote stand as is.
The voters have spoken and the results reveal that Yank's Franks will need to have all three choices.
I'm still guessing that we serve more French Fries than the other two choices. But, it won't matter as long as you get what you want.
If you are a first time reader, don't miss the Hot Dog Bulletin! posted last Saturday.
Frankly, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Yank's Franks ~ Hot Dog Bulletin!

BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! (if you have your own sound effects, please add them here)

Yank's Franks promised in our post on February 27th, we would have a Hot Dog Bulletin within the week. That was one week ago, and we barely made it.

Just earlier today we came to an agreement and signed the paperwork to purchase Yank's Franks first location. While it's a little early to be estimating a date for the Grand Opening, we are (optimistically) hoping for sometime this coming August. That will put the Grand Opening right in the heart of the tourist season, and right in the heart of Hot Dog Season (Hot Dog Season spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day, during which time Americans consume an average of 800 hot dogs every second).

Yank's Franks will be located on Route One in Wells, Maine. This highly visible location is ideally situated to take full advantage of the seasonal visitors, as well as the "locals" all of whom know and love this beautiful seaside community.

Hot Diggity has been spending summers in Wells since she was a little girl. The Big Dog first vacationed and fell in love with this community more than 28 years ago. We purchased a summer home in Wells just a couple of years after Hot Diggity introduced the Big Dog to the amazing beaches of this town.

Of course, photos and exact location will soon follow.

Pictured above during the signing ceremony are (front to back), Fifi (Hot Dog Aficionado), Hot Diggity (the brains and personality of the organization), and DG (officially known as The Big Dog).

Frankly, we (will) serve the best Hot Dogs!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yank's Franks Relishes the Attention

To expand upon (and enhance) the phrase from my previous blog "it's better to get good publicity than no publicity at all!"
Yank's Franks has been highlighted in the website of Cyberdog International. Clink this link and scroll down to read the piece on Yank's Franks.

In recommending Yank's Franks blog, Cyberdog urges his readers to, "Follow the adventure from the start of a dream to the thrill of success through the words of one of my favorite Hot Dog vendors in Maine."
The mission of the Cyberdog's website is to provide information for those interested in becoming a Hot Dog vendor.
Frankly speaking, we (Yank's Franks will) serve the best Hot Dogs!
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