Now who doesn’t like a good hot dog or brat, now that summer is here? Whether you’re talking about a late-night dog from Snoopy’s or sitting at the counter at the Roast Grill, biting into a snappy, juicy hot dog is a burst of taste and flavor. And now there’s a new food truck on the scene, specializing in gourmet hot dogs: Merry Franksters. I ran into this truck at an event at the Raleigh Wine Shop a little while back. Because as much as I like hot dogs, I know there are some people that only want to eat happy hot dogs otherwise know as sustain-ably farmed meats in hot dogs. And that’s where Merry Franksters steps in! Based out of Carrboro, they are serving up happy hot dogs hand-made out at the Pig from Chapel Hill, so I was curious to see what the Merry Franksters are dishing out.
Heading over to the Raleigh Wine shop, I spy a bright aluminum Airstream trailer pulling into the side lot. It’s a funky looking, retro trailer with interesting blue pop-art on the sides and back! A chalkboard flip-board up front shows off the Merry Franksters menu, 10 or so hot dogs and a handful of sides! Prices are in the $4 to $6 range which is about right. I’m torn between a couple of options but go with the bacon-wrapped Memphis Dawg and the classic New York Dawg along with a side of beer-battered onion rings. The Merry Frankster owners are very sweet and laid-back, reminds me a bit of when I lived in Carrboro!
A glass of wine keeps me company as I wait for my eats but it’s not too long, maybe 10 – 15 minutes. I get three paper food trays with my goodies and decide to hoof it on home so I can pig out in private! The short drive is tough as I’m staring at my dee-licious looking dogs and rings… Back at home I get to inspect my dawgs more closely. Merry Franksters uses a potato bun and they all look nicely grilled and filled.
I start off with the NY Dawg which pairs a Sabretts beef hot dog with sauerkraut and onions! A great bite, basic but done very well by the Merry Franksters. And while you may think one hot dog may be enough, I’m glad I got two! The Memphis dog comes on a larger bun, probably needed to hold the bacon-wrapped dog and additional toppings (onions, cheddar, barbeque sauce). The Memphis dawg is a messy bite but totally worth it! The crisp, salty bacon works well against the sweet barbeque sauce and it’s all worth getting your hands dirty. Thumbs up for me, here!
And finally the onion rings! Described as beer-battered, they have more of a light tempura-like coating to me and reminded me a lot of onion rings I would get in Massachusetts. Totally delicious and well fried, if Merry Franksters has them on the menu I feel it’s a must-do. Overall I was pretty happy with my meal at the Merry Franksters food truck. Creative, well made hot dogs at a reasonable price, works for me! And while I will always love my $1.50 Costco hot dog, Merry Franksters takes the humble sausage to a whole nother level. While Merry Franksters is based in Carrboro at Cliff’s Meat Market, they do get around quite a bit and are in Raleigh pretty frequently, hot dog!