New Plainfield Restaurant 'Taking Hot Dogs to the Next Level'
Frank's Night Out opened Feb. 1 and has already picked up a loyal following, according to the owner.
A new Plainfield restaurateur is looking to create an experience that’s not just your typical night out.
Chef Marcus Mooney said his new restaurant, Frank’s Night Out, offers affordable meals that stand out from the crowd.
“We’re doing things that set us apart from a regular hot dog stand,” he said of the business, which opened Feb. 1, just a few doors down from Nevin’s Brewing Company, 12337 S. Route 59.
Mooney — who also happens to be the corporate chef at Nevin’s — said Frank’s was inspired in part by his travels with his wife.
“My wife and I went to Oktoberfest in Germany,” he said of the inspiration of naming the restaurant after the frankfurter, or Frankfurt.
“We wanted to offer a hot dog where people would be able to experience other things on top of it,” Mooney added. The menu features traditional franks, like your typical Chicago-style dog, plus some hot dogs inspired by various locales.
The Carolina Dog, for instance, features barbecue pulled pork, cole slaw and onion rings, while the Deep South Dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog with mac and cheese, cheddar and tomatoes.
Another offering, the Memphis Madness dog, is wrapped in bacon with peanut butter and sautéed jalapenos, while the Thai One On has cucumber slaw, Sriracha mayo, avocado and goat cheese crumbles.
Read a review: A Good Night at Frank's
“We try to take the hot dog to another level,” Mooney said, but stressed that he chooses flavor combinations that make sense. “The dishes themselves are a combination of items that work together naturally,” he said.
Frank’s Night Out, located on Route 59 between 119th and 127th streets, also features burgers and sandwiches, plus other franks, like beer bratwurst or, for the more adventurous, duck with apples and brandy sausage, which is topped with foie gras.
“We specialize in hot dogs, but there’s a few other items on the menu and we try to do them exceptionally well,” Mooney said.
Frank’s Night Out also offers side dishes and desserts — including deep-fried Milky Ways and Reese’s, plus funnel cakes.
For most menu items, prices range from $2 to $4, with the most expensive dish, the Philly cheese steak meal, selling for $6.50.
Mooney, who is a partner in several of the Nevin’s franchise locations, said Frank’s Night Out is first solo venture.
After less than two weeks, the new Plainfield restaurant has already attracted some regulars, thanks in part to efforts to market Frank’s via social media.
“Based on the feedback we’re getting from customers, there’s definitely a market for it,” Mooney said. “We definitely have a very good base of customers — so far, so good.”
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