Hot Dog! The Chili at Fat Franks in Bellows Falls Isn't for Weenies | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Hot Dog! The Chili at Fat Franks in Bellows Falls Isn’t for Weenies 

Published May 1, 2011 at 4:00 a.m.

click to enlarge Fat Franks - TOM MCNEILL
  • Tom McNeill
  • Fat Franks

There are folks who take their hot dogs seriously, and then there's the staff at Fat Franks. At "the wurst place in Bellows Falls," each table is equipped with a primer on "hot dog etiquette" — 12 rules for eating "America's sacred food."

For example: Applying ketchup to a hot dog is strictly verboten to those over 18, as is finishing one off in more than five bites. Licking condiments from fingers and eating the sausage on paper plates, by contrast, are both heartily encouraged.

click to enlarge Fat Franks - TOM MCNEILL
  • Tom McNeill
  • Fat Franks

It's worth noting that none of these rules came from Fat Frank, who doesn't exist ... in human form. "He" is the juicy, quarter-pound all-beef wieners that, along with the larger-than-average "Skinny Franks," serve as the foundation for a range of combinations. Options include the "Fall Mountain Dog," a grilled frank with cheddar, blue cheese, provolone and bacon, and the "Town Hall Dog," topped with chili and a Thai hot sauce known as sriracha.

While it may sound basic, Fat Franks' bacon chili cheese dog is anything but. This chili isn't for weenies; it packs a serious punch, mitigated only by the distractions of bacon and cheddar that melts as you eat. Bratwurst and knockwurst are steamed in Long Trail Ale, which imparts a boozy richness, before they hit the grill. Tangy sauerkraut is always an option, but the meal would not be complete without Raye's Mustard, nine varieties of which are available at each table, along with celery salt, ketchup and Sriracha.

The local beef burgers are worth a separate trip. The Gruyère burger is laden with herbes-de-Provence-seasoned caramelized onions and garlic mayo. Pair the flame-licked local patty with hand-cut, twice-fried russet potatoes so crisp they stand up to liberal sprays of malt vinegar.

Whatever you choose at Fat Franks, it'll be worth relishing.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2011.

Related Locations

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation