Sunday, September 28, 2008

Uncle Franky’s – Minneapolis, MN

This restaurant was one that I drove past and almost turned the car around to eat at about 15 times. Today was the day. I had a hankerin’ for some meat on a bun. This place is a hidden gem in the Twin Cities. It’s not in a great part of town, but it’s not in a terrible part of town. Don’t let the outside fool you – there is quality food inside. The inside was actually a lot nicer than I expected it to be.

The place is decorated in kind of a Scooby-doo theme. It’s actually kind of creepy, in fact, There’s figurines from the 70’s in the windows and on the shelves, and watching you while you eat. You order at the counter after reading the hand-written chalkboard menu. Then you sit and someone from behind the counter yells out to you about what toppings and condiments you want on your meat.

I will give SERIOUS props to the owners of this place for having a Wesley Willis drawing hanging on the wall. It’s a HUGE one as well. I’m not sure if it’s an original or not, but it looks like one. I recognized it when I first walked into the place. Awesome. They also had an arcade stand-up version of 1943: the Battle of Midway. It’s an airplane bombing game I used to play back in the 80’s. That’s seriously old-school. (I couldn’t scrounge up a quarter to actually play it, but I was still impressed.) If that weren’t enough to tantalize you to go here, they had what looks like a paint-by-number Fantastic 4 painting hanging up as well.

I ordered the “Gut Buster”, which is an Italian sausage in a bun with Italian beef layered on top of it. The guy yelled out, “You want this dipped?” I didn’t know what he meant until he dunked my bun and sausage into the simmering Italian beef juice and then piled the Italian beef on top of it. Brilliant idea!!! It was awesome, truly awesome. I threw on some ketchup and BBQ sauce and ate the best bun-related meal I’ve had in years. They also had strawberry pop, which I’m a huge fan of, so SCORE!!! Gerd got a cheese burger and a hot dog – standard issue with the condiments and such, and they were also really good. It doesn’t look like you can go wrong with too many things on this menu. They had chili burgers and chili dogs, and couple of wussy chicken sandwichy type things. But I would go back here anytime I get the need for a dog. I know they have a new location, but you need the ambience to eat at this place. Don’t go to the Franky’s stands at Home Depot either, those are fine, but again, you need to have things dipped and you need to be yelled at, and you also need to bask in the Wesley Willis-ian glory.

Top 5 things about Franky’s
1) Fan of Wesley Willis
2) The Gut Buster
3) Dipping whole meals into meat juices
4) Strawberry pop
5) The menu is extensive for a hot dog place

Bottom 5 things
1) Scooby-doo creep show
2) Near some sketchy neighborhoods (It’s still safe, though)
3) The pop might have been homemade, so the diet cola tasted weird
4) Limited seating
5) No quarters for 1943


Anonymous said...

dude, u make me cry, so funny to hear your writing, my wife and i are cracking up. yes wesley is real, nobody knows except the few, he hung out outside of my joint in chicago, appreciate it, and gladly buy u lunch at the new location in dinkytown. throw me your email and i put you on email. thx a lot j

Matt said...

wesley came into the fireside bathroom when i was peeing once. as if that bathroom isn't already frightening enough, i had to pee with the fear of being headbutted at any given moment.

and hey, i own 1942 and 1943 on NES. next time you're in town, maybe it will be super old-school video game night instead of N64 night.

Chao said...

j, thanks for the response, brother. Hit us up at

Also we just saw that you were setting up shop in Dinkytown last night while were there for a show. Can't wait to check it out!