If I had been keeping updated on my RSS feeds, I would have seen that Yank’s Franks had opened just three short weeks ago in Wells, Maine. And if my lovely wife hadn’t been absentmindedly staring out the window while we were driving up Route One in Maine, she wouldn’t have noticed the hot dog stand and blurted out “Hey, Yank’s Franks!” Me being myself, I instantly roused myself from my daze and pulled a u-turn in front of oncoming holiday traffic, hightailing it back to Yank’s.
For those of you not in-the-know or maybe not regular readers of this blog (shame on you!), Yank is a man living the dream. He’s been blogging about opening his stand in Wells and, as you can see above, is absolutely beatific about his position as hot dog proprietor. He and his wife (Hot Diggity) couldn’t have been more gracious hosts and took time out from a busy day to gab and share in our passion.
Regretfully, I was only able to eat one of Yank’s creations–it was my fault entirely that I stuffed myself on three Flo Dogs, which is located two towns south of Yank’s, so I didn’t have time to shake down my lunch and make room for more. I guess I could have worked off a couple of dogs, however–just before entering Yank’s, a woman eating a hot dog with her young children on the porch asked me if I had a minute. I was a bit stunned into silence because I was charging towards Yank’s, my mind totally set on that halo-like glow emanating around the building with the music of angels thrumming in my mind. I stammered a bit until she pointed across the street to an antique store where an old guy was attempting to roll what looked like two-ton spherical ocean weights into his trailer–she said “looks like he’s having a hard time, and I feel bad because he’s an old guy–maybe you could help him?” I stammered a bit more but ultimately committed myself to helping the guy if he was still out there after my (second) lunch. Yes, that’s right folks, I outright lied to her because I figured she wouldn’t be there after I finished. And you know what? I played my cards right–when I came out she was gone and the little old man was going about his Sisyphean task. If he wants to buy those crazy things that’s his decision!
But that’s all beside the point. And what’s that point? It’s that Yank’s Franks is a fantastic hot dog joint. Not only are the owners lovable in the sense that you want to find cuddly plush versions of them to take home to the kiddies, but they do serve a wonderful hot dog. I ended up with the signature dish, Yank’s Frank, which is a riff on a Chicago dog–sweet pickle relish, onions, mustard, tomato and celery salt on a griddled New England roll. At first I was wondering why leave out the sport peppers (it’s my favorite part of the Chicago dog) but after the first bite realized that the buttery goodness of the griddled bun just wouldn’t work right with the bright heat of the pepper. And Yank made another interesting choice–rather than a pickle spear, he uses a sandwich-cut pickle, making the dog easier to handle. I believe the dog they use is the same one served at Super Duper Weenie–unfortunately I didn’t take down the name and forgot it after all that’s been going on in my busy life. Yank, can you leave a message and remind me about that?
I love Yank’s motto: Frankly, we serve the best dogs! When you’re in a field with a ton of competition (I bet hot dogs are second only to lobster rolls in Maine) you have to work hard just to stand out. Talking about being number one is a site that may be set too high for 99% of businesses, but Yank has one of the tastiest dogs I’ve eaten in Maine and his passion will only serve to take him to greater heights. Best of luck Yank & Hot Diggity, and I hope to visit again soon to try the rest of your dogs!