Walk into Frankie’s Extra Long on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, and you can see the whole menu in the works.
The four sandwiches available — hot sausage, kielbasa, meatball and the signature foot-long — are all there behind the counter for you to see — and smell — the second you walk in the door.
There are chips, beer and soda, too, but that’s about it. In a town that now loves its fancy and adventurous takes on the hot dog, the simplicity of Frankie’s is refreshing.
With a kitchen, bar and surprisingly ample dining room, Frankie’s is a lot bigger than it looks from the street. The shop is housed in a sturdy older building; if you’ve missed seeing it, you might have noticed the pleasing aroma of cooking hot dogs when passing.
Frankie’s has been in business for more than 80 years, and despite some renovations in the works — new ceilings, a fresh paint job — the eatery doesn’t seem in any particular rush to fit in with the gourmet hot-dog scene, decor-wise or tofurkey-wise. Let’s hope it never replaces that terrific red-checkered flooring.
Chili and cheese round out the add-on section, and the beer, available to go, is strictly domestic. The menu is handwritten, and the clientele skews toward regulars who know the deal. If you find yourself in perpetual eye-roll mode when it comes to Pittsburgh’s foodie scene, Frankie’s might be worth a stop.
3535 Butler St., Lawrenceville. 412-687-5220