Eat This Now: A Breaded, Deep-Fried, Buffalo Wing-Inspired Hot Dog at Fancy Franks in Toronto


[Photograph: Michael Nusair]

Is there anything that can't be improved upon by being breaded and deep-fried? If such a food exists, I don't know about it. It was with that in mind, I'm sure, that Toronto hot dog joint Fancy Franks created the Frankie Goes to Buffalo ($7.25), a hot dog/Buffalo wing amalgam that features a deep-fried, panko-breaded wiener topped with Buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing, carrots, celery, and "chicken bacon."

It's good, though it does suffer a bit from flavor overload. The comparatively subtle flavor of a chicken wing is a much better foil for the vinegary, salty kick of the Buffalo/blue cheese combination than a hot dog. Anyone with any kind of aversion to salty food is advised to steer clear.

The carrots and celery are thin enough to not be entirely unwieldy as a condiment, and thick enough to add an appreciable amount of crunch. They also help to cut some of the richness of the hot dog's other elements; given how rich this thing is, that's certainly not unwelcome.

The "chicken bacon" tastes less like bacon and more like fried chicken skin...because it is fried chicken skin. Most things taste better with bits of fried chicken skin liberally applied, so that's another point in this hot dog's favor.

I would've liked a crunchier, more pronounced layer of breading on the hot dog, and the housemade wieners don't have that snappiness that you'd expect from a higher-end dog (they claim to use natural casings, so I'm not sure how to account for the lack of snap). It's also, as you can imagine just by looking at it, a little bit unwieldy; it's impossible to eat this elegantly. If you're here with someone you want to impress, the Frankie Goes to Buffalo is clearly the wrong choice.

All in all it's not quite as unmissably amazing as I might have hoped when I heard that someone had concocted a breaded, deep-fried, buffalo wing-inspired hot dog. But it's definitely tasty, and if you're like me and can't resist the siren song of making an already unhealthy food even more decadently unhealthy by breading and deep frying it, then your decision has already been made. You must eat it.