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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Gourmet hot dogs, sausage food truck coming to the Peninsula

Uploaded: Apr 10, 2014

Faced with a longer-than-expected timeline for opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Palo Alto, the owner of gourmet hot dog restaurant Chez Franc has decided to launch a food truck.

The restaurant is still en-route to California Avenue, with construction expected to begin at the end of the month or by early May, but owner Jacquetta Lannan, a former attorney and culinary school graduate, doesn't want to wait any longer.

"We're just so ready to get started," she said Thursday. "This has been a process ? we really started in January of 2013 just to get the ball rolling and its taken so much longer than I ever would have expected."

Lannan snagged the 415 California Ave. space (vacated by Know Knew Books) in September of that year, and has been paying rent since then. At the time, she said she expected to be open by December or January.

"If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have said we would be open in April," she said in February. "If you had asked last summer, I would have said the end of the year."

So last weekend, she bought a food truck and hopes to be serving housemade dogs, sausages and possibly sandwiches and hamburgers by Memorial Day (May 26). The truck will operate in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.

Lannan also finally divulged who will be in charge of cooking up Chez Franc fare: Dan Sung, a longtime sous chef at The Village Pub in Woodside. She said he'll be starting a few weeks before the food truck's debut.

The truck's menu will include an all-beef sausage topped with peach salsa, prosciutto, fresh buratta, basil and balsamic (get a visual here) and a bacon-wrapped hot dog with crema, avocado and salsa, among others.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 10, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I was a patron of Top Dog in Berkeley over the years, and I considered how such a place like Top Dog could work in PA.

Chez Franc seems to be aiming higher. I wish them well, and am of the opinion that a "Top Dog" type of place on University and California would be a winner.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Desmo, a resident of Southgate,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

>peach salsa, prosciutto, fresh buratta, basil and balsamic


Let me guess, these will be $10 each.


Can no one make simple and tasty dogs around here?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Frank, a resident of another community,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm

"Gourmet hot dogs"? How ridiculous. Then again, the people that have the bucks will pay for the epicurean delight.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton,
on Apr 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Why has it taken so long to renovate the space for a restaurant?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mr Moranica, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Apr 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

In my country rat meat is a delicacy, will the have a rat dog?

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

Marie is a registered user.

I believe I saw one comment that the average price of Chez Franc's hot dogs would be $14. This greatly reduced my enthusiasm for this new restaurant. I too loved Top Dog in Berkeley. Oh well - there is always Costco. $1.50 for an all beef hot dog with a drink! The hot dog is not bad, especially if you bring your own bun.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Fellow reader, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Hey folks - not so much of the past tense on Top Dog - they have two shops in Berkely and now two in Oakland. Sooo yummy!! and affordable. We make sure to stop by if we're in Berkeley.

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

Alas of the three original Top Dogs in Berkeley, the one on Shattuck burned down (1974 or so).

But it would be hard to match the ambience of Top Dogs. Not only would you need diverse, good-value sausages (not just "frankfurters"), classy buns, and a good array of self-serve condiments, but also the profusion of anarcho-libertarian article clippings that covered the walls (especially at the north-campus location on Hearst). Decades later I still remember some of those clippings, like a zoo photo with a couple of keepers chatting, while a monkey's arm reaches through cage bars for the nearby keeper's key ring. Caption: "That a monkey's reach should exceed his grasp."

 +  Like this comment
Posted by No thanks, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 16, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Yay for Costco's beef hot dog. The usual condiments are there and the usual soft drinks. All for a total of $1.50. Three cheers! No hassle, no pretentiousness. Not a gourmet experience, just good eats.
$14 for a fancy hot dog? I don't think so.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Apr 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Yes, the real story here is the slow PA process striking again. Empty storefront, lost sales tax revenue, etc..

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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