For those still smarting over the demise of the 2020 State Fair of Texas comes this small ray of hope: Called Frank Seoul, it's a chain from Korea whose specialty bears a startling resemblance to the good old American corny dog.
Of course in Texas the corny dog crown belongs to Fletcher's, who already have a schedule of pop-ups to fill the need. But Frank Seoul surely merits a visit from any student of hot dogs or the cuisine known as "stick food" aka food on a stick.
According to a spokesperson, Frank Seoul is originally from South Korea, and there are already multiple Korean hot dog concepts open in California, with a big showing in San Diego. This is the first location in Texas, and it opened the first week of July.
Frank Seoul's menu features hot dogs and other Korean-style fried snacks and desserts.
Those include tteokbokki, or spicy stir-fried rice cakes. Tteokbokki start with with garaetteok, a cylinder-shaped white rice cake made with steamed rice flour. They're coated in a spicy red gojuchang sauce and stir-fried, then sprinkled with scallions.
They also have hotteok, sometimes called hoeddeok, which is a filled Korean pancake. Like much of the menu here, it's a popular street food in South Korea.
Although FrankSeoul specializes in fried treats, they are at heart a café that sells coffee and drinks. That includes the oh-so trendy dalgona coffee.
Korean-style hot dogs are often coated in a batter of some kind and deep-fried, and date back several decades. Rather than corn meal, they use regular flour or rice flour or a combination of both, and add a final coat of panko crumbs.
Like Fletcher's, Frank Seoul has several versions of the corn dog, including the original Seoul dog; one filled with mozzarella cheese; one with hot dog and cheese; and a "Tokyo Angdog," which has red bean paste.
There's also a mini version of the Seoul dog original; and a wild-looking Potato Dog, coated in diced fried potatoes and stuffed with choice of hot dog or cheese. So you get your hot dog and your fries in one.
After they're fried, they're sprinkled with a dusting of sugar to add a hint of sweet to the salty.
Frank Seoul is located at 9292 Warren Pkwy. in a center called Frisco Ranch that boasts a variety of fun culinary options. It's anchored by 99 Ranch Market, thea Taiwanese-American supermarket chain owned by Tawa Supermarket Inc., which is based in California.