Bradley's Funky Franks: new hot dog joint in Menlo Park


Bradley's Funky Franks, a gourmet hot dog restaurant owned by award-winning chef Bradley Ogden, opened its doors to customers on Monday, Sept. 21, at 1195 Merrill St. in Menlo Park.

The new restaurant features Mr. Ogden's signature farm-to-table take on traditional American foods, exemplified by his adjacent restaurant Bradley's Fine Diner, with a twist: locally sourced ingredients that are, if not strictly "healthy," then at least fresh (case in point: their just-the-right-amount-of-oily-and-crispy fried pickle strips). When asked why Bradley Ogden, a James Beard Award-winning chef would open a hot dog joint, Leilani Levig, general manager of Bradley's Funky Franks said that the vision is to "take something everyone does but do it that much better."

The menu offers a choice of seven "Signature Dogs," plus a "build your own" option with up to three toppings. These include the basics such as ketchup, relish, and a selection of mustards, but also more exotic toppings such as sriracha mayonnaise and crushed kettle chips. Other toppings available for additional cost include kale slaw, bacon wrapping, bleu cheese, and fried eggs. Prices range from $6 to $8.25.

Diners also choose the kind of sausage they want; options include beef, braut, spicy Italian, chicken and vegan sausages.

In addition to hot dogs, Bradley's Funky Franks also offers hand-spun milkshakes for $6.

Restaurant spokesperson Franca Gargiulo said that a range of people, from high school students at Menlo-Atherton to employees at a nearby law firm, had come by for the gourmet hot dogs and shakes during the first several days of the restaurant's operation. She said that Chef Ogden's vision for the restaurant is for it to be a "welcoming place that is bright, cheery, and comfy."

The restaurant offers outdoor seating with several large TVs for watching sports, and a number of children's toys, designed to welcome young families. Ms. Gargiulo noted that the restaurant's location across the street from the Menlo Park Caltrain station makes it an ideal embarcation point for baseball fans heading into San Francisco.

Bradley's Funky Franks opens on the heels of the closure of Chez Franc, another gourmet hot dog restaurant on California Avenue in Palo Alto; that restaurant, in business only since January, closed in May.

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