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Frank the Pretzel at the Eatsie Boys

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At first glance, it's a little difficult to tell what "Frank the Pretzel" is. But just think of it broken down into parentheticals: A [chicken] frank on a pretzel [bun]. Simple and delicious. And you can only get it at Eatsie Boys.

Sure, you can get a Slow Dough pretzel bun with a dog in it at Moon Tower Inn. But those franks aren't freshly handmade by a Michelin-starred chef, the ebullient Matt Marcus, from the cozy confines of his colorful food truck -- which is usually parked outside Agora -- or from his booth at the City Hall Farmers' Market each Wednesday.

I stopped by there for lunch last week and got a double-dose of the Marcus family in addition to just a great hot dog: Paterfamilias Al Marcus of Greatful Bread was set up right next to his son, offering tubs of homemade gianduia, loaves of bread and fatherly admiration for Matt's hard work.

"Have you tasted his food?" asked Al. "You've gotta have one of his hot dogs."

As I admired the chicken sausage nestled into the sweet, slightly chewy dough of the pretzel bun, Al continued: "Can you taste the parmesan in there?" I could.

You wouldn't think the combination of chicken, poblano peppers, parsley, feta and parmesan would work so smoothly together, but the result is a softly, richly flavored chicken sausage that doesn't suffer the same overly sweet fate as many other chicken sausages out there (I'm looking at you, Aidells).

The sausage also benefits greatly from the generous portion of chardonnay mustard Marcus pours on top, and he's not shy with using it. That's because while the buns may come from Slow Dough, the mustard comes from his father, Al, via Greatful Bread. The mustard may look fierce, with its small spheres of mustard seeds thick throughout the sauce. But don't fear; it's actually quite tame stuff, a little sweet and very creamy.

Frank the Pretzel goes for a mere $6, cheap fare when you consider the local provenance of its many ingredients and the fact that one giant dog will keep you filled up all afternoon. I didn't even have room for the homemade butterscotch pudding I bought from Al for dessert. Not that I'm complaining; it made for a great late-night snack the next day.


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