A Hot Dog a Day Number 20: Fred's Franks in Wakefield, MA

On July 20, the 20th day on my journey to eat a hot dog a day in honor of National Hot Dog Month, I took the Pike to 128 north where I got off at exit 40 in Wakefield. 

Just off the rotary, on the shore of Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA, sits a funky little converted landscape trailer that serves up some of the most insanely delicious hot dogs I have tasted all summer: Fred's Franks.

The set up looks a lot like another one of my favorite joints, Snappy Dogs.

Owner Carl Galasso greets every customer with a smile. He bought Fred's Franks a couple years ago after he was laid off from his job as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. He risked it all to go into the hot dog business: he sold his house, cashed in his 401K and dove in head first. Boy am I glad he did- Fred's Franks serves up the most ridiculous hot dogs and sausages in the Boston area. Carl won't change the name because Fred's Franks has great rankings in Google and a loyal, if borderline cult-like, following.

Helping Carl in the trailer today was new employee Ed who takes the money and hands out rolls and sodas. Ed is a true American who believes in freedom of choice; he unfortunately exercises that freedom somewhat irresponsibly by allowing people over the age of 18 to put ketchup on their hot dogs! Since it was his first day, I cut him a little slack (but not much).

Ed is replacing Ryan who has worked along side both Fred and Carl. This was Ryan's last day. :o(

Fred's Franks has been the most suggested joint for me to visit by my fans, so when Mike from The Hot Dog I Ate emailed me and asked me to join him at Fred's for lunch, I couldn't resist. Fred's is a mile away from Mike's house and he is a frequent patron. Mike has been blogging about hot dogs about as long as I have, though he tends to take a more "literary" approach to the endeavor. He knows his stuff too, he explained the cooking processes and menu like he owned the joint.

The menu at Fred's Franks is pretty straight forward- there are hot dogs, kielbasa, linguica, and chourico. Carl serves up a Pearl, all beef frank which he grills to crispy perfection on one of two "green egg" grills stoked with real charcoal and apple wood.

There are daily specials too, like the grilled steak tips. I saw a few customers with the steak tips and I will be returning to Fred's during National Steak Tip Month- they looked DELISH.

Condiments are self serve and include a few types of mustard, relish, onions, kraut, sweet cabbage and Carl's own special sharashaba sauce.

The specialty of the house is the Shnurble- a quarter pound Pearl frank with two slices of chourico dressed with mayonnaise, sweet cabbage and the aforementioned sharashaba sauce. Believe me when I tell you this picture doesn't come close to doing this dog justice.

I took a deep breath and


He likes it, hey Mikey!

I don't have enough thumbs to put up for this hot dog- GO TO WAKEFIELD AND GET A SHNURBLE!


This is a "must eat" hot dog- it should be on your hot dog "bucket list." So stop by Fred's Franks, just of the rotary at exit 40 in Wakefield, and tell Ed and Carl "the Hotdogman sent me."


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