August 1, 2007

lettuce b. frank [Santa Barbara]

Lettuce B. Frank’s slick interior and pay-by-condiment design cater to Santa Barbara’s bourgie State Street set. The grill serves up sliders, salads, hot dogs, and other American classics for your enjoyment, though prices are steep for what you get.

Hot dogs are the piece de resistance at LBF with baseline prices starting at $3 for your basic all-beef, turkey, or veggie dog—specialty sausages and blends are more. Your hot dog is grilled and set on a poppy seed bun with complimentary yellow mustard and ketchup, though condiments and toppings will cost you extra. If customization just requires too much thought for you, opt for one of the specialty hot dogs such as the Chicago or New York, which will set you back about $4.75.

My SO described his Italian Sausage ($4) topped simply with brown mustard as “too clean.” It had decent flavor, but none of that gritty chargrilled smokiness you get from hole-in-the-wall hot dog joints (I’m thinking about the Berkeley institution of Top Dogs). The sausage was pretty mild and could’ve used more kick for being Italian.

We also grabbed an order of the Sweet Potato Fries ($2), which were thin-cut and dense, though the lack of crispiness left something more to be desired. The fries come with a pretty gnarly maple sauce whose sweetness deems the side worthy of a dessert.

We were happy to oblige when the guy next to us didn’t want his cheeseburger sliders (he ordered hamburger), so the owner kicked us down the dregs. Like a slice of White Castle heaven, the thin burger patties were enveloped by Hawaiian rolls and served up with some more of the tasty maple sauce. A little on the sweet side, but I’d probably order them again even if they weren’t free.

Personally, I’d rather get down and dirty with my hot dogs, but if you’re looking for something with more ambiance, lettuce b. frank is not a bad choice.

lettuce b. frank
413 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 453-6625


Anonymous said...

My friend lives in Santa Barbara and this is one of his favs. He swears by their pastrami sandwiches. I ordered the Ham & Swiss sandwich. There was enough meat in there for 2 people to eat one sandwich. But be warned, these sandwiches get quite messy. I'll keep the cheeseburger sliders in mind when I visit him in the future.

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