Food Truck Friday: Famous Franks is top 'dog' since 1996

These sandwiches can best be described as a beautiful mess; and so can the hundreds of students that line up for a late-night bite every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Posted: Aug 30, 2019 7:06 AM

GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- The theme of our last Food Truck Friday is that all good things must come to an end.

Famous Franks has been serving in West Lafayette for 23 years but it still stands out. That's because this truck is unique with its target audience and selective serving times.

Some might consider it the Godfather of Greater Lafayette food trucks.

All good nights must come to an end.

Many Purdue Students choose to end the night here. At Famous Franks.

"You go out for a couple hours and then you need food before you go home so you get Famous Franks."

"1996 was when I started," said Frank Farmer, Owner of Famous Franks of West Lafayette. "Where Jimmy John's is [now] was Von's Comics."

Farmer started his business with just a small hot dog cart outside.

"We set up in this triangular patch of pavement," he said. "I used to put down Lawry's Seasoning Salt on the ground in the winter time."

However, he wanted to serve more than just hot dogs. 

"I'm a fat guy so I mean fat guys always think outside the box," Farmer said.

Farmer explained that his entire menu is geared toward the campus crowd. 

How do campus kids like it?

"Cheese, bread and bacon. I mean can we get better?"

"Who doesn't love a mozzarella stick on a hot dog?"

Farmer's truck is known for its deep-fried, salty and carbo-loaded concoctions.

"We're doing something no one else is doing," Farmer said. 

Farmer said the secret to a long-running food truck is consistency. 

"We'll have alumni come back and get a chili cheese dog and be like man this tastes exactly the way I remembered it fifteen years ago."

Like many restaurants, there's one item that's a customer favorite. News 18 asked several customers what their usual order is from Famous Franks, and almost every single person replied, "fat boy."

"A fat boy is chicken fries, mozzarella sticks, french fries on a toasted hoagie with Cheez Wiz and pizza sauce. And then we cover it in ranch. We sell hundreds of them a night."

These sandwiches can best be described as a beautiful mess, and so can the hundreds of students that line up for a late-night bite every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"Everyone comes here at the end of the night. They come here because you can't get this sandwich anywhere else in town. Probably nowhere within a 100 mile radius of here," Farmer said. 

Famous Franks is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the school year from 10:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. You can find the truck parked outside of Harry's Chocolate Shop.

News 18 wants to thank all the local food trucks that were featured in our summer segment, as well as News 18 Chief Photographer Ryan Delaney. We could not have done this without you! 

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