Behind the window: Franktuary’s Food Truck

A nice snap, a nice seasoning, quality cuts of meat. You’ve got a good hot dog. Then you shouldn’t need more than just a
little bit of mustard with a good hot dog. I am Tim Tobitsch. I’m the owner/co-founder of Franktuary, a restaurant I started back in October of 2004 with a friend from college, when I was 23 years old. The food truck movement has
just exploded in this city and we were really a pioneer on that and right
around the time we got a truck, we went from being “oh that’s weird, you’re in
the back of a church, I’ve never heard of this,” “why are you doing this?” to “oh yeah I’ve
heard about you guys, that sounds really cool, I want to check it out.” I remember it was just so exciting when we had like 20 customers. People really didn’t know what a food truck was in Pittsburgh. They didn’t understand the culture. The “hotdog” is a decidedly American terminology. I think the “wiener” may be a term coming out of Vienna. The “frankfurter” may be a term
coming out of Frankfurt. The “hot dog” coming out of the United States but, essentially they all mean the same thing. Actually, I had the first hot dog
that I can remember eating at Madison Square Garden. My family’s had New York Ranger’s
season tickets for over 50 years. You can trace my love of all these
things, all the way back to those early days at Madison Square Garden –
Isaac Gellis hotdogs. I actually was diagnosed Crohn’s disease in 2007. That’s what really started my interest in grass fed beef because,
it’s more than just a marketing thing for me. I certainly eat some other beef, sometimes,
but the science behind grass-fed versus grain-fed beef, there’s no denying that
it’s healthier for you. Not eating gluten even though I didn’t have a gluten, allergy was so helpful to me. It’s just always something I wanted to be able to offer. And that’s the reason we’ve had that option (gluten-free) since before, I guess, it was trendy or cool. so that’s something we’ve just seen change a lot and I’ve been along for the ride in a very real way. We had intentionally scheduled these
roundups and bring them in to different communities. There’s a great camaraderie and one of the things I love we are in competition but, we’re really
supportive one another in the Pittsburgh food truck scene and I like to think that maybe I played a role in setting up that culture, certainly not single-handedly. I remember when we got the truck I was
honestly wondering if it was just a phase, you know, and that food trucks
maybe, by like three or four years later, would be a thing of the past but, it’s
been a decade now and I think they’re here to stay.
I’m just not sure why they didn’t happen sooner.

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