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South Bend BBQ Lacks Sizzle

Jay Fitzpatrick | Monday, September 29, 2008

A good barbeque place can generally be discerned from the outside. Simply put, the worse the place looks from the outside, the better the barbecue will likely be.Unfortunately, Frankie’s Bar-B-Que does not follow this simple formula.Frankie’s is conveniently located near campus, at the corner of South Bend Ave., Corby Blvd. and Eddy St. – about one mile from Main Circle. But beyond its location, Frankie’s does not bring much else to the table.Easily the best part about Frankie’s is the smell from outside. The smell of roasting pork is palpable as soon as you pull into the parking lot, and carries into the building.Just inside the front door is the take-out counter, but go around the corner out of the foyer into the main dining room, which is also where you order.The dining room itself is Spartan, consisting of only about 15 tables or so, seating for around 40 people max. There is room for more, but the dining area wastes more space than it uses. The room is not well lit, and for decoration has only a few Notre Dame football posters.Televisions sit in two corners of the room. In what can only be described as an attempt to create a “family friendly atmosphere,” on is set to the Cartoon Network and the other to Nickelodeon.Ordering is a little different at Frankie’s than at most other restaurants in the area. Walk up to the counter to the window (which it really is, with a pane of glass between you and the workers) and place your order.After deciding, slide your money through the slot and get your receipt. You then wait for your food, which is put through a Lazy Susan to maintain the separation between customers and workers. The food takes a little longer than expected, but is still warm when you get it.If you do not wish to eat in at Frankie’s, the entire menu is available for carry-out, which can be ordered at the restaurant, or phoned or faxed in advance.Even though the dining atmosphere leaves something to be desired, the most important part of any restaurant is obviously the food.There is a decent amount of variety at Frankie’s, all of which are obviously barbecue related. Most of the food is generic, bringing no real uniqueness to the table.The rib tips, chicken and fried shrimp all taste like they could have been from just about anywhere else – including the dining hall. The rib tips are mostly meat, which is a good thing, but are smothered in mediocre barbecue sauce that overpowers any taste the meat could give.Most of the meals are less than $10, but does give plenty of food if you order an entree, most of which include Steakhouse fries and, inexplicably, some white bread.At an average of $5, the sandwiches are probably the best bang for your buck, but are inedible in sandwich form. Unlike most barbecue sandwiches, which are served on a Kaiser roll, Frankie’s serves its on white bread drenched in barbecue sauce. The only saving grace is that the pork itself is very good.Frankie’s also offers various combo platters, which cost upwards of $15, but are easily enough food for two to share.Overall, Frankie’s Bar-B-Que provides a convenient off-campus restaurant location, but the food is not special enough to warrant a special trip. It is a good place for barbecue, but there are better places to spend time with better food. 

Service: 1 of 4Food: 2 of 4Atmosphere: 1 of 4Cost: 2 of 4Overall 1.5 of 4