Mauricio Oliveros has created a monster: a frankfurter so ponderously large, so ornately topped, that it needs not one but two buns to contain it.
In this horror-movie fast-food theme park, murals depict Frankenstein, Count Dracula and numerous creepy-crawly creatures. The real mad scientist, though, is Oliveros, who takes an all-American genre and infuses it with the flavors of his native Colombia.
Sink your fangs into a "frank n dog," a highly seasoned foot-long all-beef behemoth smothered in ketchup, mustard, a Russian dressing-style "pink sauce," sauteed onion, ham, mozzarella cheese, crushed potato chips and - yes - pineapple. Not all that different from the Colombian "perros calientes," it comes off as an eccentric, messy treat. The identically topped "frank n burger" features seasonings mixed right into the ground beef, resulting in a patty that brings to mind a well-spiced meat loaf. A pronounced Spanish accent comes through in the "bat burger," sandwiched between two arepas (corn cakes) and topped with mortadella, ham, Monterey Jack, Swiss and a sweet barbecue sauce. You can channel your inner Dr. Frankenstein by creating "monsters" all your own, adding various toppings. I'm quite content with a simple bacon cheeseburger.
Oliveros makes a mean chili, piquant and studded with big chunks of beef. A side dish of fresh broccoli in a house-made tomato sauce is a healthy, lively option.
Oliveras' vegan burger, made with lots of broccoli, is a bit on the mushy side. And I wish he offered hand-cut fries instead of using the previously frozen Cajun waffle variety.
The ever-gracious Oliveros offers an instant replacement to anyone who ends up unhappy after ordering the "zombie corn dog." To me, it's the stuff of nightmares: a hot dog encased in sweet, fried batter topped with syrup, honey and - eek - whipped cream.
Since franks are ginormous and burgers hefty, two can easily share. Here, even the hungriest werewolves should be able to drop less than $10 on a meal that won't leave them howling at the moon.
Frank N Burger is located at 739 Middle Country Rd., St. James