New restaurants are constantly opening, and established places keep raising the bar with their innovative cocktails and creative menu items. Add the juice of Festival International into the mix and you’ve got la grande bouffe, an opportunity to eat yourself nearly to death with all the street food tempting you at every step.

One of my favorite brick and mortar places, Frankie’s, is perhaps the quirkiest of all. We all rejoiced when Frankie Yaghobi decided to have a permanent storefront after his burger wagon caught on fire. The sign on the door said Frankie’s Convenience Store, and there was much cheering downtown, in anticipation of Frankie’s great burgers at lunch, as well as a nano grocery, where we were hoping we could buy milk for our office coffee and some fresh fruit for a healthy snack.

Did it happen? Nada. Frankie opens his doors long after we go home from the office. His peak hours are midnight to about 3 a.m. I’m catching some zzzzs by the time he puts his first burger on the grill. Except this week. For Festival International, finally, Frankie is open at noon. I walked past his shop yesterday and noted the groove in the 400 block of Jefferson. Collage Cafe, Frankie’s and Zeus all have cafe tables on the street, music, from Middle Eastern to Cajun carrying pedestrians down the sidewalk.

Frankie, with his indubitable chutzpa has his menu on a sidewalk sign. The Frankie Combo says it all. Frankie Burger + fries + beer = $8.50. The rub of course — I’ll never make it to Frankie’s for lunch, I’m too busy trying to get my work done early so I can get out of here and go to the festival’s opening ceremonies. So my Frankie burger craving will have to be assuaged the way it always is, with my annual Frankie burger, as usual, at midnight, during the festival.

Happy Earth Day and go buy a Festival pin. Link to The Ind's Festival Guide here, the food section is on page 24.

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