Frank Ranalli's is a Dundas West takeout joint that serves juicy beef sandwiches and opens late at night on the weekends as Woof Dawg.
Payne started Frank Ranalli's as a project during lockdowns last winter. He started making his own fresh giardiniera at home by pickling vegetables and hot peppers in a jar.
The giardiniera is made specifically with cauliflower, carrots, serrano peppers, jalapeno, olives, and garlic.
After a trip to Chicago to check out the hot dog scene there, Payne fell in love with the Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches and wanted to introduce a similar concept to Toronto.
Frank Ranalli's shop is built for takeout. There's an open-style kitchen which sits behind a serving counter, along with a few stools for seating.
A retro arcade machine is set up to entertain guests while they wait for their made-to-order sandwiches. It's next to a fridge filled with Italian sodas.
Hot Italian Beef Sandwich ($12) is a French roll packed full of thin slices of beef that's simmered in beef jus with paprika, pepper and garlic.
The bread is then dipped into the jus which is allowed to drip dry but is sloppy with juice dripping out when it's eaten.
The Sweet Italian Beef Sandwich ($12) packs the same thin jus-simmered beef slices and combines them in a roll with green bell pepper and provolone cheese.
I enjoyed the combination of the pepper, salty melted cheese and the jus-soaked bread.
The Hot Italian Cheese and Beef Fries ($13) is made like a poutine.
It tops a hot pile of fries with giardiniera and thin slices of beef simmered in jus with a heavy helping of melted cheddar cheese sauce.
The final sandwich I tried is the Combo Sandwich ($16). This one includes a thick Italian sausage (also served on Woof Dawg's menu) that's layered with beef and more giardiniera.
This one isn't dipped into jus, so the French roll still maintains its firm structure, but is soft enough to eat easily.
Frank Ranalli's is tucked into a covered entrance right near Dundas Street West and Dovercourt Road.