216 South 40th Street
Philadelphia (University City)
Till 3 AM Thurs - Fri
It's been a long, long wait. But finally a New York caliber hotdog - strike that - "Frankfurter" joint, Papaya King, has opened in Philadelphia. Since 1932 New Yorkers have been washing down their frankfurters with Papaya Drink. Not its Philly's turn.
Papaya King's frankfurters are all beef, take 5 days including smoking and marinating time to make and are prepared to Papaya Kings specs. They are grilled unsplit, served on a grilled bun. I had them topped with premixed mustard and relish. They can also be crowned with sauerkraut, sautéed onions, chili, cheddar cheese, onions and peppers.
The papaya drink is like Orange Julius, but with papaya juice. All natural, a little on the sweet side, and great with the franks.
The fries are curly which, while cute, doesn't cut the mustard when compared to Nathan's crinkle cut fries.
But their frankfurters are just as good, and much closer for a quick afternoon snack. There's a Nathan's in the Franklin Mills Mall if you want to make your own comparison.