MAHOPAC, N.Y. - In just a short period of time, Frankie’s Waffles & Burgers has become one of the go-to places in Mahopac if you’re seeking a hearty breakfast or delectable lunch.
Opened just over 11 years ago by Carina Medina and her husband, Frank Evangelista, Frankie’s has already become an iconic Route 6 eatery. In fact, they’ve gotten so popular, they’ve decided to share the love by opening another restaurant next month in Brookfield, Conn.
Evangelista was born to do this. He comes from a family of restauranteurs and has worked in the industry his whole life.
“I knew what I was getting into when I married him,” Medina says with a laugh.
Medina is originally from San Francisco and Evangelista hails from Yonkers. The couple first teamed up when Medina worked as a bartender at Colosseo di Roma, an Italian restaurant that Evangelista owned in Mt. Kisco, where he was the chef.
“We did dinners, so now we’re just about breakfast and lunch,” Medina said. “It just seemed like a good idea, and the hours are great. The town already has so many other restaurants that are open at night, so breakfast and lunch was definitely our niche.”
They began to search the region for a good location and soon discovered the Mahopac storefront that they still occupy, which, at the time was part of a Polish deli.
“[The deli owner] cut the store in half, which was great, but when the deli went out of business, we took over the other half as well,” Medina explained. “Mahopac is beautiful with a great school district. We bought a house here and our 12-year-old daughter Francesca goes to the middle school. I love it here; it’s our home and people have been great and welcomed us. We found this little location [for the restaurant], which was perfect for us.”
That was in June 2007, and it didn’t take long for Mahopac foodies to discover Evangelista’s cooking.
“[Evangelista’s] chicken and waffles are amazing, and we have a long line of Nutella French toast, apples-and-cream French toast, and our omelets are very good,” she said. “We have a bunch of different signature dishes.”
Medina points to the Sloppy Frank—eggs with peppers and onions, bacon and ham all stirred together, as a big customer favorite. She said a hamburger with a fried egg on top is also exceedingly popular.
“He has created lots of different [recipes] that come with his chef background,” she said of Evangelista. “We have lots of regular customers who crave the same dish every time they come in. They keep coming back every day for the same thing. It’s wonderful.”
Since it opened, Frankie’s has been in the spotlight several times, winning awards for Best Hamburger and then Best Soup in Putnam County.
Medina said they are excited about their new restaurant in Brookfield, which will be known as Frankie’s Diner when it opens in February. They’ve been working on it for several months now, making the necessary renovations to get it ready.
“We are moving into the former Five Guys restaurant on Federal Road—they’ve moved across the street next to Kohls,” she said. “It just seems like a great opportunity. It just worked out for us and it’s the right time. We have been [in Mahopac] 11 years and [the new store] shows how successful we’ve been. We are ready to keep moving forward.”
Frankie’s, located at 565 Route 6, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sunday and Monday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. They do take-out, too. Call 845-621-2527 for info.