One of the things that I have always done is learn how to say “Thank you!” in the language of my destination and/or with the people of other cultures in my frequent conversation(s) – and together with a smile, it is a courteous and easy way to connect with people.

Miigwech/Mikwec – Anishinaabemowin also known as Ojibwa + Cree

Merci ! – French

Maarsii – Michif

Grazie! – Italian

Danke! – German

Another easy way to connect with people is through culinary celebrations – food.

Food connects. It preserves a country’s culture. It also draws communities together in and around our multicultural globe.

Street food or what I call “street eats” vary with time and place. Food is a connection to when we go, where we go, and who we are with.

These are the joys of travel. These are the joys of living in a community of so many cultures. We discover. We uncover. We connect.

Then there are the talented chefs who can take a street eat and present it in a more sophisticated way which enhances a country’s real flavours. Pakora, a vegetable fritter and typical Indian street food, is a good example of how Caraway Grill at 1625 Broad Street turns a street eat into a delicious beginning of fine dining.

Upon my return to Regina a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that bannock had gone from my childhood summer campfire experience to a daily street eat.

Things change. Things get around.



The first time I saw a “cadozzoni” truck or the hot dog truck in Cagliari, Sardinia (Italy), it felt so wrong. It felt so out of place, but not only was The Cadozzoni Truck a taste of home for me, it was a fun place to gather along the beach road of Poetto, and it gave my children and me some very good summer memories.

The name hot dog most likely began as a joke about the Germans’ small, long, thin dogs (the dachshund) which were associated with the Vienna sausage. In fact, even Germans called the frankfurter a “little-dog” or “dachshund” sausage, thus linking the word “dog” to the popular concoction. However the people of Vienna, Austria (Wien, in German) say they are the true originators of the “wienerwurst”.

And while the history of hot dogs and their popularity in street eats is quite convoluted, the Frank Cart and its history in Regina Downtown is quite clear.

The Queen City Footlongs, The Frank Cart, has been in Regina since 1992 with the original owner Stan Frank – a coincidence with Frank as a surname and another name for hot dog: the frankfurter.

Otto Gajari took over the established business in 1996 and has been playing the only radio station the waves will pick up where he has been parking his cart for over a quarter century – on Scarth Street & 12th Avenue.

I ordered a hot dog from Otto and then asked him a few questions about his business. This is what he had to say:

Where are you located?

Scarth and 12th.

What are your hours of business?

10:00 am to 2:00 pm everyday except Sundays. I don’t work Sundays.

What is special about your street eat – the hot dog?

All ingredients are locally made. I really make sure that everything is fresh – fresh and local.

What are your best sellers?

Grayson Sausage, Bratwurst, Italian sausage, Bison, but my favourite is the  jalapeño cheddar!

What sizes can people expect?

Regular size or foot long on fresh buns: white or whole wheat.

What sauces and condiments do you have?

We have a great variety from BBQ and other sauces: from mild to spicy. Ketchup is the one that goes the fastest! But we also have mustard, onions, sauerkraut, pickles, relish, banana peppers, and hickory sticks.

Last summer and with COVID, I had to dish out all the toppings and sauces, but things are back to normal and buyers can now choose and build their hotdogs by themselves.

What are your prices?

$6.00 to $7.50 (taxes included)

What other things can people find at The Frank Cart?

Cold soft drinks are available and freshly popped popcorn!

I presume your work is seasonal?

Yes. Summers are too short; winters are too long. The Regina Farmers’ Market helps bring good business.

What do you do when it rains? 

I run for home!

Köszonöm, Otto! Viszlát!

Thank you, Otto! Bye-bye! – in his language: Hungarian!

How do you say thank you in your language?

What street eats are you grateful for?

Share your words, stories and ideas with us!


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