Memorable | One of the Best
Wein-O-Rama | Rhode Island’s Unique Weenie
Review by: Michael Stern
All About the Weiner
“You are not going to try our weiners!?” exclaimed the waitress. She did not like Jane and me actually perusing the Wein-O-Rama menu. Its wide-ranging options includes sandwiches and hamburgers, Italian dinners, seafood, and breakfast. But as the name of the place suggests, and as our waitress emphasized, Rhode Island’s unique weenie is the primary reason a food adventurer should come to this happy little cheap-eats diner. (And yes, forget the i-before-e spelling rule. In this place, as in parts of New Jersey, one puts e-before-i when spelling weiner.)
Nomenclature: New York System Weiners Up the Arm
Curiously, the words “New York Style” or “New York System” appear nowhere at Wein-O-Rama. But the type of hot weiner served here goes by those terms in most other Ocean State frankfurter joints. Even more curiously, you will not find New York System weiners in New York. (The Michigan of Clinton County in upstate New York comes close). Another fact for Rhode Island frankfurter explorers: Many of the state’s hot dog places refer to what they sell as “weiners up the arm.” This refers to the old tradition of the vendor lining up several of them from wrist to elbow and dressing them with his other hand.
The formula: A little weenie nestles in a soft bun. Greek-accented meat sauce, bright yellow mustard, crisp bits of raw onion, and a sprinkle of celery salt adorn it. The combo is transcendent. By that, I do not necessarily mean you will see angels flying through the ether or discover the Meaning of Life when you take a bite. I am just trying to say Rhode Island hot weiners are something of a culinary miracle. No ingredient is all that impressive. But the confluence of all of them is wonderful enough to be addictive. Rhode Island’s unique weenie is a four-bite affair, no more than that. So a pair is a snack. Four or six make a meal.
Choice Counter Seats
Seating is in booths or at a counter, the latter recommended because it affords a view of hot weiners being assembled. They’re dressed at lightning speed. It is a tour de force of short-order dexterity, even if technically it’s not weiners up the arm. (I suspect health authorities might not approve of the old way of doing it.)
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|