Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
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1009 Oaklawn Ave.
March 10, 2009 7:36 PM
"You are not going to try our weiners!?" exclaimed the waitress when she saw Jane and me actually perusing the Wein-O-Rama menu. It is a big menu, including sandwiches and hamburgers, Italian dinners and seafood and a full array of breakfasts that range from omelets sided by Virginia ham to the George McMuffinopolis (ham, egg, and cheese on an English muffin). But as the name of the place suggests, and as our waitress emphasised, the primary reason for coming to this happy little cheap-eats diner is to enjoy its very fine version of Rhode Island's unique weenie.
Curiously, the words "New York Style" or "New York System" appear nowhere at Wein-O-Rama, but the type of hot weiner served here is exactly what is known by those terms at most other Ocean State frankfurter depots: a little pinkie nestled in a soft bun and dressed with Greek-accented meat sauce, bright yellow mustard, crisp bits of raw onion, and a sprinkle of celery salt. The combo is transcendent, by which I do NOT 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 that the miracle of the Rhode Island hot weiner is that while no separate ingredient is particularly impressive, the confluence of all of them is wonderful enough to be addictive. They're four-bite affairs, no more than that, so eating a pair is a mere snack. Four or six make a nice meal.
Seating is in booths or at a counter, the latter recommended because it can afford you a view of hot weiners being assembled, a tour de force of short-order dexterity.
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