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Nov 14, 2006 10:37 PM

Downhill Alert: The Wienery - MSP

I had an appointment in the Cedar Riverside area recently and decided to make a caloric splurge on a Chicago dog and some decadently greasy fries at The Wienery. When I walked in, I knew something was amiss -- it was clean. Well, not clean by typical definition, but in the neighborhood of having a chance at actually passing a health inspection. They must have done a LOT of work in the few months since I've been there.

I know there have been a series of ownership changes but I was saddened to find out that the food just isn't as good as it used to be. The Chicago dog was OK, but the condiments were sort of plain, peppers a little gross and there wasn't the liberal dusting of celery salt that you used to get. That, and the bun tasted like a day-old. The chili on the Coney style dog was tasteless and offered without condiments (onions, cheese, etc.)

But the worst part is that the fries -- the true reason I used to be addicted to this place -- were terrible. No longer the hand-cut-to-order beautious mound of thick, chewy, skin-on greasyness they used to be, but rather an overcooked bunch of frozen grade fries. I was kind of surprised he served them to me that done -- I was "dining in" not heading out the door. The thing is, I know they still make fries there -- the delivery guy was dropping off boxes of potatoes when I was leaving.'s sad. This place used to put out some good grub, and one of the better orders of french fries in town. One Potato Two at your local mall would have put them to shame last Thursday. I may give them one more try before completely writing the place off.

Anyone else notice this recently?

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  1. Nooooooo!

    Haven't been too recently, but all the plusses you named for the Wienery are apt. It's a shame to hear the fries are a thing of the past.

    Much of my misspent youth was fueled by West Bank chow - the Wienery, among others, and I hate to see this happen.

    Heterogeneity, anyone?

    1. I've been going there regularly a while, and I can't remember ever having had fries that resembled anything frozen.

      Pat's had to clean up the place a bit -- from what I overhear, the local health inspector is a bit of a weenie -- but the grub is still tasty.

      1. Wait, this place is open!? We go to Chai's weekly and I can never figure out if this place is actually open. I want it to be but either the open sign is on but the door is locked or the sign is off but there is a guy in there reading the paper. It looks as though it has a ton of potential.

        I will be sure to check it out.

        1. This hasn't been my experience at all. I still get greasy hand cut fried and good food while there. I am not sure when the food there used to be better for you, but I have eaten there once a month or so for the last two years. Solid cheap lunch fair.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kolgrim

            Hey all, thanks for keeping my hopes alive. I knew they were having turmoil with the inspectors (this was just prior to the hubbub about Al's Breakfast and their inspection issues). The mood was kind of glum during my "downhill" visit...your posts lead me to believe I may have hit them within the "what are we going to do now" period after the inspector lowered the boom. I did hear "yeah...they're making us do this and that" conversations (I couldn't help but hear, I was the only one in the place) but I leave those details out of my published opinions as it's hearsay and none of my business.

            Like I said, I had enough visits there over the years that earned them another chance or two. Hopefully some time I can post better news myself.