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Aug 23, 2009 08:37 AM

RI / Southeastern Mass "Hot Wieners" (no... they're not X rated...)

Hi Boston Chowhounders...

I grew up in Southeastern Mass and now live in Boston. A common item at diners/burger joints were New York Systems style Hot Weiners: small griddle-cooked hot dogs, on a steamed bun "all-the-way" with yellow mustard, beanless chili sauce, minced onion, and celery salt. They sold for about a buck and 3-6 made a fantastic lunch.

Some of the BEST are at:

Eats Restaurant
1395 Fall River Ave
Seekonk, MA 02771


Olneyville New York System Wieners
20 Plainfield St
Providence, RI 02909

They magic is also in the wiener itself. I've never seen these small, thin dogs sold in any supermarkets and are rumored to be so bad for you (loaded with salt and fat content well beyond the standard dog) that they are only sold in bulk to the restaurant industry.

Any idea where you can get them up in/around Boston? I'm too lazy to drive an hour south to RI just for an albeit amazing hot dog.

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  1. I too used to live in "hot weiner" territory. (I thought the magic was supposed to be in the hairiness of the arm that the buns rested on. But I digress.) I have never seen them in the Boston area, sadly. However, there are now Del's lemonade stands on the South Shore, which is progress, so perhaps the hot weiner is not far behind.... I must say, I can't wrap my head around the concept of hot weiners for lunch because all of my hot weiners memories involve significant alcoholic preparation for their consumption! (Ahh, college days.)

    1. I also hail from NY System territory, and even worked at one of the stands back in the 70's. You haven't felt pain until you drip some of that screaming hot meat sauce between #8 and #9 on your arm... Don't forget the classic:
      1009 Oaklawn Avenue, Cranston, RI
      (401) 943-4990

      But I haven't seen them any farther north than Pawtucket...

      8 Replies
      1. re: okra

        too funny! do you have scars?

        do they make the meat sauce on-site or is it just a food service deliery?

        1. re: GretchenS

          The meat sauce arrived from the owners home kitchen. Some years back, Gourmet actually produced an article with a recipe for the sauce that I have made it a couple times - it is pretty close. And recently Guy Fieri put one out too. The wieners themselves came in 25# boxes - one enormous length of - lets call it 'hot dog', that was cut to lengths on a special notched cutting board.
          Scars? No, that's something you do once, and then make sure you don't do it again.

        2. re: okra

          I was at Wein-o-rama last month (see pic) and wasn't impressed by the dogs. (And why is it wein instead of wien?) They're cheap as dirt at least.

          1. re: Joanie

            Joanie - You'll need a towtruck to dislodge my tongue from my cheek - the whole idea of Wein-O-rama being discussed on Chowhound is at least absurd... Ask anyone in RI - the dogs aren't anything close to great, just unique. :) I imagine that you discovered, the scent of the dogs and onions arrives with a flourish as you enter any room for the remainder of the day. Mom was always appalled... :)

            Love LRC, BTW.

            1. re: okra

              Wienorama being discussed on Chowhound, that's where it should be, no? Who knows. I'll take most of my Connecticut dogs over that RI one at least.

              Thanks for listening to LRC. Hot dogs and loud rock, a good combination.

              1. re: Joanie

                Speaking of RI dogs and rock, I once read an interview in the Globe with a proprietor of one of the local NYS places who claimed not only did RISD grad David Byrne work in one of these establishments, but that that choppy hand motion he does in the video for "Once In A Lifetime" is derived from the up-the-arm technique for dressing the chili dogs.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  Yep - for RIers, I think that is a well-known tale - I've heard that one for years. Can anyone verify it?

                  1. re: digga

                    As I mentioned above, any movement with an armload of gaggers is a bad thing, likely to result in an enduring burning sensation on the tender underside of one's arm and the desire to fling the boss's profit laden dogs onto the ceiling and go screaming into the street. Besides, there's no chopping involved once they reach your arm. Mustard is smeared, sauce is ladled, onions are placed on, and properly raked back with a fork, celery salt is shaken.

                    While Byrne did once work at Original New York System on Smith Street, he said in a 2008 Providence Phoenix interview that the motion in the video actually came from street dancers that he observed in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park.

        3. Having grown up in Cranston (HS East), my mom would only allow us to pick up weiners if we brought them home in the trunk of the car, in a cooler. The smell was magnetic and would linger for days.

          1. Dave's Markets in RI carry put the cut dogs into deli packs (12-14 per) and sell prepared meat sauce as well as the buns. If you're ever going home up 295 in RI there is a Dave's just off the Diamond Hill Rd (Exit 11?) Bring 'em on home and put on a show.

            1. There is also a place in Worcester called Coney Island, I believe. Just like the kind in Fall River area. I, too, get a hankering every know and then. Some of the hot dog trucks in the suburbs also call them "Michigans". The sauce is almost the same as the "NY System" - not a chili sauce, just a good, flavorful meat sauce. OK, now I am on the hunt. Here is the link for George's Coney Island in worcester They are not open late.