Day 18 of the National Hot Dog Month 2012 Tour took us to the only stop in Rhode Island, to a little place that’s been knocking out Hot Wieners since 1946: Olneyville New York System. This iconic Providence landmark has been run by the Stevens family since 1946. Nicholas Stevens and his father Anthony started the place and now Greg Stevens, the fourth generation of the family in the hot dog business, is carrying on the proud tradition.
There was definitely a jovial atmosphere in the place. Greg and the employees were goofing on each other and the regulars (and us) the entire time we were there. They even have a special regular, Rita, who gets over the top treatment. She has her own parking spot for her “broom”….
…and her own chair…
Rita is a long standing regular who grew up in the neighborhood and lives nearby. She’s in the place 2-3 times a day. All the ribbing is good natured- the Olneyville New York System crew loves her- and they love to give her the business. She gives it right back!
Greg wanted me to change the name from the National Hot Dog Month Tour to the National Wiener Month Tour. He was very adamant about what they serve at Olneyville New York System. They serve WIENERS- not hot dogs. In reality, most of what I have eaten this month has been frankfurters. A hot dog is a skinless product. A frankfurter has a natural casing- usually made from lamb intestine- and is shaped into links. A wiener is similar to a frankfurter except it is not formed into links; wieners are, as Greg described, like a “long rope” of natural casing franks that is not formed into links. The crew at Olneyville New York System hand cuts the wieners from the “rope” every day. Wieners are then cooked on a flat top in a little soybean oil and served with Olneyville New York System’s signature sauce. Ketchup is NOT ALLOWED on wieners. Ever. Period.
Mrs. Hotdogman took the day off specifically for this visit. She had never tried Rhode Island’s State Beverage: Coffee Milk. As an avid coffee drinker, she’s dreamed of the sweet flavored thirst quencher since a friend of ours (and an Olneyville New York System fan from childhood) waxed eloquent about the creamy goodness of the stuff during last year’s tour.
As I thought she would, she loved it. The whole pint was gone very quickly.
We yukked it up with the crew and the patrons for a good hour. Greg liked his National Hot Dog Month Tour tee shirt, courtesy of DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts.
Finally, after all the hilarity, it was time to order up. We each got a hot wiener with sauce, mustard, onions, and celery salt.
We did a group CHOW DOWN today and washed down those wieners with some more coffee milk.
Olneyville New York System is one of those classic joints that is truly unique. The spirit in the place is genuine and it was fun just to hang out and listen to the banter. The
hot dogs wieners were EXCELLENT too!
Enjoy the Video
HOT DOG WIENER MONTH!!!!!
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