Little Miss had her first Kindergarten introductory “playdate” at her new school today. As a reward, I told her I would take her out for a hot dog and we could do a Hot Dog Story together. We were on our way to Milford when we saw this sign on route 16 in Holliston, Massachusetts. Milford would have to wait for another day. Hot Dogs on the Run: Jeannie’s Weenies beckoned us and we simply couldn’t resist!
The special looked inviting…
…so did the Hot Dog Cart and…
…we decided to take a closer look.
Hot Dogs on the Run: Jeannie’s Weenies is the joint venture of Bruce and Jeannie Farago. It’s their third joint venture: they’re married and they have a 13 month old son!
The couple met while working together at Casey’s Crossing Tavern in Holliston. Bruce was a bartender and Jeannie was his boss. Jeannie made her boss role permanent when they tied the knot and she is, by mutual admission, the “top dog” at Jeannie’s Weenies (hey-they named their hot dog business after her).
Between the two of them, they have 35 years experience in the restaurant business and they’ve both always dreamed of having their own place. They chose a hot dog business as their first venture because it was simple, didn’t require a huge initial investment and it still allowed Jeannie to keep her job at Casey’s Crossing. They were inspired by Flo’s Hot Dogs, a classic hot dog joint near their summer house in York, Maine. The two have been brainstorming about their hot dog business for about five years and it all came together earlier this summer after nearly eight months of planning and permitting. They’ve only been open for a couple of weeks and, judging from the constant flow of customers, their hot dog business is off to a good start.
Bruce runs the hot dog cart himself when Jeannie’s working or watching their son, but she helps out every day during the lunch rush. Bruce handles the dogs, chili and cheese sauce while Jeannie hands out the sodas and deals with the cash. Bruce, a bartender for 12 years, says being a hot dog man is a lot like bartending, but without as many headaches. The couple is happy to have their business up and running and they want to take it as far as it can go (they’d like to be the “Flo’s” of Holliston someday). They plan on staying open until Thanksgiving and re-opening in March (weather permitting). For now they’re open Monday through Friday from 11 AM until 4 PM. Once September rolls around, they’ll be open seven days a week. Jeannie’s Weenies is located at the corner of route 16 (Washington Street) and Chestnut Street in Holliston, Massachusetts- right across the street from the Post Office. They have the three criteria for a successful location: visibility, a lot of vehicle traffic, and parking. They’re undecided about doing other gigs and events right now, but if you give them a holler, I’m sure Jeannie would be willing to work something out.
Bruce got lucky when he went out looking for a hot dog cart. He came across a guy who ordered a brand new “Big Dog” cart from Ben’s Carts. Once this guy realized there was more to the hot dog business than just showing up every day, he got cold feet and decided to sell it. This enabled Bruce to procure a brand new hot dog cart, still in the crate, for a price that was far less than a new cart. As they say in business, “one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity.”
Jeannie’s Weenies’ hot dog cart is about twice the size of the standard tow behind hot dog cart. This gives Bruce more work space and allows him to serve chili and hot cheese sauce without the work area getting too crowded. Jeannie liked the idea of the “condiment shelf” being away from the cooking area.
There’s plenty of room to display the drinks they have for sale…
… the hot dog cart has cooler space, but the couple has elected to utilize a separate cooler for their cold drinks so they can use the on board cooler for more storage.
A nice assortment of chips hangs from the umbrella.
As you can see here, this hot dog cart has plenty of work space!
There is no dining room to speak of at Jeannie’s Weenies, hence the “Hot Dogs on the Run” prefix.
I perused the menu and decided it was time to get ON TO THE FOOD!
Little Miss (whom Jeannie recognized from previous Hot Dog Stories) had her standard plain dog. Jeannie’s Weenies serves up an Old Neighborhood Frank “dirty water style” on a fresh, New England style, split top roll. Old Neighborhood Franks are a favorite of hot dog carts using this cooking method-they stand up to the water and they are a good tasting hot dog.
Condiments are self serve (with the exception of chili and cheese sauce) and include ketchup, sauerkraut, sweet relish, hot dog relish, brown and yellow mustard, hot sauce, onions, jalapeno peppers, and (for all you New Yawkahs out there) genuine Sabretts Red Onion Sauce. I got a chili dog with gobs of cheese. I put some brown mustard on that bad boy and then it was time to…
I have had Old Neighborhood Franks at the last three spots I have stopped at and they are really beginning to grow on me- it’s a juicy, spicy, flavorful dog. The chili had some “bite” to it, but it didn’t make my eyeballs sweat. Not too hot, but zippy enough to let you know it’s there. The Hotdogman LOVES cheese sauce too!
Little Miss gives Hot Dogs on the Run: Jeannie’s Weenies TWO THUMBS UP!
So does the Hotdogman!
You can check out Jeannie’s Weenies on Facebook. They’re starting a “lunch club”- buy seven specials and get one free- this Wednesday, so it PAYS to eat there! When you stop by for a hot dog, make sure you tell them “the Hotdogman sent me.”