Weenies has tons of potential. It has the gourmet hot dog market on Campus cornered, and it serves super tasty made-in-Ohio meats grilled to order.
Weenies has tons of potential.
It has the gourmet hot dog market on Campus cornered, and it serves super tasty made-in-Ohio meats grilled to order.
Plus it has a name that's irresistible to dirty-minded college kids - indeed, the Weenies owners reported more than a dozen of their signs were stolen, likely by dorm dwellers looking for free decorations, before the restaurant even opened its doors.
So if the eatery can work out a few assembly-line kinks and simplify the menu a bit, I'm predicting a success.
Weenies is right to be proud of its Ohio meats - they're a noticeable step up, taste-wise, from standard Oscar Mayer wieners. And they're boiled then grilled, lending a smoky, charbroiled flavor.
You pick your choice of dog: all-beef Classic ($3), pork and beef Hottie ($3.65), all-beef classic brat ($3.65), all-beef cheese brat ($3.85), chicken dog ($3.25), veggie dog ($3.25) or the Big Weenie one-pounder ($10). The Hottie is well worth the upgrade. It's not only heftier but also has a more complex, spicy flavor profile than a classic dog.
You then choose from more than 40 toppings, which is where things get complicated. Forty options sounds like a good thing, but it's actually kind of paralyzing when you're standing there trying to decide which toppings would work best together.
It'd be great to see a few Weenies signature dogs on the menu for folks who like having their decisions made for them.
There are some nice, unexpected topping options, like a spicy, colorful red pepper relish, avocados and pineapple salsa.
But it starts to get ridiculous - five different mustards, four salsas and dried cranberries? Another concern that will surely be remedied soon: On our first visit, the menu didn't indicate that some toppings are free while others cost 35 cents or 75 cents extra.
On the side, sweet potato fries ($3) are crunchy and good, but ask for some spicy mayo for dipping, rather than the provided ketchup.
The Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly ($2.75), basically a hybrid PB&J and grilled cheese, sans cheese, would taste fantastic at about 2:30 a.m. and luckily, Weenies is open till 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Shelley Mann is the editor of Crave, Columbus' new dining magazine. Keep up with her at ColumbusCrave.com.