Wieners of Providence

by Sean Kenniff
Aliza Eliazarov
April 2014

Biography

Recipe

Restaurant

Rhode Island Saugie: Lightly Emulsified Smoked Pork, Lamb Casing, Toasted New England Split Roll, Chili, Sweet Pepper Relish, and Jalapeño Cheese Sauce

Rhode Island Saugie: Lightly Emulsified Smoked Pork, Lamb Casing, Toasted New England Split Roll, Chili, Sweet Pepper Relish, and Jalapeño Cheese Sauce

Rhode Island Saugie: Lightly Emulsified Smoked Pork, Lamb Casing, Toasted New England Split Roll, and Jalapeño Cheese Sauce

Rhode Island Saugie: Lightly Emulsified Smoked Pork, Lamb Casing, Toasted New England Split Roll, and Jalapeño Cheese Sauce

Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI

Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI

Veal, Pork, and Beef dog, Mustard, Meat Sauce, Onions, and Celery Salt

Veal, Pork, and Beef dog, Mustard, Meat Sauce, Onions, and Celery Salt

Inside Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI

Inside Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI

Rhode Island knows how to do wieners. Olneyville New York System, purveyor of hot wieners, is a 68-year-old family-owned and -operated local obsession, and expat Rhodies have been known to fly into Providence just to grab a hot wiener—a veal, pork, and beef dog topped with mustard, meat sauce, onions, and celery salt. When the bars close, Olneyville’s iconic, neon hot wieners sign attracts Providence’s tipsy masses likes moths to flame. A Rhode Island hot wiener is food at its best—bringing people together, bonding them to each other, to a place, and to a tradition. The wieners are even James Beard worthy, netting Olneyville New York System a 2014 America’s Classics Award.

For any chef wanting to break into the hot dog market, the bar is set extra high in Providence, and Chef Matt Gennuso has proved he's up to the challenge. He’s continuing the Rhody hot dog tradition from Wurst Kitchen—the small open kitchen located within Chez Pascal. Through Wurst’s window and at the counter inside, Gennuso serves cured meats and “saugies,” including his fantastic frankfurters. His smart recipe for making unforgettable, crave-worthy franks has a touch of ginger, pork shoulder and belly, dry milk solids, and natural sheep casing. The house frank (topped with chili and sweet-pepper relish, please) has the appeal to keep Providence the wiener capital for generations to come.

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