It boggles the mind to consider what some people consider a good restaurant. For some it’s either all about the food or all about the service. Evaluation of those aspects is usually reserved for the fine dining or even upscale casual segment of the industry. The masses rely on how many stars a restaurant has been given, how far in advance you need to call and make a reservation or how many wines they carry from France and Italy.
To be clear, all of those things mean something and people have very different tastes when it comes to restaurant styles and types of service. There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a five course meal at a fine dining restaurant accompanied by some of the best juice produced by winemakers. The point being made is there is another side of the coin which is not given consideration often enough. It could be the restaurant that you notice in the bad part of town, or perhaps one located in a strip mall. I am talking about the place you come across that becomes your guilty pleasure. South Sacramento has several of these hidden gems serving up Korean and Thai food unlike anything ever tasted by mere mortals. We will touch on that in the near future. This article is about a place specializing in hot dogs in East Sacramento: The Wienery.
The Wienery is a tiny little spot serving up the most glorious dogs money can buy. Upon walking in you are immediately greeted by the friendly staff behind the counter cooking up the grub. Most guests sit at the counter if there is an available seat. This tiny restaurant has big time charm. The concept is old school steamed hot dogs.
Most people remember the now defunct Capital Dawg, a popular midtown hot dog spot which closed its doors this past year. While the two restaurants have hot dogs in common, the two could not be more different. Capital Dawg is missed but luckily the void can be more than filled by The Wienery. The restaurant has been around for almost 35 years and is now run by owners Hector and Carolyn who can always be found in front of the grill.
Needless to say, the food is amazing. The portions are generous, prices are modest and flavor is limitless. Visiting this little eatery was inspiring. It may sound like an odd word to use for a restaurant specializing in hot dogs but it is accurate nonetheless. The reason is quite simple; The Wienery has all the elements of a good restaurant. Good food coupled with friendly service makes for a winning formula, add to that the glowing personalities of the owners and you have something great.
Sacramento locals will react one of two ways when you ask if they’ve heard of The Wienery. The first reaction goes something like “of course I have, I don’t live under a rock” and the second is usually, “no, where is it, and why don’t I know about it?”
If you aren’t a big hot dog fan, The Wienery also has sandwiches, soups and some of the best chili ever to grace these lips. The bottom line is- this place makes their food with love in every bite and is one of the most sincere eateries I’ve come across in our city.