Olneyville New York System

Today’s Zippy takes us to the Providence RI area:


There are two Olneyville New York System Hot Weiners [so spelled on the signs] establishments in the Providence area. This one is the first, now on Plainfield St. in Providence. (The second is in Cranston RI.) And I have in fact posted on these places in this blog, in “Wieners” of 10/31/10, with no Zippy involvement.

Little linguistic points. One, the title “IN DOG WE TRUST”: in a joke, it’s a dyslexic’s misspelling of IN GOD WE TRUST. Two, the zeugmatic

in a quandary, … a Jeep Wrangler and a pair of soiled boxer shorts

An idiomatic sense in in a quandary; the sense ‘inside of’ in in a Jeep Wrangler; and the sense ‘dressed in’ in in a pair of soiled boxer shorts.

Back to Olneyville. The actual establishment:


Olneyville is in the Providence area.

My earlier posting covered the name territory and the food territory pretty well, plus the spelling issue and the question of whether these diners deserve the name restaurant. But now a bit more on the food and the design of this diner.

The company’s own website says it

Serves wieners with a special secret sauce at locations in Providence and Cranston.

Back on 1/15/15, USA Today carried a kind of review (by Larry Olmsted) of the place, under the heading “America’s best wieners? R.I. diner draws a crowd” — by the way, at Olneyville, they are called (hot) wieners and not (hot) dogs — with two notable observations:

the owner estimates that 98 out of 100 diners order the same thing: between three and six wieners, fries and a drink.

the family owners do not like change, which is why the place looks like it did when it opened in 1946.

(The history of the place is a bit more complex than that. More details on Olnryville’s site.)

Then an actual review, on the site HollyEats.com, which notes that the Olneyville wiener is

A very small dog, only four inches long, grilled whole and topped with “meat sauce,” mustard, onions and celery salt.

and adds:

Unless you were born in Rhode Island they are an acquired taste. The sauce is strange. I figure ground beef, chili powder and meat. Maybe a few other spices. Nothing like Coney Island sauce elsewhere. But by the time you’ve started on your second, third or fourth dog, you’ll start liking them. Washing those “gaggers” (Rhode Island for hot dog) down with a glass of coffee milk [another Rhode Island specialty; see my previous posting] seems to help.
Watch the guy at the grill build the dogs. Lines ’em up on his arm and piles on the onions, sauce, mustard and celery salt.


Three wieners with everything.

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