Monday, August 27, 2007

Weenies !! (part one)

The following is a touchy subject between Mark and me.

I always thought I would like to own a hot dog stand like ‘Willies Weenie Wagon’ at 159th and Crawford in Markham, Illinois. I first went to Willie’s when my brother David took me there after he got his drivers license. I had never had a hot dog like that before. A poppy seed bun with a plump Vienna hot dog nestled in it. On top of that, yellow mustard, bright green relish(neon green), fresh chopped onions, two tomato wedges, kosher pickle spear, two sport peppers, and celery salt, piled so high you can’t get it all in your mouth.

One of my favorite hot dog stands in Chicago is ‘The Wiener’s Circle’ at Wrightwood and Clark. Many a night after leaving a bar at four or five in the morning I would stop and get a dog there. This place is quite a zoo at that time of the day, but the women that work there are definitely up to the task of handling the drunks who show up after the bars close. I think they recruit the help from ‘Cabrini Green’ exclusively.

Do not challenge or even remotely show impoliteness to these ladies. They will give you a verbal whipping like you’ve never had. I’ve seen big mean looking guys leave there doubting their own gender. Nobody is safe, including your grandmother. You give your order accurately and quickly and wait politely for your order to come up. Regular customers are filled with glee when a new drunk shows up and says something stupid.

In April of 2004 Mark and I purchased a business called ‘The Hot Dog House’ in Oakland Park, Florida. I had run the numbers and was sure we could make it work. The day we took over the business I was very happy because we made more money than the seller said she made per day. The deal was, she would stay and help us for the first week while we learned how to run it. The second day was a different story. We didn’t even clear $100, and the seller disappeared and never showed up again. I’m pretty sure that the day before she had told every one of her friends to show up and buy a hot dog.


  1. I liked Byron's in Chicago. They made your dog any way you wanted. I liked mine grilled and Chicago style. They had a location near the EL at Irving Park, which made it too convenient for a quick dinner on the way home from work.

    Their fries were really good too. They served them in a medium sized beverage cup. Way too many fries, but I always made sure I finished every one because my mother told me children in other countries were starving. That really makes sense!

    I go to the dog place on Sunrise once in a while, but the line at lunch is way too long and their prices are a bit too high. I miss your place.

  2. Yes Byron's is good. I used to go there a lot also. The reason you liked our place was because I gave you the little princess discount.

    By the way my mom said the same thing. How did she plan to get my peas over to those starving children if I didn't eat them?

  3. ...and then there was "JUMBO JERRY'S" on Clark & Illinois(I believe or was it Clark & Hubbard)street downtown back in the 1970's. Remember that place, next door to Rudy's "Country Kitchen." Ahhh...those were the days.

  4. What was the name of the place across from Dandy's that had a huge wienie on a fork as their sign?

  5. Russell, Yes but there was another place back in the early 1970's 1974-75 that I remember downtown right around the corner from the Bistro.

  6. I was still in Lansing, MI in 1974-75. Just finished the third grade...hehehe I still don't know what the name of the place across from Dandy's was called.