Review by - Sarah, Chief Wiener Inspector
The Dog of the Day:
Food trucks are an integral part of the Los Angeles food scene, and to do any type of food blog that’s LA-centric without mentioning them would be ridiculous. Lucky for us, there are several dining establishments on wheels that specialize in tube meat, and today we were able to cross the first one off our list.
The Wien* is parked on Ventura Blvd several days a week (as well as several other locations) and on this sunny Saturday, Sarah grabbed Katie and Everett** (LA Wiener’s co-pilot Adam took a wiener-breather today) and drove to their spot on Ventura.
The Down and Dirty:
After giving their menu the ol’ elevator-eyes, Katie ordered ‘The Gunslinger’ (a wiener with bacon, onion rings, cheese, and BBQ sauce; Everett got a veggie dog ‘Sweet Tooth’ (coleslaw, cheese, and mustard - to which he also added grilled onions); and Sarah took in ‘The Stray Dog’ (bacon wrapped wiener with grilled onions, poblano chilies, cotija cheese, jalapenos, and crema mexicana). We also split an order of ‘SFB Fries’, which are topped with cheese, jalapenos, and bacon.
Katie’s Gunslinger (left) and Sarah’s Stray Dog with some glass-bottle Fanta and Coke.
Everett getting ready to give his veggie Sweet Tooth a bite.
This was a happy munching experience. All three of us were really pleased with what we had put in our mouths, and how often can you say that with confidence on a Saturday?
The Wien’s wieners have a nice snap, good meaty taste, and are pretty generous in size without being overwhelming. Everett was especially impressed by the quality of their veggie dogs. As a (mostly) vegetarian eater, Everett was really excited about this veggie dog because it didn’t have the crumbly off-putting texture that a lot of fake-meat wieners can have. The buns were pretty good. They were soft, warm, and didn’t fall apart. At no part in the munching process did we stop and say “man, what a great bun”, but that just means we were too distracted by the rest of the goodness.
Speaking of goodness, we really dug all of the flavor combinations in all three dogs. We will say that the amount of cheese that they put on top of the Gunslinger and Sweet Tooth is a little excessive, but we’re not ones to make a big fuss about too much cheese. Sarah was so stoked on her Stray Dog. As a true wiener pro, she’s happy to report that The Stray Dog may be her favorite non-traditional hot dog (at least in in terms of toppings) in all of her Los Angeles wiener eating. The Mexican inspired additions were so damn good! (And keep in mind that the LA Wieners crew and most of our taster friends are all previous residents of Tucson, where the Sonoran Dog reigns supreme…)
As for the other junk, the SFB Fries were pretty tasty too. We were happy to see that the cheese on the fries was melted, unlike the cheese on the wieners, because that’s the only acceptable way to have cheese fries.
As for atmosphere, it’s hard to really judge when you’re eating your food sitting on the side of Ventura Blvd in the sun with hot food on your lap, but that’s just part of the food truck charm. The Wien crew inside the truck were friendly and seemed genuinely happy to be there cooking wieners, and even brought our food to us where we were awkwardly sitting on the sidewalk - so those are all pluses in our book.
Bells and Whistles: 5
Other Junk: 4
Atmosphere: 3 (Just the nature of food trucks, folks)
Overall Rating: 4
A lot of times after eating from a food truck we feel like we’ve enjoyed the novelty more than the product, but we’d definitely be happy to munch on a Wien wiener again. We’ve got a lot more hot dog places to hit up, let alone hot dog food trucks, but there’s an inkling that the Stray Dog might wind up somewhere on our list of favorite dogs. That is, of course, if ‘Top Dogger’ Adam agrees once he gets a taste, but we have a feeling that he will.
*Anyone else remember Ween? Remember when they were in the movie It’s Pat?
**Sarah’s month-long house-guest Everett said to her on the ride to The Wien “you know, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many wieners in my mouth in such a short amount of time before living with you.”