The Greasy Wiener: A Taste of Home
Though I love California and never have any intention of moving away, I am a son of New Jersey--something about taking the boy out of New Jersey but never taking the New Jersey out of the boy.
This manifests itself in odd ways--no matter how much accent-reduction therapy I undergo, certain words will always give me away ("raw egg" provides my wife much hilarity), and my preference for floppy, thin-crust pizza in enormous slices with sliced--not crumbled--Italian sausage will win out over that tomato pie known as Chicago pizza.
Hot dogs, too, are a shibboleth: what you eat on them tells the world where you grew up. Raw onions and yellow mustard? You're from here. Neon green relish, celery salt and a garden's worth of vegetables? Chicago. Chili sauce and onions? You're from Detroit.
In New Jersey, the hot dogs are often fried and they're topped with cooked onions (usually), brown mustard and sauerkraut--the hot dog toppings of kings. It's almost impossible to find them here, and those few people who have attempted have failed miserably.
It was with great trepidation, then, that I tracked down the Greasy Wiener truck, which promised New Jersey hot dogs. Unnecessary trepidation, as it turned out--the hot dogs are great. While there are good sliders on the menu and creative interpretations of the hot dog, the winner is the namesake Greasy Wiener. Good snap, soft bun, good mustard, sweet onions and sharp sauerkraut. Truly a taste of home.
I have a small handful--half a dozen, tops--of the new luxe loncheras that I would drive to seek out. This is one of them.
Seek out The Greasy Wiener at Munchathon in Oak Canyon Park this weekend, or follow them on Twitter at @TheGreasyWiener.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.