2012 Top 10 New York System Weiner Challenge

Rhode Island's Beloved NY System!

Let’s just proclaim, “No two wieners are the same” (insert joke here!), therefore, no two NY Systems are the same. The components must include a weiner, meat sauce, onions, mustard, celery salt and a bun. It’s the preparation and care of ingredients that create the real NY System. Last year I wrote that the one bite taste represents the sum of all components coming together, and I still believe that to be true this year.

Since all tastes vary from judge to judge, the best way to consider NY System excellence is to first consider the quality of the components:

The meat sauce might be the single greatest component that keeps customers returning day after day. Variations in recipes, spices, simmering time, consistency and heat can be most appealing for some, while others might favor the weiner quality, taste, snap and grill time above all.

Chopped onions are a tricky component because freshness is an absolute necessity. When onions are old, they turn yellow, taste bitter and smell overly strong. Old onions can overpower the taste and overshadow all the other ingredients. Fresh onions that are finely chopped allow for a balanced texture and a welcomed flavor enhancement.

Classic yellow mustard is generally expected on the NY System. Yellow mustard is the ugly stepchild in the mustard family lineage, and a shirt-stain at best. Spicy mustard considerably enhances the flavor; however, I do understand tradition and gladly accepted whichever mustard was used.

Buns should be freshly steamed, but some establishments lack a proper steamer and may resort to using a microwave, or some other method of non-moist bun warming. Personally, steaming buns makes the NY System experience a greater success. Microwaves heat unevenly and often harden bread ends. Traditional ovens dry out the buns and suggest a stale product.

Celery-salt is standard spice that is applied to the system as a final condiment. Depending upon where on the “arm” the NY System is being dressed, the final product might be over or under in the sodium department.

In the spirit of trying to maintain objective standards while judging wieners with mouthfuls of subjectivity, Fork in the Rhode’s RhodeCrew and forty-eight additional judges visited 50 restaurants statewide with judging sheets in hand.

The following are the 10 locations that maintained the highest overall scores in standard categories (Appearance, Steamed Bun, Weiner Texture, Meat Sauce, Onions, and Overall One-Bite taste):

In Alphabetic Order   

Restaurant Street City
Ben’s Chili Dogs 158 Broadway Newport
Cosmic Steak, Pizza & Weiners 1141 Post Rd Warwick Warwick
Ferrucci’s Original New York System  1246 Main Street, Arctic West Warwick
Nick’s New York System 280 Cowessett Ave West Warwick
Olneyville N.Y. System 18 Plainfield Street Providence
Rod’s Grill  6 Washington Street Warren
Sam’s New York System 6 Freeborn Street /Sandy Lane Warwick
Santoro’s Pizza 687 Tiogue Ave Coventry
Timmy’s Restaurant 644 W Shore Rd Warwick
Wein-O-Rama 1009 Oaklawn Avenue Cranston

Feel free to sample and judge NY System Wieners in all of the following locations as we did. Again, we “double-dog-dare” you!

Restaurant Street City
Athens Pizza House 1 Austin Ave Greenville
Barbara’s Place 77 North Main St. Woonsocket
Bucci’s Café 37 Main Street Lincoln
Chepachet Deli 842 Putnam Pike Chepachet
Connie and Nikki’s 526 Pawtucket Ave. Pawtucket
Dot’s Dairy Bar & Grille 1476 Newport Ave Pawtucket
George’s Grill New York System 716 Reservoir Avenue Cranston
George’s Pizza ‘N Pub 60 Pascoag Main St Burrillville
Indigo Pizza Lounge 599 Tiogue Ave Coventry
Jesse’s N.Y. System 710 Main Street West Warwick
John’s New York System 827 Park Ave. Cranston
John’s New York Systems 326 Cranston Street Providence
Kingston Pizza 1283 Kingstown Road Peacedale
Kip’s Restaurant 826 Newport Ave Pawtucket
Liberty Lunch 732 Central Ave Pawtucket
Little Rhody Brand Frankfurts 5 Day Street Johnston
Lumber-Jacks-Pizza ‘n Wieners Main St. and Victory Hwy N. Smithfield
M & M New York System 361 Waterman Ave East Providence
Moonlight House of Weiners 32 Rathburn Street Woonsocket
New York Lunch 8 Main St Woonsocket
North Kingstown House of Pizza 6170 Post Rd N. Kingstown
Oak St. B&B 87 Oak Street Westerly
Oatley’s Family Restaurant 171 Ten Rod Road North Kingstown
Original New York System 424 Smith Street Providence
Papa John’s New York Systems 326 Cranston Street Providence
Peter’s Coney Island System 2298 West Shore Rd. Warwick
Plouffe’s Cup n Saucer 267 Main St Pawtucket
Poppy’s Family Restaurant 3344 Mendon Road Cumberland
Quick Rick’s 58 High St Wakefield
Right Spot Diner 200 South Bend St. Pawtucket
Riverside Kitchen 467 Willett Ave East Providence
Royal Lunch 1179 Westminster St Providence
Sam’s New York System 1031 Mineral Spring Ave N. Providence
Silver Lake Pizza 1146 Main Street Coventry
Snoopy’s Diner 4001 Quaker Lane N. Kingstown
Sparkys’ 548 Dexter St. Central Falls
Sparky’s Coney Island System 122 Taunton Avenue East Providence
Stykee’s New York System 1617 Elmwood Avenue Cranston
Taso’s N.Y. System 1500 Atwood Avenue Johnston
Weiner Genie 80 Higginson Avenue Lincoln

Note: On behalf of the RhodeCrew, we would like to offer our sincerest thanks to the volunteer judges who helped make the 2012 NY System Weiner Challenge a success!

Jack A, John A, Rich B, Mathew B, Richard B, Scott, F, Beth F, Jordan F, Ed M, Eddy M, Peter M,  Dave B, Jimmy B, Gary B, Mary B, Jim D, Rich E, Andy G, Chris D, Mark H, Johanna H, Don L, Tammy L, Julie M, Vinny L, Michelle M, Lou M, Lou M Jr., Erik, M, Mark O, Liz O, Vinny O, Todd O, Annie O, Amanda P, Jeni P, Krysten R, Justin R, Manny S, David T, Rob T, Bill G, Steven T.

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10 thoughts on “2012 Top 10 New York System Weiner Challenge

  1. Glad to see that Rod’s made the list. My very favorite for years and years!!!!

    In fact, everyone in my family got gift cards from Rod’s for Christmas!! We are big fans!!!

  2. I must agree with Frank, I have had my share of hot weiners and I can honestly say that Stykees New York System at 1617 Elmwood ave.,in Cranston are the BEST. The tase is not masked by the quality spices,such as the meat sauce,the onions or the mustard and celery salt,it is the weiners themselves thatI think are #1and the buns are always fresh. It must be Frank day,I am also Frank :-).

  3. I think Sam’s New York System on 6 freeborn street (off of sandy lane) in Warwick are AMAZING!!!! They have been open since 1968!!! They have all you can eat weiners everyday!!! $18.50 per person. The record is 16 weiners in less than one hour!! Go and try to beat the record!!

  4. Took a little jaunt from Connecticut this morning to Wein O Rama for four. Nice! On the way way home stopped at Jesses’ and had two more. Mmmmm.

  5. Ben’s is NOT NY System, had been solicited many times by them, but never used any of their product line. Ben is rolling in his grave.

    • Maybe you’re right! Our reviewers sampled the Ben’s “Works” which is Mustard, Chili, Onions and/or not Celery Salt – in a steamed bun! Seasonings vary from establishment to establishment (cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon etc). Sounds like a NY System to us. Feel free to join us on our 2013 NY System Hot Wiener Challenge – we’re always open to a little schooling. By the way, Ben would be loving the accolades.

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