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
|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!
|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.