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.


2011 Top 10 New York System Weiner Challenge!

What is it about Rhode Island’s love affair with New York System Hot Weiners that keeps them in the spotlight year after year? Locals affectionately refer to them as  Hot Weenies, Belly Busters, Gaggers, Gaggas, Systems and my newly created favorite – “Colon Blowers.”

Wien-O-Rama - Cranston

One of the most comprehensive explanations regarding the history of the N.Y. System was from Christopher Martins “Whence Came The First New York System?”

Cosmic Steak, Pizza & Weiners - Warwick

According to the article, the origins of the “New York System” can be traced back to Greek immigrants whose first experience in America was based largely in the Buroughs of NYC – namely Brooklyn’s Coney Island.

Sparkey's Coney Island System - East Providence

Although speculation surrounding the “Original”  N.Y. System/Coney Island location in Rhode Island will continue to be debated, the benefactors of this culinary pariah continue consuming them without a major concern.

Original New York System - Providence

Rod's Grill - Warren

The RhodeCrew (along with help from 30+ “N. Y. System loving”  judges with iron stomachs ) set out to find the best of the best “Hot Wiener in the Rhode” – ordered “all the way” (meat sauce, chopped onion, mustard and celery salt).

M & M New York System Restaurant - East Providence

The ForkintheRhode.com judges based their results on the following scoring categories: Appearance, Steamed Bun, Wiener Texture, Meat Sauce, Onions and Overall One-Bite Taste.

Lumber-Jacks-Pizza 'n Wieners - North Smithfield

Having sampled over 200 hot wieners from over 37 different locations statewide, we can honestly conclude that the  existing love affair may not merely be the System’s individual components, but the sum of its parts.

North Kingstown House of Pizza

The overall One-Bite Taste is where everything about the product works together for a very unique and addictive experience.

Olneyville New York System - Providence

We can tell you that many of these community based establishments have been around for years and their multi-generational customer base are fiercely loyal. The atmosphere in these restaurants is just as their customers have come to expect – familiar, uncomplicated and friendly. The menu prices affordable.

Ferrucci's Original New York System - West Warwick

The bar stool counters encourage talking to your neighbors, and are still as popular today as they were years ago.

Any good Rhode Islander knows how to order – “2 all-the-way with fries and a large coffee milk!” In that moment, life doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

In alphabetical order, here are the top 10 locations where the Hot Wieners were scored the highest:

  • Cosmic Steak, Pizza & Weiners
  • Ferrucci’s Original New York System
  • Lumber-Jacks-Pizza ‘n Wieners
  • M & M New York System Restaurant
  • North Kingstown House of Pizza
  • Olneyville New York System
  • Original New York System
  • Rod’s Grill
  • Sparky’s Coney Island System
  • Wein-O-Rama

Feel free to sample and judge N.Y. Systems Wieners in the following locations as we did. We “double-dog-dare” you!

  • A&W Restaurant                                                              Greenville
  • Barbara’s Place                                                                 Woonsocket
  • Bucci’s                                                                                  Lincoln
  • Connie and Nikki’s Restaurant and Creamery     Pawtucket
  • Cosmic Steak, Pizza & Weiners                                   Warwick
  • Dot’s Dairy Bar & Grille                                                 Pawtucket
  • Ferrucci’s Original New York System                     West Warwick
  • Fidas Restaurant                                                              Providence
  • George’s Grill New York System                                Cranston
  • George’s Pizza ‘N Pub                                                      Burrillville
  • Harry’s New York System                                            Warwick
  • Hoxie New York System                                               Warwick
  • Jesse’s New York System II                                         West Warwick
  • John’s New York Systems                                             Providence
  • Kip’s Restaurant                                                                Pawtucket
  • Lumber-Jacks-Pizza ‘n Wieners                                  North Smithfield
  • M & M New York System Restaurant                       East Providence
  • Moonlight House of Weiners                                       Woonsocket
  • New York Lunch                                                               Woonsocket
  • Nick’s New York System                                                West Warwick
  • North Kingstown House of Pizza                                North Kingstown
  • Oatley’s Family Restaurant                                          North Kingstown
  • Olneyville N.Y. System                                                 Providence
  • Original New York System                                           Providence
  • Peter’s Coney Island                                                       Warwick
  • Plouffe’s Cup n Saucer                                                    Pawtucket
  • Right Spot Diner                                                               Pawtucket
  • Riverside Kitchen New York System                       East Providence
  • Rod’s Grill                                                                            Warren
  • Sam’s New York System                                                North Providence
  • Santoro’s Pizza                                                                   Coventry
  • Snoopy’s Diner                                                                   North Kingstown
  • Sparky’s Coney Island System                                    East Providence
  • Stykee’s                                                                                Warwick
  • Taso’s N.Y. System                                                          Johnston
  • Weiner Genie                                                                     Lincoln
  • Wein-O-Rama                                                                    Cranston

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

  • Andy, Beth, Bill W, Chris F, Don L, Ed M, Eddy M, Erik M, Gary B, Jeannie M, Jerry D, Jimmy B, John A, Jack A, Jordan F, Krysten R, Lisa C, Lou M Jr & Sr, Mike D, Natalie F, Nick V, Claire P, Rae C, Rich B, Rich E, Richard C, Rob T, Roberta N, Rosie W, Ryan D, Tammy L, Tom M, Vin O, Vinny L, and YQ.