The Wienery

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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What can I say...great atmosphere and tasty, greasy diner food. I really dig their homemade spicy bean burger, mmmm. And they've got the best fries in town. If yer lookin for a greasy spoon joint then this is it.

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This is a super-tiny, old-school, barely-up-to-code joint serving burgers, fries and hot dogs. Vegans will find some dishes of interest here, however. They offer vegan hot dogs (which made be made a dozen different ways, with different toppings), a mock duck philly (without cheese if you're vegan), and a home-made blackbean burger. The fries are also famous here.

The first time I came I had the mock duck philly ($5) without cheese. It wasn't great. For one thing, I could still taste the can that the mock duck had been sitting in (this is a common problem with mock duck; better to switch to seitan bought at a co-op, or made yourself). Also, a philly without cheese is not a philly; that said, there's a great vegan cheese available (at Whole Foods and at Galactic Pizza and Z Pizza), Daiya, which would work well enough. Or, for that matter, an herbed, nut-based "cheese," like the "rinotta" offered at Pizza Luce, would be excellent. Lastly, the bun it came on was one of those ungodly soft, spongy and white pieces of bread that so many Minnesotans love, but I love to hate. Give me a whole-wheat, flaky sub roll over fake white bread any day.

The hand-cut fries ($1.75 for one potato's worth) were okay, but not great. Somehow I found them bland and boring. For great golden marvels, check out McCoy's Public House in St. Louis Park, or The Loop in Minneapolis.

The next time I came I had the home-made blackbean burger ($3). I got some grilled peppers and onions added to it ($0.50). This was pretty tasty and a great value at under $4. For one thing, the blackbean patty had a spicy kick to it. Secondly, the bun was whole-wheat, and not white. Third, the tomatoes and lettuce were fresh and not cafeteria-grade. The burger just worked and had heft and taste to it for an amazingly low price; my only gripe, and it's a minor one, was that the patty didn't hold together and fell apart the more bites I took.

The service is extremely friendly and casual. If The Wienery had more vegan options (namely things like tofu scramble, vegan cheeses, and vegan sausages from Field Roast) I'd be back there more often. As it stands, this is a great spot to get a quick, cheap and tasty vegan burger.

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here's the lowdown on this place. the decor is that of a hole in the wall trashy bar. the cook was very nice though. i asked him what he could do for vegans and he said that he could get me a vegan hot dog or veggie black bean burger but that the hot dogs were fried in the same oil as meat. i cringed at this and opted for the black bean burger, which was incredibly tasty for only $3! trhe fries are also fried in the same oil i presume.
he was very informative about how he prepared the food he served though and did not hesitate to tell me these things, which i respect. it was a really fun experience overall. the cook seems really nice.

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The food here is good, with lots of vegetarian & vegan options. The place, on the other hand, is trashy. I would come back if they cleaned the place up.

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Some dude: "Pat, why don't you charge more for your food?"

Pat: "Most of my friends are poor!"

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could have potential, but i stopped eating there when i watched my hot dog get tossed onto the flattop with all the meat dishes cooking, and then get stirred around with the same utensil. got up and walked out and never came back...

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I had a good vegetarian hotdog here. They actually have 4 different vegetarian hotdogs to choose from (although only 1 is vegan.) There's a veggie burger here too.

You won't like this place if:
1.) You are bothered by dirtiness. (I'm not especially.)
2.) You don't like things that are EXTREMELY greasy. (They threw my veg brat in the fry basket.)
3.) You would be turned off at the idea of your veg dog swimming in frying juices that meat hotdogs have also bathed in. (I'm assuming that they use the same basket and grease for all their hotdogs but I could be wrong.)

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I had one of their vegan dogs with sauerkraut, ketchup, and mustard. It was pretty good, but it was basically a deep fried "Smart Dog" with the works. As far as the restaurant goes, it was a bit dirty and greasy overall.

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