I knew I was in for a noteworthy meal when I saw the counter men holding dozens of steaming, fully-loaded hot dogs on their bare arms.
As I witnessed this glorious phenomena play out at Olneyville New York System, which happens to be in Providence Rhode Island (olneyvillenewyorksystem.com) , I couldn’t help but get lost in my thoughts. I began to fantasize about forests in which the trees were made entirely of hot dogs, where the rivers swiftly flowed with spicy brown mustard, where the ground was made entirely of chili instead of dirt, and where pearly white sauteed onions fell delicately to the ground instead of snow. After a brief moment of undisturbed, pure, joyous dreaming, I was jolted back into the real world by the sound of my father’s voice inquiring about my order.
Luckily,the ecstasy of viewing the “hot dog accordions” did not fade. In fact, the joy that I felt while dining at Olneyville New York System was only strengthened as the meal progressed. My Father and I chose to sit at the counter of the restaurant, to truly take in the full experience.
In between the counter and the wall of the restaurant was where the magic really happened. In this tiny sliver of the already small hot dog joint, extremely enthusiastic staff members took orders, rows and rows of tender “links” sizzled quietly on the griddle, and an impressive industrial washer pumped out enough plates to keep those hot dogs flying off the griddle. After witnessing the immense energy put into the restaurant, my Father and I crafted our succinct orders: two hot dogs each with the works (mustard, sauteed onions, meat, and a dusting of celery salt), along with a refreshing glass of Olneyville’s famed coffee milk.
Before I describe the hot dog itself, I would like to say, with regard to the countless condiments available, mustard is the only way to go. While I have sometimes given in to the tantalizingly sweet allure of the ruby red Heinz bottle, I have learned that only the subtle spice of a good mustard packs a significant enough punch to cut through the greasiness and the saltiness of a hot dog.
Another noteworthy piece of advice that I think is worth mentioning: when a restaurant offers you a dish “all-the-way,” “with the works,” or “with everything on it,” always go for it. The only reason why a restaurant will offer such a package is because they are proud of everything that they make, and want to showcase their expertise to the customer. Even if you may not like one or two of the items that constitute a dish that is “all-the-way,” don’t worry. The toppings are meant to work together in a perfectly delicious harmony, and there is no reason to mess with that.
The hot dogs were placed exquisitely betwixt adjacent walls of soft, pillowy buns, awaiting their blankets of tasty accompaniments. The dogs were crisp and snappy on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside: the ideal contrast of textures. The wieners were adorned with only most marvelous toppings. They were coated in layers of piquant, velvety mustard, piles of robustly seasoned sauteed onions, tumbling, crumbly droves of chili, and a hefty dusting of herbaceous celery salt. You really can’t get much better than that…
The Coffee Milk was truly the ideal drink to wash it all down. Coffee Milk is actually the official state drink of Rhode Island, and the syrup used to make the milk is created by straining sugar and water through coffee grounds.
The milk at Olneyville is chilled to a frothy, foamy perfection and served in a tall glass to maximize the amount of drink you can ingest. The taste of the beverage resembles that of a milkshake, thanks to the presence of sugary, sweet coffee syrup.
Overall, Olneyville was frank-ly (get it?) incredible! While many restaurants boast a mean hot dog, few can match up with the experience and grub that you can get at Olneyville New York System. I would give it ZZZZV- 4 and ½ Z’s- Delicious.