Back in July 2011, when I started this blog, The Wiener Man was one of the first trucks I started following on Twitter, but I always seemed to have a conflict in time to actually visit the Fort Worth-based truck. The owner, Bryce, and I have exchanged many an email and I had heard from many other trucks how good his food was (Note: When another truck owner tells you a truck is good, it's worth seeking out that truck), so when Bryce let me know that he was moving to the 7th Street Food Court at the new Gold Standard bar and, and he'd be working lunch, dinner and late-night, I knew it was time to visit.
This is not your standard big city hot dog cart. Instead the menu looks like this:
They've got not only true gourmet hot dogs but also The Wiener Man's version of sliders, called the O.H. Burger (O.H. stands for "one-handed") and hand cut fries.
Since I couldn't decide between the Mediterranean Homesick Dog and the Summer Slaw Dog, I had half of each. I loved both sides and wish I had gotten full sizes of both. The bun, made by Empire Bakering Company, was amazingly fresh and light. The Mediterranean toppings were fresh with a touch of saltiness, a lot of flavorful olives, capers, tomatoes and feta sitting on top of a high quality wiener. Eating this, while sitting out on the 7th Street Food Court did make me wish to be in the Greek Isles.
I loved the Mediterranean side of the dog but I absolutely adored the Summer Slaw side. I never thought I would describe a hot dog as light, but this one was. Yes, the base was a beef wiener, which would have been called heavy with other toppings, but this combination of cabbage, apples, cranberries and almonds, with honey mustard holding it all together was the perfect mixture of light flavors for a hot summer day. The Empire bun wrapping it all up kept the flavors together and raised them up another notch. This may be one of my favorite items from any of the food trucks.
My friend had the Alchemist, a long-time menu item, and she said it was very good. Her first comment was how pretty it looked and then how tasty the bread was. Final report was that everything was fresh and flavorful. It's a must-try for my next visit to Wiener Man.
We also shared an order of Gouda Fries, hand-cut fries with a generous serving of melted smoked Gouda cheese. The potatoes were cooked to the perfect doneness, lightly crisp outside, soft and tasty inside. The cheese was high quality, smooth and creamy, and even with two people eating we could not finish the whole order.
Recently, Wiener Man added a shaved ice machine. Of course, it would have been rude not to get a dessert on my visit, and because Bryce and I had already talked about the creative process in creating his gourmet dogs, I decided to let him create a gourmet ice for me ... behold the Guava/Li Hing Mui shaved ice (see photo, above). The flavor was sweet but not overly so. This was definitely a grown up shaved ice, which leads to my next point.
Since The Wiener Man is set up in the parking lot of the Gold Standard bar, you can take that shaved ice inside and add a shot of your favorite liquor. Bryce tells me that he's working on some flavor combinations, so if you're interested, be sure to follow along. Otherwise, Wiener Man has over a dozen shaved ice flavors on any given day. The little girl in line behind me was having a hard time deciding between strawberry and Blue Hawaiian, so there is absolutely something for everyone.
I truly think The Wiener Man is one of the most creative trucks out on the streets. The things that Bryce and his business partner/girlfriend are doing take hot dogs to a whole different level -- one that really makes you forget that the base is a wiener and bun. Bryce tells me that now that they are becoming a stationary truck, he'll have more time to unleash the creativity, both on the hot dog and shaved ice menus. I cannot wait to see what is next.