With summer threatening to emerge in bursts of sunlight, one’s mind wanders to warm-weather cuisine: watermelon, lemonade and wieners fresh from the grill. If you’re like me, it’s hard to wait for the rain to stop before satisfying that craving. So I hit the pavement in search of hot dogs. The following is what I found.
Bob’s Weiner Stand 685 River Rd. When I think hot dogs, the cuisine they sling from Bob’s Weiner Stand is precisely what comes to mind, meaning your standard Polish dog on a plush bun. Toppings range from golden American standards (yellow mustard, sweet relish, onion) on through the vast (nacho cheese, pickle spears and more). It’s out of the way, but the picnic area set up to the side is the perfect spot to get away from downtown and enjoy a great lunch at a friendly price.
Red Five Hot Dog Co. 591 Willamette St. This is the epitome of the walk-up hot dog cart. In my travels, it is the only one of its kind I came across. The hot dogs are basic in the best way, and above that Red Five offers more than 20 different toppings. Make it your favorite standard or load up your wildest creation. This might be the spot for an afternoon stroll on lunch break. Grab a dog, keep on walking and enjoy those moments of sunshine.
Barry’s Espresso, Bakery & Deli 2805 Oak St. & 804 E. 12th Ave. Ordering the kosher dog at Barry’s takes a brave — and hungry — soul. Toppings are limited to the basics, but you don’t feel cheated. Southtowne Shops make for the perfect lunch spot if you find yourself in South Eugene, just off the main drag with a nice patio for soaking up the sun.
McMenamins High Street 1243 High St. McMenamins takes the sausage game to a whole new level, serving up Olympic Provisions kielbasa topped with a sauerkraut relish. This is sausage the way sausage was meant to be consumed, paired nicely with a pickled garnish and accompanied by McMenamins’ own stoneground mustard. The price is a little higher, but the homey environment and especially tasty food make it well worth the couple extra blocks to High Street.
Hot Mama’s Wings 420 W. 13th Ave. Hot Mama’s might be known for their wings, but they can bring it with other foods as well. The pretzel dog is a perfect example. Less traditional, this hot dog comes piping hot on a pretzel bun and topped with bacon bits and a signature beer cheese sauce. This is the perfect dog to pair with a local brew.
The Barn Light 924 Willamette St. The Von Trimble Beer Brat at The Barn Light closes out our tour of meats in tube form. This is an absolute ideal marriage of flavors: a Rainier beer bratwurst topped with a cider-braised cabbage. And if I ever wondered what the point of a pretzel bun is, this is it. Everything works, and the corner of Broadway and Willamette has become a favorite lunch spot, especially as the weather warms up and dries out.
photos by Trask Bedortha