Two Saturdays ago, someone at The Forks location of Fools and Horses asked me if I was going to the grand opening of Wienerpeg. I didn’t know about the opening of this new kiosk. It is taking the place of Skinner’s a hot dog kiosk that had been at The Forks for 30 years.
I didn’t really plan on going, but then this happened. This is a typical Winnipeg story. One side does not want anything changed. The other side things that anything new, and with the word gourmet attached, is obviously better. Given that I move back and forward past The Forks I decided I would give the new place a try.
Wienerpeg is owned by the same people behind Red Ember Pizza and Wall Street Slice.
One thing off the top. The name Wienerpeg does sound like it was chosen by a group of 15 year old boys after they broke into parent’s liquor cabinet.
One of the first things that I notice is that the menu features several hot dogs, but the only sides are fries or poutine. There is a carrot dog offered as a vegetarian option. There are a variety of beverages available, some being home made.
On the whole, this is a step down from Skinner’s, where you could also get hamburgers and onion rings in addition to the dogs and fries.
The prices are $4.95 for a basic dog and $6.50 for a specialty one. I don’t have access to the Skinner’s prices, but I do not recall them being a whole lot cheaper. Nonetheless, these prices outrage many Winnipeggers whose idea of a good day out, is a $2.00 hot dog consumed while wandering the aisles of Costco.
When I ordered, I went with the Scandinavian dog. The toppings are as follows:
Euro wiener, fresh onions, fried onions, ketchup, mustard, remoulade, pickle slices
I really enjoyed the actual wiener in this dog. It had a good, smoky flavour to it. It also wasn’t particularly fatty. The bun though, was on the dry side.
The fries were all right. It might be a good idea to offer a few toppings for the fries to help make them more interesting. Together the fries and dog came to just over $12.00, not a bargain, but a reasonable price for a meal.
Back for Poutine
After my first visit, I returned a couple of days later to give Wienerpeg another try. This time I thought I would try the poutine along with my hot dog.
For the hot dog, I went with the Chicago:
All beef wiener, mustard, fresh tomatoes, pickle spear, hot peppers, onions, relish, celery salt
I prefer the Euro Wiener to the All Beef, but the All Beef wiener is still really good. This wiener is served in a bun with poppy seeds on top, which I quite like. The only trouble with the dog, is that the toppings tend to fall off, or you end up eating the whole pickle spear in one bite.
The poutine is somewhat disappointing. They use Chicken gravy, and it is not very well seasoned. There simply isn’t a whole lot of flavour to it.
I ordered the in house made root beer for my beverage. This root beer is non-carbonated. I am sure some people grew up on a root beer such as this. I did not, and I find it an acquired taste that I am in no rush to acquire.
On the whole, I am neither thrilled nor upset with Wienerpeg. I do realize it is only about a week since they opened. That means it may take them some time to find their level. Also given the job Red Ember has done with pizza, I trust them to improve as time goes by.
Still, while I won’t be rushing out to eat there, it is one of the better priced options at The Forks.