If you went into weenie withdrawal after Sparky’s in East Providence — a long-time mainstay on the state’s hot-wiener scene — closed about a year ago, fret no more. The culinary creations are back in the form of E.P. Weiners, owned and operated by Rhode Islanders, for Rhode Islanders — and anyone else craving the crunchy goodness of these legendary little tubes of meat.
E.P. Weiners (yes, spelled differently than the conventional ‘wiener’, but then again, Rhode Island loves to be different) opened in November and not much has changed since the Sparky’s days, save for a repaint and refresh and moving the fabled hot wiener grill from the front window to the main grill area, and a new counter that’s higher and more spread out so you’re not elbow-to-elbow with fellow diners.
But the goods? They blissfully remain the same, from the coffee milk to the fries to the eggs and of course, the namesake wieners, supplied by Little Rhody in Johnston. You got the piquant punch of the homemade Coney Island sauce, the pop of gnawing into a ruddy, thick-skinned wiener, the bite of chopped onion, the wonderful slightly bitter flavor of celery salt, the tang of mustard. It’s all good and it’s all back at E.P. Weiners.
The best bet: Three all-the-way wieners with fries and a large (or ‘lahge’ if you want to talk like a local) coffee milk from Munroe Dairy in E.P., all for 8 bucks. The fries are thick and hand cut and crunchy outside, moist inside, the coffee milk frothy and ice cold.
Breakfast is big here, too, with eggs, waffles, pancakes and French toast, and lunch with a variety of sandwiches. But wieners are the big draw, especially late at night when the bars let out. I’m told that’s when people order “air dogs,” which is a wiener with the works – minus the wiener. Sounds weird, but hey, must be a Rhode Island thing.
And so are wieners. Good to know they’re back in E.P.
122 Taunton Ave.
East Providence, RI