The Unvegan

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Der Decent at Wienerschnitzel

Just look at those colors.

Wienerschnitzel and the concept of a hot dog chain restaurant has always intrigued me. Since I was a little kid, I have loved me some hot dogs, and finally I got the opportunity to check out Wienerschnitzel when the bright yellow and red a-frame restaurant in Valley Village called my name loud enough. I had some strange expectations for this place, because it’s really hard to mess up a hot dog, but they can be messed up and it doesn’t matter what ingredients you toss on top if the dogs can’t hold their own.

It’s a dog! Let’s eat it.

With this in mind, it took me a while to figure out what to order. They have some good-looking dogs with chili, relish, Chicago-style and whatnot. They all looked good and could be upgraded to 100% beef for a buck more than their regular prices. I’m guessing this meant the regular ones were pork. After much deliberation, I settled on a good barometer for hot dogs: chili and cheese. I upgraded the dog to beef and also got a chili cheeseburger. These were both fit for an unvegan with no vegetable ingredients to order without.

Doesn’t look half bad.

My food was ready almost instantly and I was ready to get down with some dog. What I found could best be described as decent. For starters, the hot dog had good beefy flavor, but little to no snap. There were a couple bites where I couldn’t tell if I had snagged any dog or not because of the lack of snap. Next was the chili. This added just about nothing. The flavor wasn’t bad at all, because you can’t be bad if you are nonexistent. I don’t know if it was simply browned water, but someone forgot to spice this chili. The cheese was good, but cheese is always good. Finally, the bun worked well enough as a dog-carrying conduit, but was spongy and just fit well with the rest of the dog.

Why did you do this to me?

As for the burger, this transcended decency, but in the wrong direction. The patty was slightly thicker than paper and every couple bites I would crunch into something. I don’t know what it was, but I knew I didn’t want it in my mouth. A burger should not be crunchy. Similarly, the chili added nothing to the burger and the cheese did its job. Once again, I was disappointed in the bun, because it was just too big for a burger of this size. Had the burger actually tasted good, the bun would have sapped the flavor. In this case, maybe it was there to hide the lack of goodness inside.

Sorry, Wienerschnitzel, maybe hot dogs just aren’t cut out to be the centerpieces of chain restaurants. Next time I’ll keep it real and head to Vicious Dogs.