New York Vinny's
Corner of 23rd Ave and Lovejoy

I was planning to review the Good Samaritan Hospital cafeteria, until I witnessed the following disturbing scene: Approaching the 23rd Avenue entrance, a wild-haired half-naked man covered with electrodes suddenly came bursting through the doors. A small mob of nurses were in hot pursuit, screaming, "STOP THAT MAN!" as I deftly stepped aside and watched him burn rubber down the street. "Hmmm..." I thought to myself. "Maybeeee he was just another meth-addled burnout, and maybeee he had a bad experience in the cafeteria." Unwilling to take any chances, I turned around and spotted New York Vinny's hot dog cart on the corner.

Immediately I flashed back to fond memories of ordering dogs on the street in Chicago: "Okay, fucko! Whaddaya want? I said, Whaddaya want? A Polish? You want pickles on that? I said YOU WANT PICKLES ON THAT? Jesus frickin' CHRIST, pal! I'm dyin' here!!" Unfortunately, Portland's cart vendors aren't so colorful. However, I gave Vinny the benefit of the doubt and loaded up on all three entrees-- a Sabrett, a spicy dog, and even a veggie. Though woefully skimpy on the selection of accoutrements (no pickles, tomatoes, celery salt, chili--and perhaps most heinously--no cream cheese), New York Vinny's serve their simple dogs down and dirty.

At first glance, the wieners seemed miniscule, especially since I like franks exhibiting the size and girth of porn star Jeff Stryker. However, all dogs in question had a springy skin, and were deliciously beefy, even (suspiciously enough) their vegetarian selection, which sported only the slightest hint of soy. The spicy dog is slightly larger, and delivers a small kick that gathers momentum, stopping just shy of making the eyeballs sweat.

And while the accompanying sauerkraut and sweet relish were standard-issue, the sautéed onions and ketchup concoction mixed beautifully with the grocery-store chewy buns, and tasted downright savory.

Though I still question the omission of Polish sausage and the wurst brothers (knock and brat), Vinny's steam up good dogs that even a meth-addled escapee should have trouble passing up.