As always, we enjoyed some terrific conversation, shopping, and eating in the Music City, but we saved the best meal for last this time. Over in the East Nashville neighborhood, where half the folk are kicking back and having fun and the other half are grumbling “blankety-blank hipsters” under their breath, there’s a beat-up old VW bus parked in a grass lot, and the good folk there are serving up some of the tastiest hot dogs that we’ve ever had.
I Dream of Weenie was originally opened by Alisa Martin in 2007, and she came up with some clever topping combinations to go with her charcoal-grilled dogs. The little hippie van had a cult following despite a lack of seating, but she eventually sold the business to Leslie Allen, who reopened it after a short break in 2011. Now, there are some places to sit, including some patio furniture and a small picnic table. When it is warm, people will unroll blankets to stretch out in the sun, eating dogs while listening to people hammering on instruments in the music shop next door. And across the street, there’s the Pied Piper Creamery, serving the best ice cream for miles and sharing store space with a children’s book shop. Good heaven, if we lived in Nashville, we’d buy a house in this neighborhood and probably not do a lot of traveling. Everything we need is here!
The girlchild ordered a dog with pimento cheese and I had their signature Rebel Yelp, which comes with chow-chow, jalapenos, mustard and diced onions. To begin with, I’ve had an awful lot of pimento cheese in my day and fully intend to spend the rest of my time on this earth eating more. This homemade spread is some of the best I’ve ever had, anywhere. The girlchild definitely ordered correctly here. The Rebel Yelp was also completely wonderful, a perfect mix of flavors complementing each other.
It wasn’t just the dogs that made this meal perfect. One thing that I don’t care for with food trucks is that you can never just get a glass of ice water from one. It’s no different at this stationary truck than at ones that move around. They only have canned sodas and bottled water. However, the fellow who took our order pointed to a little display of the same national-brand flavors you see everywhere else, and added “…and we have (something I’ve forgotten) and spicy ginger ale.” That raised an eyebrow. “Oh, what’s that, Blenheim?” “No,” he said, “it’s called Buffalo Rock.”
My eyes about popped out of my head. Buffalo Rock, as you all know, is one of my favorite beverages. I’ve never heard of it being sold anywhere this far north. Leslie explained that some of her family in Alabama bring boxes of it up to her. Terrific choice! Residents of Nashville, you need a Rebel Yelp and a Buffalo Rock. Maybe a bag of salt and vinegar chips. This is just flat out one of the best picnic lunches you can find. Getting a parking place nearby, well, that’s a little trickier.
Other blog posts about I Dream of Weenie:
Nashville Restaurants (Dec. 7 2008)
Dining With Monkeys (Apr. 30 2010)
Hot Dogs and Hydrangeas (Aug. 9 2010)
A Radiused Corner (Feb. 29 2012)
Beehive Behave (June 19 2012)
Spinach Tiger (Aug. 13 2012)
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s terrific for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!