Sunday night I was lamenting to some flood-weary co-workers that I probably missed my chance to try the Flying Wienie, the iconic hot dog joint at the intersection of 8th Ave SW and 1st Street SW. You can’t miss it. It has a big, yellow airplane on the roof.
Judging by its address, I figured it was one more flooded business.
So when I heard Wednesday afternoon that, by some topographical miracle, the place was largely spared from flood damage and is open for business, I set out immediately. I didn’t really need to eat a second lunch, but flood miracles have been few and far between lately.
When I got there, I quickly found out that I wasn’t quick enough. Gazette reporter Stephen Schmidt was already inside, interviewing co-owner John Martin. Scooped.
Later, we found out that business editor George C. Ford had beaten both of us to the story. If there were bronze medals in journalism, I’d be wearing one.
Anyway, back to the Flying Wienie. I had an delicious, fully adorned Chicago dog with hot peppers and tomatoes and pickles and neon green relish and mustard etc. It came with the famous hand-cut fries I’d heard people brag about and they lived up to the hype. My second lunch was far better than my first, which was served from a drive-through window at a place that I will not McName.
The Flying Wienie itself is exactly what a hot dog joint should be, comfy. lived-in and, in this case, stuffed with airplane-related paraphernalia.
Although the FW survived to serve another dog, the neighborhood around it and the nearby businesses it depends on for customers were hit hard by the flood. So if we want the joint to keep thriving, we need to give Martin some business. Same goes with all the other local spots that are or will be opening in the coming weeks and months.
Maybe I’ll make the two-lunch day a habit.