"Nothing brasses off a teacher of the Language of Goethe more than to insist that 'Weinerschnitzel' is German for 'Hot Dogs!"' --Elle Plotz, my German 2 teacher at Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon.

As long as I have lived in Vista, there has always been a Weinerschnitzel on the corner of South Santa Fe and Escondido Avenue (today's Civic Center Drive), near where I live today. I have eaten their food sparingly...and for a very good reason. Other than the chili cheese fries, the rest of their items were a taste-and-nutritional disaster area!

It was a typical fast-food emporium--plastic seats, chrome fixtures, and some outside seating with orange-and-red patio umbrellas. Basically, it was a place that caterd to those who loved hot dogs in their various forms (what on of my friends at Target's Food Court referred to as "beaks & cheeks"). They added chili and hamburgers later, but when they started out, it was selling more weiners than the "London Leatherboys" that the band Accept sang about in 1987!

Quite naturally, many Americans were rather confused about what "Weinerschnitzel" really was. In my first year of German class at Lemoore State Penitentiary...BELAY THAT!!...Lemoore High School, I found out that "Weinerschnitzel" had absolutely NOTHING to do with hot dogs! To insist otherwise is a good way to get an "F" for the day!

True Weinerschnitzel is a Viennese-styled veal cutlet (and rather tasty, at that!), served with vegetables and sauerkraut. It's a staple at many American "Hoffbrau hausen" (German-styled restaurant), along with Sauerbraten, Wurst, Kartoffell Pfankuchen (Potato Pancakes), and, of course, some of the best beer ever brewed.

Anyhoo--about wo weeks ago, the Weinerschnitzel on the corner of South Santa Fe and Civic Center Drive went out of business. Even with the addition of a Tastee-Freeze inside the store, it has become yet another victim of the economic malaise that has hit the City of Vista in the past decade.

Am I glad it's gone? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY! The asthetics of the place were an eyesore to begin with...and the food matched it precisely! Though inexpensive, Mickey D's (one block to the north) does it much better. If I want hot dogs (which are now officially off my diet), I'll steam up a few at home!

It will be a while before something moves into the spot (the old doughnut shop across the street still is vcacant), what with our economy-and-all. But, if there is one fast-food chain that got what it deserved?

It was this one...the place where hot dogs were sold in a place named for a Vienna-styled veal cutlet--and the hot dogs-in-question could never match Pink's (L.A.), Nathan's (NYC-Coney Island), or Queenie's (Salem, Oregon) in quality, taste, or price!

Auf Weidersehn, Vista Weinerschnitzel...und su der Teufel gehen SIE! --LPR

Comments

nan shartel May 9, 2011 @ 3:17 p.m.

hi LPR

nice to cya back

2 bad about Weinerschnitzel...i love their dogs and they're hard to have find now ;-D

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Visduh May 11, 2011 @ 2:11 p.m.

The evolution of that name onto a hot dog store was curious. Germans brought a couple types of spicy precooked sausages with them to the US. One was the wiener, meaning in the style of Vienna, and the other one was the frankfurter ("frank" for short) made in the style of Frankfurt. In the US the meat filling was the same, the difference being that one was stuffed in a sheep casing and the other in a beef casing (but I don't remember which was which.) The wiener was slimmer and longer, the frank shorter and had a larger cross section. At the time of the St Louis World's Fair of 1904, there were sausage sellers who wanted to introduce the public to their sausages by making them into walking around finger food. But the darned things were greasy and drippy. One even tried selling them with a throw-away glove of some sort. But the success came when a peddlar came up with a small roll that the sausage could be tucked into. How those came to be known as "hot dogs" is not clear, but that name for the sausage and bun stuck and is now almost universal.

The stores in question came along about 1960, calling themselves the more-or-less correct German name of "der Wienerschnitzel." Wiener is part of the longer word, get it? Never mind that the actual dish described is a fried pounded out cutlet of veal or pork. Later they dropped the "der" from the name.

That store in Vista is on a busy, high traffic corner, reasonably accessible. But I don't think I went in there any more often than once in a two year period. The help was cheerless and generally morose, the fare very ordinary (and unhealthful), and the ambiance non-existent. Who will take that corner? Hard to say. That whole part of the Vista business community is not looking good. There's plenty of vacant land and retail space near there already.

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BEE May 11, 2011 @ 10:27 p.m.

I really appreciate that you point out the cultural and linguistic inconsistencies of this embarrassing place. It drove me as a native German nuts. What the f***?!? That's like a vegetarian restaurant naming itself "House of Prime Rib"!!!

Wien is the natives' name for Vienna, and therefore it's Wienerschnitzel (and not Weinerschnitzel that you use, which sounds like "wine" or "whining"). Also, it's "Auf Wiedersehen". Maybe you should plan a little trip to good ol' Europe to brush up on your language skills :-)

Thanks again for paying attention to this place!

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