As spring gradually warms up, thoughts of picnics and parks begin to flutter around in our heads. After being cooped up and cold for so long, spring fever starts to hit us hard and all we want to do is run around in grass, enjoy the fresh air and feel the heat of the sun on our skin. The taste of hot dogs outside is a signature summer flavor, and I firmly believe they taste better out in the wild.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a few hot dog options pop up in Fort Collins. King Weenie has been around since 2009, when Sam Scialdone and his son, Michael Scialdone started the shop out on west Drake, sandwiched between two medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Business started to slow down as parents from Rocky Mountain high school didn’t want their kids to go by the dispensaries. So, King Weenie packed up and moved to Old Town on College and Olive, right next to Tony’s (at least that crowd doesn’t build until the kids are in bed!).
This was probably a great move for them, because King Weenie is just as great as bar food as it is picnic food. During the day, there’s Oak Street Plaza right across the street, where hoards of kids play in the fountain all summer long. During the late night hours there are long lines of inebriated bar hoppers waiting to munch on quick, cheap street food. Bam- King Weenie is the ruler of both situations.
King Weenie is basically a small hot dog window with outside service only. There’s a picnic table on the side walk if you’d like to stay there and eat, or you can pack it up and take it out somewhere. The menu is simple and nothing particularly special. It reminds me of carnival food, which also reminds me of summer.
The boys and I ordered some hot dogs and took them over to Oak Street Plaza to eat. The Toddler had a corn dog. The Preschooler had a regular hot dog with ketchup. I ordered the Western Dog with chili, bacon, and cheese. We also ordered a chocolate shake to wash it down.
Pretty basic and average – these aren’t the best street food options in Fort Collins. The dogs are big and juicy, however, they don’t have the natural snap casing that makes for an awesome hot dog. The breading on the corn dog was super sweet, which I liked. The chili and bacon on my dog was loaded to the brim. Make sure you get a fork for that! I do believe they would taste better after leaving a bar rather than in a park though.
I’ve also had the Chicago Dog and fries on a separate visit. The buns are steamed (on all of the dogs) and I think this is their best option on the menu. Thick tomatoes, a large pickle slice, whole peppers, and sloppy with relish, onions and mustard – it’s pretty awesome, even when you’re sober.
I’d skip out on the fries and shakes, unless you have an insatiable craving for them. The baked fries remind me of school lunch. The shake tastes sort of like a Frosty, but not as good. Again, perfect if you’re walking out of Tony’s plastered, but not so much when you’re grabbing lunch on a weekday.
So, if the warm weather is priming your mouth for some summer hot dog indulgence, King Weenie is there for the quick, cheap fix. While they might not be the mightiest king in all of hot dog land, they certainly rule the bar crowd.
226 South College Avenue
no website available
Kid- Friendly? Absolutely.
Parking? Old Town street parking, or there’s the lot on Remington.
Healthy Options? No.
Budget-Friendly? Cheapest lunch I’ve found in Fort Collins! Everything is under $5
Recent Health Inspection? Excellent