You know what makes Superman mad? Fast food chains that don't have their act together enough to have made available an actual picture of one of their new menu items. But I suppose that's arguably part of the charm of Wienerschnitzel, a chain here in Southern California that's really pretty awful, specializing in generic hot dogs, one-note chili, and its falling-short aspirations of imitating more popular local chains like Tommy's and In-N-Out.
They also have their own beer called, I kid you not, "Wiener Brew." It's not that I'm not brave enough to try it; it's that I'm not brave enough to drive afterwards. And nobody ever wants to actually come with me to a Wienerschnitzel.
The one thing - I'd say - that singles this chain out as unique, though, is that they consider french fries to be not just a side item, but a topping/filling. Notably, they do a chili cheese fries burrito for a buck or so, and it's not terrible. And with the new Junkyard Dog and Junkyard Chiliburger, they've...you guessed it...put them on hot dogs and burgers.
If I'd reviewed the dog I'd have a proper picture. They must feel far less proud of its circular compadre.
The other ingredients, besides fries: grilled onions, mustard, chili, cheese. This brings us to the two superior chains I mentioned earlier: it cribs the style of both Tommy's, where the gimmick is to put chili on everything; and In-N-Out, where the not-so-secret "secret" menu item is the "animal style" burger, cooked in mustard with grilled onions. Wienerschnitzel figures it can double down by combining everything...and it's wrong.
First off, I most note how sad my local branch seems. They have maybe two people working there - a cashier who won't look at me, and a cook who slowly dumps frozen stuff into the fryer. Depressing. I'd rather not see the kitchen in this instance; transparency is overrated. I order jalapeno poppers on the side, because I can't NOT, and am happily surprised: they're small and seem to have a blend of cheeses inside, sidestepping the whole cheddar vs. cream debate.
As for the burger, I suppose I'm probably asking for it by putting anything with the word "junkyard" in it into my mouth. What can I say - I appreciate originality. And non-nutritional calories, duh.
First thing I noticed - the definition of "grilled" is not what I would like it to be. Nearly raw onion bits with slightly browned tips don't qualify on my world, Wieners. And then there's the mustard - I used to think mustard had a flavor that would complement chili quite nicely, and then I tried incorporating it into my home chili recipe, which was a bad mistake. So is having a lot of mustard on a chiliburger - kills the chili flavor with its sourness.
The burger itself was fine; the chili, monotonous. I should have gone for the burger that has jalapeno poppers actually on it.
Can I give points for creativity? Because I do. But as Julia can tell you after tasting my crockpot cookery, not all culinary creativity equates to anything you'd ever want to eat again.
Maybe the Wiener Brew makes it all better. One day, I WILL find out.