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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Daily 6:00am–6:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

Arlington, VA
2680 S. Shirlington Rd.
Arlington, VA
(703) 671-6661
Weenie Beanie
Sometimes, the best half-smokes happen where you least expect them

The half-smoke is, by many accounts, DC’s one truly native food, and one of the best half-smokes in the area can be found at this little drive-up-or-walk-up stand, which sits unassumingly along Shirlington Road. The place is not far from the District, but it’s in a sort of no-man’s land; across the street is an area where some day laborers hang out, looking for work, and they love the half-smokes here. You will too.

The place is strictly order-at-the-counter—low prices, no frills—and you’d better know what you want by the time you get there, because patience isn’t up there with short-order-grill and half-smoke expertise on the list of talents of the Weenie Beanie staff.

The thing to have is a half-smoke with chili and cheese. It’s beautifully charred, served on a super-absorbent white hot-dog roll, and has in every sense mastered the delicate balance of fat, salt, sugar, and starch that’s required for all-out, straight-up pleasure.

Even more treats await if you travel down the menu a bit. Fried-fish sandwiches are surprisingly good, as are the basic egg-plus sandwiches (like bacon, egg, and cheese on toasted white bread), and the vinegary North Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches (not up to smoky Carolina standards, but not bad for the DC area). Skip the soggy fries, though.

The Urban Dictionary defines “weenie beanie” as follows: “A condom. A party hat for your hot dog. One size fits most. Usage: I brought a pack of weenie beanies in my pocket to the yacht party.

Might get a bit messy, with all that chili and cheese oozing out of your jeans, but it still sounds like a good yacht party to us.

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