At Charter and West Johnson across from the Psychology building, there's a new hot dog cart, featuring a rotating cast of wieners from local producers. It's called Winer's Wiener Wagon and is operated by Fred Winer.
On the southwest campus weekdays from about 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Winer's classic aluminum cart with steam trays is a streamlined operation, but there are touches that set it apart. Customers have a choice of two different kinds of wieners from state butcher shops.
Last week, for instance, the offerings were a natural casing wiener from Stoneridge Market in Wautoma and an Angus beef hot dog from Wenzel's Farm in Marshfield. Winer switches his suppliers not just for variety but also because sometimes his orders clean out these small purveyors. Buns are an excellent split-top poppy seed from Colonial Bakery of Sun Prairie. One dog is $3; try both for $5.
His serve-yourself condiment selection at the front of the cart is pretty thorough, with kraut, diced onions, sliced tomatos, banana peppers, sweet pickle relish, and an excellent chunky giardinara. Ketchup, yellow mustard, barbecue sauce and brown mustard from Wisconsin's own Uncle Phil's rounds out the toppings.
Winer also vends near the St. Vincent de Paul store on Williamson Street Thursday and Friday evenings from 4 p.m. through the dinner hour and all day on Saturday. Check his Facebook page for updates.