To know East Nasty is to know that we strive to be good community partners. We clean up trash, we donate to local schools, we host free couch to 5K training, but mostly? Mostly we help by spending our hard-earned cash at local businesses. And in that vein, I’d like to introduce you to our newest ENOW category: local business!
Who better to start with than the business literally across the street from our 11th & Holly meeting place: I Dream of Weenie! I’m excited about I Dream of Weenie being our newest ENOW for many reasons: I’m personal friends with the owner; I love hot dogs; & ‘Merica.
I Dream of Weenie is owned & operated by Leslie Allen. Leslie is from Birmingham, AL & attended Auburn University. Like most of us, she changed majors a couple of times & took the scenic route to graduation. She ended up with a chemistry degree, but worked in non-profits for most of her career. Leslie says, “So I guess in a way, I am finally using my chemistry degree because cooking is like chemistry except you get to eat the final product!”
Leslie moved to Nashville in 2001, & East Nashville specifically in 2003. She bought I Dream of Weenie in April of 2011 as an established, existing business. It was originally opened in 2007. After she bought the business, she moved it from its original Woodland Street location to its current location on 11th across from Beyond The Edge.
Leslie says her biggest accomplishment at I Dream of Weenie is probably establishing Sunday Weenie Brunch. She kept the original everyday menu since there was a loyal & established following, but Weenie Brunch is her (and her staff’s) creation. As far as she knows, it’s the only weenie brunch in the world! There are other breakfast dogs out there, but they do a complete menu each Sunday, including hashbrown casserole weenie, eggs benedict on smoked sausage, French toasted bun with breakfast sausage links & maple syrup, etc. Also, they have been featured on The Cooking Channel’s show “Eat St.” where a couple of their brunch items were featured.
On the topic of East Nashville, Leslie says that she loves the sense of community & the originality; she loves the locally owned businesses & getting to know her customers who live & work nearby; & she loves that pretty much anything goes around here! Leslie says, “You’ve got all types of people of all socio-economic levels, careers, & political persuasions. And they all love East Nashville. I would say my fave experience is the annual Tomato Art Fest. Before IDOW, I enjoyed attending & participating in some of the activities & seeing the creativity of the art. Since opening IDOW, Tomato Art Fest has taken on a different meaning. It’s our busiest day of the year & gives me a chance to involve many of my friends & family in the business for a day or two. It’s truly a great representation of the spirit of East Nashville with the quirky & creative activities, art, & food creations.”
Leslie first heard about East Nasty through the infamous East Nashville Listserv! She has run with the group a few times, especially when she was training for several triathlons between 2006 – 2008. She also worked for LLS’s Team in Training & came out to run/walk with the group a few times as they were recruiting participants for Country Music Marathon & other events. Leslie says, “It’s been tougher to participate in the group since becoming a business owner due to my crazy schedule & the fact I stand up all day long & really want to sit down at the end of the day!”
Now, here’s the big news: Wednesday night Weenie Night! I Dream of Weenie has offered to extend its hours on Wednesday nights for runners needing to carb-up prior to heading to 3 Crow Bar. Starting next Wednesday, May 8, I Dream of Weenie is offering a special East Nasty price of $3/per menu item (or $2.50 for the basic hot dog), so stop by after your run!. Because I Dream of Weenie is on private property, BYOB is permissible, just be conscientious of open container laws & don’t wander off the I Dream of Weenie lawn. A cooler will be provided. I Dream of Weenie accepts cash & credit cards.
I Dream of Weenie, welcome to the ENOW club! Leslie, thank you for bringing more hot dogs into our lives. We look forward to the first East Nasty Weenie Night after the run next Wednesday, May 8!