Hot dog!

Braeburn owner slings franks at Wiener Wagon

When Lisa Carvey purchased a secondhand hot dog cart, she did not expect to have quite so much fun operating her third South Whidbey business.

“It was total impulse, really,” she said. “I have always loved hot dogs. It’s one of those things where I drive by a hot dog cart and I can’t not stop.”

Carvey owns both the Braeburn Restaurant in downtown Langley and the Braeburn at the Barnyard, a fried chicken food truck that opened in 2022. Her latest enterprise, dubbed the Wiener Wagon, joins the food truck at Penn Cove Brewing Company in Freeland – weather permitting.

Carvey is the sole operator of the Wiener Wagon, which she usually opens in the mid-afternoon on Fridays and Saturdays after finishing the lunch hour at her flagship restaurant seven miles away. Its hours are subject to change, however, and can be tracked on the “Braeburn Wiener Wagon” Facebook page. The hot dog stand is also open some Mondays and Tuesdays.

“I’m from the East Coast, so it was very nostalgic for me,” Carvey said. “The first dog I remember having was at Fenway Park with my dad.”

The Wiener Wagon made its debut at Musselfest this year in Coupeville. Coincidentally, Carvey’s first customer was a former owner of the hot dog stand when it was part of a business up in Oak Harbor. He was happy to give her tips about running the single person push cart, which has five steam wells and a little grill.

Toppings are made in house for the beef franks and bratwurst. In addition, the stand offers vegan plant-based dogs.

“I did also invent a Vermont dog, because I’m a Vermonter, so I felt like we needed that on the menu,” Carvey said, referring to the grilled chicken apple sausage that comes with grilled onions, Vermont white cheddar and maple mustard.

Of course, both the Fenway Frank and the Seattle Dog make an appearance on the menu. Carvey’s take on the Pacific Northwest dog has Sriracha cream cheese, grilled onions and pickled jalapenos.

The Kinda Coney Dog is served with homemade Fritos – seasoned corn chips – among other toppings.

Over time, she hopes to have other regional dogs on the menu.

Carvey has found that the Wiener Wagon offers a quicker alternative for those who show up to the brewery hungry. Sometimes an order at her nearby food truck can take a while.

“Everyone is stoked to see hot dogs. It’s hilarious,” she said. “Kids, their eyes just light up, they lose their minds over these hot dogs.”

Her employees have even noticed the difference spending summer slinging franks in the sunshine has made for Carvey.

“The wagon doesn’t really feel like work, and I’m having a good time doing it,” she said.

Next year, she might just take the hot dog stand on the road. But for now, it can still be found alongside chicken and brews.

An employee of Penn Cove Brewing Company enjoys a hot dog. (Photo by David Welton)

An employee of Penn Cove Brewing Company enjoys a hot dog. (Photo by David Welton)

A loaded frank with all the fixings. (Photo provided)

A loaded frank with all the fixings. (Photo provided)