When I found out that Hillbilly Hot Dogs had a location in Culloden I was very happy because I had been trying to get to either the Lesage or Huntingon location for a long time but events had prevented me from sealing the deal time and time again. Since I get to Hurricane failry regularly, and since Culloden is just a stone's throw from Hurricane, I knew I could finally taste the delightfully unrefined offerings of this delightfully uncultured HDJ.
I expected to find a great WVHD. Heck, they even call it a "West Virginia Hot Dog" on the menu. It has chili, slaw, onions and mustard just like God intended. While they also have other variations on the menu like the namesake "Hillbilly Hot Dog" (they call it a "Hill") which features a deep-fried weenie, I figured if they were going to all the trouble of having a WVHD listed as a proper noun that they would go to great lengths to make it taste proper.
So I went to Culloden, ordered a "WVHD" and a "Hill" (I had to try it) fully expecting to have my socks knocked off. After all, they have a great website!
The decor is everything I hoped it would be. It draws on every "hillbilly" sterotype imaginable, including a hand-scrawled sign painted on corrorgated tin, toilet seats used as hanging signs inside the restaurant and mis-spelled wurds on all of the signs. No school bus dining rooms like the Lesage location, but pretty good.
But what about the hot dogs? Well, my socks are still on.
The first disappointment was with the slaw: big chunks of cabbage, carrots and something else I couldn't identify. Very bland.
The weenie on the WV was OK. The deep-fried version on the Hill was unremarkable. Chili was OK, buns were OK, everything else was OK.
Now when you go into a place expecting greatness and find mediocrity it is hard to then divorce yourself of the high expectations and grade on an even scale. Perhaps if I hadn't been seduced by the slick website and catchy jingle ("we got the weenies!") I would have though better of the hot dogs. I guess I will never know.
I am going to hold open the possibility that the Huntington or Lesage location will revive my hope, but I don't think I'll be making a special trip to put them to the test. Maybe some day.