Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fairmont Hot Dogs Review - D.J's 50's and 60's Diner

Right off of Interstate 79 Exit 133 near Farimont sits D.J.'s 50's and 60's Diner. For years I have seen this little retro looking diner while on trips north and always thought it looked nice. I finally had the chance to stop and see what kind of hot dogs they had to offer. Being in Fairmont, home of Yann's, I figured I'd be lucky to find any coleslaw but figured I'd take my lead from Chris James and do the "when in Rome" thing.

As is the custom in this kind of retro diner, the menu items have names that are supposed to be reminiscent of early rock and roll, so a hot dog is called a "Hound Dog". There were two Hound Dog options on the list, one was just the dog and the other was a dog with fries and a side order of slaw. Slaw on the side? "Better than no slaw at all" I thought and ordered the combo, substituting onion rings for fries.

There is a lot to look at inside D.J.'s while you wait on your order. Pictures of Elvis, Bobby Darrin and Fabian along with other rock and roll icons line the walls. The place is bigger than it looks from the outside, I'd estimate it would hold 150 easily, and there is lots of room to wander around looking at the old stuff on the walls. The place itself is just very cool and well done. Every detail is covered, right down to the juke box and pinball machine. The decor is all black and white checkerboard floors, red and silver naugahyde and chrome everything else. The whole restaurant sparkles.

When my order came I was glad to see the hot dog, er I mean Hound Dog was served on a grilled English bun. A good start. A nice helping of chili was topped off with curls of shaved onions - a very nice touch. I tried a bite of the dog in its natural state and found it to be pretty good. The chili tasted exactly like the kind of chili you eat in a bowl with crackers. It was hearty, meaty and a little bit spicy. I didn't see any kidney beans but it certainly tasted like they were there somewhere. Before I took the second bite I layed on the coleslaw from my side dish, and when I did the Hound Dog really came to life. The slaw, while being a little coarser than I normally like, was out of this world good! It was sweet and creamy and even though the cabbage was a little too chunky, it seemed to be very tender so it worked. Even though there was some assembly required, this was a great West Virginia Hot Dog! I sat there savoring the slaw topped creation and I felt like other diners and the waitstaff were giving me funny looks and whispering about the guy that had put slaw on his Hound Dog. I didn't care, I was sitting there in the glorious manifestation of a genuine WVHD high!

As I finished eating I wanted to find D.J. and tell him what a gold mine he was sitting on. Here was this excellent chili and a good hot dog sitting there on a plate side by side. If D.J. could just see the possibilities and make the leap from having this heavenly creation sitting on the side to including it as an active partner in the main course, he could quite possibly help to move the slaw line north a few miles and get us closer to the glorious day when all of God's children enjoy slaw on their hot dogs! I had to do something, I had to say something!

But, alas, all I said was "check please." And I headed southward on I79. There will be no revolution this day.

But every mile of the drive back to Charleston I kept thinking, "maybe someday." Maybe someday.

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