Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Buckhannon HDJ Review - T&L Hot Dogs

A brand new building: Something that usually doesn't shout "great hot dogs here!" As a general rule, the best WVHDs are found in buildings with peeling paint and faded signs. It's as if they put their money into the hot dog and instead of the building. So I was skeptical when I was told that there was a brand new T&L Hot Dogs in Buckhannon and wasn't in a big hurry to get up that way to check it out. But I finally made it.

Now I know that T&L has good hot dogs from my previous experience with them. When I pulled up to the shiny new brick building I was confident that I would get a decent hot dog, but what I got was a little different than I expected.

The building is very nice and still smells new on the inside. Big for a hot dog joint, this restaurant looks like it would hold 50 or 60 diners comfortably. It felt very clean and was generally a nice place to eat.

Nice, that is if you like nearly perfect hot dogs.

No exaggeration, this is a nearly perfectly executed WVHD. The spicy chili was complex, had a great texture and was served in abundance. The cole slaw, although I had to ask for it specifically, was awesome: It was finely chopped, had wonderful texture, flavor and color. The bun was soft and seemed to be steamed, although I didn't witness the steaming, and the weenie was excellent.

The only negative thing I could say about this hot dog is that it was served in a Styrofoam coffin.
My quandary is that T&L is a chain, and I am reticent to award a Five Weenie rating to a chain since people often expect that all the locations are the same. I can't violate my own rule.

Oh yes I can.

I give T&L Hot Dogs of Buckhannon a Five Weenie rank. It comes with this disclaimer: Not all T&L Hot Dog locations can claim this rating until they have proven worthy on their own merits.

7 comments:

Dave said...

Stanton

I did not know that T & L was a chain. How many in the chain?
Thanks for the nice things you have to say about Buckhannon!

When I was a student at Wesleyan my lunch was going to Liberty Lunch where Harry Lulos sold 15 cent hotdogs and 30 cent graham cracker pie. Liberty Lunch was located right next to C J Maggies in a little "hole in the wall". The Bank tore it down to replace it with an ugly brick faux modern building. Boo

Stanton said...

Dave, the website lists only 6 locations, but Buckhannon isn't one of them. I think there's also one in Weston. Here's the website:

http://www.tandlhotdogs.com/locations.htm

Van said...

Awesome blog!

There used to be two T&L dog locations in Buckhannon, but it's been a long time since I've been in the area.

One of my fondest memories of a T&L dog was about 1984 and having one of their extra spicy hots. Somehow it shredded the roof of my mouth. Not sure what kind of chili flakes they used, but... best dog ever.

There was another great hotdog place / pool hall downtown across from the courthouse, but I'm sure it's long gone now.

editor-in-chief of self said...

Hi,
The Liberty Lunch across from CJ Maggie’s was operated by George Lulos (my father), Harry’s younger brother. Harry sold his half to my father in the late 1940s. We moved locations to across the street from the courthouse, also across from Rainbow Restaurant. The best hot dogs in all of WV for a while there!! We sold in 1975. The cole slaw was phenomenal also.
We (family members) have tried to reproduce my dad’s chili recipe and have come close but just can’t get those final touches right! He even left us a recipe!! Very exasperating considering the potential prize. The pies were to die for, too.
Good memories, huh?
Michelle (Lulos) Livingston

Michelle said...

Oops. Forgot to mention: The Liberty Lunch was never a pool hall. The building was used by a pool hall in the 80s (I think).

Michelle

Theresa said...

Hi! I was born and raised in Buckhannon and can remember having T&L dogs as a kid. The Dave's Famous Hot Dogs website says that they opened their first location in Bridgeport in 1984. Not to date myself, but I'm thinking the Buckhannon T&L was open before that. It was originally beside the skating rink. There are also T&L's listed in Jane Lew and Weston, which I believe are part of the Buckhannon T&L chain, but are also not on the Dave's famous site. Could we possibly have TWO T&L's that are unaffiliated?

Steve said...

Having grown up in Buckhannon, my vote goes to the Liberty Lunch for best hot dogs in town. Two of those with fries on the side made a perfect meal. The atmosphere was warm, and Mr. and Mrs. George Lulos were always kind. I have dined in many places in the years since, but nothing compares to the Liberty Lunch for good food and a friendly atmosphere.