Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2007 Weenie Awards: Best Hot Dog Joint (Huntington)

The Huntington area is home to a bunch of great, nearly-great, and not-so-good-but-popular hot dog joints. It is, quite frankly, as big of a part of our culture as Marshall football, vast public park lands, the railroad, and the mighty Ohio River.

Some folks believe the Stewart's produces the One True Hot Dog, while others go for the Grade A root beer and crinkle-cut fries at Frostop. Others mark out for the zany vibe of Hillbilly Hot Dogs, while others swear by Sam's zingy spicy sauce. Austin's super slaw and ice cream are big favorites, as are M & M's dawgs 'n sides.

For judging the best HDJ in Greater Huntington, one must look beyond sauce, slaw, and overall hot dog quality (they all have their own awards). For Best Dog Joint, I'm looking not only for the quality of the hot dogs and the sides, but also all of the intangibles that go into making a great place to eat. Service, atmosphere, decor, and authenticity all come into play.

After taking all of these factors into account, I was able to narrow the number down to two joints: M & & Dairy Bell and Hillbilly Hot Dogs of Lesage (yup, Huntington's two 5 weenie-rated stands). Both of these places have great dawgs, great service, and an awesome selection of scrumptious sides. The contest then boiled down to the Appalachian authenticity of M & M versus the fun kitschiness of HBHD's good-natured hixploitation setup.

While I love to take my visiting relatives to Lesage to check out the place, this year I gotta give the nod to the most realistic, unpretentious WV HDJ in the Tri State

For the perfect combination of killer dogs, great sides, and intangible authenticity, one needs to look on the other side of the river. Yup, that's right, the 2007 Weenie Award winner for best hot dog joint is M & M Dairy Bell in Chesapeake, Ohio.

Wha?!?!?

Yup, the best West Virginia-style hot dog joint in greater Huntington is technically in Ohio. But, hey, informal culture regions are never really bound by arbitrary political boundaries. At WVhotdogs.com, we value consistency and excellence, not map lines drawn in 1787.

5 comments:

Stanton said...

Oh great, another Buckeye defection. I send my City of Charleston Sanitary Board payment to Columbus, now I gotta go to Chesapeake for a hot dog?

Chris James said...

Maybe this will spur Sam's to add some fries, get HBHD to improve the slaw, and get some real beef in Stewart's sauce...

Chris James said...

Blame the Articles of Confederation.

The Film Geek said...

Oh, man...the union's not gonna like this!

Chris James said...

No, my local reps the entire Hunt-Ash Metro area.

Our District Captain refills ink in Proctorville and the Organizing Committe chairwoman preps side dishes and makes the sauces at a classy joint in Ashland.