Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fairmont HDJ Review - Lupo’s

Lupo’s recently moved from it’s downtown Fairmont location (which was, ironically, a block away from the more well-known Yann’s) to a location on Route 250 not far from the Taylor/Marion County line. One would have to question the move, since it puts the business out of reach of downtown pedestrian customers and into competition with two other notable HDJs (Hank’s Deli and Hometown Hot Dogs). Sources say the move was mostly made so that the new location could also run a Hot Spot Lounge.

Indeed, the new building sitting alone on Route 250 does feature a prominent Hot Spot sign on the front. When you walk through the door, you really can’t tell if you’re walking into a hot dog joint or a coffee house. New bar stools line the counter, and a leather sofa with glass coffee table sits nestled in a nearby corner. The video gambling room is off to the right behind closed doors. The owners are very personable and down to earth.

But the main reason for the visit, of course, is for the dogs. Lupo's is one of the few places in the area that still has it's hot dogs mentioned in the same context as the famous Yann's (depending on who you talk to), which would say something about their staying power. At $1.00 a pop, the price is nothing to complain about. A standard hot dog with everything here consists of onions, chili, and mustard. Unfortunately, we’re north of the 'slaw line' here, so Marion County laws are in effect: no slaw available. The gentleman who took my order used great care when putting my hot dogs together. I thought it was a nice touch that mustard was spread on the insides of the bun with a knife rather than just being squirted from a plastic bottle.

When I unwrapped the hot dogs, I was surprised by how scrawny they appeared. Take a look at the picture and judge for yourself. There was a heavy, doughy taste to the buns for some reason that made them taste rather blah. Or should I say, “blah to the negative power“. It kind of took away from the overall enjoyment of each bite. The flavor of the chili, however, really stood out. It had all the biting spiciness of northern WV chili, plus a little extra kick that invoked the sensation of Novocain. For some reason, I found that to be a guilty pleasure. Although the ground beef in the chili had a good flavor, it was somewhat sparse, making the sauce itself thin and watery.

Overall, Lupo’s rates three-and-a-half weenies. The hot dogs are good, but would be helped by a bit more beef in the sauce and perhaps the availability of slaw at least as an option.

8 comments:

Chris James said...

Sorta looks like someone sat on it first.

MountainLaurel said...

you are kidding,right? Lupo's is much better than Yann's, always has been. They don't look so great, but there is more than enough flavor to make up for it.

OneAngelFL said...

OH MY GOSH!!! It's been years since I've had a Lupo's hot dog, but can STILL taste that wonderful flavor. It's a shame they moved away from beautiful downtown Fairmont..tee hee...what a shame for those that could walk there at lunch and indulge theirselves. Maybe they'll see the error of their way and go BACK. Wish I could order online and have them sent to me here in TEXAS!!!

Shelly said...

It's been years since I've been back to Fairmont for a Lupos hotdog. They are squishy and scrawny looking because the buns are steamed - that's part of what makes them different. I tried to get them shipped once but WV has a law about shipping meat out of the state. I need some pepperoni rolls from Country Club bakery too!

Brad said...

Oh, my yes--Lupo's has always been far better than Yann's. And slaw? That would ruin a Fairmont style hotdog.

Yellowpaws said...

I have to say, my grandparents grew up on Fairmont and I spent years (I'm 43) listening to my older family raving about Lupo's hot dogs. Sadly, I did not have my first dog until my mid 30s (in downtown) - boy, did I waste a lot of years not enjoying them. Now, when I get back there every couple of years, I live in Washington State, the first thing I want to do, is go to Lupos and get a half dozen dogs. Last time I was back there, we made the pilgrimage to the new place... it was worth it!!

Javelin Australia said...

I grew up in Fairmont and left for the Air Force in 1976 and eventually wound up in Australia. One of my most eduring memories is Lupo's Hot Dogs - Three with everything and a chocolate milk. Lupo and his wife were there, as was the waitress who had worked with them for I believe nearly 40 years. Great hot dogs, great memories.

Buddhabear said...

Love Lupo's hotdogs. Went back last year (2011) and had to ask where they were, after looking where they were when I used to go there when I was still in high school. Graduated in 1966 from Barrackville (After only senior year) but went to Fairmont East for 3 years. Went to Yann's, Lupo's, and East Side Confectionary, on Morgantown Ave. (I think). Loved all their hotdogs, but Lupo's was the best then! Loved going in to talk to Marshal, and having him make my hotdogs, always with extra onions. I really miss him, as I found out when I was back there from his brother, who was running the business then. Plan on going back this year (2012) in August, so it will be time for Lupo's hotdogs again. Will try to take a dozen or so back with me when I go back home!