Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Letter Home

We often get letters from expatriate Mountaineers who have run across our site and want to thank us for reminding them of the hot dogs of their homeland. We also get a lot of letters from people in Marion County and other slawless zones who question our assertion that real West Virginia Hot Dogs must have slaw. What follows is a combination of the two: A missive from a former Marion Countian now residing in Maryland. I print it here in the interest of fairness to that 1/50th of the state's population who agree with him:

I am an expatriate West Virginian forced to flee the state for gainful employment. I do, however, still maintain my contacts back home, including those with relatives in Marion County. They sent me the link to this site. No self-respecting Marion Countian would dare to desecrate his weenie with anything so low-rent as a shredded cabbage product, nor should anyone else! I was weaned (or would that be "weened") on Yann's hotdogs and they are by far the finest tubular meat-byproduct-based confection ever known to man. When I was in high school, I used to get a half-dozen of Russell's finest and a pint of chocolate milk for lunch and my lips would buzz all afternoon from the delightful taste of that powerful, oil-based, taste-bud altering sauce! And yes, I called it "sauce" as that is the proper term for it. "Chili" is something you get at chain restaurants that desecrate their tomatoey meat soups with...beans. Beans are cheap filler used when you can't afford meat. See also: slaw. Back in the day, the recipe was to take a Kettering bun, drop in a Superior "Frankie" dog, wave a little wooden stick with yellow mustard at it just long enough to scare it, sprinkle a few onions, and then spoon on the magical sauce. They were wrapped two at a time in a sheet of wax paper and stuffed into a brown paper sack (both of which would instantly become saturated with oily sauce byproducts that would soil the car seats of the uninitiated).

Another Yann-dog feature your reviewer fails to mention, probably due to lack of adequate research, is their medicinal qualities. Every time I felt a cold or sore throat coming, I'd go to Yann's for a half dozen and a Nesquik and the next day I'd have nary a symptom. Yann's sauce just scares the living hell out of any germs still alive in the vicinity of your digestive tract or sinuses.
To downgrade Yann's to a mere four or four and a half weenies for lack of slaw is absolute sacrilege and places the credibility of your site strongly in question. I can only hope you soon realize the error of your ways and stop this silly quest to laud places that weaken their weenies with shredded garden products.

Mark in Maryland (unfortunately)

12 comments:

wvapoker said...

i'm speechless.....

MountainLaurel said...

Amen. If you want slaw, leave it on the side.

And I would quibble with your assertion that the slaw is common in WV. I haven't seen it all that much, just a few places in the southern part of the state.

Stanton said...

Assertion? Really? A few places in the southern part of the state? Really? By "a few" do you mean dozens? Scores? Hundreds? I would bet it's hundreds and hundreds! In fact I know it is. And not just southern. Look at the map, it's not fiction: http://wvhotdogs.com/slawmap.html

Laurel, you need to get out more! Even Parkersburg with their Buckeye influenced culture has HDJs that serve slaw by default.

MountainLaurel said...

If you say so, Stanton. Where in Parkersburg does serve their hotdogs with slaw? I've never had one. Then again, outside the Marion County area it's pretty much useless to get hotdogs anyway as they just don't know how to make sauce.

I've never seen it as an option in Mon county either which is based as "usually available" on that map. So I'd question the map too. Sorry...just my experience.

The Film Geek said...

Whew...I love the Hot Dog Wars!

I gotta run with Stanton on this. In my ecperience traveling the state for work--which is pretty extensive, especially the past ten years or so--I've found the slaw map to be pretty reliable.

Chili and slaw, man. Chili and slaw.

The Film Geek said...

I freaking hate my sausage-like finger typos!

Stanton said...

Mmmm, sausage fingers.

Laurel, you are too nice to argue with, but if you go to Judy's in PBurg you will find slaw as a standard option. There are others but I've been remiss in properly documenting Wood County. Never fear, I will be up that way next week to do some reviews.

You might be right about Mon County. It's probably a "Sometimes" county since it's basically Southern Pennsylvania.

MountainLaurel said...

While you're there, I'd be interested in what you think of Der Dog Haus on 7th Street.

Chris James said...

Why is it "Mon" County? Is "Monongalia" really that hard to say after drinking a pint of Old Crow for breakfast?

MountainLaurel said...

Some of us are lazy, especially when typing. :-)

FreeHollowBooks said...

Watch for WV HotDogs coming to Greensboro, NC soon. Think of it as Yanns with ketchup, slaw, mild and fire sauce. No chili will be available however. We might truck down Mister Bee potato Chips and Oliverio peppers to go with our Cheerwine soda. Yann's is a 5 by the way.

Isaac said...

I'm a former Faimonter stuck in Missouri (pronounced mis-ery). Got a friend from WV out here and we've both been trying to explain to people out here that hot dog sauce is NOT chili! Growing up with Yann's, Woody's, and T&L (even worked there) I thought everyone knew that a real hot dog was with sauce. I only heard of "slaw dogs" up in PA. Just disgusting!