Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Clarksburg HDJ Review - Parkette Family Restaurant

Well over fifty years ago, the Parkette sat at the end of what is now known as Old Bridgeport Hill, just on the border of the limits of Bridgeport and Clarksburg overlooking the current intersection of U.S. Route 50 and I-79. The original building, a throwback to the days of the drive-in family diner, eventually outlived its usefulness and a new building was created on just a stone's throw away heading back into Clarksburg.

All along, the Parkette was always recognized as 'the' place to go for the best subs and hoagies. Of course, burgers, shakes, chicken, and hot dogs and the like were also on the menu, and each and every item was in its own right a delight in and of itself. Just ask anyone who was around in the day. The Parkette has always been a place where people from all walks of life in the area could agree on.

Nowadays, the third incarnation of the Parkette has a more spacious dining area to seat several families and groups, and a terrific menu of some of the best eats in town. Unfortunately, something has been lost in terms of the hot dogs.

Before I get into my review of the hot dogs, let me emphasize that I'm talking about the hot dogs themselves, not the rest of the restaurant. I feel the need to point this out ahead of time because the vast majority of the menu is fantastic, and the wait staff is exceptional. As I eluded to above, the subs and hoagies are worth going out of your way for. The onion rings I got with my order were above and beyond anything I've ever had. If there were a weenie award for side items, these onion rings would be the runaway winners.

Unfortunately, the hot dogs are terribly lacking. While the wiener is grilled, which always adds to the flavor of any variation of any hot dog, the remainder of the ingredients leave a lot to be desired.

For starters a dog here comes sans slaw, which is always an automatic point to half-point deduction. You can get it on the side, but at the price of $1.39 for a serving. On top of that, it's not particularly good either. It's pretty evident by the nearly uniform choppings of cabbage and overdose of vinegar that this slaw is of the pre-packaged, bulk food service variety. When you figure that a hot dog with chili, onions, and mustard as the standard goes for $1.29 here....well, need I say more?

The chili seemed to have been homemade, but it's not clear exactly when. The taste of the beef came across as somewhat watery. The sauce itself was particularly bland, lacking any kind of spice or seasoning, save for a hint of salt.

I'm still, as of this writing, trying to grasp exactly how the bun was heated. The best I can discern is that it was tossed into a warm oven for a minute or less; it seemed to be somewhat toasted on the outside, but barely lukewarm on the inside.

I really liked the Parkette, and would certainly enjoy bringing friends and family alike for a get-together or meal. The hot dogs, however, leave something to be desired. Per the guidelines for rating HDJs, they receive two weenies. These hot dogs need help.

1 comment:

Chris James said...

A "Best side dish" weenie award ain't a bad idea.