Note: Paul DeGeorge travels the country with his Wizard Rock Band "Harry and the Potters". Along the way he reviews hot dogs wherever his rigorous tour schedule takes him. Last July the band came to Charleston and I was fortunate enough to take Paul and the other members of his band to Romeo's and Skeenie's for a taste of a real WVHD. In October I got a call out of the blue from Paul as he traveled through the Northern Panhandle. He was looking for a decent hot dog. Since I had long ago given up on finding a decent dog up there, I gave him the only advice I could; The only advice I had ever been given about Wheeling hot dog joints: Go to Louie's.
This review is re-printed from Paul's blog "I am an American and I Eat Hot Dogs."
Bound for St. Louis, we found ourselves headed through the pan-handle of West Virginia right as our stomachs began to grumble. Not having any idea where to stop, we called up the expert: Stanton of the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog. He had brought us out for some great dogs in Charleston over the summer and luckily I still have his phone number hanging around for just such an emergency. He directed us to Louie’s, though he warned that pan-handle dogs are a little different from the WV dogs that he whet our appetite with back in July. His vast knowledge didn’t fail either, for instead of being met by the glory of the chili-slaw dog, we were instead subjected to the lazy-man’s chili dog. I’m sort of inventing terms here, but what I mean to describe is a chili dog that simply fails to deliver on all the excitement of a chili dog. Specific failings at Louie’s include:
1) That crappy, watery chili that’s really just ground beed with a little bit of seasoning.
2) No cheese – sire, I understand that we’re privy to local custom and maybe cheese isn’t the thing here in Wheeling, but if you’re going to top your dog with a subpar chili, you could at least supplement with some cheese.
3) Rollers! Bad form! I am just not-at-all into hot dog that are cooked on rollers. It’s a pet peeve, I guess.
So I can’t really give much of an endorsement to Louie’s other than the fact that it’s probably one of only a half dozen places to eat in Wheeling if you’re hungry.