Monday, March 10, 2008

Fairmont HDJ Review - Andy's Hot Dogs

One can certainly say this much about Andy's Hot Dogs in Fairmont: it gives a new meaning to "corner hot dog joint". This fine establishment is crammed into the smallest corner section of the Fairhill Plaza on the outskirts of Fairmont. And as we all know, good things sometimes come in small packages.

It took a little bit of doing to find Andy's, simply because there were no signs on the outside of the shopping center to indicate where it was. Luckily a steady stream of customers going in and out of the door gave away the location, not to mention finally catching a glimpse of the modestly decorated window.

Even though I'm not a regular here, I was treated like family. Andy's has a list of specialty dogs (including a take on a Chicago dog which includes Polish sausage, tomatoes, and lettuce) as well as fish, chicken, and other sandwiches, and hamburgers. But the specialty is the hot dogs, and the customers there on this particular visit were ordering up every which way.

Wanting to get all I could out of this for the $1 price, I opted for the hot chili on my WVHD. One bite made me rethink my ability (and willingness) to handle spicy foods. I will send fair warning to those of you who are fans of the far milder southern hot dog chili variations that this sauce packs a wallop on the tounge. I briefly had a vision pop in my head of Godzilla frying greater downtown Tokyo with his breath. It wouldn't have surprised me if this chili would've played a part in the great lizard's radioactive capabilities. Needless to say, the chili was both complex in consistency and loaded with flavor. I located a good deal of red pepper flakes throughout the sauce, and noticed that the jar of the aforementioned flamethrower material sitting behind the counter was nearly empty. Works for me on a cold and rainy day.

One the flip side, the slaw wasn't anything to get excited about. I didn't catch the exact name on the label, but it was some mass food service brand. It was a bit of a let down that the same effort that went into preparing the chili didn't go into the slaw. Nonetheless, it was passable and all of the other components of this WVHD (weenie, mustard, onions) were just fine. Besides, it's a bit of a stretch to imagine a high quality slaw can be found in the majority of Marion County HDJs.

I'm willing to forgive on the lack of quality slaw in this instance and give Andy's Hot Dogs a four weenie rating. Andy's typifies what makes a good WVHD: the best use of the ingredients on hand to make a great hot dog.

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