As I mentioned in my review of M & M Dairy Bell in Chesapeake, the section of Lawrence County across the river from Huntington (Chesapeake, Proctorville, Rome, etc.) has many elements of Appalachian, West Virginian, and Huntingtonian culture despite the minor technicality that it is, in fact, in Ohio.
One such common cultural tradition is the flea market. The Chesapeake Flea Market is just one of the many in our area and, as is often the case, it features a snack bar where we find another commonality: West Virginia-style hot dogs.
I guess I'm spoiled by Cabell-Huntington's health dept., which requires gloves for all food handlers. Putnam County also doesn't require gloves, which initially freaked me out at the Teays Valley Sam's Hot Dog Stand a while back, but in their defense, they washed their hands like Marc Summers on crack.
One of the requirements of this job, however, is to be an intrepid eater of hot dogs and always, always, put the weenie first, so I tried to focus on the food and not the conditions as much as possible.
They feature a regular Heiners bun, but they very lightly grilled it with some butter. This act, while not the traditional method of bun preparation in central Appalachia, is a pleasant touch. The butter and griddle give the bun a nice, light flavor and a gentle toasting that gives it a bit of a textural bite. If we still gave out Weenie Awards for the Best Buns, this place would be a serious local contender.
The weenies are grilled and have a nice flavor to them. Any hot dog fan who is primarily concerned with getting a good grilled weenie, with all other considerations secondary, should be satisfied.
They serve Homemade sauce, with dominant notes of ground beef and chopped onion. The sauce is not my favorite and certainly could use more heat, spice, and salt (always season your food, so say the judges on Top Chef). That being said, there is an element of thoughtfulness put into the sauce that put it in the category of comfort food. If your mom or grandma made fair-to-middlin' hot dog chili sauce when you were younger, it may bring back fond memories of yesteryear.
The slaw is finely diced, but is also dry and not at all sweet. It has the taste and texture of a bad knock-off of Hillbilly Hot Dogs not-so-great-itself slaw.
As long as you are not a child, elderly, or have a compromised immune system due to advanced HIV or bone marrow disease and you really enjoy a undressed dog with just mustard, this place really isn't half-bad. The buns and weenie are among the best in Huntingtonland.
As a WV Hot Dog Joint, though, I give them a 2.5 weenie rating. With some salt and chili powder for the sauce, some sugar and mayo/Miracle Whip for the slaw, and some disposable plastic gloves for the help, this could easily elevate to the 3-4 weenie range.