Saturday, December 06, 2008

Charleston HDJ Review - Sabatino Brothers

Sabatino Brothers is a nice little storefront operation in one of the accessory strip malls at the Southridge shopping center. They have offered Philly-style cheese steak sandwiches since they opened, but except for a kiddie menu concession there have never been hot dogs on the menu. I always thought they were missing an opportunity because there is no other HDJ in the vicinity of Southridge, which on any given day has sufficient population to qualify it as one of the larger cities in West Virginia. So I was not at all surprised when I drove by recently and saw a sign advertising a hot dog special - 2 hot dogs, drink and chips for $4.99 - except for being surprised that it took so long. Restaurant owner John Smallridge is a saavy businessman and he should have seen the same opportunity long before I did.

So anyway, I braved the crush of the lunchtime Christmas shopping crazies and made my way to Southridge one recent afternoon so I could sample the new dogs. When I first got inside the door I saw that the special advertised outside could have french fries added for a buck. I went all out and got the special even though I wasn't planning on eating many of the fries. I was told that "everything" included mustard, onions, chili and slaw; a good start.

The first thing I noticed was the GINORMOUS hunks of onions sitting on top of the otherwise normal looking dog. Seriously, "coarsely chopped" would be a huge undertatement. These things were onionbergs; they could have sunk a small ship. They looked as if the prep chef had torn apart the onion with his bare hands. And if the size wasn't enough, the taste of the onions was almost chemical! They were the hottest and most bitter tasting things I have ever, ever had on a hot dog. Luckily they were easy to remove so after the first bite I didn't have to suffer their wrath.

Once I got past the unfortunate onionbergs, I found some pretty good tasting slaw (a little heavy on mayo) and decent chili that was far meatier than most. The bun was soft, but the weenie was even softer! The consistency of this thing was similar to a Vienna Sausage. It had apparently been sititng in a pot of water for a very long time. Some people claim a weenie should "snap" when you bite it; this one squishes.

The whole hot dog experience at Sabatino's was less than expected from a place that has such a nice and diverse menu. They could keep the chili, dry up the slaw and then put that grill to use and grill the weenies to order and they would have a nice hot dog. But the onions have to go.

I like the atmosphere and friendliness of Sabatino Brothers. They have an interesting menu and a nice comfortable place to sit and eat. It's hard to give this place a poor weenie rank because they have so much potential to provide the dogless masses of Southridge with proper sustenance. But we don't grade on potential. 2 Weenies.

10 comments:

Jeff said...

Thanks for the tip. I will continue driving if I have the urge to drive into that shopping madness.

wvapoker said...

Yikes. I hope they make some changes. I thought you didn't eat fries????

Stanton said...

Yes, you are correct; I usually don't eat fries. I've been feeling lately that my clothes are fitting too loosely and my blood seems to be really flowing well through my arteries, so I figured I'd live a little. They were pretty tasty, I might add.

Chris James said...

Are those my great uncle's toenails on top of the dog, or did they really cut lazy out on chopping the onions?

Paul S. said...

I'll have to remember next time to skip the fries. The "Southridge" sub however continues to be the best turkey sandwich ever of all time.

Susan said...

Paul S. - why would you skip the fries? They are really good!

Stanton- I thought we had a date to go to Sabatino's together...my feelings are hurt. I certainly won't be getting anything with onions when I go back!

Paul S. said...

I meant to say I would skip the hotdogs. The fries are good but they usually give me more than I can finish before they get cold.

Big Daddy said...

Looks more like they cut those onions with a couple of swipes from a chain saw.

Gandha said...

I remember my friend's treat at Sabatinos. We ordered some Italian delicacies, though I don't personally prefer them. I was dressed nicely.

graciela said...

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