Monday, June 30, 2008

Morgantown HDJ Review – Hometown Hot Dogs

Of all the HDJs I’ve reviewed so far, I don’t recall any giving me a sensation of panic as much as Hometown Hot Dogs in Morgantown. It is situated in a old, tiny block building adjoining the base of a house along University Avenue. Inside, you'll find a counter with some bar seats. If you suffer from claustrophobia, be warned that the two feet or so between each seat and the glass window quickly fill up with people waiting for place or pick up their orders. There is also a small dining area off to the side that can be accessed via a rather small passageway.

Common sense would dictate that most people know that if one was must cough when preparing food in a restaurant or similar establishment, then one should step away from the food, or at the minimum cover the mouth and nose with the pocket of the elbow. I watched in horror and disgust as one of the cooks proceed to cough her head off while preparing an order for a customer ahead of me who was fortunate enough to be oblivious to what was going on behind the counter. No gloves, no handwashing, nothing. This in and of itself was an automatic huge deduction in weenie points. Luckily for me, my order was prepared by a young gentleman who was quick to take and fill orders, but very slow to remember to stop and collect money from the customers who piled up quickly at the register.

As for the hot dog itself, it was a huge disappointment. I’ve been spoiled by the quality WVHDs that can be had at the Clarksburg, Fairmont, and Grafton locations. They had the same cool, creamy, sweet slaw and the medium chili seemed okay too. The bun, however, fell apart when I picked it up. This was likely a result of either the buns being over-steamed or the dressing in the slaw being too thin and runny. As if that weren’t bad enough, I couldn’t get that image of the other preparer hacking up a lung in the prep area. This marked the first time that I refused to finish an entire hot dog from Hometown.

I really do like the other Hometown Hot Dog locations that I’ve been too and consider them among my favorites. Sadly, I will have to put this location on my list of ones to avoid. Health and safety factors are just a bit more important. A one weenie rating for this HDJ.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weirton HDJ Review - Chili Willie's

On the north side of Weirton next to one of the many old steel plants along Route 2 sits a small building that could easily pass for a local ice cream stand in, except for the fact that the walk-up windows are blocked by benches. This humble abode is home to Chili Willie's. There is no room to sit inside at all, and there are only three picnic benches on the outside to sit and enjoy your meal...weather permitting, of course.

According to the flyer I picked up, Chili Willie's dogs are "Voted #1". I can't say that this exactly a scientific poll, because I can't recall seeing any other HDJs along the route I took into town to compare it too. Of course, they could be comparing to some HDJs in nearby Stuebenville, Ohio. Who knows? All I know is that this is the first HDJ I've seen that touts call ahead pick-up service on the menu. As for the dogs themselves, well, they certainly must have a lot of fans. I found myself waiting in a line that extended just outside the door for a few minutes before I was waited on.

The downsides are in the bun and the wiener itself. Both of the buns of the two hot dogs I ordered were rather stale tasting. I couldn't really sense that they were steamed, but maybe just warmed over. The wiener, at least tasting like it had been cooked, seemed to be only tepid at best. It was a bit of a shock to the taste buds.

On the plus side, the chili was certainly different than any I had sampled in a while. I'm used to the old north central WV pattern of spicy chili, varying from 'tongue warming' to 'ohmuhgawd' to the more subtle-but-flavorful southern WV sauces. Chili Willie's, on the other hand, seems to strike an uneasy balance between those two worlds, but remaining totally different from either. While the meaty flavor is there, it takes a back seat to the added spices and flavorings. I know I picked up a nice hint of garlic in the mix. Whatever else they added was certainly a plus.

The slaw had a fresh taste that seemingly worked better because of the extra bits of carrot in it. Normally I don't care much for carrots one way or the other. But in this instance, they give this slaw that little extra something . It wasn't overly creamy, tangy, or even sweet for that matter. It just seemed to be good enough to compliment the chili.

I give Chili Willie's a 3.5 weenie rating. I would have easily given it a four weenie rating had it not been for the flavor flatlining in the bun and the weenie. Hopefully another visit in the future will see the tide turn.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Huntington Hot Dog Joint: Knuckle's Sandwich Co.

A few weeks ago, WVHotDogs.com received an email from a reader regarding a new sandwich shop in downtown Huntington called Knuckle's Sandwich Co. on the 400 block of 11th St. that supposedly served a mean hot dog. As they seem to only be open for weekday lunch, I had a bit of trouble getting in there until my hot dog "stay-cation" as mentioned in my review of the Pritchard Building Coffee & Sandwich Shop.

They have a selection of sandwiches/grinders/hoagies (whatever you like to call 'em) and a hot dog called "The Franken Furter," for which the menu claims sets the standard for local hot dogs. It costs $1.75, slightly on the pricey side, but still a fair price for a delicious, well-dressed dog. Can it live up to price and promise?

The sausage is made of a mix of beef and pork. While I am generally partial to all-beef, I figure that if they were upfront about it on the menu they must be doing it for a specific reason. It is, indeed, very tasty. I see where they are coming from; it was a compliment, not a dominant.

They give you a choice of a fresh bakery-soft Heiners bun or a grilled New England split-top. I'm gonna take a traditional bun ten times out of ten, but I am glad that they have options. It shows an attention to detail and a respect for the customer found in an alarmingly small number of restaurants these days.

After a minute or so, the cashier hands me my dog, wrapped in wax paper (some has been doing their homework). I notice that it was rather heavy for a dawg and well-dressed, as lots of brown sauce and white slaw is mushed against the paper.

Knuckle's sauce is a ménage à trois of some of my favorite Ohio Valley culinary delights. The heat is just shy of a conservatively-mixed batch of Sam's Hot Dog Stand spicy sauce. The texture is very much like that of a good Cincinnati chili, a mark of slow-simmering ground beef, as opposed flash fry of the meat. As for the taste, while it doesn't taste like Jim's Spaghetti sauce, it is reminiscent of something made by someone who has enjoyed many a'plate of Huntington's signature diner's finest product and is slightly inspired by its sweet zing. The sauce is just plain ol' excellent. Sam's might not be able to repeat as best sauce this year.

The slaw is sweet, creamy, and tangy; not the best in town, but certainly above the 70th percentile. It plays the necessary supporting role for the superstar chili with the skill and devotion of a Walter Brennan or a Brad Dourif.

As Stanton has noted in the past, we don't mention onions unless they are exceptionally good or bad. Knuckles is certainly in the former, at least for as long as Vidalia onion season lasts. Any place that has the consideration to serve the world's best onion for the brief time in which they are available is alright in my book.

So to answer my initial question, yes, Huntington officially has another first class HDJ. In fact, the great dogs, top-notch service, and commitment to excellence earn Knuckle's Sandwich a 5 weenie rating, making it the first joint in Huntington's city limits to earn this distinction.

Good luck, guys, I hope y'all have many years of success. Might I suggest, however, staying open 'til 6 PM or so for folks who don't work in the CBD? Well, either way, I'll be back many times, I'm sure.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Charleston HDJ - The Capitol Food Court

About 10 stories directly under the gold leaf covered dome of the state capitol building lies the newly renovated cafeteria that serves our state's public servants who work at the capitol complex as well as anyone else who might find themselves in the capitol and having a hankering for some vittles. We found out at our recent rendezvous with the folks from Fork You that they are familiar with the cafeteria and so we tentatively scheduled a second Great Food Blogger Summit and decided it should be a joint effort of our two blogs to sample the new food they offered.

You can hop over to Fork You's review to see what those folks have to say about their pinto beans, hamburgers, pizza and the other things they sampled. Me? I think I'll stick to hot dogs.

I was eager to see if the capitol cafeteria would serve an appropriate hot dog for our state's tastes, and I was pleased to find out that they almost do. Almost.

I found the the serving area that made the hot dogs and I asked the chef (yes, he was a chef and had the hat to prove it) what "everything" meant and he said "chili, slaw and onions". Before I could ask him about mustard I saw a little basket of mustard packages sitting on the counter so I stifled the questions and ordered two hot dogs. I was disappointed, though, when I found out this was one of those "some assembly required" HDJs. Not only was the mustard self-applied, but the slaw came in a little container on the side and I had to apply it. The silver lining was that having the hot dog sitting there with its chili exposed gave me a rare opportunity to taste test the chili without having to excavate. And since the slaw was sitting there in a cup by itself, it also yielded easily.

The chili had a good texture and it was almost spicy and almost flavorful. In other words, it was almost decent chili. The slaw was almost sweet, but a little too creamy and bland for my tastes. It was almost good, but not quite.

The weenie tasted like it wanted to be a premium all-beef dog, but it didn't quite clear the premium taste bar. In other words, it was almost good. The bun was OK: almost fresh tasting and almost warm.

We're gonna give the Capitol Food Court hot dog an almost good rating of 3 Weenies. If any one part of the hot dog was better than almost good then it could creep a little higher, especially given the value price point of $1.50 each with a generous helping of toppings.

The only thing that wasn't almost good about my lunch at the capitol was the companionship of my new friends from Fork You. That part was good indeed. I'm not sure if there will be more joint ventures such as this, but I hope they keep me posted if their travels take them to new restaurants with hot dogs on the menu.

Friday, June 20, 2008

West Virginia Day - Let's Celebrate With a Hot Dog!

Over the past couple of years of blogging about hot dogs I have learned two things about my fellow West Virginians: We are proud of our state and its culture, and we are a damned creative bunch of folks.

Consider the evidence that I have unearthed just doing hot dog reviews:

Hillbilly Hot Dogs - While poking fun at a tired, old stereotype, Sonny and Sharri have created a whole new genre of theme restaurant, and from all appearances are doing quite well in its promotion on a national scale. Their appearance on The Food Network's Dives, Diners and Drive Ins this past year has made Hillbilly Hot Dogs a bona-fide tourist destination. I can attest that many visitors to this blog come from Google searches for "WV hot dog bus" and other such combinations of words that make it unlikely that the searcher is looking for anything other than Hillbilly Hot Dogs. They could be accused of exploiting the stereotype, and in doing so helping to solidify it, but I prefer to think that people who actually take the time to check it out will be forced to see that it's all in jest and the only logical conclusion to which they can arrive is that the whole stereotype is built on exaggerations and fed by prejudice; which it absolutely is.

Barnyard - In Buckhannon there is another theme restaurant that confronts our cultural reputation and instead of letting people see the ugliness in it, they make it as cute as a speckled pup. Barnyard is a great little restaurant that brings a kind of sophistication to some of the staple foods of our culture while at the same time showing the real charm of rural Appalachian culture. The creativity that exists in the motif of the restaurant and the menu makes it obvious to any visitor that there is a sense of pride that caused this kind of effort to be unleashed.

But it doesn't take a theme restaurant to show pride and creativity in our culture. Last year I took a couple of kids from New Jersey to Skeenies Hot Dogs, the quintessential West Virginia Hot Dog Joint on Sissonville Drive near Charleston. After enjoying a couple of Skeenie's famous hot dogs, my guests had the chance to meet the owner of the restaurant as she was leaving for the day. Her genuineness and charm made a tremendous impression on these two young men. They found out how good our hot dogs are, to be sure, but what they really learned was how happy a person could be in her work and how much a person can express themselves through their work. What she has created with Skeenie's isn't art by any normal definition, but it is something that demonstrates and communicates who we are in ways that words can never express, and she obviously receives great validation through sharing her art. All over West Virginia there are hot dog joints that proudly sell this simple little sandwich that in itself is a testament to our creativity. Our Huntington Weenie Wonk, Chris James, has said it best: A WVHD is all about taking the most simple elements and combining them in such a way that they taste phenomenal. In other places hot dogs depend on the best quality premium weenie or the best gourmet toppings or an artisan bun for its worth. Here, we take any weenie, the cheaper the better, throw on some stuff from pot that has been simmering for hours, plop a dollop of slaw and we have a creation fit for royalty.

A few years ago I read Richard Florida's book "The Rise of the Creative Class" and was amazed at the parallels that I saw between his description of the values of this new "creative class" and those I had been exposed to my whole life. I remember thinking then that Appalachians might be the model that this new class is unknowingly imitating as they express their creativity in ways that transform their culture. Could it be that we are the original creative class? I think a decent argument could be made that we are.

I know that what we create as a people might be seen as simplistic and unsophisticated when compared to standard set by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, but I also know that people from all over our country are drawn to whatever it is that we have here: It strikes a chord in the souls of people who are yearning for something different in their lives. The people who have left here for greener pastures nearly always long to return and those who come here often wish they could stay forever. I heard a transplanted Mountaineer say once that sums up how he felt about his adopted homeland: "I wasn't born in West Virginia, but I got here as soon as I could."

Well, I was born here. And I stay here on purpose. I've traveled to many other states and have never found anyplace with as much to offer as this one.

Especially when it comes to hot dogs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Huntington Hot Dog Joint: Prichard Sandwich and Coffee Shop

The Prichard building, an old-skewl skyscraper (from back when such a building would qualify) has a small sandwich shop located on the street level that is quite popular with downtown workers, especially from Amazon.com. The Film Geek has been bugging us for years to review this joint, but, as I don't work downtown, I'm never in the area when the place is open.

Recently, however, I took myself a little stay-cation and took the opportunity to check the place out.

I cannot say for certain whether or not this was on purpose or by accident, but the nice lady gave me two hot dogs for the budget-friendly price of $.89 + tax. I can't think of a place in town that hooks you up with one dawg for under a buck, much less two. Heck, if they do indeed regularly sell hot dogs at this price point, this is probably the best lunch value in town.

Enough gushing about the price and the super service and on to the weenie, starting with the centerpiece of any Huntington hd, the sauce. They serve a beefier, zestier version of Stewart's. It is almost like someone was trying to work from the Mandt's family recipe towards something for those who like a meaty chili with bit of seasoning. It isn't the best sauce in town, but it gets the job done.

The Slaw is sweet and tangy with cabbage so fresh that I imagine the slaw was made within an hour before my arrival. The taste and texture are top-notch and they have to be a serious contender for a 2008 Weenie Award for Best Slaw.

Decent sauce, killer slaw, and a low low price...this has to be a great hdj, right? Um, well, no. They have their Achilles heel. When dressing the weenie, they use nowhere near enough toppings, so the taste is dominated by the not-so-great weenie and a gooey bun (which should be a component of texture, not flavor). It truly breaks my heart that such great topping are essentially wasted due to conservative topping theory. I've said it before and I'll say it again: great sauce and slaw make a cheap protein stick taste like a million buck, not the other way around.

I understand that they are trying to keep prices down by cutting back on the fixin's, but I would gladly pay $.99 for one of their dogs well-dressed. Therefore, if you work or live near downtown, I can recommend this as a pretty good lunch option if you only have a dollar in your wallet. Otherwise, there are some better dog options downtown. As an WV HDJ, The Prichard Coffee and Sandwich Shop can be summed up as such: great value, flawed dogs.

3 Weenies.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Keyser HDJ Review: Martie's Hot Dog Stand

I was recently travelling on an assignment when I found myself with the opportunity to divert my route to travel through downtown Keyser. On the recommendations of a WVHotDog.com reader, I sought out Marties Hot Dog Stand.

Marite's wasn't all that hard to find, and it seemed like it was long-time fixture in the community with walls covered with photos of the local high school football team all over the place and clippings of local events hung near every conceivable area that the eye would see. One thing that caught my eye were the various clippings regarding the awards that had been received for the owner's chili and salsa entries at numerous competitions. At that point, I was a bit more anxious to see if the chili would translate into an equally good hot dog.

All I can tell you is that the same town that gave us John Kruk is also the home to one mean hot dog. We can now lay to rest the question as to whether or not the eastern panhandle has any trace of hot dog culture with an affirmative.

The chili was absolutely phenomenal. I don't believe that I have tasted as rich of a chili, save for perhaps the one time I was introduced to Romeo's in Charleston during one of my early business lunches with Stanton. Martie's chili is very robust with flavor that captures the essence of the ground beef, which is balanced perfectly with seasonings and a tasty sauce.


Martie's slaw is also a pleasant surprise. The dressing has just the right consistency, being neither too thin or too thick with a nice contrast of sweet and tangy. The cabbage was more coarse than you usually expect on a hot dog, but that didn't hurt this sampling at all. I found some scatterings of pimentos in my slaw mixture that only served to enhance the flavor. Purists might say a weenie deduction would be in order for adding something like that to the slaw, but I would have to respectfully disagree. By far and wide, the slaw was nearly as good as the chili.

Martie's also uses a 100% beef wiener that is cooked to the perfect temperature so as to allow the juiciness to come through in every bite. The buns were steamed nicely and particularly fresh. I didn't seem to have a lot of onions or mustard on mine, but I really didn't mind it at all since the other toppings were in a league of their own.

The restaurant itself is located along a busy row of buildings, and the large plate glass window made it impossible for me to get a photo of the place without having every single person sitting inside staring at me the whole time I stood across the street. The interior was a bit of a squeeze and there was a thick smell of old cigar smoke lingering in the air. I didn't see the group of fishing buddies swapping stories over their hot dogs and some cold beers complaining, so I wasn't about to either.

The kind woman behind the counter was very polite and prompt with my order, which after a long trip was more than welcome. Without a second thought, Martie's Hot Dog Stand gets a five weenie rating. I don't know if or when I'll be back out that way, but I have no doubt that I'll make the effort to stop by for another satisfying meal from their again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WVHotDogs.com goes big-time

From MSNBC.com:

Stanton Means, a 48-old hot dog afficionado-turned-blogger from Charleston,
W.Va., figures he downs nearly a dozen dogs every month while running the Web
site WVHotDogs.com.

"In our culture, it's definitely a staple," said Means, who prefers his
franks topped with chili, cole slaw, mustard and onions. "I often say that it's
an obligatory item for a menu in West Virginia. If you have a restaurant, you
have to have a hot dog, even if it's not a hot dog type restaurant."

But if he's cooking for friends, Means admits that even the
finest-grade frank doesn't hold a candle to whatever's on sale at the grocery
store — Oscar Mayer, Ball Park or otherwise.

"We'll probably look at price point, more than taste," he said. "If I'm
buying wieners just to make hot dogs for a picnic, I'm buying the cheap
ones."



All of this success has gone to Stanton's head. My salary has gone from 2 hot dog lunches per year to $225,000 with the only added responsibility being carrying Stanton's jewel-encrusted pimp cup around while we are at the club.

Pretty sweet.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chesapeake, OH Hot Dog Joint: Chesapeake Flea Market Snack Bar

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.

A regular dog was a buck, while "everything" costs an extra four bits. This was concerning, but I was told that everything includes "sauce, slaw, onions, and mustard" without a mention of any ketchup-based heresy, so they did earn a bit of redemption.

A major red flag, however, popped up as prep on my dawg commenced. The weenie-istas seemed too keen to not use gloves when handling food products and they may have even handled money (flea market money, at that) while making the grub.

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.
Sadly, I saw no such behavior at the snack bar.

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.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Finally! Midway set to return!

TriState hot dog lovers, rejoice!

"JASON" has just left this comment on an old post about the return of Midway Hot Dogs in Huntington:

"Midway Hot Dogs will be opening this week , June 11th 2008, Come join us for the RETURN of the best hot dog and SAUCE in Huntington. "



See you there.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Charleston Re-Review - The Grill

The reason for this re-review of The Grill on Charleston's West Side has nothing to do with the restaurant (which I like and eat non-hot dog meals there all the time), nothing to do with the review they got last time (which was a fairly poor 2 Weenie rating), and nothing to do with fairness or giving them another chance. It had everything to do with making sure that a historic event was held in an appropriate venue.

You see, there's a new food review blog in Charleston called "Fork You" that reviews mostly locally owned restaurants in Charleston and throughout the state. I contacted the proprietors of that site when I first discovered it and made a polite threat that if they ever reviewed hot dogs that I would immediately file a huge lawsuit. Obviously scared by my legal maneuvering, they immediately agreed to my request, adding that they recognized that this blog was the king of weenies and they would not presume to attempt to usurp our throne. A kinder, gentler exchange of emails ensued.

After a few weeks of reading Fork You, I realized that I had better make friends with these folks because it is obvious that they will soon supplant this blog as the premier food review site in Charleston and I want to stay in their good graces. They write good reviews, pick interesting places, and are prolific enough to already have over 20 reviews in less than two months. So in order to foster this new friendship it was decided that a summit would be held to get acquainted with each other and perhaps do a joint posting to celebrate the momentous occasion.

But where in Charleston should we meet? There really is only one place for such a meeting. When Dick Cheney came to town, where did he eat? Where do all of the political power-players meet for lunch in Charleston? That's right, The Grill. The place that looks like it is what people had in mind when they coined the term "hole in the wall." The place that is short on charm and atmosphere, but long on simple, decent and greasy food.

I reviewed The Grill's hot dogs in 2006. Follow that link, read the review and then add this addendum: The only thing different about a 2008 hot dog from The Grill is the bun. They offer two different versions: English Split Top (buttered and grilled) and regular. I had one of each. Both buns were good (the regular wasn't hard this time), but the rest of the hot dog was still lackluster. I don't think I can upgrade the score.

But this post is less about the hot dog review and more about telling our regular readers about the fun folks of Fork You. Really, I learned nothing in our meeting that I hadn't already gleaned from their blog except that their little avatars look amazingly like them. Misty, Susan, Daniel and Phil were the four Fork You reviewers that attended and they were all very impressive with their commitment and the way they went about the task of reviewing.

I immediately recognized that being so unrestrained by having more than one menu item to review could be a bad thing. Susan changed her order about 23 times before the poor, beleaguered waiter finally nailed her down. Daniel took my advice and ordered a fish sandwich and I could tell after his first bite that he regretted taking a Weenie Wonk's endorsement for a non-hot dog item. (I swear Daniel, I had a fish sandwich there once and it was really good.) Here is the link to their review of The Grill.

I hope everyone wil go over to Fork You and read through their archives and give them your support. What a great service they are providing to us, having a free and honest food review site to reference when making dining plans. It's a great alternative to other food blogs that might be a bit timid about being honest, lest they tick off an advertiser.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blog For Sale


According to BlogShares, this blog is worth a cool $2.5 million. What with our recent downturn in posting frequency and the busyness of the summer season coming up, I am giving serious thought to selling out. I am willing to entertain offers, but it seems to me that $2.5 million is a good starting point.

Here is a quick summary financial statement for those interested investors. This covers the period from January 2006 thru today:


Income


Google Adsense $100

Net from Sales of T-Shirts & Merchandise $17


Total Income $117


Expense


Hot Dog Purchases $450

Ancillary Food Purchases $700

Fuel for review trips $900

Domain Registration & Hosting $220

Misc. Printing & Computer Costs $400


Total Expense $2,670


Net Profit - $2,553


Now I know that it might not look like a good investment on paper, but just think of all of the benefits that can't be measured in dollars and cents, like being recognized as an authority on hot dogs by misguided people all over the world.

Interested investors can express their interest in the comments section. Let the bidding begin!