Monday, April 20, 2009

Jane Lew HDJ Review - Cindy's T&L Hot Dogs

Cindy's T&L Hot Dogs, Jane Lew, WV

I ran across this charming old building while cruising on Route 19 one day while killing some time between meetings. Ironically, it's located not far from the fabled Slaw Line point. One of the first things that I noticed about the T&L Hot Dogs in Jane Lew was the name painted above the entrance. The word "Cindy's" was emblazoned next to the "T&L Hot Dogs". The distribution of T&L stores has become somewhat of a mystery in and of itself. The Jane Lew location, much like the stores in Shinnston and Weston, are not mentioned on the company website, nor are they listed in the spiffy new color brochure/menu that T&L now offers at its key locations (Morgantown Mall, two Bridgeport locations, Grafton, and two locations in Clarksburg). I don't recall T&L offering franchises, but then again there haven't been any replies coming at me after requesting information through the "Contact Us" link on their website. At any rate, I'll save the enigma of the T&L namesake licensing for another post some other day.

While placing my order, I did inquire if this location was part of the normal chain, but nobody seemed to understand my question. I guess the key person (Cindy, perhaps?) was not around to be bothered with such matters. At any rate, I have to comment that this was by far one of the friendlier wait staffs I've encountered in some time. Not only did they cheerfully take my order with a smile and the all-important eye contact, I was even offered a freshly baked brownie while I waited (for a small extra charge, of course). Looking around, I found the place adorned with Coca-Cola collectibles and memorabilia versus the retro 50's and 60's decor found in the majority of T&L's. It works really well for the dining area and makes it a tad more warm and inviting to relax in.

Thankfully, they have mastered the traditional WVHD here just as good as some of the better T&L spots. Nicely steamed bun? Check. Weenie cooked just right? Check. Onions and mustard placed just right and in proper portions for taste? Check and check.

One of Cindy's T&L Hot Dogs better offerings.Oddly, I didn't get the usual question of what kind of chili I wanted (mild, medium, or hot). I'm certain that I was eating the mild variety, which is good enough even if you live and die by the hot version like myself. Nicely ground meat seasoned to perfection and cooked just right. Yup, they've got the chili covered. Check.

Slaw? Check. I was really impressed by how fresh the ingredients were in this particular batch. However, there seemed to be a little bit of an unbalance between the sweetness of the dressing and the vinegar that was mixed in it. Almost like it wasn't stirred up enough. Hopefully this was just an anomaly, but I did have to do a double-take when I 
bit into it the first time.

All in all, I really liked this location and I think it suits the area it serves well. The hot dogs are just as good as you can get from T&L, but I think the issue with the slaw was a bit of drawback. The bitterness, albeit likely unintentional, kept it from having that little "umph" factor that puts it over the top. On the other hand, I give kudos to the staff for the terrific and friendly service.  Four-and-a-half weenies for Cindy's T&L Hot Dogs.


Chris James said...

Rumor has it that T&L's corporate headquarters is petitioning the USGS to move the slawline 27.3 miles north on all future topographic maps.

toddneufer said...

Hey you all...

This is Todd from Wyoming, I was just wondering if you still have my Wyoming license plate on your wall? Best Slaw Dawgs in the country. - Thank you...