Saturday, August 22, 2009

Charleston HDJ Review - Harding's Family Restaurant

Right off of the Mink Shoals exit of I79, about 2 miles north of the Charleston city limit sign, sits this old favorite. Harding's brags about serving breakfast anytime (which prompted me to once ask for French Toast during the Renaissance; they didn't get the joke), has great home style food and is just a gnerally clean and dependable place to eat. It is usually overcrowded after church, but most other times tables are readily available.

Strangely enough, other than on the kid's menu, they have never offered hot dogs. Thankfully that changed recently and I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for a two hot dog lunch special. I wasted no time checking it out.

The special is 2 dogs and fresh cut potato chips for $5.39 - not a great deal, but not too bad for a sit-down place. I inquired as to what they considered to be everything and was horrified to find out that they offered not only ketchup as standard but also relish! Yes, relish! The kind made from pickles! Yecch. I ordered mine without red and green.

The first thing I noticed about my hot dogs upon delivery was that they were served on grilled English buns. The second thing I noticed is that they were messy, really messy. Usually a grilled English bun will hold together pretty well in spite of the volume and water content of the toppings, but these buns weren't up to the task. After the first bite or two they were falling apart and all of the toppings were falling out. The toppings tasted OK, even though the slaw seemed to be eerily similar to the food service slop one usually finds in weaker HDJs. The chili was a little salty and wasn't spicy in the least. The onions were miled, and the mustard was applied on top and in too large of a quantity. Still, the overall taste wasn't bad.

The potato chips were scrumptious, but that can't affect my rating: 3 Weenies.


Buzzardbilly said...

I really like to eat at Hardings, but they've missed the boat on the deliciousness that a hot dog should be.

Aren't they one of the restaurants that uses 'salad dressing' (read: institutional-sized and institutional-grade fake Miracle Whip) instead of mayo in their slaw? There should be a law against that. Miracle Whip is of the devil. Places who use Miracle Whip as if it were mayo should have to put a warning sign on the menu.

Big Daddy said...

I'm looking at that first picture and thinking to myself "Wow! Charleston got hit with a blizzard in August!" Man...we all are really getting behind on these reviews!

Just pickin' on ya, boss. Some of the photos I've had to use are from a different season than what I actually conducted the final review in.

@Buzzardbilly: Amen in your rant against the evil of Miracle Whip! My wife insists on putting it on everything that would normally use slaw. I say any place that uses Miracle Whip as opposed to mayo should have its food service license revoked.

Stanton said...

BD, the exterior picture is from their website. I forgot to snap one before I left.

Although, I hear ya: I have a few old pics on my camera for which I still haven't written a review.

I'm not totally against Miracle Whip for slaw. On those rare occasions when I make slaw at home I actually use it as my first choice. But I didn't get the impression that the Harding's slaw was MW based.

John said...

Unfortunately, I'd say the quality of the hot dogs you experienced at Hardings is about commensurate with the quality of every item I've tried there. There are better choices, thankfully.