Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This little corner eatery is the epitome of "nuthin' fancy", and yet it has sat on the same little corner on the same little street in the same little town for 57 years. It has survived the many floods that Marlinton has seen in those years (no doubt that the place has been submerged more than once) and has remained unchanged in the face of a town and county that has seen a complete change in its economy: from timber to tourism to extreme outdoor sports. The fixtures inside the restaurant look to be original from the 1950s and no money looks to have been spent on sprucing the place up in a very long time. Yet, it remains an apparently viable oasis of affordability and simplicity.
So I figured the hot dogs must be awesome.
My first indication that the hot dogs were going to be less than awesome was when I asked what "everything" was and they included ketchup on the list. Of course, I ordered without. Everything else was in order though. I was able to see the entire process or preparing my hot dog from a distance of about 3 feet (I could have easily spit on the grill from the counter) and was surprised to see the bun go down face first on the grill and sizzle in better. You'd expect this with an English bun, but this was a standard model and I think this is the first time I've seen one of those grilled.
The next surprise was that the weenie was plopped into the deep-fryer basket. This isn't out of the question for upstate New York, but certainly not something done often in the Mountain State. The onions where chopped into small cubes and when coupled with the crunchy coleslaw (which was fairly sweet and tasty), the crunchy bun and the crunchy skin on the weenie, it made this one of the crunchiest hot dogs I have ever experienced. It was a nice touch to an otherwise average hot dog.
The only other thing about the dog that bear mentioning is that I am pretty sure that the chili was flavored with ramps. I just barely tasted them, but I'm fairly certain they were in there.
Overall, French's hot dog gets a 3.5 Weenie score.