Gram's Specialties in Kanawha City, home of 4 1/2 Weenie hot dogs and Five Star pies is no more. Citing the ol' "want to spend more time with family" excuse, they have closed down.
For those of you feeling nostalgic, you can read our review from 2008 here.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
...it has ceased to be.
The little pocket of Huntington in Putnam County, the Monty's Pizza/Sam's Hot Dog Stand, has closed up shop.
Folks in the Hurricane-Scott Depot-Teays Metropolitan Statistical Area will have to jump on I-64 to St. Albans or Barboursville to get their spicy sauce fix.
As for Monty's...no real loss there. Graziano's and Husson's offer much better pies.
Posted by Christopher Scott Jones at 5:41 PM
Friday, November 12, 2010
The place that Rick Lee pronounced as having the "Best Romanesque Architecture in a Hot Dog Stand" is no more.
I'm sad to report that the excellent hot dogs are no more and that the snack bar has been replaced with a whole host of vending machines that block the old snack bar window like so many mechanized storm troopers.
And yes I looked; none of them vends hot dogs.
Posted by Stanton at 7:00 AM
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
So spurred on by the crowd, today I went through the door. Once across the threshold it wasn't nearly as scary as it seems from the outside. I placed my order at the window with two very nice and friendly people who looked nothing like computer geeks. "Everything" includes ketchup but it was easily deleted from the order.
Posted by Stanton at 1:32 PM
Friday, September 24, 2010
Posted by Stanton at 3:47 PM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Without reservation, I can tell you that the Creekside Creamery is not a normal WVHD joint. Almost all the walls in the creamery are lined with things for sale, with children's toys and women's beauty products predominating. But what makes the creamery truly unique is the glass case displaying handmade gourmet chocolates for sale. Specifically, the chocolates were made by Sweet Shop USA and were on sale for the gourmet price of $24.95 a point. I have been to other WVHD joints that sell a variety of things, but gourmet chocolates is definitely a first for me.
The service was friendly, but provided at a leisurely pace. When I placed my order for chili, slaw, mustard, and onions, the lady behind me chuckled and said that I would need someone to clean my tie afterwards. After I assured the lady that I had some experience with these toppings, the owner jokingly informed me that they did not sell bibs. When I received my plate, the fork on my plate showed that the cashier was indeed worried about my cleanliness.
The first thing I noticed about my hot dogs was that the chili was placed over the slaw. I also noticed that the weenie was larger than what you find on a standard WVHD. The weenie was tough and somewhat hard to chew and undercooked. The taste of the weenie overpowered the rest of the parts. The taste was not unpleasant, but it overpowered the rest of the ingredients of the dog. I had to taste the chili and slaw individually to get a good sense. For fifty cents a piece extra on each dog, I could have used more chili. The chili was thick and meaty, and weak on spice. There were medium chunks of cabbage in the slaw,it was not creamy and matched the chili's blandness. The mustard and onions were both overpowered by the taste of the weenie. The bun was warm, but could have used some steaming.
Overall, I give the Creekside Creamery 2.0 weenies. I had high hopes for the Creekside Creemery, but those were dashed by bland chili and slaw and an overpowering weenie. Stop in the Creekside Creamery for some ice cream or even some gourmet chocolate if you are feeling ritzy, but don't go out of your way for the hot dogs.
Posted by Stanton at 8:14 AM
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Yawwwn! OK, I know it's been a while since any new reviews have been posted, but with summertime entering its waning days it's time to get back to work. A couple of notes about what we've been up to at WVHotDogs.com:
- New Eastern Panhandle Reviewer - Tomorrow you will be able to read the first review posting from our newest Weenie Wonk, Frank. Frank lives in the Eastern Panhandle and will be providing commentary from that remote part of our territory regularly. Welcome, Frank.
- My recruiting trip to the Eastern Panhandle gave me the opportunity to gather new data for our Slaw Mapping Project. Look for an updated map soon.
- I attended the Greenbrier Classic last week but could not force myself to fork out $5.50 for a hot dog that had no chili or slaw. It's a shame they didn't make an effort to provide an authentic WVHD experience ala Greenbrier. Their little outpost in Tamarack had a decent effort (about which you may read here). The fried green tomato sandwiches , though, were $1.75 and delicious.
- Lots of reviews were done over the summer, but not many merited a write up. Still, I'll be catching them up over the next few weeks.
- Several trips out of state this summer during which I had the opportunity to partake of the local hot dog fare. This blog, however, is about West Virginia Hot Dogs and we stick to our mission.
Posted by Stanton at 8:28 AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I think that when it comes to HDJs of yesteryear, the Gold Dome Drive In gets more mentions on this blog and on our Facebook page than any other. Sitting on the East End side of the old Kanawha City Bridge, this place was legendary for its hot dogs. In one of the very first posts on this blog I reminisced about how my mother would get their hot dogs and purposefully not eat them until after the 10 minute drive home so they would be nice and gooey. Others have written about their 10 or 12 (or even 13) for $1 deal. Whatever your memory of this place, here is a photo that will help bring it back:
Posted by Stanton at 9:45 PM
Monday, June 28, 2010
Charleston's "The Sub Shop" on Quarrier Street isn't usually open on Weekends, but FestivAll crowds I guess made it too tempting to pass up and so they were open this past Sunday. I was hungry and I thought I'd give them a second chance since the last time I reviewed them they had only recently started serving hot dogs.
The hot dogs were much better this time. My major complaint last visit was about the teenie weenies and they have rectified that issue with large caliber all-beef weenies - I am assuming they are Boar's Head brand - and it was grilled nicely. The chili and slaw were excellent and they didn't try to sneak any ketchup on their "everything" dog this time.
A good improvement, and worthy of a better score: This time The Sub Shop gets a strong 4 Weenies.
Completely unrelated to hot dog matters: My companion ordered a BLT and it was delivered to the table with an apology that they were out of tomatoes. I found it absurd that they would serve a BLT with no T, but they were apologetic and gave us free cookies to make up for it: I can definitely be bought with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Since there was only one person working there, I decided to run to the Capitol Market to fetch them a tomato so they wouldn't disappoint subsequent BLT customers. If you were one of those who benefitted from my benevolence, pay it forward.
Posted by Stanton at 11:08 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Really, she wasn't that bad, but she was persistent. And I know from experience that when someone is that persistent with a HDJ recommendation, it means one of two things: A) the place has really good hot dogs, or B) the nagger is the owner, or a relative of the owner.
This time it was "A".
Thank you for nagging me, Carol.
Posted by Stanton at 2:21 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
And comments on old blog posts, too.
The way that Blogger structures itself, some of the best and most entertaining comments are on old, archived blog posts. The blog owner is notified of their existence but for the mos most part regular readers never see them. Once in a while a comment or series of comments is worthy of more attention, and this past week two such comments showed up one of our old posts.
The first was on our review of "Crabby Patti's" in Ripley. I made the trip from Charleston for the crab cakes, but when I saw a hot dog on the menu, well, I had to. I immediately wished I hadn't: That hot dog was so bad that it scored a .5 out of 5 Weenies.
"Jimmyshooter," whom we will assume is the owner of Crabby Patti's posted these comments earlier in the week:
OK, as for Stanton the self proclaimed pork scrap molded in a skin connoisseur.The write ups in the Daily Mail,WV Living Magazine and 101 most unique places to eat were for our MD. Crab Cakes and soups. Crabby Patti`s has never marketed,wanted or wished to sell weiners.We do, for adventurers like yourself who drive many miles,use much gas and valuable time to eat off the dollar menu.
And as for beans,we like em like that in MD.
As for the presentation of the weiner they like it loaded around here,broaden your horizons,pick up a fork.
Well then, Jimmyshooter, if you "never marketed,wanted or wished to sell weiners" then why, pray tell, do you? I sure didn't expect to find a hot dog on the menu when I went to your establishment. I would not have turned and walked out if I hadn't seen a hot dog on your menu. I would have, quite frankly, been much happier if there were no hot dogs on your menu. So, what part of that makes it a service to adventurers like me? I don't get it.
You say that in Maryland you like your hot dogs with beans in your chili; Why then are you selling them in Ripley? I would imagine that your neighbors over at Big Pete's sell hundreds more hot dogs and have many more satisfied customers - all without beans! And thank you again, but my horizons are quite broad enough without resorting to a fork to eat a hot dog! Sheeesh!
Posted by Stanton at 4:18 PM
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Clubhouse Cancer has an excellent round-up of the best hot dogs found at Major League Baseball stadiums.
The ones that look really good to me:
1. Atlanta's Georgia Dog with slaw & Vidalia onions. Closest to the real thing (as defined by us).
2. Cincinnati's Cheese Coney. The "when in Rome..." approach to hot dogs that we espouse is perhaps easiest when we're down the river in Cincy.
3. Houston's Most Wanted Dog with beef brisket. Chopped brisket. Pickles. BBQ Sauce. 'Nuff said.
and the one that gets a big WVHDB "no thanks:"
Seattle's Sea Dog (a glorified fish stick). Probably a pretty good West Coast snack, but not a hot dog by any stretch of the imagination.
Check out the full list here.
(Via SI.com's Extra Mustard)
Posted by Christopher Scott Jones at 2:56 PM
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
A mid-morning business trip took me back through the Stealey section of Clarksburg, and I was shocked to find out that one of the better HDJs in the area had closed up shop. Hometown Hot Dogs' building had been renovated into a new Allstate office.
I was a little down about this fact, but I only had to tell one associate who was quick to tell me not to worry: this same crew had apparently set up shop a few miles away in the East View section between Clarksburg and Anmoore. However, they no longer go by the "Hometown" moniker. Instead, the new establishment is known as Smiley's Hot Dogs.
I now have a new mission to find this new hot dog haven and see if they can match or surpass the previously awarded 4.5 weenie rating that they had earned in the past. Be on the lookout for a forthcoming review of Smiley's.
Posted by I'm Dad (and I said so!) at 2:18 PM
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Ever since I was invited to contribute to the WVHD blog, I had made a mental note that at some point I would travel out of my way along U.S. Route 19 to pay a visit to the Dairy Kone, a quaint looking little red building that sits dangerously close to the roadway but at the same time beckons you to stop for a refreshment of some sort. I had always known that they had hot dogs available, along with other goodies like chicken sandwiches and their newest feature, ground chuck hoagies. Of course, they also had enough varieties of ice cream goodies to feed a small third-world country.
There is absolutely no substitute for friendly service, and fortunately the folks at Dairy Kone made sure I felt welcome, despite the fact that I was starving, had just endured several minutes of traffic stoppage, and probably had the look of a serial killer on loose in my eyes at that point. I was more than pleased that not only was slaw on the toppings list for their hot dogs, it was actually a standard ingredient. This is indeed a rarity for this area. While it's not hard to find places that offer slaw for hot dogs, it's extremely rare that it comes as standard equipment.
I give credit to Dairy Kone for not coping out and going the standard styro-coffin route. Nope. In fact, they took the time to neatly wrap my dogs in wax paper, which is almost always an automatic half-weenie bonus in my book. Wrapping hot dogs in wax paper or foil is a sign of attention to detail and genuine concern for the quality of a hot dog.
The hot dog was about average size, but it was definitely loaded to the hilt with chili and slaw. The chili had a nice but not overbearing quality about it. It carried a good meaty flavor, but the didn't appear to be overloaded with spices or other hot flavorings. The slaw itself was fresh with crisp cabbage and carrots about it, but perhaps a bit drenched as far as the dressing was concerned. It had a pleasing taste to it that wasn't vinegary or sugary, but rather represented a comfortable balance between the two. I was very surprised by the quality of the otherwise tiny frank. It had the distinct taste of being grilled, but carried more of a smoky quality than you might expect from typical flat top grilling. I wasn't took excited about the buns themselves. They probably need a bit more steaming, but were still warm enough to make things enjoyable.
All in all, Dairy Kone is simply a nice family style ice cream parlor/stand that makes a good hot dog. I really feel that if that these hot dogs have the potential to hit the five weenie mark if given better ingredients, but they are still simply right up the alley for any self-respecting WVHD connoisseur. I give Dairy Kone a solid four weenie rating.
Posted by I'm Dad (and I said so!) at 8:13 PM
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Scruples Restaurant, coincidentally owned by one of the town council members, also has a motto: "Serving Socially Responsibly Meals with a Sustainable Attitude." The menu is chock full of "fair trade" goods, locally produced organic foods and other things you would expect to find in the commissary at an ACLU convention in Oregon. They have the trendiest coffee, the hippest teas and are always at the cutting edge of the latest food health warnings and admonitions. You can get your Acai Berry & Pomegranate juice cocktail with a side order of wheat grass if you like.
On the surface, Scruples might not sound like a likely candidate for a hot dog review, but this is West Virginia - where Mountaineers are always free and hot dogs are obligatory.
Now unless you have been under a rock for the past month or so, you have heard about the hot dog choking controversy: the American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a redesign of the shape of hot dogs as to eliminate the possibility of choking small children. You can read about it here.
So Scruples Restaurant, home of all things knee-jerk, has joined the fight against tubular hot dogs. They are now offering their "Hot Dog Safety Wraps" as an alternative to the standard hot dog that they served until just recently. The process begins by grilling paper-thin slices of an organic weenie (a veggie version is also available with sliced tofu franks) and placing them on a fair-trade flour tortilla. A meatless sauce that is reminiscent of DQ Coney Sauce is spread over top and then a dollop of runny and coarsely chopped coleslaw is added. Mustard and ketchup are included on the everything version. Curiously, onions are not an option.
I was prepared to be totally grossed out by this odd little sandwich, but to be honest it tasted pretty good. The individual slices of weenie are grilled and it seems to unlock some extra flavor. The sauce was kind of tasty and the slaw, while I wouldn't want it on a regular hot dog because of its coarseness, was actually very good tasting. The whole thing was crunchy, which adds an unusual sensation to the hot dog experience. It was so surprisingly good, that I changed my plans on how I would write this review. I had first planned to ridicule the wrap and the whole idea of slicing weenies in the name of food safety. but I had to rethink my position after tasting how good it really was. Perhaps I have pigeonholed myself by my dogmatic insistence that hot dogs be made on a soft bun with the toppings applied in a certain way. Maybe I am missing out on a whole new way to do hot dogs. I think that I will use this experience to turn over a new leaf and become more accepting - more tolerant, if you will - the way the good citizens of Lewisville are tolerant and accepting.
So I give Scruples' safety dogs a nice 4 Weenie rank. I think that is a fitting score and nice tribute to celebrate this very special Holiday.
Posted by Stanton at 12:01 AM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
So there I was snooping through this random flea market and I happened to pick up a little recipe box. Inside the box was an old and yellowing index card with the following recipe typed as plain as day. Since Mr. C's demise, this recipe was thought to be lost forever.
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
Combine ingredients and leave overnight in refrigerator.
Posted by Stanton at 9:48 PM
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The hot dogs were really very good in spite of their temperature. The slaw was excellent (obviously freshly made) and the chili as dark and meaty with just a trace of spiciness. All toppings were served abundantly and the overall heft of the dog was substantial.The soft bun and good tasting weenie didn't detract.
This is a very good Genteel Dog and earns a solid 3.5 Weenie. It could have easily been a 4 if the temperature had been better.
Posted by Stanton at 7:00 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Posted by Stanton at 7:48 PM