Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New "got slaw?" tshirt - just in time for Spring!

A fresh new version of a tired old classic!

Available now from's online shop at CafePress!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Amazing Discovery - The Long Lost Marmet Yellow Slaw Recipe!

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.

With the possible exception of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there has never been a more significant discovery of the written word.


3 lb head of cabbage, shredded fine and drained
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
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.

For all those readers who had been looking for a good WV Hot Dog slawrecipe, look no further! While it isn't traditional WVHD slaw, it is very tasty.

Here is a old photo of a Mr. C's yellow slaw dog and a regular slaw version.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Charleston HDJ Review - The Leonard's Restaurant

Located in the rear of the First Baptist Church Business Annex on Shrewsbury Street, this little carry out can best be seen from the Leon Sullvan Way exit of I64 in Downtown Charleston. The proprietor, Minnie Leonard ("Miss Minnie" to people who know her) offers her loyal fans a steady stream of fried fish, okra, green beans and other assorted soul food favorites during lunch hours every business day. The restaurant has been open for a year and a half or so and I thought it was time to review their hot dogs.

Knowing that hot dogs, in these parts, are a necessary item on such food establishments I was supremely confident that they would have them on the menu and my confidence was rewarded. "All Beef" hot dogs for $1.50. Everything, I was told, included mustard, chili, slaw and onions so I ordered $3 worth.

Everyone seems to think that serving hot dogs in a coffin keeps them warm, but I promise you that I have had more lukewarm dogs from these styrofoam menaces than I can count. Leonard's adds to the total. Even though I witnessed the weenie and bun being nuked moments before, by the time I got these dogs to the car they were cool; nearly cold in spots.

But that is a minor flaw.

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.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Merchandise at Online Store

A while back Philadelphia artist Hawk Krall was kind enough to create a special version of one of his awesome hot dog art designs for our fans to wear on tshirts. The shirts are now available for purchase in our online shop at

Just imagine yourself bellying up to the bar at your local HDJ sporting this design on your back: You will be the envy of the neighborhood!

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Age Old Debate: "Chili" or "Sauce"

After some considerable research, here is a graphic that visually illustrates where in West Virginia you order "chili" and where it's called "sauce." (For those new around here, there isn't a dime's difference between the two apart from the name.)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Wheeling HDJ Review - Munchies

In 2006 I thoroughly impugned the hot dog reputation of The Northern Panhandle, You can read the post here.

It's been more than three years and I really didn't expect to find anything different on my most recent visit north. I looked everywhere in Wheeling for a decent HDJ but found none. Then, quite serendipitously, I took the wrong entrance ramp to Rt. 2 and headed south for a few miles before I ended up having to turn around on the Benwood exit of Rt. 2. Hanging on the concrete overpass wall was a banner for a place called "Munchies" that said "Hot Dogs" with an arrow pointing through the underpass. I had to follow the arrow and soon I saw another "Munchies" sign on an otherwise abandoned section of a strip mall. The place looked open, thanks to a handful of cars parked out front so I decided to check it out.

The dominant feature on the inside of the establishment was not, as I expected, tables or chairs or a lunch counter, but a whole wall full of women's purses. There must have been well over a hundred of them: Not typical for a HDJ, at least those south of the Mason Dixon Line; who knows what's normal up there in that odd little geographical appendage. But honestly ladies, would you even buy a purse from a place called Munchies?

Anyway, after passing the dizzying array of purses and paraphernalia, I found the place where they serve the hot dogs and was so excited to see that the menu had a piece of yellow tape with the words "WV Dog" written on it. It even had the right ingredients listed! Here, in the previously barren Northern Panhandle I had stumbled on an honest to goodness WVHDJ!

My hot dog was delivered in the largest coffin I have ever seen and when I opened it up I was pleased to see the dark rich color of well cooked chili, and even though the slaw was coarse, it was slaw and so I counted my blessings. After one taste of the hot dog I was further amazed to find that there was actually some merit to the entire hot dog. The bun was nice and soft, the chili was like really meaty DQ Coney Sauce with a slight spicy kick. The coarse slaw actually tasted pretty good.

I am a believer in affirmative action, and so while this hot dog might only garner a 3.5 Weenie rank if it were served in Charleston, I have to bump it a half point and give Munchies a 4 Weenie rating just for being there and for proudly serving a real WV Hot Dog in this northern land that is anything but the real West Virginia.

Yeah, Wheeling readers, I know those are fightin' words. You wanna do somethin' about it? Get a real HDJ and we'll talk.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New England Style Buns - Not for a WVHD!

More and more I get comments about people preferring buttered and grilled slit-top New England style buns for their West Virginia Hot Dog. And the more I read those comments the more I come to believe that to use a New England Style bun and to call it a WVHD is an abomination.

These comments have been especially evident in the FaceBook crowd: It seems those people all like their buns fat and buttery (I will leave the jokes for you to make).

It is time to set the record straight and educate some people in the process.

First, let’s talk about the name: It is a “New England Style” bun, not “English”. I will admit that I am complicit in propagating the incorrect labeling of this product because I was always content to accept various HDJs labels. Not anymore. I’ve done my own research and have concluded that this item did indeed emanate from up north, and certainly not across The Pond (although German buns are remarkably similar). This bun shall forever more be known as “New England Style”.

Many hot dog joints plop a weenie on a NES bun and call it an “English Dog.” From now on this will result in a mandatory one-half Weenie deduction from the total score on a review. This is in addition to our existing policy of a mandatory one-half Weenie deduction for the use of said buns.
Now before we get too far, let me say that I really do like the flavor and texture of grilled NES buns; but I also like ketchup on my scrambled eggs but I wouldn't do that in front of strangers either! I also will confess that I mistakenly gave the 2006 Weenie Award for the Best Hot Dog Buns in Charleston to an establishment that prided itself in their buttered and grilled NES buns. So it's not like I don't appreciate the NES bun, it's just that it doesn't belong on a WVHD.
When NES buns are grilled in butter they add a lot of comforting bulk to the dog. Quite frankly, I find it difficult to eat two hot dogs on NES Buns in one sitting because of the extra volume. But bulk is not what we’re about here. Since they take up more than their fair share of the space and calorie budget, NES buns reduce the amount of chili, slaw and other toppings that one can consume and therefore makes these toppings more of a footnote than the main course. Not to mention that the buttery flavor tends to camouflage other tastes. I personally believe that any hot dog that uses NES buns should be suspected of simply trying to compensate for lesser quality weenie and toppings.
And come on people, this is West By God Virginia: How can we have a West Virginia Hot Dog with a damned Yankee sounding bun like that? What's next, Pinto beans and croissants?
Feel free to comment, you Yankee sympathizers, but prepare yourself to be ridiculed by those of who care about keeping our hot dog heritage pure.