FreeHollowBooks writes and says "I'm hankerin for a new review......I check everyday. Who has the hottest sauce in WV btw?"
Well, FreeHollow, I just posted a new review. And there is no question that Yann's Hot Dogs in Fairmont has the hottest sauce in the state. It is insanely hot. So hot that it has apparently killed the brain cells of many Fairmont hot dog fans since they are nearly the only ones in the state who stubbornly insist that coleslaw shouldn't be put on hot dogs.
HaveFoodWillTravel asks "is there a festival that truly captures the wv dog culture? i would like to know if there is. my favorite dog to date is from the parkway in logan, wv."
Unfortunately no, HaveFood. The Southern Ohio Hot Dog Festival that is held in Huntington each July is called The W.Va. Hot Dog Festival, but we all know the truth. Last year some of the vendors didn't even have slaw. And kudos to you for liking Parkway;s hot dogs; just another great HDJ in Logan, where they know how to do hot dogs right. Hey, why doesn't Logan have the REAL WV Hot Dog Festival?
Saturday, September 24, 2011
FreeHollowBooks writes and says "I'm hankerin for a new review......I check everyday. Who has the hottest sauce in WV btw?"
A recent addition to the Port Amherst Community is the Riverside Cafe, a tiny little restaurant that sells basic food to those who work nearby and to those who happen by and see the sign on Piedmont Road, like me.
It should be no surprise that a place like this would sell hot dogs, but I was surprised at the poor quality of those hot dogs. Usually blue collar places like this have solid Utilitarian Dogs, but not so here: The small caliber weenie was overcooked and rubbery, the chili was lifeless and bland. The coleslaw was decent but couldn't make up for the rest. 1 1/2 Weenies.
Posted by Stanton at 9:48 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Yesterday I found myself with an unusually light work schedule and the weather was so nice that I decided to venture to one of my favorite local public courses, Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado. Since my tee time was just before noon I decided to do double duty and piggyback a hot dog review. I am so glad I did.
Many times when I go back for an official review of a HDJ from my past (aka "The Good Old Days") I am let down because the quality has either slipped or can't stand up to my romanticized memories. This time I was not disappointed: The hot dogs were as good as I remembered.
First, let me say right off that this is one of those classic WVHDs that is greater than the sum of its parts. Sampled individually, the chili or the slaw would be just passable. But both chili and slaw seemed to be designed for each other on this hot dog: neither have strong flavors of their own. The sweet onions sitting on top also were perfectly matched and the weenie was basic with no heaviness and cooked just right.
The only negative about this hot dog was that the bun wasn't steamed. I will deduct a half-weenie for that, but this hot dog deserves its 4 1/2 Weenie score.
(I will only add to this review that the hot dog must've had some mystical golf powers because after eating two of them I played very well despite having not set foot on a real golf course in 2-3 years. )
Posted by Stanton at 9:22 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This weekend, the HDJ celbrates 60 years of slinging chili and slaw. Congratulations!
Posted by Stanton at 8:42 AM
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Well, today marked another WV Hot Dog Festival at Pullman Square in downtown Huntington.
This year, I couldn't be bothered.
Let's look at who wasn't there, according to the Herald-Dispatch:
No thanks, maybe next year.
Or maybe not.
Posted by Christopher Scott Jones at 6:45 PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
And to the Charleston Gazette, West Virginians search for the term "hot dog" on Google more than residents of any other state, according to Jenna Wandres of Google.
We're not surprised. And I'd bet if you could somehow track all those expatriate West Virginians (for those of you in Fairmont, that means they were from West Virginia and now live somewhere else) it would double the number.
Posted by Stanton at 9:15 PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I know this is not a good excuse for low output during National Hot Dog Month, but with the heat we've been experiencing this month I just haven't been in much of a hot dog mood; writing about them, that is. I'm always in the mood to eat them.
A recent trip to Baltimore brought me an opportunity to see how the northern Chesapeake Bay eats their dogs. I went into a HDJ in Fell's Point that sold a good variety including one with chili, slaw, mustard and onions. You know what they called it?
The North Carolina Dog!!!!
Once again, for the record: It was our recipe first. If not for the mass exodus of West Virginians to the greener economic pastures of Charlotte during the 60' and 70's, they would have never heard of putting slaw on a hot dog (just like the rest of the country!).
Now I was going to complain but then I saw that this place's newest offering was - and I am not making this up - a Crab, Macaroni and Cheese Dog. After I saw that I figured that they were beyond reason.
Anyway, I have some reviews banked up that I'll start posting soon. A Weenie Wonk's work, it seems, is never done; although you couldn't tell that by the work output of Frank, Chris and Big Daddy, whose collective writing over these past few months make me look like a workaholic.
Just kidding guys. But seriously, write something OK?
Posted by Stanton at 3:14 PM
Monday, July 04, 2011
As I wrote earlier today, a Fourth of July cookout gave me the opportunity to test out my theory that if you add a cool, creamy coleslaw to the top of a spicy Fairmont style hot dog it would make a great West Virginia Hot Dog. Here is my report on the test:
As much grief as I like to give Fairmont people for their stubborn resistance to slaw on hot dogs, I have to give them credit for some of the most interesting chili sauce to be found anywhere. Marion County does a few things right: Pepperoni Rolls and Spicy Hot Dog Chili Sauce would be two of those things. Yann's is the most famous of these, and most definitely the hottest. My recipe for a Yann's tastealike took all day to cook but was worth it. The sauce was not quite as spicy as Yann's but had perhaps more complexity and reminded me of other Marion County HDJs like Woody's or Lupos.
My Marmet Yellow Slaw recipe produced a slightly more vinegary slaw than I have had at the classic yellow slaw HDJs like Mr. C's or the newcomer, Chums. In spite of the extra vinegar flavor, the slaw had a wonderful texture and a sweet complexity that is hard to match with a mayonnaise based slaw.
My plan was to put these diverse elements together on top of grilled Nathan's Famous weenies and let my guests decide the success or failure of the combination.
The result? Everyone liked the chili sauce - even those from eastern Kanawha County where spicy chili is rare. Everyone liked the slaw, although the praise it received was somewhat muted compared to that given to the chili. The two together? The opinions were unanimous: There was synergy here. The spicy chili was cooled down nicely by the sweet slaw and the whole was was greater than the sum of its parts.
As a personal test, I loaded up a test dog with chili sauce, mustard and onions and then applied slaw to only one end. I started on the "Fairmont" end and ate my way to the "Marmet" end. No doubt that the dog's taste got markedly better halfway through.
My only regret is that I didn't go ahead and make some mayo based slaw to offer my guests to see which they preferred. Perhaps that will be a Labor Day project.
Now I would love to try this test again for some open-minded Fairmont people, but in my experience there are no open minded Fairmont people when it comes to hot dogs. Alas.
Posted by Stanton at 10:08 PM
Followers of this blog know that I prefer to have my hot dogs made by the professionals, but today I'm taking matters into my own hands. As I write this a pot of Fairmont style chili sauce is simmering on my stoevetop and a large bowl of Marmet Yellow Slaw is chilling in the fridge. Company coming over at 5:00 for an indepence day hot dog feast and I'll report the reviews later today.
Now, I have to give credit for my decision to try this today to Mike over at the other hot dog blog - http://thehotdogblog.wordpress.com - who tried this combination recently. When I reported it on Facebook it caused a minor war of words between Fairmont folks an some others. I'm hoping that giving a true West Virginia perspective might carry more weight with the Fairmont faithful. I'm not holding my breath.
Also, it should be noted that earlier today Joey Chestnut waddled away with his fifth straight Mustard Belt at today's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island by eating a mere 62 hot dogs. Of course, none of them had chili or slaw so people in West Virginia barely noticed.
Posted by Stanton at 2:11 PM
Friday, July 01, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Especially sad in this case because this change was NOT for the better, at least when it comes to hot dogs.
Spurred by this Daily Mail story about the new restaurant and buoyed by the hope that a staff of five of with 150 years of restaurant experience would have to make good hot dogs, I made my way over the Five Corners. Riding this wave of optimism, I forked over way too much money for 2 hot dogs ($2.39 each) and waited in glorious expectation for them to arrive. I waited, and waited and waited. 25 minutes later my two hot dogs arrived. And the chili had beans in it.
That sound you hear is the sad deflation of my formerly high expectations of getting good hot dogs.
Not only did the chili have beans, the slaw was tasteless. The bun was grilled unnecessarily and the weenie was charred from over grilling.
Perhaps the rest of the menu is better at Five Corners Cafe, but you only get one shot at a WVHotDogs.com. Fail. 1 Weenie. And that's generous.
Posted by Stanton at 3:46 PM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
While it is not necessarily a 100% guarantee, you can usually take it to the bank that you will not get much variation between T&L Hot Dog outlets in terms of quality and consistency. While there are some T&L outlets that rise above the norm (see this review of the Clarksburg / Old Bridgeport Hill location), the majority do not deviate away from the formula that the chain has become know for. This is the case with the T&L located on the outskirts of Grafton.
The Grafton location is not necessarily in Grafton proper, but is actually situated between Pruntytown and Bridgeport at the junction of U.S. routes 50 and 250. This location is also annexed on one side by a banquet hall. There is no heavy population center immediately nearby, but this location has thrived and survived due to the heavy traffic flow from the aforementioned highways. The interior is warm and pleasing, featuring wood paneling throughout. Additionally, it is large enough to hold a good size crowd, yet spacious enough to allow one stretch out with plenty of room.
Like other T&L locations in the area, the motif is largely centered around 50's and 60's memorabilia. I noticed that all of the archived newspapers that were framed on the walls seemed to focus on rather morbid historical events: Pearl Harbor, the death of Elvis, John Lennon's murder, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the passing of FDR. Needless to say that made for some rather curious lunchtime reading.
As for the hot dogs themselves, I previously mentioned that the song remains the same here. As always, T&L delivered some of the best hot dog chili around, a rich meaty taste with a pleasing consistency. I ordered the medium chili this time out and found it to be warm in the tummy and pleasing to the palate. The slaw had a nice contrast of sweet and tang, but honestly didn't taste a fresh as I usually get from some of the other locations. This was a bit of a let down. Also, I thought the weenie was cooked to the bare minimum requirement. My serving seemed to be cooked to an adequate temperature, but lacked some plumpness. Overall, I thought the entire offering was good but not necessarily great.
All in all, the Grafton T&L Hot Dogs rate four weenies. While their formula for chili is usually spot-on, the slaw and weenie had a little room for improvement. The location is a little out of the way for most, but if you're in the neighborhood you will no doubt find a WVHD that fits the bill for your craving.
Posted by I'm Dad (and I said so!) at 1:19 PM
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Friday, April 01, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tonight's edition of the evening news on WBOY TV featured The Custard Stand in Webster Springs on the semi-regular "Restaurant Road Trip". Hopefully the accompanying video will be posted soon. You can read the text from the report at this link. Of particular interest is that Custard Stand is looking to expand by offering franchise opportunities.
If you want to read some more heartfelt reviews, check out Stanton's review from August 2010 here, or my review of the Flatwood's location here.
Posted by I'm Dad (and I said so!) at 6:59 PM
Saturday, March 26, 2011
App Advice reports that Crazy Hotdogs is free for today only (3/26/11) in the Apple App Store. It is a fun little game that allows you to manage your own hot dog joint from your iPhone or iPod Touch.
My only complaint: no slaw!
Still, the price is right and it should help the time pass while waiting for two WV hot dogs & crinkle-cut fries at your favorite weenie stand.
Click here to download.
Posted by Christopher Scott Jones at 5:28 PM
Monday, March 21, 2011
For the longest time, it seemed as though the hot dog culture in the greater Clarksburg area had reached a level of complacency. There hadn't been any new pure or worthwhile hot dog joints of note in some time. There wasn't much to write about for the longest time, and to be honest the weather and my work schedule weren't very cooperative.
I was a really disappointed to find that one of the better HDJs in the area, Hometown Hot Dogs of Clarksburg, had shut it's doors in the latter part of last year. The building that once housed some WVHD greatness had fallen into "good hands" for selling insurance, if you get my drift. However, I was suprised to find out that the crew from Hometown had actually packed up and moved to the other side of town, smack dab between the East View section of Clarksburg and Anmoore. The new name was Smiley's Hot Dogs, and all seemed right with the world. The slaw was fresher than ever, the service was great, and the chili was hearty as ever. But alas, it was a short-lived comeback. By the time I had started to pen a review of the new digs, Smiley's shuttered it's doors sometime before Christmas of 2010. Personally, I'd chalk it up to a very poor location.
So as I looked and looked around Clarksburg some more. Surely I had not covered all of the good HDJs around, had I? Luckily, I found Stealey Lunch. Just a few blocks down from where the old Hometown Hot Dogs stood was this inviting new establishment nestled in the corner of a building along one of the busier thoroughfares in town.
Stealey Lunch had a crisp, clean interior with lots of space. There wasn't much in the way of atmosphere or decor, but nonetheless the smells of deliciousness permeated the walls to make one forget this negligible "shortcoming" (if you want to even call it that). The menu features a multitude of choices for lunch, ranging from hot dogs, sandwiches, chicken, salads, and the like.
The hot dogs are listed as "slaw dogs", but they do come as a West Virginia hot dog should by the numbers (you know the routine...chili, slaw, onions, mustard). But to say that these hot dogs meet the standards for quality. For starters, the weenie was incredible scrawny. Cook it one minute too long, and it could've been a toothpick. The chili had hint of "tomatoey" to it, which surprisingly was the only highlight of it. There wasn't anything wrong with the chili, mind you. It just was devoid of any other real flavor. The slaw was also in the "okay" category, unfortunately. This iteration of slaw included hints of carrots for some reason. Carrots are okay, but when used as a hot dog topping they are best left off. My final beef was with the bun. It tasted as though a stale bun had been warmed over (badly). After a few minutes of cooling off, the bun became chewy, which is never a good sign.
While I'm always glad to see hot dog joints make their home in the north central area, I still find myself disappointed by the effort put in to the product. Stealey Lunch seems to "want" to put out a good hot dog, but doesn't have the goods to "execute". I'd like to say the potential is there, but who knows? Maybe some simple tweaking will liven up these otherwise boring dogs, but until then I have to give these a 3 weenie rating (and I'm spotting them about 1/2 weenie here).
Posted by I'm Dad (and I said so!) at 8:57 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
OK WVHD fans, let's rally to the aid of our state's finest! Leave your enthusiastic comment on the Rachel Ray site to make sure that we're not overlooked. We have a lot of geography and population to make up for.
Posted by Stanton at 11:50 AM
Saturday, January 08, 2011
You see, the hot dog that the Blossom used to serve was an oversize giant that had a $3.50 price tag, but was worth every penny. When I saw the new version priced at $4.50, I wasn't discouraged; after all it was as big as two or three regular WVHDs and if it was half as yummy as before I would still get filled up.
Unfortunately, though, it was half the size of the old version. While the taste was about as good as before (almost identical as I remember it) this thing was puny! Instead of being an oversize Chicago Red weenie it was a small caliber version of a standard WVHD weenie. Instead of an oversize special made bun it was on a dreaded New England Style bun. The chili and slaw were both tasty and worked well together, but I was still extremely hungry after it was gone. Thankfully I had a plate full of chips and my lunch companion took pity on me and shared her chicken artichoke salad with me so I had enough strength to make it back to the car. A trip to Charleston Bread Company for a couple of hot from the oven cookies brought me all the way back to consciousness.
No Weenies for you.
Posted by Stanton at 7:40 PM