Saturday, April 23, 2011

Grafton HDJ Review - T&L Hot Dogs

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.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Oscar Mayer Weinermobile in Ripley today

The Weienrmobile will be in Ripley today. If you are a hot dog fan, or even just want to see a piece of  classic Americana up close and personal, check it out at the local supermarket at 200 Academy Drive from 10am - 4pm.

Here is a report I did a few years ago whe it last appeared in the area. Sorry the picture links are broken.

Friday, April 08, 2011


The famous Oscar Mayer Weeniemobile is at the Southridge Walmart right now!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Nitro HDJ Review - Linda's Hot Diggity Dogs

Linda's Hot Diggity Dogs occupies a space inside the Brandywine Flea Market in Nitro that was formerly occupied by Jake's Dawg House (you can read that review from 2008 here). Recently Linda, presumably the owner, has posted on our Facebook page and asked for a re-review. This past weekend afforded the time to make the trip to Nitro to check it out.

Proudly written on the menu board in first position is "WV Hot Dog" but its toppings weren't listed. When I inquired as to what "everything" consisted of ketchup was unfortunately included in the list, so I asked for two without the offensive tomato stew.

The first thing I noticed about these hot dogs was the yellowish tint to the slaw. Not quite Marmet Yellow Slaw yellow, but definitely yellowish. This brought a rise of hope within my hungry breast since I had never had yellow slaw that wasn't very tasty. But when I picked up my hot dog I was disappointed to feel the stiffness of a cold bun. Not a good sign.

Aside from the bun, though, it went pretty well. The yellowish slaw was very good (sweet and creamy) and the chili was about average (very meaty but having not much spice or complexity). At the center was a nicely grilled weenie that tasted like one of the more premium brands.

 Overall this was a good hot dog and earns a solid 3.5 Weenie score. A steamed bun and something distinct about the chili would have leveraged the quality of the slaw into a higher score.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Racist City Planners Conspire to Close Downtown Charleston Hot Dog Joint

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

For years the Middle East Mart has been providing those who frequent Slack Plaza and the KRT Transit Mall with the necessities of life: Cigarettes, Pepsi and Hummus. When they added hot dogs to their menu several years ago the hordes of people that this addition brought to the area began to cause some problems for City leaders. Two years ago the mayor installed "loafer rails" - strips of steel spikes - on top of the planter seatwalls that were meant to discourage the hard working Slack Plaza regulars from sitting down and eating their lunch. Then last summer he had the trees in the plaza cut down to eliminate shady areas where people could sip their sodas in the heat of summer. While these tactics have no doubt had a negative effect on the hot dog sales at Middle East Mart, has remained silent while this administration has systematically persecuted the only minority owned Hot Dog Joint in the downtown area. Recent events, however, have made it impossible for us to remain silent any longer.  

This week a group of "experts" from a university in North Central West Virginia (where, as we all know, many people have a sick aversion to cole slaw on hot dogs) came to Charleston to hold a "community meeting" where a "plan" for "improvement" of Slack Plaza was "developed." Funny, but only two days after this meeting was held, a plan was released whose major component is the removal of Middle East Mart from the plaza. No other business would be affected by this proposal; only the one that is owned by people from the Middle East was targeted. Has there ever been a more obvious case of racial profiling? Can we, the hot dog loving citizens of West Virginia, stand idly by while a Capital City HDJ is run out of town by a racist administration?

Call To Action
Here's what I propose: Today, anyone who works or is visiting in Downtown Charleston needs to go to Middle East Mart and buy a hot dog! Whether you opt for one of their regular hot dogs with grape leaf slaw or one of the more exotic ones (I recommend the all-lamb weenie with baba ganoush on a pita), join us in standing up for the rights of our Muslim brothers, won't you?

Make sure you do it today. Tomorrow the opportunity will be lost. All great revolutions begin on a significant date: Communism has its May Day; perhaps April 1 will henceforth be as well known.

I have a dream today.