Let's take a little trip through the annals of the WV Hot Dog Blog, shall we?
Many years ago we reviewed Shaar's Bar and Grill and while we liked the location and the overall ambiance of the place (cigarette smoke notwithstanding), the hot dogs they served were sad. Worse than sad, actually; they were disgusting.
Then, just a couple of years ago, we reviewed Sammy's Chili Dogs (which later changed its name to "Bammy's") at its original location near the corner of West Mains Street and Coal River Road in St. Albans. Their hot dogs were good. Better than good, actually; they were great.
So recently when I heard an advertisement on a Charleston radio station for a new Hot Dog Joint opening up at 829 Central Avenue on Charleston's West Side, my ears perked up. My perky ears were rewarded when I heard this new HDJ bragging that they had been highly reviewed by the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog. Although I didn't immediately recognize the name, when they said that this was their second location and gave the address of the original, it didn't take me long to put it together.
I didn't have to wait long for my hot dogs, but while I did, I poked around a little and was pleased that they had mostly left the charming interior intact, including the very cool old wooden phone booth in the back. The pool table is gone, but in its stead is a door with the tell-tale sign that says "Over 21" and cautions that the door must be kept closed. Bammy's, like many other HDJs these days, supplements its income with a backroom casino. Or maybe more correctly, it uses its hot dogs as a front for the casino. I don't care, as long as the hot dogs are good, and these are.
Let's start with the bun: They have a bun steamer - say no more. A sure sign of a serious hot dog joint. The result is near perfection: heavenly soft and nicely warm buns in which to build a tasty hot dog.
And build it they do: A small-caliber weenie leaves room for a good helping of tasty chili: tangy and meaty. The slaw was nearly perfectly paired with the chili, nicely sweet and finely chopped. After I had already ordered I noticed that they offered a spicy chili; I'll try that next time, because there will definitely be a next time.
4 1/2 Weenies. Delicious.