Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Charleston Area Dairy Queen Review - Nitro DQ`

I've gotten off to a slow start on Dairy Queen month, so I thought I should take a trip to Nitro, the home of the DQ about which I have gotten by far the most email. As I walked up to the window I immediately recognized that this DQ took hot dogs to a different level than any other I had visited. On their menu board they have:

  • Hot Dogs
  • Pizza Dogs
  • Reuben Dogs
  • English Dogs
  • Mexican Dogs
  • Foot Longs
I settled for a hot dog, this time. Next time I'm getting one of each.

Anyway, I was told that "everything" meant chili, slaw, onions, mustard and ketchup. I had mine without ketchup. When the friendly person inside the window handed me my dog the first pleasing thing I saw was that it was beautifully wrapped in wax paper. When I unwrapped it it was more beatuiful still. It was as photogenic as any hot dog I have ever been served (unfortunately my camera batteries picked exactly this moment to crap out completely). The slaw looked perfect. It was served in a heaping helping and was chopped much finer than the stuff most places are serving these days. The color was perfect. I quickly decided to take Rick Lee to lunch here very soon so he could properly document this work of cullinary art.

After sitting and beholding its loveliness for a few moments I put the hot dog to the real test. A quick taste of the gorgeous coleslaw made it clear that this would be no ordinary DQ dog. The slaw was sweet, creamy and almost perfect. I quickly dug down to the chili to see if it was up to the task of providing the spicy counterpoint to the chili. I was disappointed to see the texture and color looked just like regular old DQ Coney Sauce, but I realized after tasting it that the folks at the Nitro DQ had definitely doctored it up and it had a little different flavor. Not great, but good and much better than standard DQ. The bun was steamed and very fresh tasting and the weenie was above average. Overall a pretty darn good hot dog. 4 Weenies, pushing 4 1/2.

A couple of other notable things before we close the book on the Nitro DQ: First, they have the coolest outdoor dining room I have ever seen. It's as if they chopped it off the restaurant and moved it over 20 feet to make way for the drive-thru. Second, they serve soft drinks with CRUSHED ICE, which is extremely rare these days. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there's nothing like a cola over crushed ice.

Thank you to everyone that recommended the Nitro DQ. It is a really great West Virginia Hot Dog at a really great Hot Dog Joint.

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