Sunday, October 29, 2006

Huntington Area Hot Dog Joints - South Side Chevron

As the closest locally-owned Chevron station to my house, I try to buy my gas at South Side Chevron (even if it always a penny or two more per gallon and the last station to lower its prices at any given time). At least I know that some of my gas money is sloshing back into the local economy. Anyways, a couple of years ago the owner tore down the old service station and built a modern convenience store where it once stood. In addition to beer, pop, snacks, etc., the new store also sells a product called Broaster Chicken , which is no KFC or Lee's Famous Recipe, but not too bad when you get it hot (they use heat lamps). Hold on, don't go back to Myspace or WoW or your fantasy football team just yet, I'm going somewhere with this.

One day as I was paying for my gas, I noticed that a sign proclaimed that they now had "Johnny Dogs" for $2.25. I've gotten to know the clerks fairly well, so I had no problem asking them what was so special about this hot dog that made it cost that much and sat under a heat lamp. I was told that the dogs were delivered fresh every few hours had an extra thick weenie and a "special sauce" that was made every few days by this Johnny fellow.

"Everyone has a special sauce" I thought as I turned down the chance at a trying this particular dawg.

A month or so passed, and I had noticed that they never seemed to have Johnny Dogs when I was there. One of the clerks told me that they only had them for weekday lunches, which meant I was S.O.L. on getting to try one for the time being.

Another month passed and I finally saw something hot dog shaped wrapped in aluminum foil. The guy at the counter said that Johnny had dropped of the dogs late that day. I thought "what the heck" and ponied up the $2.25 to get a Johnny Dog. I asked for slaw, but they said that they don't have slaw and that if I got them off of Johnny's hot dog cart (which I have never seen to my knowledge) I could get slaw. It seems like a good idea that Johnny doesn't put slaw on dogs destined for a heat lamp, so its understandable, if not a bit disappointing. This might not have been an issue had there not been the Ballard's recall, as I would have then had slaw in the fridge. Maybe next time.

Ok, so to the dog. As it had been wrapped in foil for a while, the bun was steamed and a bit gooey. Honestly, it was less soggy than those upside down dogs at Frostop. The uber-thick wiener (one inch in diameter) was hot and topped with the special sauce, chopped onion, and a fair amount of mustard.

The sauce, which was the selling point of this pricey dog, lived up for the most part to the hype. Upon first sight I noticed that it seemed like a thick sloppy joe. You could even see green pepper in the mixture. It tasted sweet, spicy, and meaty. It was not at all what I had expected but was everything that I had hoped for in such a gourmet-priced weenie.

Now to the ratings:

Sauce: 5 weenies. This is like some of the best homemade WV sauces. There is nothing to criticize about it at all. While I do not know if it the sauce that I would want on a dog all of the time or even most of the time, it is something special. Wow.

Weenie: 4 weenies. The weenie alone, if cut up, would make enough beanie weenies to feed the 3rd grade class at Meadows Elementary School for a month.

Everything else: 1 weenie. It was a gas station with heat lamps and no slaw. 'Nuff said.

Overall: 3.5 weenies. Damn, I need to find Johnny's stand. This could be a multiple Weenie Award winner. If coming to Huntington and you only have time for one dog, this might not be the place to go, but I strongly urge anyone that lives or works in Moneyton to grab one of these at least once for lunch.

Next time, I'll make sure I have slaw in the fridge.

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