Thursday, April 12, 2007

Late night WV hot dogz at Sheetz

Some of you will no doubt be wondering why on earth I'm reviewing this chain when so many better HDJ's exist in North Central WV. The reason is actually quite simple: by virtue of my 'new job' I've been keeping ever more odd hours. So, I set out to see where one is to go at 2AM for a WVHD. I found out, strangely enough, you can go to a Pennsylvania based business to fill that burning desire.

For the uninitiated: Sheetz, based in Altoona, PA, is a convenience/gas store with about 300 locations in PA, OH, MD, VA, NC and WV (furthest south in WV is Weston, IIRC). They offer a variety of "Made to order (tm)" subs and sandwiches (which the customer orders by a touchscreen terminal[some locations even have order screens at the pumps!], making the items EXTREMELY customizable) as well as a large fountain drink section, coffee and cappuccino selection and, more recently, self service milkshake makers (which are surprisingly tasty).

So, what about the dogz? You can get them with an assortment of toppings, from cheese to mayo (I opted for neither, going for the traditional WVHD combination of mustard, onion, chili/sauce and slaw). The wiener was lightly browned by virtue of being cooked on one of those continuously rolling grillers. The bun was straight out of the bag and cold. To this was added mustard and onion (which tasted surprisingly fresh for 2AM) some variety of canned chili/coney sauce and a prepackaged/refrigerated slaw. Given the, apparently, standardized toppings, I imagine there is not much variation from location to location.

In the case of Sheetz' Hot Dogz this would seem to be an unfortunate thing. The wiener, while grilled, was more than a little over cooked (not burnt, but cooked to the point where it had about the same consistency of boiled shoe leather). The slaw seemed overly creamy (almost to the point of slimey) with no sweetness and minimal flavor, it offered no synergy to the experience. The out of the can chili, seemed to be akin to one of the less expensive, canned varieties, with small chunks of the meaty substance sitting in a chili-like sauce, like the slaw I found it lacking in flavor. While the dogz initially come in as some of the cheapest I've ever had at 2 for $0.99, some toppings cost extra: chili adds $0.15 per dog and slaw is $0.39, cheese is an additional charge as well, should you feel so inclined (thus removing price as a potentially pivotal purpose to partake).

While this is the only retail option I've found for a WVHD at 2AM, I have to think/hope there are other/better options for late-night sustenance. Even with 0.5 weenie bonus for being 1) a PA based company offering a WVHD and 2) having them available 24h a day, they still only manage a 1.5 weenie rating.


wvapoker said...

I had a wvhd at the Parsons Sheetz during the traditional lunch time and found it to be an OK wvhd. It was no Morrison Drive-in wvhd.

Rick Lee said...

Dang, I was hoping to read a good review here. I often find myself gassing up at that Sheetz at the Star City exit. BTW... why is it that it always takes about an hour to purchase anything in there? There's only 3 people ahead of you but each transaction involves lots of searching for a particular kind of cigarette and the registers seem to be extremely complicated to operate.

Christopher Scott Jones said...

It looks E colilicious.