Sunday, August 05, 2007

Beckley HDJ Review - King Tut Drive In

I've been getting email about King Tut Drive In practically since I began this blog. Interestingly enough, many people told me that King Tut was the best place in Beckley to get a hot dog, but not many claimed that it was the best hot dog they'd ever eaten, or the best in West Virginia or any outlandish claims like that. All of this lukewarm praise didn't exactly make me want to rush down to Beckley, pay $6 in turnpike tolls and who knows how much in gas to sample lesser dogs. So I waited until I had other business in the Beckley area before trying it out. It took longer than I thought it would to get there, but I finally made it.

King Tut is a classic drive in restaurant with a larger than average canopy that covers an area large enough for 20 cars or so. The menu is much larger than you might expect with items that seem ill-suited to in-car dining like ribs, beans, salads and stuffed baked potatoes. They also have pizza and lots more. The carhops are courteous and the service is quick.

"Everything" hot dogs at King Tut include chili, slaw, mustard and onions. The chili had a complex taste, but was more bitter than spicy. It was also nearly absent. Only because my wife had ordered a "chili bun" (no weenie, just chili and slaw) was I able to taste enough of it to really make a judgment. The slaw was very good, nearly a dead-ringer for that award winning stuff they sell at The Swiftwater Grill; very tasty and prepared with care. The English bun is grilled (although mine was nearly burnt) and the weenie is big and seemed to be all-beef.

Ranking this dog is difficult: I always award an extra half point to drive-ins, but the overdone English bun renders that bonus moot. The good slaw was rendered moot by the mediocre and lightly served chili. So, standing on its own merits this dog only deserves a 3.5 Weenie rank.

I really wanted to love King Tut's hot dogs because it's such a cool little place. I found myself
wishing, however, that I had ordered something else off the menu. The large crowd that was there the evening I went testifies to the fact that there is good food here, just not great hot dogs.


I'm Dad (and I said so!) said...

I really dig the name. That's classic!

The Film Geek said...

Now I can't get that old Steve Martin song out of me head...

oncee said...

I'm glad to see the old place is still there. I have been there for ten years, but they are really known for their pizza. Try the Trash Pizza the next time.

wvapoker said...

You're lucky your business didn't take you there on a Wednesday, because King Tut's would be closed. I will be there tomorrow so I will check it out.