Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lavalette Hot Dog Joint: Hazlett's Triple H Drive Inn

Hazlett's Triple H Drive Inn is a roadside diner located just north of Lavalette on WV 152 (formerly US 52) and is a survivor of the days when restaurants were Mom 'n Pop joints owned by families and not by an MNC located in Columbus, Louisville, or Dubai. Everything about the place, from the architecture to the swinging doors (with a cash-only sign) to the lunch counter to the "no profanity" sign screams of authenticity. While I did get some dagger-stares from the locals, they were more of the "who the hell (oops, no profanity) heck is this?" variety than the "the sun better not set on your head here, buddy" sort and the service was fast and courteous.

I wish I could brag on the hot dogs from this greasy spoon as much as I can on the charming diner. I will say this, however: the cole slaw is nothing short of fantastic. It is creamy (but not running), sweet (but not sickeningly), finely chopped (but not over-diced), and had just the right touch of tang. I think it is already an early contender for a 08 Weenie Award for Huntington's Best Slaw (watch out, Austin's).

As for the rest of the dog, there is nothing terrible, but nothing special, either. They use a low grade weenie, even by the forgiving logic of WVHotDogs.com. The sauce is bland and served under the weenie (argh, again with this). The bun was fresh, but this is the expected default in these parts, so that doesn't earn them a cookie.

Basically, I ended up with a Frostop hot dog with really good slaw.
I would recommend Hazlett's to those that love Frostop dawgs but don't care for their slaw or for folks that want a slaw dog with no sauce, but for true WV hot dog sauce/chili connoisseurs, there are much better options.

Since their stellar slaw is on par with the 'Top's killer root beer, the atmosphere is equally neat as Frostop (although I suspect that, if the name is a clue, Hazlett's used to be a drive-in, too), and the hot dogs are equally so-so. I therefore am going to give Hazlett's the same score as Frostop: 3.5 weenies.

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