Saturday, February 02, 2008

Clarksburg HDJ Review - T&L Hot Dogs, Old Bridgeport Hill

The vast majority of the time you're likely to find little deviation from one local chain or franchised restaurant to the next, save for maybe the layout or decor. The menu is nearly always the same, and the food usually tastes the same at one location as it does another. A welcome exception to this rule are a couple of the T&L Hot Dogs in the north central portion of the state. While there aren't many changes to the menu offerings in the “main” stores (at least the ones that are listed on the T&L website, as there are numerous other locations around the area that aren't even noted), there area a couple that excel in the preparation of the key hot dog ingredients. Two immediately come to mind: the Buckhannon location (see the review for that one) and the newest location at the foot of Old Bridgeport Hill in Clarksburg.

This new T&L employs the standard motif for a T&L: 50's and 60's era movie posters, tons of neon lighting trim, abundant movie poster reprints, die-cast replicas of classic American automobiles, an eye-catching Esso neon clock, a jukebox full of family-friendly oldies, and so forth. At the same time, it also sets itself apart from other HDJs --as well as the other T&L shops-- with it's roomy split-level seating. The eating area is sparkling clean, and the food preparation area glistens as well. I couldn't help but stop and gaze at the wall-mounted nose of the '57 Chevy greeting me at the entrance.

But what really sets this T&L apart from the rest of the pack was how incredibly well prepared my hot dogs were. The slaw had all of the best elements working in unison: cool, crisp cabbage that had freshness permeating every bite, coupled with the tang and sweetness there, all playing together nicely for a welcome change. Mercifully, not the typical one-or-the-other I'm so used to when it comes to the tang or sweetness in my slaw dressing. I had ordered the medium chili sauce, but I would've sworn I received the hot version by mistake. Upon a second tasting, I realized that my chili was simply very, very fresh. The spices and seasonings hadn't had the chance to dissipate into the sauce, and the meat had also been nicely cooked. The buns were perfectly done as far as steaming goes, and it didn't hurt that they tasted ridiculously fresh as well.

Just as a side note here, this was the first time that I noticed that T&L now offers their sauce by the gallon (as well as the pint). Of course if you want that much, be prepared to pony up $24.00.

T&L Hot Dogs doesn't score anything less than four weenies, but this location pulls off the rarity of scoring a five weenie rating. The preparation is of the highest quality here, and it comes through in the taste.


hotdogfan said...

had lunch here the other day.. Outstanding.... hot dogs awsome as ever and my wife had the fresh black angus burger... fresh cut fries are always worth the drive..
5 weinies in my book...

caroleinfl said...

I've never had sweet and tangy cole slaw that I liked. Being from WV, the slaw was always sweet. I would like to try one of these just to see how many weenies I would give it. LOL
Thanks love all your reviews.