Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sissonville HDJ Review - The Top Spot

I don't know about the rest of the country, but when a restaurant in West Virginia calls itself a "country cookin'" restaurant it always has hot dogs on the menu. Sometimes they are included just because they feel obligated to do so and sometimes it's because they understand that hot dogs are a cultural staple. Once in a while, though, such a place will be very serious about putting together a real hot dog and has the culinary acumen to pull it off. It seems that The Top Spot in Sissonville would fall into this last category. But unfortunately for this review, three things prevent me from praising the Top Spot's hot dog too enthusiastically: 1) The wait staff showed that they have the ability to torpedo a good dining experience, 2) the presence of ketchup among the listed standard toppings, and 3) 1&2 combined.

OK, the ketchup thing I can deal with. I do all the time. It's irritating, infuriating and even sometimes a little demoralizing that after two years of WVHotDogs.com's constant chiding and admonishing HDJs to lose the red stuff it still shows up on so many standard items lists. But it's easily rectified by simply asking for no ketchup. At least it should be easy, unless the server can't communicate the order to the kitchen - which is exactly what happened to me when I ordered my hot dogs with everything EXCEPT KETCHUP. What I got was everything BUT MUSTARD! This is not rocket science, people!

But in spite of the royally screwed-upness of my order, I have to tell you that the hot dog was still really good. The chili was excellent: Meaty and nicely spicy. The slaw was fresh and tasty with just a slightest bit of sweetness. The weenie was good, the onions finely chopped and sweet and the bun that held it all was warmed in dry heat so it had a crusty outside. Even with the ketchup handicap and mustard deficit this hot dog tasted good enough to earn a 3 1/2 Weenie rating. Just think how good it would have been if it had been prepared properly.

Thanks to Rick Lee for the photo!


clear eyes said...

Wouldn't they let you exchange your defective dogs under the warranty?

Rick Lee said...

The Top Spot really is what Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel advertise themselves to be. Honest to goodness real country cooking... cooked by people who really know what they are doing. Go back and try everything on the menu.