Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Huntington Hot Dog Joint: Knuckle's Sandwich Co.

A few weeks ago, WVHotDogs.com received an email from a reader regarding a new sandwich shop in downtown Huntington called Knuckle's Sandwich Co. on the 400 block of 11th St. that supposedly served a mean hot dog. As they seem to only be open for weekday lunch, I had a bit of trouble getting in there until my hot dog "stay-cation" as mentioned in my review of the Pritchard Building Coffee & Sandwich Shop.

They have a selection of sandwiches/grinders/hoagies (whatever you like to call 'em) and a hot dog called "The Franken Furter," for which the menu claims sets the standard for local hot dogs. It costs $1.75, slightly on the pricey side, but still a fair price for a delicious, well-dressed dog. Can it live up to price and promise?

The sausage is made of a mix of beef and pork. While I am generally partial to all-beef, I figure that if they were upfront about it on the menu they must be doing it for a specific reason. It is, indeed, very tasty. I see where they are coming from; it was a compliment, not a dominant.

They give you a choice of a fresh bakery-soft Heiners bun or a grilled New England split-top. I'm gonna take a traditional bun ten times out of ten, but I am glad that they have options. It shows an attention to detail and a respect for the customer found in an alarmingly small number of restaurants these days.

After a minute or so, the cashier hands me my dog, wrapped in wax paper (some has been doing their homework). I notice that it was rather heavy for a dawg and well-dressed, as lots of brown sauce and white slaw is mushed against the paper.

Knuckle's sauce is a ménage à trois of some of my favorite Ohio Valley culinary delights. The heat is just shy of a conservatively-mixed batch of Sam's Hot Dog Stand spicy sauce. The texture is very much like that of a good Cincinnati chili, a mark of slow-simmering ground beef, as opposed flash fry of the meat. As for the taste, while it doesn't taste like Jim's Spaghetti sauce, it is reminiscent of something made by someone who has enjoyed many a'plate of Huntington's signature diner's finest product and is slightly inspired by its sweet zing. The sauce is just plain ol' excellent. Sam's might not be able to repeat as best sauce this year.

The slaw is sweet, creamy, and tangy; not the best in town, but certainly above the 70th percentile. It plays the necessary supporting role for the superstar chili with the skill and devotion of a Walter Brennan or a Brad Dourif.

As Stanton has noted in the past, we don't mention onions unless they are exceptionally good or bad. Knuckles is certainly in the former, at least for as long as Vidalia onion season lasts. Any place that has the consideration to serve the world's best onion for the brief time in which they are available is alright in my book.

So to answer my initial question, yes, Huntington officially has another first class HDJ. In fact, the great dogs, top-notch service, and commitment to excellence earn Knuckle's Sandwich a 5 weenie rating, making it the first joint in Huntington's city limits to earn this distinction.

Good luck, guys, I hope y'all have many years of success. Might I suggest, however, staying open 'til 6 PM or so for folks who don't work in the CBD? Well, either way, I'll be back many times, I'm sure.


Stanton said...

That looks wonderfully messy. I'm jealous. And what a great name for the place!

Paul S. said...

It should be no surprise Jarrod Queen, the owner of Knuckles Sandwitch Co. makes a mean hotdog. His brother Teddy runs the Swiftwater Cafe over in Charleston.

Christopher Scott Jones said...

It truly was a great hot dog experience. They are serious contenders in 3 of the 4 Huntington categories (sauce, dawg, HDJ) for this year's Weenie Awards.

Stanton said...

Tell me you didn't just write "dawg".

I see a company meeting on the near horizon.

Christopher Scott Jones said...

Cleveland Browns fans instinctively spell "dog" "d-a-w-g."

Sorry. WV hot dogs are my passion, the Brownies are my religion. Blessed be thy Kosar.

rainywalker said...

I went to a bar once in Kansas that had a sign on the door that stated, "we close when the last dawg is hung."

Unknown said...

Does anyone know the hours? I'll only be in Huntington this weekend and I'd love to try this place out.

I did try calling the number listed on the Myspace page...no luck.