Friday, November 14, 2008

Clarksburg HDJ Review - Dagwood's

After a long, unintended break from doing reviews, I decided it was time to get back to work and see what new offerings I could find in the hot dog realm. I took the opportunity to finally visit Dagwood's in Clarksburg, which I had heard has some of the best sandwiches in town. Dagwood's theme is based on the very same sandwich-loving comic strip character from your Sunday newspaper. Copyright infringement? Who knows. I'm not about to debate the specifics.

For those of you who can remember decades ago when downtown Clarksburg was more of the retail hub of the area, Dagwood's resides in the former Rex Hex News Stand building. Some minor remodeling has been done to the place, most notably a partition erected in the rear quarter of the shop that separates the kitchen area from the rest of the dining area. I say minor remodeling based on the fact that you get the impression that there is still more structural work that needs to be done at some point in time. But apparently the selling point is not the atmosphere, but the food.

Dagwood's menu boasts a menu of no less than 27 different sandwiches, in addition to pizza, pasta, soups, salads, gyros, wings, and more. Of course, hot dogs are also on the menu. You have the choice of the special, which for $3.49 will get you two hot dogs, fries, and a can of soda. If you wish, you can also get a twelve inch "foot long" for $5.50. Or, if that's too much, the menu says you can get an 8 inch "foot long". Yes, you read that "8 inch foot long". Please leave your wisecracks in the blog responses section.

I've had the special once before. The hot dog themselves were rather plain, tasting no different than ones you would make at home. While the wiener was of the all-beef variety and perfectly grilled, that's about where the nicety ends. While the chili is extremely watery and bland in taste, it had remarkably a nice consistency to it. Then again, it's hard to overcome a flavor deficit. The cheap, floury buns didn't help matters. Slaw is available as a side item here, and you have to remember to order by the numbers. If you don't, you're getting ketchup along with the mustard, chili, and onions.
Now as far as these "foot longs" go, they are quite the study in trying too hard to be resourceful. The buns used in this matter are actually hoagie buns. The buns are cut in half and split open, baked in the oven until they're crispy. You receive four (count 'em....four!) wieners spread out so that each half of the sandwich has two wieners. Because there is ridiculously disproportionate amount of bun to weenie ratio, you wind up with the equivalent of four hot dogs. While this may or may not be considered a bargin, depending on how you feel about dishing out $5.50, you still get shorted on the toppings as you can see by the photo.

Dagwood's is a tough one to nail down. Obviously, the bread and butter of the business is the lunchtime sandwich sales. Hot dogs don't get the care and attention they deserve, but Dagwood's still tries to give some sort of value of the money. My theory: if you want any type of sandwich, this is the place to go. If you want a hot dog, you're better served heading to the likes of Ritzy Lunch, Hometown Hot Dogs, T&L, or if you want a true and respectable foot long, Grandma Cookies Hot Dogs. I'll give Dagwood's three weenies.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Welcome State Journal Readers

State Journal reporter Ann Ali has blessed us with a nice article in the most recent edition of West Virginia's business news weekly paper. If you have found your way here because of that article I hope you stick around a while and check out some of our archived posts.

We've been a little slow lately but now that the elections are over maybe we can get back to what makes this country great: hot dogs!

Thanks Ann!