Thursday, September 17, 2009

Belle HDJ Review - Mator's Family Grill

Sitting alongside DuPont Avenue just outside the Belle city limits is this little HDJ that seems to want to be a family restaurant but is essentially a sports bar with a family section. The inside, especially the sports bar section, is much nicer looking than is the exterior which is bland cinder block painted with bland colored paint.

I'm taking a complete guess here, but from the look of the decor in the interior of the family section I would imagine that Mator must have played football for the old DuPont High School since the place is covered with photos and memorabilia of people like Corky Griffith, Danny Williams and yes even Randy Moss. "Mator" sounds like an offensive lineman's name, doesn't it?
Hot dogs were listed on the menu and so I inquired as to what constituted "everything" and was predictably told chili, slaw, mustard, onions and ketchup. I say "predictably" because I am developing a new theory about the upper Kanawha Valley and its unexplainable attachment to the red stuff on hot dogs. Not sure why this is, but almost every HDJ between Malden and Montgomery seems to include it. Of course I asked them to hold mine.
The weenie was split and grilled and heavily salted. The chili was a good texture, but way too salty. The slaw was nicely creamy and tasted heavy of celery salt. The New England Style bun was grilled in what I can only imagine was salted butter. I'm not positive that the mustard wasn't salty, but by the time I paid attention to it my salt-sensing taste buds were overloaded.
So what I am trying to say with some subtlety, is that Mator's hot dogs are kind of salty.
I'll generously give Mator's a 3 Weenie score, only because I know that there are people out there who like their food much saltier than do I, and also because they have a picture of an old river tug boat that is named "Stanton".


Christopher Scott Jones said...

My mom's family comes from the UKV, so I called up my great aunt in Hugheston to ask about the deal with ketchup on hot dogs. Rumor has it that adding it to weenies helps to repel the sparrow-sized mosquitoes found along the Kanawha between Chelyan and Charlton Heights.

JESS said...

First I would like to say that I work at Mator's and I have since they opened in Aug.'07.The first thing I want to correct you on is that we DO NOT include ketchup in our "everything" on hot dogs, there is NO celery salt in the slaw, and we do NOT salt the wieners! We DO however grill our buns w/ salted butter.I would also like to comment on your "sports bar wants to be a family resturant" thing, Our #1 priority is the food, and we have said that since day 1.You failed to mention that the "bar" section is totally seperate than our dining room.We have a lot of sports pics because we are proud of what came from our town.We have many sports pics ranging from Riverside High to Randy Moss, as you said.We are more dedicated to selling food than beer.I think you misjudged us and I think your taste buds have to be easy over salted because I sell MANY a day.You failed to mention how clean it is, and how nice the staff are, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy our hotdogs, maybe you'll like something else!