Monday, December 28, 2009

Charleston HDJ Review - M&M Sandwich Mart

M&M Sandwich Mart has been just about my favorite place for sandwiches for several years now. This little market and deli sits in a very convenient place in Kanawha City, has easy storefront parking and sells the freshest Boar's Head Meats in the area. They also don't skimp on helpings (they put a good half pound of liverwurst on my favorite of their sandwiches), so I was pleased when I drove by recently and saw hot dogs advertised on their marquee sign along McCorkle Avenue. I thought that with their demonstrated commitment to quality that a decent hot dog would be a given.

I was half right.

Allow me to begin at the end: The hot dog tasted pretty good. Probably 3 Weenies worth of good.

The problem is that these are self-serve dogs. I was hugely disappointed to find when I went in that the dogs were not going to be prepared by the deli chef behind the counter, but by me on the sales counter! A cutesy little Boar's Head hot dog cart sitting on the counter had two kinds of weenies sitting in pools of their own filth, a tub of lukewarm and mediocre tasting chili and a chilled container of so-so coleslaw sitting alongside. A bag of room temperature Heiner's buns sat there waiting for me and anyone else to paw around inside to pull loose the proper number of buns to begin the assembly process.

In M&M's defense, the owner was standing there behind the counter and offered to help me, but I was disinclined to submit to his assistance.

Since it is my standing rule that self-service hot dog stand gets an automatic 1 point deduction, M&M only nets out a 2 Weenie rating.

Still the place to go for my beloved liverwurst on rye, but unless it can run with the big dogs and have its hot dogs fixed by the professionals behind the counter, M&M needs to stay out of the hot dog business.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Closed HDJs

After more than 250 reviews, it is inevitable that there are going to be some Hot Dog Joints that have succumbed to economics and closed their doors. Some are re-opened soon with new names, but some just quietly fade away.

Here is a list of HDJs we have reviewed that are confirmed to be no longer in business. Feel free to add comments with others you might know about.

Charleston Area

Romeos - Alas, one of two 5 Weenie HDJs on this list. It finally succumbed this past summer after two closures and two re-starts. Stanton wept.

Mr. C's - Will we ever see yellow slaw again? Nobody did it like Mr. C.

Delish - Most people miss it for the satay, but the Delish Dog was a taste treat.

The Valley Bell Store - Nostalgia died when this throwback to the 1960s went out last year.

The Southern Kitchen - Although it was rumoured to be re-opening, it has been dark too long now to have any hope that it will. I still think their slaw had applesauce in it.

Deli Fresh - Bullit Street - Essentially the lunch room for the BB&T Operations Center. When BB&T downsized the operation Deli Fresh went with it.

Mrs. Winkles - A classic example of someone who can cook well but has no business or customer service aptitude.

RPM Restaurant - This place was on life support when it opened and never recovered.

Power Alley Grill

Dee's Delights - Pinch

Meadowbook Diner

Chasers Boulevard Cafe

The Movie House Cafe

Dairy Belle

The Comfort Station

Grandy's Deli

Cock of the Walk

Big Daddy's Fish and More

Charleston-Huntingon Corridor

Wing World Plus Hot Dog Heaven WV - Closed, I am convinced, by bad karma from employee abuse.

Hillbilly Hot Dogs - Culloden The first franchised location of the Lesage institution failed quickly and was replaced by ...

The Hound House - Culloden - Which didn't last long either. I think the place is a gambling joint now.

The Hottest Dog - Hurricane - This is now Mayberry's Restaurant.

Carmen's Diner

North Central WV

Mountaineer Brunch - Bridgeport

Dairy Queen - Grafton.

Hot Dog Barn - Morgantown - The other 5 Weenie HDJ - Closed by City bureaucratic meddling.