Thursday, August 05, 2010

Berkley Springs HDJ Review: Creakside Creamery

(ed. note: This is the first review by Frank, our Eastern Panhandle Weenie Wonk, and it marks the first EP HDJ  review in the 4 1/2 year history of this blog. Now some might say that the EP is not really West Virginia. We at believe the best criteria by which to judge whether the EP belongs is their hot dogs. Whether it settles the issue or fuels the debate, we feel a duty to report the unvarnished hot dog truth. )

After hearing from a few friends that the Creekside Creamery was worth visiting, I made a point to give it a try during a recent trip to Berkeley Springs. The Creekside Creamery is located a block off the main street in downtown Berkeley Springs, South Washington Street, on Congress Street. There are two cozey outdoor seating areas, but I chose the indoors due to the 90 degree heat.

Without reservation, I can tell you that the Creekside Creamery is not a normal WVHD joint. Almost all the walls in the creamery are lined with things for sale, with children's toys and women's beauty products predominating. But what makes the creamery truly unique is the glass case displaying handmade gourmet chocolates for sale. Specifically, the chocolates were made by Sweet Shop USA and were on sale for the gourmet price of $24.95 a point. I have been to other WVHD joints that sell a variety of things, but gourmet chocolates is definitely a first for me.
There was also another glass case displaying homemade pies and the like for sale, as well as a large board displaying all sorts of ice cream selections. The special of the day was quiche lorraine. However, I was there in search of a delicious WVHD. There were two hot dog choices on the menu- a 1/4 pound dog and the standard version. I stuck with the traditional, and ordered a Combo #2 which is two hot dogs, chips, and a drink for about $4.50. However, the price of my combo went up two dollars when I was charged $0.50 for each addition of chili and slaw to the two hot dogs.

The service was friendly, but provided at a leisurely pace. When I placed my order for chili, slaw, mustard, and onions, the lady behind me chuckled and said that I would need someone to clean my tie afterwards. After I assured the lady that I had some experience with these toppings, the owner jokingly informed me that they did not sell bibs. When I received my plate, the fork on my plate showed that the cashier was indeed worried about my cleanliness.

The first thing I noticed about my hot dogs was that the chili was placed over the slaw. I also noticed that the weenie was larger than what you find on a standard WVHD. The weenie was tough and somewhat hard to chew and undercooked. The taste of the weenie overpowered the rest of the parts. The taste was not unpleasant, but it overpowered the rest of the ingredients of the dog. I had to taste the chili and slaw individually to get a good sense. For fifty cents a piece extra on each dog, I could have used more chili. The chili was thick and meaty, and weak on spice. There were medium chunks of cabbage in the slaw,it was not creamy and matched the chili's blandness. The mustard and onions were both overpowered by the taste of the weenie. The bun was warm, but could have used some steaming.
Overall, I give the Creekside Creamery 2.0 weenies. I had high hopes for the Creekside Creemery, but those were dashed by bland chili and slaw and an overpowering weenie. Stop in the Creekside Creamery for some ice cream or even some gourmet chocolate if you are feeling ritzy, but don't go out of your way for the hot dogs.

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