Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Charleston Area HDJ Review - Ridgeview BBQ, Institute

In the spot formerly occupied by Jenn's Southern BBQ  - across Rt. 25 from the WV State University Campus - this BBQ joint also offers hot dogs and recently they posted on our Facebook page an invitation for us to come and do a review. I had already been there once several months ago and had their BBQ (which I found to be a little lacking) and was a little hesitant to try their hot dogs. But hey, it's what I do, right?

So I was passing by, had a little time and a hot dog sized appetite so I figured I'd stop. Hot dogs are fairly hidden on their menu, but with the help of the courteous order taker I soon saw their offering: Two all beef hot dogs and chips for $4.99. I was gratified to see they proudly listed the toppings as chili, slaw, mustard and onions; a good sign. A few minutes later and I had my order.

The first thing I noticed was the dark brown ends of the weenie sticking out from under the toppings, looking like it had been overcooked. Other than that, though, nothing gave me any pause nor any reason to think this wouldn't be a good hot dog.

The first bite, all I could taste was a smoky flavor. It seems that the chili and the overdone weenie together made the hot dog taste like it had been in the pig smoker that sits out front to the restaurant (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise). The chili had a lot of chili powder flavor but not much else. It was, however, nearly perfect in texture. The slaw was rather tasteless and a little too dry, but it seemed to work pretty well with the smoky chili. The bun was nicely steamed and overall this was good hot dog. I'm going to give it a 4 Weenie ranking since they got the standard ingredients right and the slaw and chili seemed to be designed with each other in mind; the sign of a real WVHD.

I'm glad to see that Ridgeview BBQ is at least trying to live up to the standard that was set by their predecessor in this location. While they aren't quite up to Jenn's 5 Weenie hot dogs, they are doing far better than most and serve one of the best hot dogs in the lower Kanawha Valley.

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