Saturday, February 14, 2015

London HDJ Review - Dogs on the Run

A couple of weeks ago, Weenie Wonk H.C. Paine mentioned that he had tried to catch this new HDJ open but had to settle for a Montgomery Dairy Queen hot dog instead (which didn't turn out so well for him). I too had had difficulties making my driving schedule line up with DOTR's business hours, but finally I made the connection and got to check out their offerings.

This little carryout sits on the side of the road along Route 60 in London, a community famous for its locks and dam on the Kanawha River and not much else. Recently though, two restaurants have sprung up along this short stretch of highway, DOTR and 'Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, which sells ribs, chickens and other assorted soul food staples just a quarter mile down the road. While I don't expect London to become a foodie Mecca anytime soon, it does make one wonder how this little wide spot in the road suddenly became home to two eating establishments after having none for who knows how long. 

Anyway, Dogs on the Run, as its name implies, specializes in hot dogs and I was eager to find out if they were worth stopping for. It didn't take long to begin forming my impression after the very nice young lady on the other side of the ordering window told me that "everything" included chili, slaw, onions, mustard and ketchup: This is never a good sign. I, of course, ordered mine without ketchup and pretty soon I had my hot dog which looked scrumptious and felt good - the bun was nicely soft, and the coleslaw looked creamy and had the perfect consistency that slaw ought to have. There was a little bit of misplaced chili sitting on the bun, which gave me the opportunity to taste it independent of the other toppings: What I tasted was pretty good chili - not much spice, but a good texture and flavor. Looking more closely, I noticed a split and grilled weenie nestled in the bun. So at this point I was encouraged by what I saw, and despite the shaky and ketchupy start to my experience, I was eager to dig in and taste the assembled product.

And that's where the bottom dropped out - literally. The bun was perhaps a little too soft, or perhaps it was grease soaked from the grilled weenie, but when it was picked up from the styrofoam coffin the weenie just started to fall through the bottom. But that was only the first problem.

The good-flavored chili was no match for the completely flavorless slaw. This concoction, seemingly made from cabbage and mayo with no other ingredients involved, was so bland that it soaked up the otherwise appealing flavor of the chili and that flavors that should be present in the carefully grilled weenie.

The result was a most unsatisfying hot dog experience and a 2 Weenie rating. Route 60 travelers would be much better off stopping of at Burger Carte in Smithers, just a few miles east.

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