Monday, October 29, 2018

Marmet HDJ Review - Chum's Yellow Slaw Hot Dogs

While we consider creamy mayonnaise-based coleslaw with a slight sweetness to be standard issue for West Virginia Hot Dogs, we do allow for one micro-regionalized variation. In the little town of Marmet, just a few miles outside of the Capitol City, there is a long-standing tradition of Yellow Slaw on hot dogs. According to readers of this blog, Donald "Goat" Kinder was the person who originally developed the yellow variety, which he sold at The Dairy Post, located across the street from the old Marmet Junior High School. Now according to some people, The Dairy Post relocated to another part of town and changed its name to "The Canary Cottage." This is a matter of some dispute, however, because some folks have argued that the Canary Cottage was around before the Dairy Post. I'm certain that some Marmet folks will chime in here with their opinions.

Anyway, the Yellow Slaw tradition is now being carried on by one unique little HDJ called Chum's. We were there in 2009 right after they opened and found it to be just OK. But for the past few years we've heard that they had upped their game and have been trying to get back for a review, but they are not open on the weekends. Weenie Wonking is a part-time job, so HDJs that aren't open Saturdays or Sundays sometimes don't get a visit from us. Recently, though, Google erroneously reported that Chum's had Saturday hours, which got us obsessing about yellow slaw. By the time we found out that Google was wrong, well, we simply couldn't resist the obsession so we played hooky from work and made the trip. 

Chum's is a 12' x 20' roadside box that could be easily missed except for the line of hungry hot dog fans out front. A sign on the box displays a surprisingly long list of menu items, but the priority is clear with hot dogs at the very top. Regular readers will know that we are always impressed when a HDJ knows what "everything" means and is unequivocal. Chum's splits the vote here, though, as their menu confidently states it (Chili, Yellow Slaw & Onions), but the order taker was a little bit wishy-washy on whether everything included ketchup and mustard. I'm sure this is because the yellow slaw contains mustard already, and so many uninformed people order ketchup just because they don't know better. Bless their hearts.

Of course, I got mine with the true "everything" which meant adding a little mustard. 

It's been several years since I had partaken of  Yellow Slaw. The last time was at the bowling alley snack bar inside Galaxy Lanes, which being just a couple of miles from the Marmet line, had yellow slaw as an offering years ago (I'm not sure if it still does).  Before that, it was at Mr. C's, a small regional chain that had a location not far from Galaxy Lanes. The yellow slaw at Chum's was every bit as good as my previous tastings, and the chili underneath was far superior. 

Yellow slaw is sweeter that the white kind. That sweetness means that it needs a spicier chili to really bring out the flavor. Chum's accomplishes this well. Upper Kanawha Valley chili is typically very tame, but I was able to feel a little burn from the Chum's chili. Couple this synergy with a soft, steamed bun and a perfectly acceptable weenie, and you have a great hot dog. As I said, not completely standard by our normal measures, but it perfectly accomplishes what it's trying to do. It simply could not be any tastier, therefore earns a full Five Weenie rating.

Oh, and about the hours. Chum's is definitely not open on weekends but will soon be moving to their winter hours, which means they will close at 5:30 each weekday.


Unknown said...

Hello, First I would like to give you a "Huge" Thank You! A close family friend of mine came across this article on October 30th (which happened to be my 39th Birthday) and sent it to me, I can honestly tell you, moments after I started reading your article I was in tears... However, it wasn't tears of sadness or heartbreak it was tears of joy, love and happiness.. You see the moment I seen Donald "Goat" Kinder (it was a feeling that I can't explain or put into the right words) "Goat" is my Daddy, he passed away April 19, 2005 and seeing him recognize after all these years was absolutely wonderful... My dad and mom owned and operated the "The Dairy Post" for many years here in Marmet until his illness over took him and he had to close it, that was a heartbreaking moment for my dad, it was his love and enjoyment... My parents bought out my grandparents Ray and Wilma Kinder many years ago when they decided to retire after many years of owning and operating "The Dairy Post" (I honestly don't have one single memory that doesn't include the smell of the tangy slaw, chili or pulled pork bbqs, I can remember sleeping on top the deep freezer many years ago when it was ran my by grandparents, across from the old Marmet Junior High) My Dad would've been so Happy to read this article, so Thank You Again...
On another note, the "Yellow Slaw" was First started at Blackies (The Canary Cottage) years later is when my family "The Kinder's" bought it out, long before I was born... Just wanted to clear that up so nobody gave you any grief about it... lol The owners now of "Chums" are very dear and close family friends of ours Frances and Johnny Armentrout and I must say I'm truly grateful they are keeping my dads love alive... Actually, I remember when you came by a few weeks ago I remember seeing you taking pictures and I am positive I gave you your order, "do you need salt & pepper??"... From All "The Chumettes" and The Armentrouts We Hope To See You Again Soon!...
Amanda Kinder-Stout

Unknown said...

I lived in Marmet when I was a kid and my Mom, brother, and I moved from Elkins. My Mom was a nurse, and when they closed the hospital down she got a job at CAMC Memorial on 3 West, and would drive down from Elkinsns, work four 16 hour shifts, and drive back every single week for a few years. So she fibally decided to move us, and Marmet was our first home. We loved it. We had a great house, and even tgough we were only there a year or two some of my happiest memories are there. Mt kindergarten teacher Mrs.Grounds was amazing! Her assistant Mrs. Letter too. We had great friends! My mom also passed away in 2005, she was only 46. It's been really hard, and my big brother and I recently came in for an event to cisit friends in Marmet. It was really amazing, and one of the biggest things wasps a close friends Mom, brought yellow dairy post slaw. OMG - I cannot tell you the memories it brought back. It may seem silly but it was apart of many things that weelend that helped me remember things I had forgotten bc I was young and bc my Mom has been gone. Slaw may seem silly in tbat context but something as simple as realizing that this slaw is a favorite thong you've not had in years, and what you were always trying to find but never could. So thank you to you, your father, and family for sharing The Dairy Post with my family. Thank You for posting also. Plz email ke anytime. Ever since we were up there on labor day , I HAVE BEEN CRAVING dairy post slaw SO much. It's even more amazing when the hot dogs are grilled. Do you remember that little restaurant called "EPLINGS" ? I was only 4 or 5, but man I remember it being absolutely amazing too! There was also a little ole lady who worked there who just treated us like gold. Market really was jist a place full of light back then, and seriously just full of great memories. I wonder if there is anything close to the food Eplings around Chas now? Sorry to ramble on I am just so greatful to you, and so happy to have these memories. Much love to you and your family. Hope all is well, I know it's beem a tough year. Bless you guys!!
Very Sincerely,
Brogan Daugherty

Carmen Kinder said...

I am Carmen Kinder now Grimm. I grew up in Bloomingrose and my grandparents were Seth and Ileen Kinder. They had a painting of their house over the couch that was painted by Ray Kinder. Still a treasure in the family. I have fond memories of going to Dairy Post with my grandpa visiting my grandpa’s family. I live in Lexington KY and miss the yellow slaw. You cannot get a hot dog here with any slaw. Ask your parents if they remember Seth and Ileen. My dad was their son Gary Kinder. Would love to meet up if I am ever back to WV. You can message me on my husbands FB he is Billy Grimm.

hillbillymomma said...

Hello, my name is Karen Carroll-Hughes. My mother's sister, Katie Griffith (Taylor) worked at the original Blackie's Canary Cottage. This is the place that started the yellow slaw and the recipe was kept a secret for several years. The only people that knew the recipe were the people that worked there and they were sworn to secrecy. My Aunt Katie worked for Blackie when she was just a teenager. She worked there for a number of years. She was in her eighties when she finally told me the recipe. Her's is the original version and doesn't have to be refrigerated. It has an ingredient that doesn't appear in any of this article. I was just a little kid but I remember sitting on the bar stools inside the doors and eating a hotdog made by my Aunt Katie. It was almost like going to a carnival with all the dolls, birds, and different toys hanging around the walls most of which were yellow like a canary. I wish I could remember Blackie's last name. I know his wife's first name was Madge and she was supposedly wealthy. Blackie was always kind to me and my family and I remember him well. I just can't remember his name. Would welcome anyone that knows the answer.

Karen Carroll-Hughes
Grew up in Marmet and Hernshaw

Unknown said...

We came to WV my brother recommended Chums. My boyfriend being from KY has never had yellow slaw. He was asked what he eats on his hotdogs. His answer. Mustard and ketchup. He had a hotdogs with spicy chili, yellow Cole slaw, Mustard, and onions. Needless to say he's hooked. Food was amazing staff was awesome. We will definitely be back when we visit again.

Harriet said...

Karen in your comments you say here is the original version, but there is no recipe. What is the original recipe?