Friday, August 02, 2019

Charleston Area HDJ Re-Review - Hot Diggity Dogs

Last year we were excited when a new HDJ opened in North Charleston and reviewed it a few weeks after it was opened. You can read that review here. We were not impressed, mainly because of the slaw.  Hot Diggity Dogs offered then and still do two kinds of slaw: Regular and Yellow. We found the both of them to be lacking and mainly because of that we only gave them a 3 Weenie ranking.

After getting a lot of mail and positive comments of HDD, we decided to give them another shot.

Not much has changed about the restaurant since the first visit, except for the large outdoor seating area that has been built. They also now sell beer. Inside, things are mostly the same. It feels clean and new, even after being in business now for over a year. That's usually a sign of good management, so kudos for that.

To find out if the hot dogs deserved kudos, we decided to order an exact duplicate of last year's order: One with regular slaw and regular chili, and one with yellow slaw and spicy chili. And of course, mustard and onions. Once we got our order, it didn't take long to realize that there had been changes in the regular slaw. Look at thee two pictures below, one before and one after, to see for yourself:

Because these two dogs are so very different, we'll rate them independently, but first we'll point out that the lack of a properly dressed WVHD on the menu gets an automatic a half point deduction. It would seem that with all of those different named dogs they could find room for one with chili, slaw, mustard and onions which we're sure is what many of their customers would order if it were easier.

On to the reviews:

White Slaw and Regular Chili

2019 - After
It was obvious at first glance that the regular slaw was not the same as last year's, and tasting it backed up the visual evidence. It was not the "cabbage chunks in mayonnaise" we reported on last year. This was very well done hot dog slaw. Finely grated cabbage with just the right amount of dressing. The taste was much improved. It went well with the savory chili. This is a good West Virginia Hot Dog. The buns was not as soft as we would like (last year we noted that the buns were very  soft), but everything else was very good. We'll rate this hot dog 4 Weenies, pushing 4 1/2. Steam that bun -- or even just make sure the buns are fresh --and it's there.

Yellow Slaw and Spicy Chili
This one tastes exactly the same as last year's, and it is uninspiring. Last year we wrote "The yellow slaw tastes like small chunks of yellow cabbage. It has virtually no other flavor. We don't even understand why it's yellow." We stand by this statement. Yellow slaw, as made famous in Marmet, had a wonderful impossible to describe sweetness and texture. This stuff has none of it. We can't understand why they go through all of the trouble to have it on the menu. We imagine its only appeal is to former Marmet hot dog lovers who are in the throes of a nostalgic escape from reality and imagine that it tastes like the slaw of their youth. The spicy chili is just okay, and while we usually recommend getting spicy chili when it's available, we found the regular to have a far superior flavor profile. This hot dog gets a 2 1/2 Weenie rank.
2018 - Before

So our recommendation is to go to Hot Diggity Dogs get the white slaw/regular chili combination. It is a very good WVHD in a nice atmosphere.