Monday, July 12, 2021

The West Virginia Hot Dog Trail - Making Tough Decisions

Where to start? Where to end? What if a 5 Weenie Hot Dog Joint is an hour away from any other decent place? What if they charge extra for slaw? What if they don't have slaw at all? 

These were just a few of the questions we had to answer before we could create the WV Hot Dog Trail. And few of the answers were easy.

But here's the basic criteria we settled on:

  1. Weenie Rating - Of course, we only want to include the best hot dogs. Only those that score 4 Weenies or above will be included.  
  2. Location - Even the very best hot dog isn't good if you can't reach it, so we had to leave off a bunch of good hot dogs simply because they were too far-flung to include on any practical map. 
  3. Toppings - Available toppings must include chili (or sauce), slaw, mustard and onions. Anything else -- or anything less-- is not a true West Virginia hot dog. 
  4. Dependability - To be included on the map, HDJs must have a good track record for being open when they say they will be open, and also have shown consistent quality. 
Exceptions: Some HDJs that dance on the edges of the above criteria will be included because of special circumstances. For example:
  • A particular HDJ that is known to have sketchy hours might be included because their hot dogs are great and they are located along the route anyway. 
  • We might give the benefit of the doubt to a borderline HDJ if it is located along an unusually long stretch of road where no other HDJs are found. 
Omissions: We simply can't include every Hot Dog Joint with great hot dogs. West Virginia's unique geometry and topography would make and exhaustive list, well, exhausting! In August, we plan to release a list of those places we had to leave off the trail map.

So what about that first question, "Where to Start?" Well, we chose to start in the west and work our way east. That means our first stop is where Interstate 64 and US 60 enters West Virginia from the west. 

Next post, our journey begins. 

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