Sunday, July 18, 2021

The WV Hot Dog Trail - Heading South Through the Coal Fields

The West Virginia Hot Dog Trail is a publication of the WV Hot Dog Blog and will provide food and culture tourists with a literal roadmap with which to explore the state's best hot dog joints (HDJs). The Trail will be revealed in its entirety on National Hot Dog Day, July 21, but we'll be releasing highlights and snippets of the route every couple of days beginning July 15. This is the fourth post in this series:

The Coalfields

One hundred years ago next month, in August of 1921, 7,000 angry coal miners left Marmet on their way to Blair Mountain where they would strike a blow against the tyranny of mine operators determined to keep them from unionizing. The route they took, over Lens Creek Mountain, is the same one we'll take on this next leg of our journey. Instead of stopping at Blair Mountain, we'll continue toward the promised land of Logan and beyond, nearly all the way to that Other Virginia.

 But first, let's stop in Madison.

West Madison Grocery was the last HDJ to be added to our trail. When it became clear that our route would go through Boone County, we realized we have never found a decent HDJ in the whole county, so we sent our Weenie Wonks to find one worthy of inclusion, and boy did they. The hot dogs at West Madison Grocery are surprisingly good. Don't be afraid of this tired-looking building or the slightly disheveled interior. The hot dogs are fantastic, and it is a good example of how great things can come from unexpected places, especially country grocery stores that have been slinging chili and slaw for decades and just know how to do it right. This is one of those places, for sure. It's a great warm-up for what awaits another half-hour down Corridor G in Logan. 

Parkway Drive In is technically in Justice, not Logan, but it's the first of the great HDJs you will come to heading into town, and most Loganites seem to rank it third. But this is Logan, where even the third best hot dog is still better than 95% of the rest of the state's offerings. Seriously, we don't see how you can give a demerit to Parkway. as its hot dogs are well-crafted and delicious, with some of the sweetest slaw we've found. 

Janet's Park & Eat - This formerly great HDJ seems to have closed its doors. Since we can't confirm whether its permanent or Covid-19 related, we're going to keep it on the list just in case it reopens. If you are following the Trail, at least stop by and pay your respects to what many people believe were the best hot dogs in Logan. Our review on the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog seems to have been lost in cyberspace, but here's a general review by our friend Candace Lately

Next up, the King of West Virginia Hot Dogs, Morrison's Drive Inn in Stollings. While we've noticed some variation in the quality over the years, we always come back to Morrison's when asked where the best hot dog in the state can be found. It is simply perfect. Chili, slaw, steamed bun wrapped in cellophane, the whole thing is perfection. 

We were tempted to end the Hot Dog Trail here, but there are still some great HDJs ahead, so let's continue on to Pineville and Pinnacle Drive Inn. Other than Morrison's, we have received more emails about Pinnacle than any other HDJ in southern WV. While we found the hot dogs to be good but not great, and they only offer New England Style buns, which is nontraditional, Pinnacle's legion of fans convinced us to include it as a stop on the trail. 

After leaving Pineville, we head over to Bluewell to find the most southern HDJ on The Trail, Lynn's Drive In. This Five-Weenie classic with "Lynn's Famous Chili" and slaw that is made with finely shredded cabbage instead of the normal grated kind. See? Wasn't that worth the drive?

Next: Heading North 

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