Saturday, August 13, 2022

Montgomery HDJ Review - Leslie's Restaurant & Pub

Several readers have sent suggestions that we should review this newish HDJ in the upper Kanawha Valley. A recent trip that way gave us the opportunity to stop in for lunch. 

Leslie's is located on the lower end of Montgomery, just across the road from the giant Marsico Brothers American flag. It's also steps away from the local Dairy Queen, which has some of the worst hot dogs we've ever reviewed, so we were hopeful -- for the sake of the hot dog-loving Montgomery population -- that Leslie's would have good quality hot dogs. According to recent blog contributor Dale Claskey and others, we were not going to be disappointed. 

But we kinda were.

Don't get us wrong, Leslie's hot dogs are good, just not great. Every part of the hot dogs was was perfectly fine, but nothing about it was special. The only slights we could have is that you need to be careful when ordering because "everything" includes ketchup, and that they have one of those wrongfully named "English" hot dogs on the menu, but we're not holding that against them. 

The place is clean and the service is delightfully friendly if not terribly quick at the height of the lunch hour. A steady stream of to go orders kept the kitchen busy no doubt, but the relatively small number of tables didn't seem to account for the backlog. Not a terrible wait, but long enough to be noticeable. We could have shot a quick game of pool if we knew we had time. But we're not holding that against them either. 

Breaking down the hot dog, the chili was flavorful with barely a trace of spice, and the slaw was creamy but not sweet. The bun wasn't steamed. But you could tell that the hot dog was assembled with care, and that Leslie's gives a hoot about hot dogs. That's worth a lot. 

We're going to give Leslie's a solid 4 Weenie rating. Not as high as some of our readers seem to think it deserves, but still the best hot dog in Montgomery. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

One Reader's Opinion About (Parts Of) the 2022 West Virginia Hot Dog Trail

 (Editor's Note: Facebook follower and all-round hot dog fan Dale Caskey took a trip from his home in Kentucky to Southern West Virginia to check out some of the HDJs on our list. This is his report, and the opinions he expresses are NOT the views of the West Virginia Hot Dog Blog, although we think he's spot on about Hinton.)

So this years list has inspired me to get out and sample some new to me West Virginia Hot Dog Joints. As I live in NE KY I’m most familiar with the Huntington area restaurants. I’ve eaten at those for years. Took 2 short 1 overnight trips in the past few weeks. Ate at 9 Hot Dog Joints. 6 are on the Trail list (marked with an *) and 3 are not.

1. Leslie’s (Montgomery)

2. Fat Eddie’s (Mt. Nebo) *

3. Swiftwater General Store (Lansing) *

4. Huskey’s (North Charleston) *

5. Hot Diggity Dog’s (North Charleston) *

6. Jim’s Drive-In (Lewisburg)

7. Kirk’s (Hinton)

8. Dairy Queen (Hinton) *

9. Chum’s (Marmet) *

Leslie’s Restaurant & Pub (in Montgomery) may be a dark horse to make a WV HD future Trail list. A fellow reader on this site suggested that I try it out. This placed opened in the Fall of 2021. Excellent Hot Dog! Creamy world class slaw. Clean sports bar type place. Would give this dog an A rating.

Fat Eddies didn’t blow me away. Smallish sized dog kinda in between a standard WV and a Cincy style Coney. Would rate as a low average WV dog...Rating C-

Swiftwater General Store has a new, sparkling clean, beautiful operation. Hot Dog while a larger wiener than standard was excellent. I would imagine that other menu items would be great there as well. Just kind of wondering why the home Swiftwater in Charleston isn’t on the Trail list? Rating A-

Huskey’s was very old school. Reminded me of my local HDJ as a kid...”Big Ben’s”, RIP. Interesting the absence of the restaurant name on most all of the signage. Really good HD though. Rating B+

Hot Diggity Dogs so I could sample and compare each of them. This place was much more modern and maybe just a tad bit spiffier than the former. To be honest, while both dogs were very good, I preferred the Huskey Dog. Kudos to Hot Diggity Dogs for some fabulous macaroni salad though. Hot dog rating B

Jim’s Drive-In is a legit 1950’s Drive-In. Thought that I would pop by at 10:30 am on a Saturday morning and take a few pics while waiting for them to open. Well upon arrival I found 27 vehicles in the lot as they opened at 10:00 am. The locals truly love there HDJ. Borderline Trail worthy. The Dog was good. Rating B-

Hinton Impressions:

If you want a good hot dog, don’t expect it in Hinton. Went in excited to rate which is better between these two iconic joints. Neither impressed. Kirk’s was actually near disgusting. Filthy floors, sour order taker and of course no towels in the rest room. If you want to order the most expensive standard WV HD in the State, well at $3.79 a pop Kirk’s takes the prize as I haven’t seen any to rival that price. Rating D-

Dairy Queen was much cleaner. Beautiful and interesting multi decked interior seating overlooking the NEW River was a highlight. Wasn’t blown away by the hot dog though. Dog was a Hinton (but no where else in the State) bargain at $2.99. Rating D+

Both Hinton restaurants were busy on the Saturday afternoon that I was there. There’s no doubt of their loyal local followings.

Chum’s was the Absolute star of my 9 new WVHDJ tour. Yellow mustard used is both unique and scrumptious! Excellent Hot Dog. I really really liked it. Beautiful, Clean and efficient roadside stand operation. One of if not the Best HD in the State. Rating A+