Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival

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buffetbuster
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2009/07/27 11:24:55 (permalink)

Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival

On Saturday, my buddy Doug and I attended the West Virginia Hot Dog Festival in Huntington.  We showed up just in time for the dog costume contest and parade.
 
The most common costume was to dress your wiener dogs as hot dogs,

which no matter how many times you see it, is still funny.
 
This little guy is dressed as a birthday present.

 
How about the little boy and the dog have matching mohawks?
 

But what makes this costume for me is the dog is wearing wristbands.
 
I have no idea what this costume is, but I just like the photo.

 
I'm not sure if this is a costume or not, but for the poodle's sake,

I hope it isn't dyed pink all the time.
 
Some dogs seemed happy with their costumes.

 
Others, not so much.....
 
  
How about this costume? 
 

 
But my favorite went to Batboy and Batpooch.

Now, I did get a photo of Batpooch without his mask on, but I'm not about to ruin his secret identity!
 
While walking around, I got my photo taken with Stewie,

the mascot of Stewart's Original Hot Dogs, which is reviewed on this site.  Let me tell you, Stewie is a big hit with the ladies.  First,

he escorts the Hot Dog Festival Queen at the front of the parade.  Then he starts macking on the women!

I love the fact that she has her hand on Stewie's knee!
 
Sorry, but I missed who won the costume contest.  I think I was off eating hot dogs when it was announced.
 
Coming next, the wiener dog races!
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/07/27 11:34:53
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 11:28:26 (permalink)
    I think Batboy and Batpooch would be my favorites as well.  /shaking head at the toilet costume
    #2
    kirstine
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 11:45:39 (permalink)
    Awww those poor dogs! lol
    #3
    mar52
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 12:06:06 (permalink)
    I love the Boston Bull.  Poor girl.  Get me outta here!

    I think I would LOVE a hot dog festival!


    #4
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 14:42:35 (permalink)
    What's a hot dog festival without wiener dog races?  Luckily, we didn't have to find out.
     
    There were well over 100 dogs entered, so they had to split it up into several heats.  Unfortunately, there were so many people there, I had a hard time getting good pics.  I eventually did work my way closer as the races went on.
     
    I was standing on the side where the dogs started.


    How about this woman who made up a sign to support her favorite pup?


    Get 'em Stella Bella!  Actually, Stella didn't race.  When GO was yelled, she just looked up at her owner and stared.  Truthfully, about a third of the dogs just stood there at the starting line, which added to the fun.  As you can see in this pic,

    the race has started and some of the dogs are just wandering aimlessly, including the one with training wheels.  No matter what the owners did or said, these competitors had no interest in breaking a sweat!
     
    There were about ten heats until we got to the point where there were only three dogs left who hadn't raced yet.  Unfortunately, when this race started, all three dogs just sat there.

    The little girl even ran down the course, hoping the dog would follow, but that didn't work either.  You have to have a winner, so they lined the dogs up again and restarted.  But still no one wanted to win.  Finally, after about two more minutes, with the crowd cheering as loud as I heard all day,

    one took off jogging and crossed the finish line.  I think you had to be there to appreciate how funny this moment was.
     
    Next up, was the race between all the winners of each heat to determine a champ.  As you can see,

    all of these dogs were in it to win it.  A champion was crowned and we thought that was it.   Nope.  It turns out the champion of the wiener dog race in Charleston was here to take on the Huntington champ.  The woman who owned the Charleston dog blew up an orange ballon right in front of the dog and it went berserk.  She then took it down to the other end, waving it at the dog the whole way.  You can see by the side view (the dog in red, in the foreground),

    that this Dachsund meant business.  The race wasn't even close as the Charleston dog won going away.

    Here is the winner, Casey,

    with her orange balloon reward.  That, my friends, is the look of a champion!
     
    This was such a fun event to watch.  There were rumors amongst the crowd that some of these competitors were on performance enhanced milk bones.  But many of these athletes were so unfazed by the prospect of a urine test that they gladly gave samples all over the place.  So, I like to think of this as pure sport at its very best!
     
    Up next, a whole lot of slaw dogs!
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/07/27 16:33:47
    #5
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 15:34:48 (permalink)
    Mariton is going to be seriously disappointed that you waited until she left town to do all this fun stuff.
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 15:41:02 (permalink)
    TTM-
    Oh, I'm sure they have lots of wiener dog races in Japan, too.
    #7
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 15:43:42 (permalink)
    I'm sure.

    So, did my future Stinkin' Mets beat your future Stinkin' Pirates?  I'll have to remember to wear my Savannah Sand Gnats "Bite Me" shirt at the next Roadfood outing!
    #8
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 16:05:25 (permalink)
    Great report, Buffetbuster!!  I saw a video clip of one of the dachshund races somewhere online over the weekend.  By the way, we have two dachshunds.

    #9
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 16:26:46 (permalink)
    TTM
    You have a Sand Gnats shirt that says "Bite Me"?  Elitist!

    Actually my future stinkin' Pirates (West Virginia Power) roared back to beat your future stinkin' Mets (Savannah Sand Gnats) 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth.  Of course, I wasn't around to see it, since we left in the bottom of the seventh when it started raining and the home team losing 5-1.

    MD-
    Think any of your dachshunds could take Casey? 
    #10
    carolina bob
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 16:42:13 (permalink)
    BB, I sure wish that I could have attended this event. I've spent a great deal of time in Huntington over the years, but generally all that I ever do there is sleep and eat ( especially the latter! ) That's a great photo of you and my "old friend" Stewie; I've eaten many of his barbecue sandwiches since my first visit to Stewart's Drive-In back in the 1980s. Looking forward to all your slaw dog photos.     
    #11
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 16:46:56 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster:  Maybe.  Chloe had ACL surgery, and may have lost a step.  Like Casey, she'll haul *** for her favorite toy (a ball).  Larry's a lard***.
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2009/07/27 18:12:04
    #12
    joerogo
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 17:04:56 (permalink)
    buffetbuster 
     
     
    Others, not so much.....
      
       

      

      


     
    I could see this little guy gnawing on your leg saying "Here get a picture of this Buffet Guy"!
     
    Just kidding.  Looks like a fun trip. 
     
    Tell Doug I am working in Williamsport, and still looking for a good breakfast/lunch spot.
    #13
    mar52
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 17:21:48 (permalink)
    I love the races!  Looks like Casey is an "older" doggy.

    Good job, Casey!

    Great job, BB!
    #14
    exsquidao
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 17:35:10 (permalink)
    LMAO @ the dog races, I'm sure I would have been in tears from laughing so hard if I was there.
    #15
    ann peeples
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/27 18:21:01 (permalink)
    The winner, Casey-what a face!!!!
    #16
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 08:09:53 (permalink)
    Joe-
    The Boston Terrier had an equally well dressed friend.

    But the BT seemed a little more embarrassed!
    #17
    mikeam
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 08:47:54 (permalink)
    Great report and pictures!
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 08:57:06 (permalink)
    Located just down the street from Marshall University's football stadium, Stewart's Original Hot Dogs

    is easy to spot, with it's bright orange building.  We pulled in a few minutes before 10:00AM and there was no one in sight.  A woman emerged from inside, gave us menus and we ordered some hot dogs.  After we paid, the woman hung the tray with our food on my window.

     
    In case you don't know, they really like cole slaw on their hot dogs in West Virginia, as they do in many places throughout the South.  At first I thought this was really strange, but I have definitely come around on this.  Slaw dogs get a big thumbs up from me.  And Stewart's is among the best I have had.  Here are my two,

    with chili, mustard and onion in the front and chili, mustard, onion and slaw in the back.  What is interesting and a common theme with WV dogs is that it seems to be much more about the toppings than the wiener or bun.  Not that there was anything wrong with the wiener (which we think was boiled) or the steamed bun, which was actually pretty good.  But the toppings are the stars.  The finely chopped onions tasted very fresh.  The chili was nice and thick, with a bit of a kick to it.  The chili is also placed below the wiener

    inside the bun, which helps in preventing spillage.  The cole slaw was cool and creamy and made the slaw dog the better of the two.
     
    Doug had one hot dog, with chili, mustard and cheese. 

    We both agreed that these were excellent dogs and it was going to be tough to beat over the course of the day.  To drink, we both got root beers, which we enjoyed.
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/6318-6464/stewarts-original-hot-dogs
     
    But the root beer at our next stop, Frostop Drive Inn was fantastic.  As if you need a clue that they are proud of their root beer here, the giant rotating mug on the roof


    is a good indicator.  The root beer comes in frosty mugs,

    which is always a nice touch.  The root beer has a complex flavor, which was almost like a smokiness.  Doug called this a dessert root beer, which I thought was funny.  This may be heresy, but I would almost put it on a level with what they serve at the Mug 'n Bun in Indy.  I said almost!  Here is Doug doing some root beer swilling.

     
    The hot dogs here are not nearly as impressive.  I got the same pair, one with chili, mustard and onion and another the same plus slaw. 

    And they also put their chili on the bottom, just like at Stewart's

    But, I didn't care for the bun, slaw or chili here nearly as well.  Still, it was a pleasant stop, with curb service only (we sat at the picnic tables)

    and we would gladly come back just for that root beer!
     
    More slaw dogs to come.....
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/07/28 09:16:21
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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 09:35:39 (permalink)
    Yum!  I have recently gotten kind of addicted to the Five Guys hot dog--sadly they don't have chili or slaw there, so I make do with tomatoes.  It's weird (to a Southerner), but it's good.  The root beer is making my mouth water!
    #20
    badbyron722
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 09:38:40 (permalink)
    Nancypalooza

    Yum!  I have recently gotten kind of addicted to the Five Guys hot dog--sadly they don't have chili or slaw there, so I make do with tomatoes.  It's weird (to a Southerner), but it's good.  The root beer is making my mouth water!


    Love mine with jalapenos.
    #21
    mar52
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 10:09:37 (permalink)
    A good frosty mug of smooth root beer is something I truly miss.


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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 15:41:13 (permalink)
    One of the stops we made on Saturday is the famous Hillbilly Hot Dogs.  They do have a location in Huntington and also had a booth at the Hot Dog Festival,

    which had by far the longest lines of any of the food booths.  But there was no doubt that we had to visit the original location in Lesage, WV.  Surprise #1.....  It isn't in as rural a location as I thought.  Looked like any suburbia U.S.A.  We pulled in around 3:00PM and the small driveway was so full, we had to improvise a parking spot.
     
    The decoration at this place is not subtle.  They go with hillbilly theme and the entire place looks like a giant flea market. 





     


    Everywhere you look, there is something to see.  And most of it is crapola.
     
    I tried what I thought was a door, but it didn't open.  Spotting the ordering window,

    we walked over there.  As soon as I arrived, the girl asked if she could help me and then something happened.  Sorry to be mysterious, but I'm not going to say here, because I don't want to ruin the surprise if you go.  This was surprise #2.  (If you have to know, send me a private message and I'll tell you, but it really isn't that big a deal)  I grabbed a menu and ordered a West Virginia Dog, which is homemade sauce (what they call chili in this area), onions, mustard and slaw.  Spotting that they mention blackberry cobbler on the board,

    I asked for one of those also.  The girl asked a man behind her if they had any cobbler left and he replied they sold the last one five minutes before.  After I calmed down and my tears dried, I went for a piece of chocolate cake.  Doug placed his order and she then told us to come inside and wait for our food.  Taking another look at the door, I realized the handle was on one side, but the door opened on the other side.  I can't tell you how many people I saw having trouble opening this door while I was eating, so that made me feel a little better.
     
    The inside was every bit as, what is the word.....  how about busy?  Every square inch,

    there is graffiti.  Even on the inside of the bus (there are actually two).

    Doug picked up a toy dinosaur they had lying there

    and decided to carry it around with him the rest of the time.  Not too hard to figure out why we are buddies, huh?  Notice how even the dinosaur has writing on it.
     
    Soon our food was ready.  Doug ate the Hillbilly hot dog,

    which is a deep fried wiener, with sauce (chili), mustard and onion.  I believe he had them lose the onions, but add cheese.  After his first bite, Doug looked at me and made some yummy noises.  As you can see,

    this dog is dinosaur approved!
     
    And here is my West Virginia dog,


    with the typical toppings I have been eating all day.  It seems that they use a higher quality wiener here and the toppings are first rate.  I was genuinely surprised by how good the hot dog was.  I didn't eat my chocolate cake

    until the next morning in the hotel room.  Can't say for sure that it was homemade, but I really liked it, especially the buttercream icing.
     
    While we were sitting there eating, we really got to soak up the atmosphere.  A person at the table next to us ordered a Homewrecker, which is their largest hot dog.  If you eat it in 12 minutes, I believe it is free.  And to announce it is ready, the young girl yells, "Here is a Homewrecker!"  Sounds kind of dumb, but it was actually very fun.  Here is the guy taking on extra-large dog.

     
    The young girl working was so fun and cute, I put a couple of bucks in the tip jar.  Little did I know what was about to happen.  She rang a bell and immediately went in to the restaurant's song.  She sang for a good 30 seconds, but unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough with my camera.  Here she is right after the finishing, "YEEHAW!"

    If you can sing their song without any help, you get a free hot dog. 
     
    There is no doubt that this place is cheesy beyond belief.  After reading about it, I had serious doubts that I would like Hillbilly Hot Dogs.  But the people are so nice and run with the theme with such earnestness, it won me over.  The fact that my hot dog was so good surely helped.  I will be back.  And next time, I will have the song memorized!
     
    BTW, this place is only about a five mile detour off of I-64.
     
    http://www.hillbillyhotdogs.com/
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/07/28 16:02:32
    #23
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/28 17:06:54 (permalink)
    That place looks like a hoot and if the hot dogs were great too--what's to complain about?  Pretty awesome.
    #24
    Shara
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/29 11:55:04 (permalink)
    Great report, Cliff! Wonderful photos and text as always, and oh my those poor little doggies all duded up and having to race. Those pics just cracked me up. And I take it the Stewart's Root Beer was not as good as the Frost Top, right? I have fond memories of Stewart's frosty mug root beer from my childhood, but I don't know if it's brewed at the franchises in small batches like it was when I was a kid (in the 60's).
    #25
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/29 22:17:24 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster,
     
    Another great report and outstanding pictures as usual.  For some reason I really feel like having a hot dog - at least the edible kind.
     
    I wonder if there is an episode of "Man versus Food" in the future for the Homewrecker giant hot dog.
    #26
    kirstine
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/29 23:09:47 (permalink)
    That frosty mug of root beer looks amazing...what I'd give for one of those right now!

    Loving the Hillbilly Hotdog place too, my other half would totally love there!
    #27
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/30 12:32:18 (permalink)
    buffetbuster -

    You can tease me all day with..."more slaw dogs to come!"
    #28
    billyboy
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/30 12:38:12 (permalink)
    Buffalo Tarheel

    Buffetbuster,
     
    Another great report and outstanding pictures as usual.  For some reason I really feel like having a hot dog - at least the edible kind.
     
    I wonder if there is an episode of "Man versus Food" in the future for the Homewrecker giant hot dog.


    Hillybilly was featured on Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives a while back.  It looked mighty good and Mr. Buster has done a wonderful job here!  I think though I want to take some of those dogs home with me, especially the Boston terrier! 
    #29
    mar52
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    Re:Slaw Dogs & WV Hot Dog Festival 2009/07/30 13:38:32 (permalink)
    Hillybilly is as incredible as your report!  Well done!

    I can't believe the Homewrecker.  Amazing!

    So...  did he even finish it?
    #30
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