I was asked by a friend to help her go and pay a ticket/fine for her nephew who had not paid the ticket by the due and and had a bench warrant issued for him. She is not a big fan of driving and rarely gets out of the area. So I volunteered to be the driver. The ticket needed to be paid in Catlettsburg, KY so I did a quick check and found that Stewart's Original Hot Dog Stand had a location across the Big Sandy from Catlettsburg in Kenova, WV.
Now my 2008 version of RF noted that I was last there 2001 at the original location in huntington, WV. I did not have any notes scribbled in the margins, so i do not know what i had ordered or my opinion of whatever it was. However looking online both Michael Stern and Buffetbuster had written reviews and they both seemed like good recommendations so That was my goal for the day (along with a BBQ place in Tollesboro, KY) So with those two reviews I had high hopes of eating high on the D
We made it to Catlettsburg, after about a little over 3 hour drive, and it was a beautiful day to travel the AA highway through NE KY. After the fine was paid we wandered around Ashland/Catlettsburg/Kenova and then headed to Stewart's Original Hot Dog Stand.
We arrived at the address, a clean little place, big sign and NO ONE in the place or in the parking lot...
Were we "Travellin Manned"?? Oh wait there is a sign of life inside they were just in the back. So we pull in and park, the very polite young lady comes out and asks us for our order. My reply "Ummm do you have any menus?" "OH, I will go get you one" she goes abck in and gets "The Menu" and as she hands it to me she says... "Are you ready to order?"
Politely I said "No, we JUST got the menu." "OH, ok I will give you a few minutes." I know we were the only customer there but she was anxious to get our order!
Another car pulls in and she was johnny on the spot & starts taking the person's order and then talking and talking and talking and did I say talking to the new customer. At this point i am ready to go inside and place the order, but as I open the car door she comes rushing over and asks "Are you ready now?"
So we placed the following order (to get a true sense of the place)
1 x Chili Cheese Dog
1 x Stewarts Original Hot Dog
1 x Corn Dog
1 x French Fries
1 x Beer Battered Onion Rings
1 x Double Hamburger with Cheese, Pickles, Lettuce, Ketchup, Mustard & Mayo
1 x Medium Root Beer
1 x 1/2 Gal Diet Root Beer
Total Order: $18.14
It was such a beautiful day out, the outside tables looked inviting but the umbrellas were all rolled up and still inside the place. So we sat in the car, which after a 3+ hour ride i was looking forward to sittting in something besides the car. (I forgot they were a "Drive In")
After a brief wait and a quick stroll around to stretch and get some pictures our food came right out on the little window tray that beckons of nostalgia.
The smells that wafted into the car were heavenly and made my mouth water. After unwrapping the dogs and sides and getting pictures it was time to feast.
This is the point in time that I must begin to differ with the reviews posted by Michael Stern and Buffetbuster.
The fries were standard Gordon Food Service middle of the road quality fries, they were hot and salted correctly, but were full of overly crunchy and burnt ends.
The beer battered onion rings smelled wonderful, but smells can be wrong, and the rings were over fried and way to crispy.
The Stewarts Original Hot Dog was... a greyish green dirty water dog, there was very little chili on the bun under the dog and the onions were smaller than the reconstitued onions that McDs puts on their McDoubles.
Neither the chili or the hot dog was hot enough to melt the "shredded" cheese. After several bites I finally gave up and needed to wash it down with something... "Hey where is my 1/2 gallon of Diet Root Beer???"
Oh Hey guess who finally realized the half gallon was still sitting on the counter inside, yep she came running it out, "Sorry about that I forgot your Root Beer!"
So a big swig of that deliciously smooth and creamy diet root beer.... YUMMMMMMM
On to the corn dog - Oh WOW was it the star of the show. A big 1/4 lb hot dog on a stick hand dipped into the batter, deep fried to perfection. The meatiness of the dog and the sweetness of the cornmeal batter made it AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
A packet of mustard and a dip or two into the tub of ketchup and I WOOFED it down.
Then it came time for the Double Hamburger, looks can be deceiving!
The burger was 2 x 1/8lb patties fried to the consistency of shoe leather, even the over abundance of ketchup, mustard and mayo couldn't help this burger, but the washing down of the cheeseburger was made easier by the creaminess of the rootbeer.
Our car hop came back to clear the tray away and asked how everything was, I simply said "The corn dog was really good and the root beer was creamy and smooth."
We got out of there and started the journey back home, looking forward to the BBQ joint.
Well we did get truly "Travelinmanned" at that place, not a car in sight nor a hint of smoke in the air.
Maybe it was an off day for Stewarts?
Maybe they were recovering from the crushing lunch rush?
Maybe I will give the food another shot in the future?
Although I would stop by for a corn dog and Diet Root Beer!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words...
Pictures can be deceiving!
Stewart's Original Hot Dog Stand
1025 Oak St (US 60)
Kenova, WV http://stewartshotdogs.com/
<message edited by CajunKing on Wed, 08/21/13 5:48 PM>