As much as I love trying new restaurants, I must admit, I'm not super stoked to go to a Hotdog joint. Sacrilegious, I know. But, it is a hotdog. One of the reasons I revel in going out to eat is because growing up very poor, I never had that luxury. Now that I can spare some extra dough, I try to treat myself once in a while. I had plenty of hotdogs at home. I crave that creativity and variety. But I ventured out to Haught Diggity Dogz.
However! I got some motivated when I saw how critically acclaimed it is (WV Hotdog blog - five weenies; WV Hotdog blog - Best Monongalia County Hot Dog 2008; WV Hotdog blog - Best Overall North Central Region Hot Dog 2008) If you don't follow the WV Hotdog Blog, do so immediately. These guys are great.
It has moved locations slightly from where it was a few years ago. It's now located along Earl Core Road in the Rock Forge Inn. You just keep going, toward Sabraton past the interchange area, and it's on your right (from downtown). Two separate signs for Haught Diggity Dogz and Rock Forge Inn are displayed outside. But when you walk in, it's a bar. And not just any bar, it's kind of a biker bar. It's pretty small, too. These two entities are forged into one now, but it seems like they want to keep the Haught Diggity Dogz name. Not sure how it came about, but it appears to be two identities operating out of one place.
When we walked in, nearly all the seats at the bar were taken up, but there were two small round tables that we seated ourselves at. We stood awkwardly at the bar for a moment, but one of the women at the bar said she would let the bartender know we were there. So we continued to sit down.
This looked like a very local, townie, biker bar. There was a pop-country station playing. It was a little uncomfortable at first because you could feel everyone looking at you. But then they started to crack jokes, and we loosened up. They were fun people. When the bartender walked back out, one of the customers started slow dancing with her. It was really cute. The woman said that two girls were wanting to order, and the bartender turned her gaze to us and began smiling and walked over. In a sweet, high-pitched voice, the woman asked what we wanted. Looking at the menu, they have few items but they are done well.
Their hotdogs are $1.75, regardless of what you stack it with, and there are some options: Chili (reg, med, hot), mustard, ketchup, cheese, onions, jalapenos, slaw, sauerkraut, and more. Other options include fries (with chili or cheese), salads, nachos and cheese, Frito pie, pepperoni rolls and drinks. I have learned that a true West Virginia hotdog includes the following: chili, mustard, slaw and onions. So I ordered one of those. And I also got a Frito pie because I had never heard of it, as well as a water. My total came out to $6.
In good-service-like-fashion, the sweet woman simply set our slips down and said to get around to it whenever we were finished. Our food came out so quickly, I don't even know how they had time to cook it. I was too excited to dive into my West Virginia hotdog. I must say: I've been missing out. Why don't I order all my hotdogs like this? The bun was lightly steamed and laid home to a hot dog, perfect chili sauce, fresh, light slaw with some slightly sweet onions. I was hesitant about the chili because I was thinking the chili you eat with a spoon. This is a thinner consistency, but boy, it was my favorite part. I think I could eat that on anything. It was the opposite of offensive - it was slightly tangy but sweet and overall, I didn't think I'd have this much good stuff to say about a hotdog.
The bartender came over to check on us and genuinely cared about what we thought about the food. It wasn't that passing "Everything okay?" It was "What do you think? Do you like the hotdog? Do you need any more ___" stuff like that. I wonder if she is the same person who helped open Hot Diggity Dogz because it seems like she truly cares. That's really important when you're at a new place - you want to feel welcome. And she went out of her way to do that for us. She said "I hope you like the Frito pie! A lot of people seem to. Let me know what you think."
My Frito pie was also a pleasant surprise. It is a bowl of Fritos, with some of that fabulous chili, nacho cheese and some sour cream on top. I can't believe how good this is. The chili, again, phenomenal, lays right on top of the Fritos so they get slightly steamed, almost, which makes it easier to scoop them up with a spoon and enjoy with the other toppings. It was still crunchy, by all means, and the hot, slightly sweet chili, covered in nacho cheese and cool sour cream made for a junk food heaven. Deeelicious!
They do only take cash, though, so be sure to have some handy. The bartender came by to pick up our money and said "Your momma's don't have to worry about you coming here. I take care of you. I'll make sure your bellies are full and everyone here is really friendly. I hope you come back soon." I think I fell in love with her. That was really sweet and reassuring, too, considering we were probably the only people under 40 there.
I handed her a couple bucks for her help and then we were on our way, with a new restaurant under my belt, a good hotdog in my belly, and a new adventure to write about. I think everyone should give this place a shot - maybe you'll be surprised how decent a hotdog can be with the right, fresh ingredients.
Hot Diggity Dogz: (304) 291-DOGZ (3649)