For my second visit to Huntington (non-worked related, which was once), I indulged in the Hot Dog Festival. In fact, this was the only reason I went to Huntington. This is the only reason I go most places.
So the Hot Dog Festival had a handful of vendors: Stewarts Original Hot Dogs, Frostop Drive Inn, Midway Drive-In, Sam’s Hot Dogs, Charlie’sHarley Davidson Diner, Down Home Salads, and The Jug & Kilt English Pub.
I don’t really know what that last half are, so I focused my efforts on the top four and prepared my stomach.
For not knowing Huntington at all, I, remarkably, did not get lost and also found parking. For the whole day festival, I only paid $3 in parking for a garage that was RIGHT THERE.
The very first hotdog I knew I wanted to try was Stewarts. I’m told that is iconic Huntington, so I didn’t want to risk running out of room before I tried it. Luckily, the area where my friend an I entered was right near Stewarts.
I ordered one dog - $2 – with chili, slaw, mustard and onions. They only fix the hotdog with chili and you supply the rest of the toppings (they also had ketchup available) from canisters on a communal table.
1 – This was me creating my own hotdog, so unless they do this at their restaurant, too, I didn’t feel as though I was fully evaluating their product.
2 – It was a little warm out, and these canisters were just sitting in the sunlight. I imagine slaw could go bad?
3 – I don’t like the idea of communal toppings. I don’t know what those people did to those toppings before I got there. They were just in canisters that were haphazardly closed or open, and it was just messy.
When eating the hotdog, I was thinking “Okay, this isn’t bad.” I’m glad it was my first, because it got increasingly better as I went along. This was an average hotdog. The sauce didn’t have a lot of flavor and was just overall blah.
After watching some contests and perusing the shops, we tried our second hotdog: Midway Drive-In.
“We’re out of slaw.”
“You should’ve came earlier.”
“WHAT! How can you serve hotdogs without slaw? This is West Virginia!”
“No slaw. Sorry.”
The hotdog was better than Stewarts – even though it didn’t have slaw. Still a notch above with slightly better tasting chili, and the toppings were fresher.
Okay getting full. One more before we go: Sam’s.
I have had Sam’s before in Charleston, so it was probably #4 out of the ones I wanted to try, but my friend and I saw Frostop coming to the festival, so we figured we could actually just go and sit there and save the festival for another one.
All of the hotdogs at this place were $2, so I asked for one standard. My friend was the last person to get chili. They had to shut down after us. What is it with these places running out of food? There were still a couple hours of the festival left to go!
But I have to say, Sam’s nailed it.
Bun was steamed right. Sauce was the most flavorful, and toppings were fresh and cold.
Before we left Huntington, we took another lap or two around the festival and headed out. By this time, our three hotdogs had digested and we could take on a fourth. So we stopped at Frostop.
You can’t miss it. It has a giant, rotating root beer on the top.
So I did. #awk.
Looking over the menu at the front of the building, I decided on one hotdog and a rootbeer float. You actually have to pay extra for slaw. I then asked if we could sit outside. I didn’t want to eat inside my car. They have a few benches.
I was seriously not following drive inn protocol. Forgive my ignorance.
After a bit, he came back with our food and a bill with change already made. He anticipated me paying with a $5. Which was presumptuous and slightly confusing. But I made it work, somehow.
If you’re reading this, sorry, dude. Did NOT mean to make your job difficult. I’m just stupid, or something.
Hotdog was good. To be honest, it wasn’t as memorable as the root beer float.
So good. I don’t even like root beer. It doesn’t taste generic or all those other awful things pop can sometimes taste like. It was smooth and refreshing and amazing.
And good GOD. Delicious. Get one of those root beer floats, and you can thank me later.
But the hotdog? Eh. Just get two root beer floats.