Charleston Edition: Skeenies Hotdogs

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

SkeeniesThe hotdog culture in West Virginia is real. Exhibit A: http://wvhotdogblog.blogspot.com/. And it's something I didn't really "get" until I was living in Charleston. A hotdog joint has a certain appeal to it. It's not refined or classy. It's just a thing unto itself.

SkeeniesCharleston has a few hotdog joints - Skeenies Hot Dogs being one. Well, technically Sissonville. I think.

The Hot Dog Blog says that real West Virginia hot dogs - those with chili, slaw, mustard and onions - began at the Stopette Drive In on Route 21 outside of Charleston city limits in the 1920s. Skeenies is located near the old site of the drive in, so maybe there's some connection that the new concoction migrated to Skeenies. I know I wanted to find out.

My good friend Ashley (and her nephew!) and I went to get some hot dogs. The experience was a bit ... odd, I would say. I ordered one WV-style hot dog. I asked if they had water. K. I only had a $20, and the woman asked if I had a smaller bill. No, or I would've used it. I'm lucky I have cash at all - and ATMs usually dish out $20 bills as the smallest denomination. Then, when she gave me money back, she shorted me a buck. Remind you, my total was only like a buck something, so being shorted a whole buck made a difference. A guy came over, grabbed a buck out of the cash register, handed it to me and said "next!" K.

SkeeniesWhatever. I took my hot dog and sat down on the makeshift table to the left. And when I say makeshift, I mean a few 5-gallon buckets stacked upside down with a board laid across as the table. Then, another set of 5-gallon buckets (with a few more added to make it taller) and another board for the seat part. Ashley came over with the bottles of water (!!!) she bought and handed me one. So, I guess they do sell water.

The hotdog is good. The bun is steamy, the chili is a perfect accent, and the ton of slaw on top was a perfect finely chopped consistency. It's a good hotdog. The other mixups and general ambiance is a solid meh. But it's a good hotdog.

Grade: B
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