On Saturday morning after our obligatory visit to the flea market, which was really just a drive-by because the cold temperatures had kept vendors and us at bay, W and I made a detour on the way home onto I-64 West and decided to take a little road trip. Initially, we were just going to visit a few antique shops at exits about 25 minutes outside of Charleston, but I remembered that there was a place called Hillbilly Hotdogs out in that direction (Lesage, WV). Knowing W's affinity for hotdogs, I googled it and found it to be about 20 minutes beyond our original destination. It was noon and with a healthy spinach smoothie each in our bellies, we decided it couldn't hurt to check out this local celebrity.
Its pretty famous in these parts and on a certain Food Network show, which I won't mention.... because I can't stand the host. But I'm sure you can figure out the show considering what a (hint, hint) dive this place is. We didn't really know what to expect. I hadn't heard that much about it and had never visited the website. I knew it was across the street from a river, but that was about it.
It has the look of shanty-town, flea market, junk yard, dump, shack, etc. all rolled into one. Apparently, people bring random things and put them all around wherever they want. I guess it is an encouraged tradition? Also, you are encouraged to leave your mark and sign any spot available.
The menu is huge with everything from hotdogs to hamburgers to salads to sandwiches--not at all what I was expecting. You order at the counter and then take a seat in one of two old school buses-turned dining rooms.
W and I are pretty conservative when it comes to our hotdogs. I don't eat them without slaw. W doesn't eat them without chili. So, our orders were a little boring. However, the folks in front of us went all out and got a taco hotdog and the one with mac and cheese on it. They said they were both delicious. We will gladly take their word for it!
W got two Hillbilly dogs and I got a West Virginia dog. Of course, we had to get sides. We got the garlic fries which are smothered in cheese, bacon and (YUM) ranch. I have never been able to say no to a fried pickle, so we got an order of those as well. I was much impressed with the condiment they provided with the pickles--ranch dressing. Usually, places serve honey mustard, but I am a ranch girl all the way and it was perfect.
You could spend at least an hour wandering around outside, investigating all of the odds and ends hung and stuck and set here and there.
In case you couldn't figure out what show it was featured on, you can see the sign in the picture below.
This face just about sums up the entire 45 minutes we spent there and the amount of calories consumed. Antiquing probably should have been done prior to eating all of this, but we were still able to tromp around some places for a few hours.
I highly recommend a visit! It is definitely a true West Virginia experience.