Happy Fourth of July! We can all be proud to live in a nation that is so closely related with the food so closely related to baseball: the hot dog. Those of you that survive your foolish dabbling with the explosives marketed as “fireworks,” or at least have enough fingers left of operate your computer can read my review of a local Appalachian hot dog establishment.
I am spending the holiday in my hometown of Jane Lew, WV visiting my family. Before you start in with the WV jokes, know that we hillbillies take hot dogs seriously. Last year the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (like them on Facebook, they post cool hot dog stuff) held a bracket playoff similar to the college basketball “March Madness” system to find out who had the best regional hot dog. It pitted the best against the best. The Chicago Dog, The Coney, The Carolina Dog...they were all represented. Know who came out on top? The West Virginia Dog...that’s right…pure Appalachian goodness on a bun. What’s on a WV Dog? Check out the NHSC’s website to see. And stop with the jokes….I have heard all of them, trust me.
Jane Lew, a stone’s throw from there General Stonewall Jackson grew up (no, we did not go to school together), hosts one of the more quaint and delicious hot dog spots in the state. Flying Dogs serves up hundreds of tasty, circular treats a day using their signature WV style chili on most. Housed in an old small car dealership building the establishment has changed names at least once but still puts out some of the best dogs in the state. My dad and I picked up a litter of dogs to haul back to the old homestead to devour. We made quick work of it.
So don’t knock the Mountain State. If you love hot dogs make it your next vacation spot. Oh, yeah...there’s that stunning scenery, bluegrass music, moonshine, mountain arts and crafts, hand-crafted glass, whitewater rafting and other spectacular things to do to work off those hot dog. And all those jokes people make about us…..they’re mostly true.