There's now a place in Pasadena, CA called Slaw Dogs, though the slaw served on the namesake dog is a kind of Thai Fusion, being spicy and garnished with chopped peanuts. Funny thing is that I've never visited another hot dog stand that offered slaw, but I very much enjoy putting my own stuff - a creamy semi-sweet slaw made with a mayonnaise/buttermilk dressing - on the dogs I have at home. And here I thought it was my invention!
One more plug for my favorite... the West Virginia hot dog. Not particular about the kind of hot dog, but add a special recipe of West Virginia hot dog chili (recipes around the web), mustard, chopped onion, and maybe cole slaw, maybe not, all on a steamed bun. The cole slaw for West Virginians is apparently a regional thing around their state, or personal preference. A friend of mine who shared his WV hot dog chili recipe with me once remarked, "If you want to ruin it, add cole slaw like them Southern West Virginia hillbillies do."
I found these things at a tavern in Florida almost 10 years ago, and have loved them ever since.
One website (RootsWeb.com) has a discussion thread from 2001 where the history of slaw dogs is claimed to have originated at the Stoppette 21, a drive in on Rt 21, heading north of Charleston, WV. In WWII, the story goes, meat was rationed and hot dogs were lousy, but the Stoppette 21 started doctoring up their dogs with condiments such as cole slaw, onions, and chili, and they caught on.
re: Florida Hound
I ran across your entry today, I live in Charleston, WV and would appreciate you sharing the "WV Hot Dog Chili Recipe" if you don't mind - below is an article I thought you might find interesting - Thanks, Tim in WV
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Second Chance Review - Skeenies Hot Dogs
Skeenies Hot Dogs was one of the very first HDJs that was reviewed on the WV Dog Blog. It scored a 4 Weenie rank, primarily because you don't want to give the top score to the first competitor in case someone later has an unexpectedly flawless performance. So I've always felt a little guilty about giving Skeenies, a place I always has thought was a superior hot dog joint, a 4 Weenie ranking. I was glad when Second Chance Month came around so I could give them a fair shot at glory.
Tradition holds that real West Virginia Hot Dogs were born at the Stopette Drive In on Rt. 21 just outside the Charleston city limits. The Stopette, it is told by sages, was the very first place to put coleslaw on top of a chili dog sometime in the 1920s. Well Skeenies is located just a stone's throw from the site of the old Stopette and one can't dismiss the possibility that there is a cosmic connection or some good hot dog karma has lept through time and into Skeenies hot dogs. There's got to be some reason for how good they are.
Sitting alongside Rt. 21 where it has been since the 1960's (or earlier), Skeenies hasn't changed one iota in all these years, nor have their hot dogs. The chili is still wonderfully spicy, complex and perfect in consistency. Skeenies slaw has always been among the best ever and is a perfect match for the chili. The buns are still perfectly steamed and the hot dogs are still served in a wax paper sleeve so they stay soft and wonderful. Onions are plentiful and weenies are tasty and well prepared.
After one bite I realized I had made a mistake last time: This hot dog is definitely more than a 4. After eating two hot dogs, I am ready to make it official: Skeenies is as good as any hot dog in town, county or state. It certainly deserves a full-fledged Five Weenie rank.
I did not see your post when you first put it on the board, Tim, but now that I have, I whipped up a fresh batch of Buzz' Authentic West Virginia Hot Dog Chili. A good weekend of hot dog eating was the result! Thanks!!!
In the meantime, I also contacted my source for this treasured West Virginia Chili recipe, asked if he would allow the recipe to go prime time on Chow Hound, and he said, "Go for it!"
So, here goes:
BUZZ' AUTHENTIC WEST VIRGINIA HOT DOG CHILI
[Recipe from The Sanitary Hot Dog Restaurant, Clarksburg, WV]
1/4 lb. lard (Crisco) [= 1/2 Cup +1+1/2 Tablespoons Crisco]
1 large onion. chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 oz. hot chili powder
2 Cups water
5 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1+1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 Cup cracker meal
1+1/2 teaspoons salt
Pepper to taste
***Note: Hot dog assembling instructions to follow.
For the chili: A day ahead: In a heavy kettle (5- 6 quart), fry lard, onion, and garlic until tender (Flatlanders refer to this as saute.) Add chili powder. Fry (saute) 3 minutes and stir. Add water and cook 3 more minutes. Remove from heat. Add meat and mix until no lumps. I discovered this weekend a heavy duty potato masher is a good tool here. Put back on fire and stir for 10 minutes. Simmer for 1/2 hour.
Take off heat and add allspice, paprika, salt and pepper, and cracker meal. Let cool, then pour into 9 x 13" (or so) dish. Place in refrigerator overnight.
The next day, cut the chili mixture into 3" squares. Then you can wrap in foil and freeze. It freezes well. Buzz says, "it's better aged to perfection." However, at this step, you may want to keep enough out for the day's round of hot dogs!
When re-heating frozen squares, add a little water.
*** For authentic Clarksburg, West Virginia Hot Dogs:
Add mustard to steam heated buns (steam heat - we want the real deal.)
Place weenie on bun.
Add enough chili to cover weenies
Sprinkle with chopped onions
And as I quoted Buzz in my earlier post, "If you want to ruin it, add cole slaw like them Southern West Virginia hillbillies do."
Per our measurements, this recipe makes enough chili to cover 60 hot dogs.
So, WV CitySlicker, hope you archive this thread and come across my belated answer to your request. Make up a bunch of this stuff and enjoy it all summer. And, again, to my friend, Buzz, thanks for sharing,
Florida (An adopted son of West Virginia) Hound
Creamy cole slaw and a line of yellow mustard is the the BEST southern version of a hot dog in my opinion! This was a staple at the Dairy Queen in my father's small South Alabama hometown. As transplants to Louisiana - I have never seen anyone here eat their hot dogs with this condiment. Never had one with chili and cole slaw before either - I might just have to try that.
I spent almost every summer in North Carolina. Once we arrived in town, we went straight to the Philips 66 gas station down the road from my grandparents house. This place had been there since my dad was growing up in the 50s. They had a food counter and they served the greatest chili slaw dogs ($0.65 a piece) and you had to have an RC Cola to go with it. Tonight I am introducing my wife to this awesome southern classic.
Yummy, a slaw dog. For me, just cole slaw, a little yellow mustard, and a good bun. In Georgia, I'd go to Sonic and get a chili cheese coney with slaw and mustard every now and then. I don't know if it's all Sonics but the one here in northeastern Indiana doesn't have slaw on the menu!
In Quebec, Canada, many "casse croutes" (snack bars) serve hot dogs (and hamburgers, if asked) with a finely chopped, sweet coleslaw ("salade"). I haven't traveled extensively in the Maritimes, so I don't know if it's common there, but in the rest of Canada, sauerkraut seems to be the only cabbage on offer.
Same as above. Slaw dogs are the absolute standard in NC. Finely chopped white slaw on a fire-engine red bland tube steak. Oh yeah, and the red color only goes about 1/16th of an inch into the dog. The inside is gray-ish. It's been over 20 years but I will NEVER get used to how hot dogs are served here. Fortunately, Hebrew National, Boars Head and a few other decent dogs are readily available in the Triangle.
What are you eating, Stars hot dogs from Dollar General? Get some Brightleaf or Jesse Jones hot dogs.
I'm also a transplant (though certainly not a Yankee), but I've seen the light. An unnaturally red caseless hotdog with finely chopped slaw and some Texas Pete hot dog chili, plain-jane yellow mustard and minced vidalia is the penultimate hot dog experience. Shorty's in Wake Forest being a fine commercial example.
<What are you eating, Stars hot dogs from Dollar General? Get some Brightleaf or Jesse Jones hot dogs>
No, what I'm eating is Hebrew National or Boar's Head because I can't take a fire engine-red hot dog with no taste and a mushy texture. And we'll have to agree to disagree because 1 dog at Shorty's left me swearing never to go near that place again.
Slaw dogs are mostly a Southern thing. The slaw is white and creamy EXCEPT around Lexington, NC. There the slaw of choice is red "barbecue" slaw made from the vinegar and slightly tomato barbecue sauce prevelant in the region. The dogs of choice are usually very red themselves. They're produced by Jessie Jones in Raleigh and Curtis Packing in Greensboro. Mmmm...
I spent all my summers in NC as a kid and every hot dog cookout included slaw to go on the dogs. Also chili. People used the slaw in many different combinations, but chili, slaw, mustard and onion was the most common, I think. Most times the slaw was similar to bbq slaw, i.e.- not creamy, no carrots or red cabbage, rather than a 'side dish' kind of slaw.
In the Wash., DC area, I almost never saw anyone put slaw on their dogs and found people to be suprised when I do it.
re: Kim Shook
That is how NC was for me too KIm. I lived in the Raleigh area and the same sort of slaw you describe was offered on the hot dogs. I didn't care for that slaw on my dog but I sure did like it on my NC barbecue. Oh to have one of those right now. Everytime I order bbq around Philly claiming to be NC bbq it always has the creamy slaw on it. Gah.
At my business where I sell a lot of hot dogs, someone once asked me for a hot dog with cole slaw and pickles. I asked her where she was from and it turned out that she was visiting Pennsylvania from South Carolina so I guess this is a southern thing. I had never heard of the cole slaw but the pickles seem the same to me as the relish we serve.
Also, there used to be a famous Philadelphia business called Levis's, which served hot dogs and fishcakes. I remember that one of the condiments they served was called pepper hash which similar to cole slaw but the cabbage is grated and it is made with vinegar instead of mayo.