Hillbilly Hot Dogs was one of Mama’s picks for this trip. I’d only heard from some 4-H friends that I should check it out, but hadn’t done any research (I tend to do a lot of things without research – it’s more of an adventure that way.), but Mama had and was very excited.
Our directions had been reliable so far, but for some reason they overestimated the amount of time it would take for us to get to Hillbilly Hot Dogs from Point Pleasant. We were trucking along when we came upon the restaurant faster than anticipated; Daddy slammed on the breaks and pulled off.
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog you know that I’m full of state pride. I love my state and all she has to offer. I’m not one for redneck or hillbilly jokes as I feel they perpetuate a damaging stereotype. That being said, sometimes you’ve got to laugh at yourself and Hillbilly Hotdogs does just that.
The restaurant is built around a few old school buses. License plates hang from the walls and there are thousands of signatures everywhere. The experience continues from one out building to the next. Adjacent to the main restaurant is a sweet shoppe and next to that is the Hillbilly Wedding Chapel!
(I snapped a picture of the Hillbilly Wedding Chapel to a friend proclaiming that I’d found the wedding venue for the Fellow and me. It even has an oriental rug for an isle runner which is on my wedding venue list!)
There are additional fun spots set up: an outdoor dining area with picnic tables under some trees, a deck on top of the school buses, a silo, an outdoor bathtub, a two-seater outhouse, and some photo props.
While waiting in line, my mother made a new friend. (I should note to get there early; we got there 20 minutes after opening and there was a line.) Ms. Becky was sitting in the picnic area, pretty in pink, wearing a straw hat with the tag still on it Minnie Pearl style. They struck up a conversation, and she learned that Ms. Becky and her husband Mr. Tom had just renewed their wedding vows at the Hillbilly Wedding Chapel for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. 50 years! Their son was also in line with us, and we chatted together until we made it to the order counter.
The menu at Hillbilly Hotdogs is the real reason for the trip. There is every different type of hot dog you can imagine. The menu includes a dozen or more hot dog options which include the Pineappalachian Dog (BBQ sauce, country ham, crushed pineapple, and shredded cheese), Thundering Herd Dog (beef weenie, habanero sauce, nacho cheese, hot dog sauce, diced onions, jalapeños, and Cole slaw), West Virginia Dog (hot dog sauce, mustard, onions, and Cole slaw), Mothman Dog (deep-fried weenie, Thousand Island dressing, hot dog sauce, 2 onion rings, and maters) and more! They also have burgers, sandwiches, and “rabbit fixins”’ which is their vegetarian menu.
Their call to fame is the Home Wrecker.
If you finish the Home Wrecker in less than 12 minutes, you get a free t-shirt. If you finish in 2:34 minutes, you will hold the world record!
Remember my father’s rule? “When you’re at a BBQ joint, you eat BBQ.” Well, when you’re at a hot dog joint, you eat hot dogs. He decided to go for the Homewrecker but minus the jalapeños and habanero sauce. He also just ordered the dog and didn’t try for the “timed” wrecker.
We got our dogs and sat inside the air-conditioned school bus to eat our meal. As we ate, we heard the kid behind us talking about his experience. He had just tried to eat the Homewrecker and was looking (and feeling) pretty rough. At least 2/3 of the dog was still on his plate. Daddy didn’t go for speed, but in about 20 minutes he ate the entire thing!
While we were talking and encouraging him, I noticed the fellow behind us kept chuckling, and I understood why when they called his name next for the Homewrecker Challenge. Daddy being Daddy teased him a bit, but soon we got the whole bus chanting his name, “Freddy! Freddy! Go, Freddy!” But alas, he left about half his dog on his plate and didn’t hit the 12-minute goal.
Hillbilly Hotdogs was such an experience; it was probably the most fun I had on this leg of the trip!