Before moving to Cal State I taught at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Huntington is in many ways a picturesque college town with coffee shops, sushi spots, theater, and all the modern trappings one might enjoy in civilized America. It is also located in the heart of Appalachia and has a distinct hillbilly undercurrent. For instance, Huntington holds the unflattering moniker of “fattest city in America.” I am significantly overweight but felt almost svelte around town. The establishment fueling Huntington’s waistbands: Hillbilly Hotdogs.
Founded in 1999, Hillbilly Hotdogs boasts some 25+ different hotdog options from their extensive menu of Appalachian delicacies. You can gorge on anything from the Taco Dog [6” dog covered with jalapenos, nacho cheese, crushed up nacho chips, chili sauce, sour cream, and shredded cheese] to Stacy’s Flu Shot [6” dog with jalapenos, chili sauce, spicy A-1 sauce, and sriracha hot sauce] to The Homewrecker [15” dog with EVERYTHING… Taco Dog plus mustard, relish, mayonnaise, bbq sauce, sauerkraut, and coleslaw].
The multitude of side dishes (served in collectable McDonald’s plastic bowls from the 1980s) are all deep fried and delicious. “Fried Fixins” as they are known by locals include crinkle-cut fries (cheese or chili cheese options); garlic ranch fries; fried pickles; cheese sticks; jalapeno poppers; chicken nuggets; and deep-fried mac and cheese! If you want to salivate via the interwebs, the full menu can be found at http://www.hillbillyhotdogs.com/menu.php
When you find yourself in West Virginia head directly to Hillbilly Hotdogs and then to the hospital for heart defibrillation!