Hillbillly Hotdogs is one of those rare places than can take something absurd and blow it up into something that is not anything short of a badge of excellence for a state that has a poor and mostly undeserved reputation(emphasis on mostly). I know quite a few West Virginians who are offended by the image of the poor, redneck West Virginian that is portrayed in the books, movies and attitudes of ignorant Americans. Then you have Sonny and Sharie(actually a Californian). These two wonderful, friendly and outgoing people have fully embraced that image, lampooned it and put it on display for the world to see. There may be a lot of show, but the best performance at Hillbilly Hotdogs is not the presentation, but the execution of a great menu of delicious and satisfying food.
Hillbilly Hotdogs offers up a vareity of, well, hot dogs. The basic Hillbilly Hotdog, which happens to be my favorite is the simple and irresistible combination of a deep-fried hot dog, sauce, onions and mustard on a bun. The deep-fried dog is delicious and has just enough of the saltiness to appease the palate of salt lovers, but isn't overloaded with salt. The dog is sweet and juicy and bun sized. The secret recipe sauce is appropriately meaty and seasoned a little on the spicy side. It offers a nice balance of savory and spice, but is a little bit spicier than the sauce that most people are used to. The fresh onions and mustard top off the dog and make for a very satisfying treat.
For a side I have to recommend the Garlic Ranch Fries. The french fries are a simple crinkle cut fry, but the addition of the out of this world Garlic Ranch sauce turns them into a culinary juggernaut of awesome. The sauce is creamy and garlicy and zesty all at the same time and would be a wonderful addition to just about any food item you would find in a pub or sports bar. Their deep fried mushrooms are better than most places and have always satisfied my mushroom cravings(the culinary kind).
The signature dish at Hillbilly Hotdogs is the Homewrecker. It is a 15 inch behemoth eating challenge that can get you a free t-shirt if you finish it in less than 12 minutes. If you beat the record its free. I'll give it a shot in the future and post a review.
If you are ever in Huntington or Lesage(the original and craziest location), WV you have to stop by Hillbilly Hotdogs. They have an excellent endorsement by Guy Fieri of the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and appeared in the top 20 of the Travel Channel's "101 Places to Eat". So catch a Thundering Herd football game and then pig out at Hillbilly Hotdogs. Just be ready to stand in line.