There are a lot of little diners and hot dog joints across the Unites States, and we’ve been to a fair share of them, but none, I repeat none, are quite a funky as Hillbilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, WV…
I must say… I was thrilled when Hillbilly Hot Dogs popped up as a stop on the Ohio Valley 700 Rally (which, by the way, raised a crap-load of money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio) because I’d secretly been watching this place from afar… I knew it was out there, but I just needed an excuse to go there. A couple falls ago, thanks to the OV700 Rally, I was finally getting my excuse! Was it really as wonderful as the pictures made it out to be?
Yes. Yes it was.
For starters, the folks here are about as friendly as can be (more on them later) and the owner himself greeted me as hoards of people came flocking in and out of this fantastic roadside attraction.
Then there’s the food. The menu consists of dozens of specialty hot dogs and insane toppings. One of their hot dogs is such a big deal, it has its own webpage. The “Home Wrecker” is 15 inches of pure beef hot dog covered in, well, pretty much everything you can imagine. If you think you can suck one down in under 12 minutes, they’ll even give you a free t-shirt.
And finally, there’s the decor. These pictures aren’t bad, but they really don’t do the place justice. A stop at Hillbilly Hot Dogs is like stepping into the workshop of your crazy uncle… Redneck ingenuity combines with a touch of humor to create all the unique buildings and eating areas, and I have no doubt they’ve already added/subtracted/moved stuff since my last visit.
How did Hillbilly Hot Dogs come to be? It all started with a 12×16 foot building and a couple of lovebirds…
Back in the late 90s, owners Sharie and Sonny decided to move from California back to Sonny’s home state of West Virginia for a simple, country life together. With the help of their family, they opened the “Weenie Stand” in the fall of 1999 and got hitched 3 days later.
Their vision was to make a place where people could grab a good hot dog and take ‘er easy… From there, the customers helped frame the decor… They’d constantly give the newlyweds items for the stand as well as email in ideas for ways to make the Hillbilly Hot Dog Stand the most wonderfully hillbilly hot dog joint in the world.
From that point forward, there was no turning back, and the awesomeness that is Hillbilly Hot Dogs just continues to grow.
Sonny and Sharie sum it all up pretty nicely…
We have stayed true to our original plan, of working and being together. We’re still crazy in love and we continue to unwrap new dreams and live a wonderful life full of love, family and friends. We have truly been blessed to have met each other and spend our days with some mighty fine folks. Thank You…for sharing our weenie world.
After finally making it here, I can tell you- all the hype was true. This place is one of my new favorites. If you’re traveling through West Virginia and are anywhere near Lesage, WV, you absolutely must check out Hillbilly Hot Dogs.
Hillbilly Hot Dogs
6951 Ohio River Rd.
Lesage, WV 25537
Of course, the only bummer from my stop was I couldn’t stay longer… After all, we were on a road rally. Time is the name of the game.