A normal hot dog with everything here consists of onions, chili and mustard. The dogs are steamed from the Sugardale brand (nothing to write about) in a cheap white roll. But the sauce is where it is—really hot, just on the perfect cusp of too much—at least for me. Finely ground, smooth and thick, more of a spice than a chili and really different from anything else I’ve eaten in West Virginia
Hot dogs are serious business in West Virginia. There, a classic coleslaw means baseball fish on a steamed (unroasted) roll, garnished with spicy, fine-grained chili (more of a thin sauce than a stew), creamy coleslaw, chopped onions and yellow mustard (both optional), ketchup and pickles don’t have to be applied. I must say my grandparents grew up on Fairmont and I spent years (I’m 4) listening to my elderly family rave about Lupo’s hot dogs. I’m pretty sure the coleslaw purists at West Virginia Hot Dog Blog think Yann’s is Pennsylvania or Maryland (even though they enjoyed the chili), but locals who grew up with the stuff swear by it like nothing I’ve
I’ve also dropped off a few on Hot Diggity, and you can check out her review of Yann’s dogs in the video below. Russell Yann serves hot dogs in a tiny, eight-seat hut with no opening hours and no sign, as well as a barebones menu with hot dogs, pepperoni rolls, and white or brown milk bottles. I took a hot dog tour through West Virginia (at least the northern part of the state) and one of my main goals was to finally try the infamous Yann’s. The state even celebrates its take on the American classic with the annual West Virginia Hot Dog Festival in Huntington
Some of the really unusual regional hot dog sauces (see some here) are more intriguing than delicious, but Yann’s is one of the best I’ve ever had.