I think this review is a good candidate for the He Said/She Said format since I disagree with some of Ron’s comments. My words are in blue.
I totally got screwed at this joint. First let me say I wanted to review the Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Burger, but we stopped here at Flatwoods, and well the Wendy’s could not accept a gift card. Something about their modem line and all that. If they had put a sign out with more info I could say more about it. I also could have not waited in line for five minutes, but that is a story for a different blog post.
Susan says – OK. This part is true. We stopped at Wendy’s because a nice Wendy’s rep sent Ron a $5 gift card to try the bacon burger and write about it. We waited forever for them to try to get the gift card to work, but it didn’t really matter because we had no cash – I was planning to pay for mine with my debit card. If the modem wasn’t going to work for the gift card, it wasn’t going to work for the debit card and therefore we weren’t getting a bacon burger.
So because Susan was starving, we decided to check out this place if not for anything other than website content.
Susan says – I concur. I was starving. This condition occurs quite frequently. I really enjoy a hot dog every now and then so I suggested Custard Stand. I don’t really care for McD’s, Taco Bell or KFC and Ron absolutely refuses to eat at Subway. The Arby’s is in a gas station so that’s out. It was either Custard Stand or a bag of nuts from the Amish store in the “outlet mall”. Ha! What a joke. Do people really drive to Flatwoods just to go to that place? I can see going there for the Fiesta store, but that’s it.
After all I have to remind myself why I do not like hot dogs every now and then.
So right there tells you that my review is going to be biased, but because I know it’s biased means that what I write will be filtered due to that bias and you will get an honest unbiased review. Even though I’m writing it, so I’m probably a little bit biased in my own personal opinion.
(that was the disclaimer)
If you asked ten people from the surrounding area, who makes the best Hot Dog Chilli, I bet eight of them would say Custard Stand.. I can’t explain it, but they will. (ok again this is not a scientific statistical fact about the eight out of ten, it simply just sounded good, it very well could be ten out of ten or two out of ten, I don’t know. I’m just typing to fill up space and waste your boss’s time)
Susan says – If I serve hot dogs at home or at work, I always buy Custard Stand chili because that is what EVERY person I have ever questioned concerning hot dog chili has recommended. They don’t even suggest I make it myself. Just buy the tub of Custard Stand chili. I myself do not eat hot dog chili. To me it resembles dog food and is completely unappealing. I don’t like the smell, either. Eeeeeeewwwww. I won’t eat Sloppy Joe’s so don’t try commenting that “I can’t believe you don’t like hot dog chili, you probably like Sloppy Joe’s and it looks like dog food, too.” And the spaghetti sauce at that place in Barboursville looks just like hot dog chili. Tascali’s. OMG – there is no freakin’ way I am eating that spaghetti sauce. They shouldn’t even be allowed to call it spaghetti sauce.
Well I ordered one Old Fashioned Hot Dog with Chili +1 Topping for $1.29, this according to the menu board, allowed me a hot dog with chili and one topping. This implies that I can choose the toppings from the toppings list. Is this not a reasonable assumption?
WELL that is not the case -
The menu says:
Hot Dog Toppings
Diced Fresh Onion, Homemade Slaw
Sweet Relish $0.10
or Nacho Cheese, Sauerkraut $0.20
Grilled Peppers and Onions $0.75
Ketchup & Mustard – No Charge
Examine that. The only thing that’s different about what I typed and what the Custard Stand had written is that I used the $ instead of the cent symbol, and that’s because I do not know how to type that.
So… for $1.29 I get chili and one topping. I personally think I’m entitled to all of the said toppings, but I’m sure one could make a case that where they point out the extra charge I need to pay more. Rest assured The Custard Stand will explain it to you as they know what they intend.
Susan says – I read the same menu and I completely understood that you had a choice of the $0.10 toppings for the stated price. However, every little thing is priced here. Hence the title of the post. There are two ways to look at the Custard Stand’s pricing:
1) From the owner’s perspective – (Since I am not the owner, my comments for this point are purely supposition. I am trying to put myself in their position and empathize.) Perhaps the owners are trying to keep the prices as low as they can. They give you the rock-bottom price for the basics, but if you want extras, then you pay a nickle here and a dime there. Maybe they have performed extensive analysis to arrive at these prices. Maybe they are trying to cut down on waste by handing out ketchup and salt packets only if you ask for them.
2) From the customer’s perspective – It didn’t really bother me that the toppings cost a little bit more. I don’t mind paying for what I want if the prices seem reasonable. Ron argued with me that there was no way he got $0.10-worth of onions on his hot dog. I think he may have tried to count them. He asserted there was not even a tablespoon of diced onion and I have to agree with him on that. Now, is slaw or chili worth an extra dime? Absolutely. There is not only ingredient cost, but cost of preparation because they make those items themsleves. I can dice an entire onion in 48.2 seconds. Could they toss a few squares on a hot dog for the standard price? Probably. $0.20 for cheese – seems reasonable to me. Why are the grilled peppers and onions so high? How many can fit on top of a hot dog? A quarter’s-worth? Fitty cents-worth? We can’t really say because we did not witness it on our visit.
Good thing Ron didn’t order a burger or he would have bitched about paying $0.30 for A-1 sauce all the way to Buckhannon.
Really for $1.29 you get a bun, a weiner, chili and either Diced Fresh Onions, Homemade Slaw, I’m going to assume either American, Mozzarella, or Nacho Cheese, or Ketchup and Mustard. I’m still unsure if Ketchup and Mustard counts as two toppings or one, but now that I’ve pointed that minute detail out, it would not surprise me if they said it’s one or the other.
Susan says – Again, Ron needs to READ. Cheese is not an option for the $1.29 price tag. Cheese is in the second tier of extras. Ketchup and mustard are free, so it doesn’t matter if they are one item or two. Free plus free still equals, you guessed it – FREE. He’s just being ridiculous here. And he has so many mispellings in this post, I may not catch them all.
I also ordered water. Water is $0.29. Note that’s the 12oz cup, for an extra 4 oz’s it will cost you another dime – that’s right the 16oz cup of standard tap water is $0.39 ~ obviously they didn’t learn their pricing structure from the Bulk Food Store. I have a policy about paying for water.
That policy is very simple.
I do not.
The establishment’s poor excuse is we have to charge for the cup, the ice, and the lid. I’m calling shenanigans on that. Because, yes these may have a cost associated with it, but I seriously doubt this cost is justifiable, next time at at Sam’s Club I’m pricing cups and lids and just see what they charge.
Nevertheless. I said I do not want it. Susan went ahead and ordered it. I did not drink it.
Susan says – First of all, what does “they may have a cost but I doubt the cost is justifiable” mean??? yes, there’s a cost but it’s not really a cost? There’s a cost but it’s different than what they say?
Cups, lids and ice DO COST THE RESTAURANT MONEY. I am an accountant. I am confident in making that statement. Places that give you tap water for free cover the cost of the cup, lid, ice and water in another line item. I think it is clear from reading the menu that Custard Stand likes to account for each and every little thing sepcifically. I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s simply different from the chains like Wendy’s and McD’s. And I would rather go to a locally-owned place than a chain any day. Well, unless we’re talking Cheesecake Factory. Or Cinnabon.
Ron, you are being utterly ridiculous to expect to get water for free. You PAY FOR IT every place you go, even if it doesn’t appear as a separate charge on your receipt.
I will defend Custard Stand on charging a nominal amount for water and I will defend the additional charge on most of the toppings. but I am going to complain about the soda pricing.
I ordered a large fountain soda for a whopping $1.99. When I received it, I was sure they had given me the wrong size. It was small. With ice, I don’t think a 12-ounce can of pop would have fit in this cup. I did not have a can of pop so I did not perform the experiment, so don’t hold me to that. I am simply saying that the cup seemed much too small to be called a large. I looked at the menu again. It said “16-ounce” soda. I know that’s already a crock because the CUP is 16-ounce capacity but after they fill the thing with ice, you don’t get anywhere near 16 ounces of carbonated liquid refreshment. Chick-Fil-A is really bad about putting a lot of ice in your cup but now that they no longer charge for refills, I feel a little better about that. It used to be a quarter for a refill, so I would always ask them to go light on the ice. I gotta have some ice…I am not European for cryin’ out loud.
Anyway, I then look at the cup – the lid says 16-oz. Harumph. I would rather they get a bigger cup and charge me more then to serve me this puny one. If I was ordering to-go, I would have run out of soda halfway through my meal. Thankfully, though, today I was dining in so I was able to get a free refill.
So how was the hot dog? It tasted like a hot dog… Was it worth a $1.29? WELL I’ve never had a hot dog that’s worth $1 much less one that’s worth a twelve ounce cup of water more. But I’m biased. I’m not a hot dog expert… Check out the hot dog blog for a credible review on the hot dog.
The fries were OK, to be honest, the fries were crispy and not too bad. If you like french fries and hot dogs you may want to check this place out.
Susan says – Finally, he gets to the food. My food was enjoyable. The hot dog was small-calibur just as I prefer and the bun was steamed to the perfect softness. Fries were the frozen variety but they were served hot and crispy. I ordered a small for $1.69 and you can see from the photo that they give you a generous portion for that price. I have no problem with the hot dog pricing, either. The only way my meal could have been improved is with fresh-cut fries. But we are talking about hot dogs here…not gourmet food. For what it was, they did it well.
That being said, those of you that like being nickle and dimed to death may like this place also… Here’s a quote from their menu:
” We’ll be glad to give you extra for a little extra! “
Please note that on the menu it is written in red and there is an exclamation point at the end.
I’m sorry, their chili is very good, but their stand-alone eateries just suck in my opinion (ok at least the Flatwoods establishment – don’t want to throw them all under the bus). I won’t eat here again.
ONE FORK ZEREO FORKS - note I updated this on December 31st, one of our fabulouse readers made me see the light. Follow the stream of opinionated comments below for all the intelligent banter. ~ ron Oh and Susan also missed a spot where I say something like “…. at at …. “ two at’s in a row.
Wendy’s wouldn’t have charged me for water, to be honest, I’m not so sure the Tricky Fish even charges for water… I’ll have to do some investigating on that.
Susan says - If I have a hankerin’ for a hot dog while traveling on I-79, he very well may eat here again. I thought it was just fine.
The place is small with only a handful of tables but it’s neat and tidy. The service was adequate, but the feeling that everything, including napkins, salt and ketchup packets, is carefully allocated made me a little uncomfortable.
It seems to me that they want to sell hot dog chili, so they created a restaurant around that idea. The menu says the slaw is homemade, but other than that and the chili, I believe every other item on their extensive menu is pre-fabricated. Our table had 4 different table tents advertising various fried snacks: broccoli and cheese bites, cheese sticks, funnel cake fries and breaded mushrooms. There are lots of other carnival items to choose from in addition to those. This is another place where you don’t have to be a cook to operate the restaurant because very little is actually COOKED. It’s all tossed into the deep-fryer. Their claim to fame is the hot dog chili and people seem to love it. You can buy it in bulk at the restaurant and take some home with you, too.
As a restaurant, I rate Custard Stand TWO FORKS.
P.S. Ron did not drink that cup of water I paid $0.29 for. It rode all the way to Buckhannon and back. Then I threw it away.Custard Stand I-79, Exit 67 Flatwoods, WV 304-765-6500