A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 01, 2008
Slaw Dog (Slaw Dawg; Slawdog; Slawdawg)

A “slaw dog” ("slaw dawg” for the Southern pronunciation, also sometimes written as one word) is simply cole slaw placed on a hot dog. It cannot be known who first put cole slaw on top of a hot dog, but hot dogs with cole slaw and baked beans were popular from at least the 1930s.

The “slaw dog” is said to be a specialty of Southern West Virginia and North Carolina, as well as other parts of the South. “Slaw (Hot) Dog” was advertised in the Huntsville (AL) Times on May 23, 1949, and “Slaw Dog” was printed in the same newspaper on March 30, 1950.

The 1971 Sam Peckinpah movie Straw Dogs possibly influenced the acceptance of the “slaw dogs” name; the Wiener King hot dog chain was serving “slaw dogs” all over the country just a few years later in the 1970s.

About.com: American Food
Hot Dogs Across America
By John Mitzewich
The West Virginia Slaw Dog
If sauerkraut is a little too sour for you, then the slaw dog may be just the thing for you. Popular in other southern states, but invented in West Virginia, this delicious dog is garnished with a sweet, creamy, chopped cabbage coleslaw. 

AOL Food
Hot Dog Toppings Around the World
West Virginia/Carolina “Slawdog”
The classic Slawdog—which originated in West Virginia and migrated south—boasts cole slaw, mustard and onions, but variations include vinegar slaw and optional chili. 

Shaboom’s Kitchen—Hot Dogs International
The Southern Slaw Dog
One of the great variations in the Southeast U.S. is the slaw dog. Associate Editor T.J. Robinson, who hails from Asheville, North Carolina, raves about the version in his neck of the woods. A beef dog--best if it’s a foot long--is boiled, and goes on a roll that fits it. Then you add any combo of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise; T.J. likes all three. On top of that goes spicy, bean-less chili--particularly the Bunker Hill brand that T.J. buys in the supermarket. Then some chopped raw onions. And, to crown it all, the eponymous cole slaw--made, in Asheville, made with buttermilk, vinegar, sugar and mayo. Be sure to put on a wet suit before eating. You could simplify this thing a lot by just putting some yellow mustard and cole slaw on a dog; it still tastes great.

The West Virginia Hot Dog Blog
What Is A West Virginia Hot Dog?
A true West Virginia hot dog is a heavenly creation that begins with a wiener on a soft steamed bun. Add mustard, a chili-like sauce and top it off with coleslaw and chopped onions and you have a symphony of taste that quite possibly is the reason that many transplanted West Virginians can never really be happy living anywhere else. Different parts of West Virginia have variations on the theme but the common elements are sweet, creamy coleslaw and chili. Anything else is just not a true West Virginia hot dog!

Wikipedia: Hot dog variations
North Carolina & South Carolina, United States
Carolina hot dogs are served with chili and cole slaw, mustard, and onions. Most vendors use cole slaw, but some places use a vinegar-based variation called BBQ slaw, which may be a western North Carolina variant. This style is called all the way and/or “a slaw dog.” The practice of eating cole slaw on hot dogs in the Carolinas probably came from expatriate West Virginians moving south to seek employment. Carolina Packers, a small company in Johnston County produces locally-famous skinless red-hot dogs.

West Virginia, United States
Hot dogs are usually served with a beanless chili con carne sauce (simply called chili) and sweet cole slaw or with some combination of the chili sauce, slaw, mustard, and chopped onions. It is considered to be a business faux paus for a restaurant or hot dog stand to charge extra for any toppings. Hot dogs are an obligatory item on the menu of locally owned restaurants in the region.

The Varsity (Atlanta, GA)
Hot Dogs
Plain Dog
Chili Dog
Heavy Chili Dog
Cheese Dog
Slaw Dog
Chili Slaw Dog
Chili Cheese Slaw Dog
Chili Cheese Dog

22 June 1939, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 7, col. 3:
The menu consisted of: Hot dogs, cole slaw, tomatoes, pickles, iced tea, ice cream, and fudge cake.

16 March 1948, Middletown (NY) Times Herald, pg. 12, col. 4 ad:

23 May 1949, Huntsville (AL) Times, pg. 5, col. 6 ad:
SLAW (Hot) DOG....10c
(Ritz Cafe.—ed.)

30 March 1950, Huntsville (AL) Times, pg. 11, col. 1 ad:
(Zesto Drive-In.—ed.)

20 September 1953, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, “Counter Syping in Local Stores and Shops” by Ann Griffith, pg. 30, col. 5: 
“Why-can’t-YOU-fix-hot-dogs-like-the-drive-in?” became usch a persistent lament at our house that we scoured the grocer’s shelves for a solution...and found it! The secret, we believe, is in the chili sauce, and Texas Pete Chili Sauce for Hot Dogs (27c for 10 1/2 oz. can at Kroger’s) is just about as close to the drive-in’s secret concoction as you’ll find on the market. It’s delightfully racy, meaty, and thick enough to stay put on a bun. Of course, good slaw on hot dogs makes a decided difference, too. This is no chore at all with Marzetti’s famous Slaw Dressing (Kroger’s, 37c a pint) which turns plain, shredded cabbage into remarkably good eating.

7 October 1954, Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, pg. P11:
You’ll score high with this combination: spicy baked beans, cole slaw and hot dogs.

18 March 1959, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 17, col. 7:
OVERHEARD (chubby little girl ordering hot dog in local restaurant): “Nothing on it but chili, onions, slaw and mustard...”

19 July 1959, Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail, “THE HOT DOG...All-American Dish,” pg. B1:
July is set aside as National Hot Dog Month, and as we celebrate we find almost as many varieties of this popular food as there are cooks, ranging all the way from a slice of bread wrapped around a cold wiener to the standard hot dog bun, stuffed with a sizzling wiener and piled high with cole slaw, chopped onions, chili, and any or all of several condiments, such as mustard, ketchup and relish.

15 September 1959, Charleston (WV) Gazette, “Brisk Weather Is Ideal For Back Yard Roasts,” pg. 9, col. 2:
If the occasion is a weiner roast, the menu can be rounded out by serving the hot dogs with onions and cole slaw.

25 April 1964, Monessen (PA) Valley Independent, pg. 9, col 7 ad:
Only at Stringhill’s (Pizzeria—ed.)

2 December 1964, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 13, col. 4:
Sandwiches, coffee, desserts and soft drinks will be served throughout the day, and hot dogs and cole slaw will be added to the refreshments menu from 5 to 8 p.m. 

22 December 1967, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, pg. 6, col. 7 ad:
HOT DOG with Chil and Slaw

Internet Movie Database
Plot summary for
Straw Dogs (1971)

Dustin Hoffman plays a regular American mathematician, who gets into some trouble with local bullies. He is made fun of and then his wife is raped. When they attack his home, he fights back. His outbreak of violence is extreme. Written by B.Pico

Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the locals hired to do construction. When David finally takes a stand it escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the locals assault his house. Written by Andrew Hyatt {dres@uiuc.edu}

20 March 1972, Charleston (WV) Gazette, “Our Hot Dog Is Best, But Just How Good Is That?” by Mary Walton, pg. 1B, col. 1:
The West Virginia hot dogs is the best in the country. Regardless of geographical origin, properly prepared—preferably with chili and slaw, soaking into soft buns—it can’t be equalled.

29 June 1974, Massillon (OH) Evening Independent, pg. 1, col. 8:
Try our delicious slaw dogs.
(Dairy Knoll—ed.)

4 August 1974, Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail, “Proponent of eateries” by L. T. Anderson, pg. 24m, col. 6:
In West Virginia, fortunately, all hot dogs come with chili, and it isn’t necessary to distinguish between hot dogs and “chili dogs”.

20 August 1976, Playground Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), pg. 10C ad:
Mustard, onions, slaw 50c

20 September 1976, Lincoln (NE) Star, pg. 2, col. 6 ad:
COLE SLAW DOG, mustard, onions & cole slaw...55c
(Wiener King—ed.)

14 September 1978, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 8A, col. 3 ad:
...Chili Dog, Cheese Dog, Kraut Dog, Slaw Dog,...
(Wiener King—ed.)

New York (NY) Times
HOT DIGGITY! DOG DIGGITY!—ON THE SIDE; Homers and Hot Dogs, Still Perfect Together
Published: May 24, 1998
Mr. O’Lone and Harry E. Smith, the Thunder’s food services manager, both shook their heads a bit while discussing New England hot dogs ("bland"), and Mr. Smith, a native Philadelphian, said with some wonder that at some Southern ball parks they pile coleslaw on hot dogs.

25 June 1998, Pinedale (WY) Roundup, pg. 11, col. 1:
The Green River bar in Daniel is home to the Slaw Dawg, the only place in Wyoming where they can be found, which under no circumstance is to be pronounced Slaw Dog.

West Virginia Hot Dog Blog
Monday, August 07, 2006
Old Daily Mail Article About Slaw
In July of 1992 the Charleston Daily Mail published this article by Becky Fleming. Hopefully they won’t mind me reprinting it here as a public service.

TRAVEL north through West Virginia, and you cross a line invisible to the eye but vital to the stomach. South of that line you can walk into any local grill and get a hot dog or barbecue nicely sweetened with a spoonful of cole slaw. North of that line—the Slaw Line, we’ll call it—they look at you in wonder when you place your order.

Cole slaw on a hot dog? That’s a definite food faux pas north of the Slaw Line.

“We put it on, but it’s usually for people from Charleston,’ said Pete Mamakos, manager of Louis’ Hot Dogs in downtown Wheeling. “Nobody up here likes it, maybe one in 1,000.
“Chili, onions and mustard—that’s “everything’ to us,’ he said.

But “everything” in Southern West Virginia almost always includes cole slaw. Hot dogs and barbecues have been topped that way for decades, slaw eaters say.
The Slaw Line may run as far south as North Carolina. But going north, it stops midway in West Virginia just north of Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, and Randolph counties. That’s not to say no one in Clarksburg can get cole slaw on a barbecue, but it’s not as easy as in Charleston. And the line may move north in time.

While Tucker County is officially north of the Slaw Line, cole slaw lovers can get it on their hot dogs at the Davis Inn. Ladd Jasper, owner of the Davis Inn, said he’s trying to convert his customers to cole-slaw-as-condiment eaters. Although most in Tucker County don’t like slaw on top of sandwiches yet, he serves them that way on request. He said most people like it once they try it.

“I’d say 60 percent of the people who try cole slaw on their hot dogs will come back and ask for another one with slaw,’ he said.

No one is quite sure when the tradition of using cole slaw as a topping started or why it never caught on up north. Some say it’s simply that residents of the northern counties are more like their neighbors in other states who don’t eat cole slaw on top of sandwiches.

John Sheets, vice president of Gunnoe Farms, which sells cole slaw throughout West Virginia, said the company’s biggest markets are Kanawha Valley, Princeton, Logan and Bluefield. He said southern West Virginia residents buy far more cole slaw than those in the north.

“Northern West Virginia people are considered northerners, and they just don’t eat cole slaw on their hot dogs,’ he said. “For as long as I can remember, it’s been like that.’

Andi Lester, director of food services and catering for University of Charleston, said she believes the tradition originated with coal mining families in Southern West Virginia. She said many women kept gardens to supplement the family’s diet. She said cabbage is easy to grow and inexpensive to prepare. Chopped cabbage can be mixed with several things, including mayonnaise, vinegar and apple cider.

“They had huge gardens, and what are they going to do with all that stuff?’ she said. “I would say that would be an educated guess.’

Joe Campbell, a chef at the Ramada Inn in Morgantown and president of the West Virginia chapter of the American Culinary Federation, said he has seen visitors to Morgantown eat their hot dogs topped with cole slaw. But Campbell said he has never pondered why the tradition is so popular in the southern part of the state while Monongalia residents normally shun it.

Word Mark SLAW DOG
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 73523660
Filing Date February 25, 1985
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Supplemental Register Date July 15, 1985
Registration Number 1365068
Registration Date October 8, 1985
Attorney of Record DONALD F. FREI
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date March 20, 1992

Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: sandwich comprised of a hot dog and accompanying condiments; namely, coleslaw, BBQ sauce and mustard. FIRST USE: 19910716. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19910716
Design Search Code 02.03.19 - Bathing suits (women wearing); Lingerie (women wearing); Nude women, women wearing underclothes, bathing suits or brief attire; Underclothes (women wearing); Underwear (women wearing)
02.03.26 - Grotesque women formed by letters, numbers, punctuation or geometric shapes
04.07.02 - Objects forming a person; Person formed by objects
08.05.02 - Frankfurter sandwiches; Hot dog sandwiches
24.09.01 - Flags, rectangular or square, excluding American flag or checkered flag
26.11.27 - Oblongs not used as carriers for words, letters or designs
Serial Number 74190617
Filing Date August 1, 1991
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 13, 1992
Registration Number 1744705
Registration Date January 5, 1993
Owner (REGISTRANT) World’s Best Hot Dog, Inc. CORPORATION VIRGINIA P.O. Box 954 Fredericksburg VIRGINIA 22404
Attorney of Record Lawrence E. Lindeman
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date July 12, 1999

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Tuesday, July 01, 2008 • Permalink