On my first day of classes at Emory & Henry College, Professor of Religion Dr. Kellogg, told my Old Testament Survey class that if we did anything else besides study, we should go to the Dip Dog Stand. I’m not sure how this class on the Old Testament turned into a lesson on Dip Dogs, but I can tell you that he talked about these double fried, red hot dogs on a stick as if they were manna from heaven.
Well a few weeks later, I had my first Dip Dog. And let me tell you Dr. Kellogg was right. These things are amazing! Before I go on, I will say that there is no way these things are healthy for you, but they are totally worth cheating on your diet.
The Dip Dog starts off as a plain old Valley Dale Hot Dog put on a stick. Then they are dipped and fried in something that is almost like onion ring batter. And before they are smeared with mustard (don’t even think about asking for ketchup on it), I am told that they are fried one more time. Then, these little pieces of heaven are put into their signature brown bag, and by the time it’s in your hands, there are already little spots of grease on the bottom.
Going to the Dip Dog Stand (formally known as the Highway Drive-In) is an experience. There is only outdoor seating, and for those cold nights you just sit in your car with the heat on. You only get Dip Dogs with mustard or without – ketchup packets are available upon request. You can get a milk shake in just about any flavor imaginable. And it is always shocking to think that there are several other items on the menu besides Dip Dogs.
As you can imagine, the Dip Dog has a cult-like following. As soon as the weather warms, you would be hard pressed to find a night that the parking lot isn’t full. People buy a “Got Dip Dog?” bumper sticker, not for their cars, but to take on trips with them. Next time you go to the Highway Drive-In check out their photo collage. Dip Dogs have been all over the world – the Great Wall of China and tropical vacations – they have even done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I guess I have to admit that I am part of the Dip Dog cult. I love them. I find myself appalled when I find an E&H student who hasn’t been to the Dip Dog, and without wasting a second I set up a Dip Dog date. When my parents asked my where I wanted to eat to celebrate graduation, I said let’s go to the Dip Dog! And every now and then I get a craving that can only be satisfied by the greasy brown bag.
Check out the Dip Dog for yourself!
Dip Dog Stand 2035 Lee Highway Marion, VA 24354 (276) 783-2698 http://www.dipdogs.net
Alexandra Veatch is an Admissions Counselor at Emory & Henry College in Emory, VA. She is a native of Central Illinois, who found Roanoke, Virginia to be her gateway to life in SWVA. Alex is slowly finding out that deep down she is a Southwest Virginian through her volunteer work with the SWVA Cultural Heritage Foundation.