“Try to serve quality food at a fair price.” That’s a belief of Carl David Weaver, Grandson of Carl Weaver the founder of Weavers Hotdogs. That philosophy has kept Weaver’s in business in the heart of London, Kentucky for almost 70 years. It makes good sense obviously as does another of his business tenets. “Find what you’re good at and stick to it.” Carl is the third generation to now run Weaver’s and you can bet he’ll one day pass the keys to a fourth generation.
The now legendary hotdog stand (restaurant) Weaver’s began it’s life in 1940 as a pool hall. Calvary man Carl Weaver had returned home from the Army and opened up shop on the main street in London. Armed with a $25 chili recipe he purchased from a man headed for Mexico, Carl’s food was as big a hit as were his pool tables. Slowly but surely tables were removed and by the 70’s eliminated all together. A renovation to go full restaurant occurred and Weaver’s hasn’t changed since. Perhaps the greatest compliment a restaurant of this type can receive is when a person tells the proprietor that the food is everything it was when they were a kid. Of course, this usually happens while they’re introducing their child or even grandchild.
The menu is pretty simple and more or less unwavering. Chili dogs, chili buns (a local specialty), burgers, soup and a few other items. One thing they’re adamant about though, NO FRENCH FRIES.
Of course, as is the norm for an establishment like this a virtual hall of fame covers the walls. Along with the celebrity faces and local sports memorabilia one neat anomaly is the various political posters. Nothing recent either. The faces of local politicians dating back decades are forever enshrined. The small town is both the county seat and is also home to a federal court. You can’t launch a chili bun without hitting a lawyer or politician ‘round these parts.
The chili recipe is a closely guarded family secret. I couldn’t honestly tell you what was in it. The tight chili has such a nice blend of spices they all seem to come together to create one unique flavour.
Most things are made in the small kitchen and are fantastic. Two of my little beliefs are proved correct here too. First of all, if you see a flat top, you’re in business. Secondly, if said flat top (or any cooking station) is in the front window, it’s a lock. You’re in for some great eats.
So let’s have a look at the goodies.
We both had pimento cheese sandwiches. I think I’d have preferred mine toasted but I was given explicit instructions (by you know who) that simply on white bread, untoasted was the southern way. They don’t make this southern medley of mayonnaise, pimento and cheddar in house but that didn’t stop it from being a darn tasty sandwich.
The bacon, cheese burger was of the classic American style. You know the kind I love and this is no exception. Perfectly executed it’s a work of art.
There really is something magical about these S/E hot dog stands. Simple (or even not very good ingredients) cobbled together to produce something very special. This is right there with it. The bun, plain, the dog, nothing special, onions and the secret chili. It’s the chili that makes it work. It just pulls the whole thing together.
When in Rome right?? So when in S/E Kentucky you eat a chili bun. Exactly the same as the chili dog but sans wiener. Sort of like a linear sloppy joe it’s very tasty.
I should add that Mrs. Sippi touted the tea as some of the best she’s ever had.
You can find Weaver’s at 131 N. Main St, London, Ky.
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I had reported that this establishment had closed it's doors. I can happily report that Carl David's nephew Judd has bought, "Spruced up" and reopened it.
Well that’s all for this time. Hope you can join me for some more great food stories in the foodcourt.