Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And the Lady Will Have...a Hot Dog?

Hot dogs are making a comeback in a big way. I can't help but notice it! I mean, the banal hot dogs of our childhood, doused in catsup and eaten on a doughy bun (or maybe just with hands or a fork) are NOT what I am talking about. Nope, these new dogs on the block are happening. They have festive, gourmet toppings and they are not meant to be eaten by four-year-olds.

I guess it all started a few years ago when I wrote my article for the opening of a new, at the time, bar in West Ashley called the Tin Roof. When I saw the menu of "gourmet hot dogs" I admit I was skeptical. Honestly, ingredients like homemade pimento cheese and mango on hot dogs? Really? Then I tried them and I was in looove.

Last night, I had another experience with hot dogs at the newly revamped Village Tavern in Mount Pleasant. Stefan and I went there for dinner and "rock and roll trivia." I had just come from a Board meeting for the Poetry Society of South Carolina, and I was craving something unhealthy after my snack of ice water and trail mix. (Our president is vegan.)

So I ordered a hot dog. The menu of the VT features lots of different, fancy hot dogs. I ordered the "Chicago Dog," which boasted toppings like onion salt, relish, pickles, and spicy mustard. The menu said the dogs were all "100% beef, seared in butter and then oven roasted." It was delicious, I have to say. I ate everything on my plate--even the french fries, which also tasted great.

Stefan and I ended up winning rock trivia, so I might order another dog when we go back to spend our gift certificate!

Either way, I feel like hot dogs in the Lowcountry have graduated from "summertime grill only" or "under age 7 only" categories. Nowadays, hot dogs are prominently displayed on the menus in Charleston, and people are ordering them and loving them!

What's your dream dog topping, readers?

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