Q: My husband is a fan of the hot dog and brats. I thought it would be fun to take him hot dogging around town. Do you have favorite a favorite hot dog joint? I also wanted to take him to the classic hot dog cart.
A: Charleston doesn’t have a dirty water dog tradition beyond a vendor or two who sell to the college kids after the bars let out (the most famous of whom, Gary Alameda, passed away late last year), but you have three excellent choices for a sit-down hot dog tour: Jack’s Cosmic Dogs, which serves chili dogs and a mean blue-cheese slaw; Skoogie’s, which specializes in Chicago dogs; and Parlor Deluxe, which offers a cheffy take on the genre.
There’s also an upscale hot dog on the menu at Artisan Meat Share, a restaurant whose seriousness about tube meat is rivaled only by The Park Cafe, where the dog is typically decorated with seasonal vegetables. On the other end of the sophistication spectrum, there’s always The Joe, where the Riverdogs play: Its half-pound “Homewrecker” topped with pimento cheese and okra is legendary, but pre-season excitement centered on a hinted-at hot dog served on a biscuit and sauced with gravy.
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