what: Camille Keaton beef hot dog
cost: $3.95 (for the beef dog) and $1.50 (for the topping combo)
where: Evil Weiner, inside Scoopy Doo, 725 Saluda Ave., 803-765-6999
Not since Sandy’s has Columbia had a spot specializing in hot dogs and ice cream. We still don’t. We have something way better. Evil Weiner offers four dogs — beef, veggie, chicken chipotle, and Italian sausage — and a spectacular list of topping combos, all named after women in horror films. The pop-up shop we desperately hope will stick is located inside Scoopy Doo, home to the best gelato in town. You may think you don’t want a cold treat in the winter, but a scoop of hazelnut hits the spot after a spicy dog like the Camille Keaton.
Keaton, who starred in I Spit on Your Grave, a controversial rape and revenge movie I have not seen and do not plan to see, inspired what turned out to be my favorite. My beef dog was topped with julienned cucumber and carrots, pickled jalapeños, and ancho mayo. Like the ingredients in a good banh mi, the crisp, fresh vegetables are a delightful contrast to the spiciness of the peppers and mayo and the beef dog’s umami. The brioche bun is fresh, soft, and substantial enough to hang on to any condiments you add without falling apart. And there are condiments aplenty, including several kinds of ketchup and mustard as well as aioli, Jamaican relish, and hot pepper relish. (I went ahead and added the hot pepper relish to my already spicy choice because I love more heat.)
My partners, a couple of hip 12-year-olds, had Italian sausage à la Jamie Lee Curtis (pickled veggies and yellow sriracha sauce) and a beef dog inspired by Linda Blair (Jack Daniels house-made chipotle barbecue sauce with pulled pork and a drizzle of wild flower honey). I demanded bites as a professional courtesy and they were tasty (but I still preferred my own). Can’t decide? Try the Director’s Cut, four dogs with toppings chosen for you for $25.
Hot dogs are available Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.