This past Friday night I was honored to stop by North Charleston’s Hot Diggity Dogs, which celebrated its one year anniversary in business with a special cruise-in and live music on the deck.
Owner Terry Godbey swears it was my glowing review that put his place on the map soon after it opened, but it’s him and his crew who welcome guests with a smile and serve up delicious dogs, sandwiches and more in a cheerful environment.
I just helped spread the word.
During Friday festivities, Terry told me it’s been a whirlwind year — from seeing customers lined out the door the day the review ran, to building the new attached deck, to seeing his business blossom into what it has become today. Through it all, he says he’s remained committed to three things: great food, excellent customer service and a super-clean restaurant.
“I just love to take good care of people,” he told me. And it shows.
While listening to local duo LoJam throw it down, I enjoyed a messy Iggy Dog (ketchup, mustard, chili, slaw and onions) with a basket of some of the area’s best shoestring fries for old time’s sake.
But it was another menu item that blew me away this time. The highly recommended Rallow Philly’s combination of onions, peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and mayo with white American cheese melted throughout was one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in ages.
You can get it on a soft hoagie bun or as a wrap (go hoagie) and the tender, flavorful beef — every thin slice glistening with a thinner coat of melty cheese — is truly sublime.
Congrats on a stellar year, Hot Diggity, and I’ll see you again soon. I won’t be able to go very long without that Philly in my life.
IF YOU GO: Hot Diggity Dogs at 2313 Seventh Ave. in Charleston is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 304-346-3647 or visit www.hotdigg itydogswv.com.
Speaking of sandwiches, the new Jersey Mike’s sub shop is now open at Dudley Farms near Books-A-Million.I’ve actually never eaten at a Jersey Mike’s, but am glad to have them in town based on the national chain’s philanthropic commitment. Nationwide, franchise locations recently raised $7.3 million for local charities and community groups during the company’s ninth annual “Month of Giving” campaign, culminating on March 27’s “Day of Giving” during which 100 percent of sales (not just profits) were donated.
Locally, the Jersey Mike’s in Hurricane routinely hosts fund-raisers for local groups, most recently donating $7,113 to the Tri-County YMCA.
I’ll definitely be stopping by the new Southridge location to help support a restaurant dedicated to supporting its community.
In other restaurant news, rumors are swirling that a new bagel shop will soon open in the old Blossom Deli location on Quarrier Street in downtown Charleston. Although I haven’t been able to confirm the news, I sure hope it’s true. Whether it be bagels or some other offering, it would be nice to see something go in this historic spot.I did a walk-by last week and didn’t see any activity inside, per se, but there were signs of … something.
Boxes and pallets are stacked inside, plus there’s some different, colorful furniture near the front door and samples of new tile sitting on the front counter.
Could there be a new restaurant in the works?
Finally, I have another recipe request from a reader hoping to track down a beloved taste of his past.“Mr. Keith, my name is Mike Dillion and I’m one of those folks searching for a (likely) impossible-to-find restaurant recipe from my childhood years of the late 1950s and early 1960s. There was a little rib joint called, I think, Whitlock’s BBQ on Seventh Avenue, just a door or two up from Patrick Street.”
He went on to explain that his dad sold meat for Armour & Co. and Mr. Whitlock was one of his customers.
“Dad would get take-out ribs, chicken and bologna from there occasionally, but if I went with him, he always took me in the back door and into the kitchen, because it was supposedly a bootleg joint, as well. I remember the sauce being very dark and very hot; keep in mind that I was only about six years old, but it was hot. I remember, too, that Dad always had them dip whatever he was getting into the sauce before wrapping it up to go.”
Mike said he’s tried to replicate the sauce through the years — and has come reasonably close — but would still love to taste the real deal again.
“Could you possibly put out feelers to your readers to see if anything comes to light? I realize this is going way back, but you just never know.”
You never know, I assured Mike, and these requests do often strike gold.
C’mon Food Guy warriors, any insight into the old Whitlock’s BBQ in Charleston?