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The Food Guy: A Philly frenzy, more hot dogs and a new product from J.Q.

Call it the power of the press. Or the powerful pangs of hunger.

Either way, after I praised Hot Diggity Dogs’ phenomenal Philly cheesesteak sandwich in last Wednesday’s column, owner Terry Godbey reported that his North Charleston restaurant had quite a run on that item.

“We’ve sold 125 Philly sandwiches so far today and still counting,” he told me on the same day the article ran. “You should’ve warned me!”

I told him I was “sorry, not sorry” because it would be a shame for others to miss out on such deliciousness, but he laughed and encouraged me to bring it on.

“Oh no, don’t be sorry,” he added. “I’ve met so many great new customers today thanks to you.”

Likewise, a reader who is friends with the owners of The Bucket told me the bar and grill in Dunbar was so slammed the day my review ran a few weeks ago that they had to go out and buy a larger grill the next day.

“It’s been crazy, but they’re loving all this extra attention,” she told me.

Alrighty then, you’re welcome!


Speaking of hot dogs, reader Ted Warden has invited me down to Delbarton in Mingo County to try “West Virginia’s best” at Maria’s Drive-In. He actually gave me a heads-up about this place a few months ago, but says the offerings are even better now.

“The regular hot dog, the smokin’ hot hot dog and the flaming hot jalapeño hot dog are all three the very best,” he said. “The grilled cheese cheeseburger has also received rave reviews from people from several states. Come on down to enjoy the beautiful scenery and you’ll find West Virginia’s best-kept secret.”

I don’t make it down Delbarton way very often, but has anyone else tried the dogs at Maria’s?


In more wiener news, here’s a doggone impressive (or frightening) stat, depending on your point of view.

Now that baseball season is officially underway nationwide, fans will enjoy some 18.3 million hot dogs and nearly 4 million sausages at major league ballparks across the country this year.

That’s according to new research from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, a group that obviously cares about — and measures — such things.

“It’s easy to see why hot dogs and sausages have been stadium staples since the very beginnings of Major League Baseball itself,” said council president Eric Mittenthal. “They are delicious, convenient and nostalgic. What would America’s pastime be without these most American of foods?”

Among new creations being served at ballparks this year:

The Arizona Diamondbacks will offer the “SI Cover Dog” — an 18-inch brat with jalapeño-apple coleslaw, fried mac and cheese, barbecue aioli, house-cured beer pickles and green onion — and the “All Day Breakfast Dog,” which heaps hash browns, country gravy, cheddar cheese, bacon, fried eggs, hot sauce and green onion onto an 18-inch frank.

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ new “Going Yard” is a 16.5-inch jalapeño cheddar sausage topped with grilled onions, roasted corn, avocado relish and sour cream.

The inspiration for the Detroit Tigers’ latest entry comes from the East. The “Coney Dog Egg Roll” is a new spin on an egg roll stuffed with cut-up hot dogs and chili, then drizzled in mustard and sprinkled with chopped onions.

San Francisco Giants fans can pick up the “Pineapple Polish Sausage,” a sweet and savory mix of pork and pineapple chunks.

For more on hot dog and sausage consumption, facts and culture, visit


J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works in Malden is hosting a party tomorrow evening to celebrate the launch of a new product: Dr. Dickinson’s All Natural Nigari.

Nigari is the mineral-rich liquid that remains after salt is extracted from seawater. Consisting of sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride and magnesium bromide, it’s often used to coagulate soy proteins to make tofu.

The J.Q. product, however, is touted as “A Fine Hangover Helper,” so I can’t wait to check it out. For a friend, of course.

The launch party will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the facility at 4797 Midland Dr. in Malden, with food by Chef Paul Smith and a cash bar offering craft cocktails, local beer, cider, wine and spirits. Live music will be provided by singer-songwriters Jon Bassin and Tony Harrah.


Finally, you know those rumors I mentioned last week about a possible new restaurant taking over the old Blossom Deli space? They’re not rumors after all, but there’s more to the story than just bagels alone.

Stay tuned to The Food Guy for more details as they develop!

Steven Keith writes a weekly food column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or by e-mail at You can also follow him on Facebook as “WV Food Guy” and on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as “WVFoodGuy”.

Funerals Today, Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Armstead, David - Noon, Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.

Crawford, Charles - 7:30 p.m., Andrews' residence, Belleaire at Devonshire, Scott Depot.

Duff, Catherine Ann - 11 a.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Jarrett, Shirley - 1 p.m., Mt. Juliet United Methodist Church, Belle.

Lawrentz, Deo Mansfried - 11 a.m., Koontz Cemetery, Clendenin.

McGraw, Judy Fay - 2 p.m., Jodie Missionary Baptist Church, Jodie.

Mullins, Alice Ellen (Blessing) - Noon, Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Staats, Anthony Vernon “Tony” - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.