We hear a lot about restaurants taking their food out to the masses through roaming food trucks or by catering public events.
But what about a mobile food cart that sets up shop in a permanent home?
That’s the story behind Super Weenie, the former hot dog cart on the corner of Capitol and Lee streets that is now a more permanent fixture downtown. After building a loyal following on the street, owner Jason Myer recently opened his own storefront at 805 Quarrier St. around the corner from the Peanut Shoppe.
And a bricks-and-mortar location with set hours isn’t the only benefit customers will now enjoy. There’s also an expanded menu featuring more than 10 different dogs including WV-style, Chicago, NYC, Tex-Mess, Jalapeno Popper, Chili-Cheese-Bacon-Beast and Dumpster Fire — two open-faced dogs smothered in chili, red onion sauce, bacon, cheese, onion, hot peppers, ranch, crispy onions and pork rinds.
I can’t even.
Or you can build your own dog, choosing among three different mustards, five savory or creamy sauces, five relishes, five hot sauces, six spices and eight premium toppings that include the likes of nacho cheese, kimchi, Fritos and Cheez-Its.
There’s also a sausage of the day (meat and vegan varieties), a cheddar brat, nitrate-free beef hot dogs, soft pretzels with mustard or cheese, and assorted chips and drinks.
The shop is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
I’ve heard great things since Super Weenie opened its doors a few weeks ago, with lines out the door some days and nothing but five-star reviews on Facebook. Once the crowds die down, presuming they eventually do, I can’t wait to see how super this place is.
I’ll be critiquing Super Weenie soon, along with so many others on an ever-expanding restaurant list. Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews on:
n The new Noah’s Restaurant & Lounge (Charleston)
n Gonzoburger (Charleston)
n Axes & Ales (Charleston)
n Capital Grille Eathouse (Charleston)
n Chow Thai (Charleston)
n The Bucket (Dunbar)
n Mountain Pie on the River (St. Albans)
n The reopened Picanha American & Brazilian Steakhouse (Elkview)
n Whiskey Taco (Hurricane)
n Mountain ‘Cue (Hurricane)
n Bridge Café & Bistro (Hurricane)
n Navarino Bay Greek restaurant (Huntington)
And the list goes on!
Looks like I’ll need to ramp up the ol’ exercise routine.
As fellow food writer Judy Grigoraci mentioned in her column last week — and details again in this week’s leading food story, downtown Charleston’s Bar 101 is now open for lunch, offering a small but diverse menu of largely Asian-inspired specialties.You can now pop into the popular watering hole on the corner of Virginia and Capitol streets to enjoy dishes like calamari and peppers, spicy crab salad, nine-spice salmon salad, teriyaki nachos, a filet salad with cilantro-lime chimichurri and poke bowls featuring your choice of ahi-tuna or salmon with seaweed, avocado, house-pickled cucumber, carrot and edamame served over rice with mizo glaze or spicy ponzu sauce.
There are also a handful of more traditional sandwiches, soups and wraps.
Meanwhile, its sister restaurant next door also has introduced Pho Mondays, where you can enjoy chef extraordinaire Evan Wilson’s once-a-week take on this traditional Vietnamese soup usually consisting of broth, noodles, herbs and sometimes assorted meats and veggies.
I already love Ichiban’s hot pot and street noodle dishes, one of which boasts The Food Guy’s love for it printed right on the menu, so I’m especially excited to try these new Monday dinner options as well.
In other area restaurant news, the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant next to Charleston Town Center has closed, but it’s unclear for how long. A sign on the door says the closing is “temporary,” but a note below thanks patrons for so many years of support, which sure makes it sound more permanent.•••
Finally, the brewery lineup for this year’s Foam at the Dome was just announced (70 breweries, 200+ beers, new cider options) but that’s not the biggest news surrounding the third-annual beer fest.
That headline would be that this year’s event will actually be held AT the dome this year along Kanawha Boulevard, right in front of the West Virginia State Capitol and the Kanawha River. (Prior events were at Laidley Field.)
Limited tickets for the May 12 festival — which range from a $20 Designated Driver ticket with no beer to $35 General Admission to a $60 VIP pass with exclusive beers and early access — are on sale now at http://foamcwv.com.