Quiz: Where in Charleston can you get a hot dog and a root beer float, while waiting for a prescription to be filled AND see paisley print deer in the parking lot?
Answer: Triviliian's Pharmacy in Kanawha City.
Many Charlestonians hurriedly pass by Trivillians every day as they speed off the southern ramp of the 35th Street bridge and never get to know this little treasure of a place. That is a shame because this is one of the last remaining places in Charleston where you can get a real glimpse and taste of true Americana. The look inside the store is ike an evolved version of that old classic 1940's drug store soda fountain (in fact the Saturday I was there, they even had a soda jerk complete with red hair and freckles). Still present are the red naugahide cushions on the bar stools and a good bit of chrome and stainless steel provides a visual connection to the past. Shakes, floats and sundaes are served in retro-looking glasses and dishes. The soda fountain and lunch counter dominates the space but the pharmacist is busy at work just steps away.
The hot dogs are pricey at a buck-fifty each and worth every penny. Trivillians makes their own chili and slaw, both of which are very good. I think this chili might be the perfect WVHD chili. It is not very spicy, has finely ground meat and an abundance of that wonderful chili flavor. They give you a hefty helping too. Slaw is very good: Creamy, sweet and piled high. Buns and weenies are both better than average. Onions and yellow mustard rounds out an "everything" dog that is very satisfying. I am thinking about having all of my prescriptions called into Trivillians to give me an excuse to stop in more often.
I would encourage everyone to patronize this unique little treasure of a drugstore so we can keep it around for a long time. The menu is quite varied with vegetarian offerings as well as a full breakfast. Prices, except for the hot dogs, are very reasonable. If nothing else, take your kids for ice cream. It's not 31 Flavors (in fact they have only vanilla) but hopefully the atmosphere will make them forget all about Cookie-dough or Rocky Road.