Friday, November 03, 2006

Charleston Area Hot Dog Joint - The Power Alley Grill

I got an email from a reader that said that the Power Alley Grill now has a hot dog on the menu. Good news since I always thought it very odd that a baseball themed restaurant wouldn't have hot dogs on their menu, but that's exactly what I found when I first visited the Power Alley Grill. I was glad to hear that they were making amends for that oversight.

The Power Alley Grill sits adjacent to Appalachian Power Park, the home of the West Virginia Power who play in the famed South Atlantic League. The ball park was built two years ago and the restaurant opened a year later. It is a typical sports themed restaurant with TVs hanging everywhere all tuned to ESPN all the time, sports memorabilia adorning the walls and a menu full of items with sporty names. The place was originally opened and run by Chef Robert Wong, this but recently changed and now the baseball club runs the show. The menu includes big hamburgers, assorted steaks, fish, ribs and now hot dogs.

Named "The Power Dog", the only hot dog offering on the menu comes with an equally powerful price: $7.95 including fries.
A Power Dog has a quarter pound Cavalier weenie on an oversize bun. The menu listed the standard dog toppings as Custard Stand Chili, cheese and onions with coleslaw on the side. I substituted onion rings for the fries. I wasn't happy about paying eight bucks for a hot dog, even a big one, but I didn't want to let you people down.

When I finally got my order (the service was terribly slow and inattentive) I was horrified to see that the coleslaw on the side was some gourmet-looking concoction with half-acre size pieces of cabbage with salad dressing on it. It tasted a little bit like coleslaw is supposed to taste, but the texture of it made it extremely difficult to add to the top of a hot dog. Not only that, but the dog itself looked like something from Chicago or Cincinnati: A big ol' bun, with a big ol' weenie covered by a big ol' helping of chili. Shredded cheddar cheese had been melted over the chili and huge pieces of onions topped it off. This definitely did not look like a West Virginia hot dog, nor did it taste like one.

Custard Stand Chili is OK if you're making a quick dog at home, but it is not the quality you would expect to find on a restaurant dog, especially an eight-dollar restaurant dog. It was served in far too abundant a helping for its own good. The Cavalier quarter-pound weenie was not particularly good either, tasting like it was well past its freshness expiration date. The addition of cheese and the deletion of mustard were the final two nails in the coffin of this poorly designed and executed tubular blunder.

I really wanted to like this hot dog, but it is just as lackluster as the ones served in the park on gameday at an even more ludicrous price point. The service was just about as bad as it could possibly be, unless the server had taken a gun out and shot me point blank in the face. Overall a pretty bad lunchtime dining experience. To be fair my dining companion said his burger was very good, once he finally got it, and it did indeed look and smell quite scrumptious. I might try one sometime. But I won't be back for another Power Dog.

1 comment:

wvapoker said...

The price has been reduced to 5.95 with fries, chips or rings. I like the homemade chips.

Service is still slow.