Monday, January 16, 2006

Charleston Hot Dog Joints - Swiftwater Cafe

Swiftwater is located on the Washington Street side of the 405 Capitol Street building. As you might guess from the name the motif is whitewater rafting and kayaking and it seats maybe 20 people but most of its business seems to be take out anyway (or maybe consequently). The walls are adorned with beautiful Ron Snow photographs and two TV's - one tuned to CNN and the other with whitewater videos always playing. The service is as friendly as it gets and I've never had to wait long on my food, even when they are very busy (which is about every day at lunch time).

The hot dogs are pretty ordinary except that they use exclusively Boar's Head brand franks. This takes the quality level up a notch over virtually every other hot dog joint in town. For those uninitiated, Boar's Head makes a really good weenie (along with about everything else they make) that is a bit larger and very tasty. I don't know of any other place in town that serves Boar's Head franks, although there are at least two places where you can get their cold cuts on a sandwich - Johnnie's Meats at Capitol Market and M&M Deli in Kanawha City.

As for Swiftwater dogs, the bun is basic, the chili is tame and the slaw is good but lightly applied. Next time I am going to ask for extra slaw.

Swiftwater is also a good place to go for hot bologna and they have one of the best barbecue sandwiches downtown.

Update: Photo courtesy of Rick Lee


oncee said...

I used to work very close to there, but have never eaten there. I'll have to try it.

Rick Lee said...

Stanton is right about those Boars Head weenies. That's one good dog.