Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Charleston Area Hot Dog Joints - Towne & Country Lanes, Nitro

The next chapter in the Great Bowling Alley WVHD Search took me to Nitro to check on the dogs at Towne & Country Lanes. Would my hot dog hopes be dashed? Or would I find a glimmer of promise embedded there between the chili and the slaw?

First, a little historical perspective: Towne & Country Lanes was the first bowling alley in the area to have electronic scoring. Except for an occassional tournament my mother never bowled there so my exposure to this particular establishment came only after I had reached my 18th birthday and was somewhat independantly mobile. Many of my high school friends liked to bowl there simply because they didn't know how to keep score otherwise. Having nearly been born in a bowling alley, I literally knew how to keep score before I could multiply or divide so I found it quaint that my friends were so challenged.

But I digress: The first thing I remember about Towne & Country's hot dogs is that they were four for a dollar. Quite a bargain, and teenage boys usually are much less concerned with quality than the volume/cost ratio, so I thought they were great. Forty-something boys, however, are a little more picky about taste and much more interested in the flavor/calorie ratio.

Well, first off let me report that the dogs are no longer four for a buck. Secondly, I will say that I can't use these hot dogs as proof-positive that all bowling alley dogs are bad. They are okay. Not great - on par with those at Dunbar Bowling Center, but much better than Galaxy Lanes.

The slaw is actually pretty good. Seems to to be home made - or at least bowling alley made. The chili was mediocre. Everything included chili, slaw, mustard and onions. My "to go" dog was packaged in a wax paper sleeve instead of a hot dog coffin (props to Jackie Lantern for the term).

Only one more bowling alley to go. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

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