Friday, December 12, 2008

Charleston HDJ Review - Sub Shop

I like to think I make a difference in the world. Call it vanity, but sometimes I think I do.

The Sub Shop on Quarrier Street didn't used to sell hot dogs; now they do. I think that after they were reviewed by another local food blog, they wanted to be reviewed by this blog. That is why I believe they started putting up a sandwich sign on the sidewalk advertising hot dogs. It was like they were saying, "Please Stanton, don't pass us by!". Again, call it vanity but I think that's exactly what happened.

And so I heeded their call and tried their new hot dogs.

This little place looks has always looked like it ought to sell hot dogs; cozy and bright with a few inside seats and a bustling carry out business. I'll leave it the other blog to fill you in on the menu, and I'll just tell you that an "everything" dog has mustard, KETCHUP, onions, chili and slaw. Obviously a bad start, but I figured they are new to the hot dog biz; they'll learn. I ordered two without red stuff and waited. And waited. And waited. I was one of two customers and it was after the lunch rush. I waited some more.

While I waited I got to see how they go about preparing hot dogs. They nuke the buns; this is a huge no-no; sure it makes them soft and hot, but when they start cooling off they get tough and chewy. I also noticed that the slaw was being dished out of a regular bowl, not some food service package; that was a good sign.
When I got my hot dogs I noticed immediately the small caliber weenies. I had seen a "Boar's Head" sign in the window and I figured they might have used the premium weenies that "Boar's Head" offers, but these were not those. This weenie was small and tough. Actually, there is a possibility that it was a premium weenie before the life had been cooked out of it and it shrank to the diameter of a large pencil. When I bit it it was nearly as hard to chew as said pencil.

I must say, though, that in spite of the bun and weenie, the toppings were pretty good. The slaw, although served sparingly, was tasty and the chili was dark, meaty and had a nice little spiciness to it. The onions were sweet and mild. If these toppings had been placed on a better weenie and in a bun that hadn't been blasted into submission by microwaves, it would have been pretty good. As it is, though, it only ranks 2.5 Weenies.

My advice, if you are listening Sub Shop owners, is to get a bun steamer and some better weenies; do that and you will be able to compete with the big dogs downtown.

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