Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Off the Map: We'll Go Anywhere for a Hot Dog

Cosmic Dog -- Jack's Cosmic Dogs, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Jack's Cosmic Dogs

For the record, if one is ever attempting to get to Jack's Cosmic Dogs in Mt. Pleasant, SC, do NOT listen to Google OR Apple Maps.  They will both ask you to turn down a dirt road that is PAST the entrance of Jack's.
Thanks for the Help, Technology
Thankfully, Vodka is a big fan of Google Street View, so she had scoped out the area enough to know that Jack's driveway is NOT off of a dirt road, and she and Diet Coke reached the place without incident.
Well, If "Without Incident" Can Be Defined as "Cursing All Map Programs"
When inside, Diet Coke, still full from our jaunt to Orangeburg, is only in the mood for a chocolate milkshake, while Vodka orders Alton Brown's Best Thing I Ever Ate HOMETOWN FAVORITE choice of the cosmic dog.
So Many Hot Dogs, So Little Stomach Space
Now, Vodka is hesitant about this choice for a few reasons:

1. Alton, chocolate pudding aside, tends to have what one would call "weird" tastes.

2. The cosmic dog comes with "blue chz slaw" (note: who trusts restauranz that uze Z's in their dezcriptionz?) and sweet potato mustard (and sweet potatoes are just about the only food in the world that Vodka DESPISES).
And -- Sidenote -- Who's in Charge of the Decor Around Here?!
Nevertheless, Best Thing I Ever Ate rules always apply, and she forfeits the more logical menu choice of "hot dog on a bun" in favor of Alton's pick.
Such a Martyr
We sit at a high top table and await our order, which takes all of 60 seconds to produce (and costs about $5 -- that's a pricing plan we can live with).  Diet Coke is claiming a certain "allergy" to the nitrates found in hot dogs (ironically, she has no such reaction to the same nitrates found in red wine), and she sips contentedly on her milkshake (which tastes like it was made with actual milk and ice cream instead of chemicals -- good job, Jack).
A Step Above McDonald's, But Just a Step
(We Mean That As a Compliment - McDonald's Milkshakes Are Godly Creatures)
Vodka, meanwhile, contemplates how to consume this dog, as it is almost as unwieldy in size as the caramel apple.
Does This Thing Come with Instructions?
The roll, which is soft and nimble, is about three times the size of the hot dog, and the whole thing is smothered in a gargantuan portion of the blue "chz" slaw.  Diving in, Vodka is shocked for a few reasons:

1. She doesn't hate it.
2. The sweet potato mustard is actually tasty.
3. She has yet to come across the actual hot dog.
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Moving further into the creation, she finds herself unexpectedly enjoying it.  The hot dog itself is juicy (if impossible to see), the blue cheese (we've had enough of the Z business) is crunchy and flavorful, with healthy dollops of blue cheese throughout, and the roll and mustard pull the whole thing together.
Jack's Side of Pickles, Though, Could Stand for Some Improvement
Overall, this cosmic dog is ten times better than such an odd combination of ingredients has any right to be, with one small caveat:

The hot dog itself is virtually non-existent.
Holy Lot Of Bread, Batman
Indeed, similar to our complaints about Weiner's Circle hot dogs in Chicago, the meat itself at Jack's Cosmic Dogs is almost beside the point.  In this case, unlike in Chicago, it's kind of okay, because the concoction is still delicious, but still -- would it kill them to beef up the dogs a little?
One Last Question -- Does Oscar the Grouch Live in Their Trash Cans?
With this 4 star conclusion, we climb into our rental car and head back to the city for our final night in Charleston.  And we pray that we do not end up on any dirt roads along the way.
Country Roads, Take Us Home
Jack's Cosmic Dogs's Cosmic Dog: 4 stars

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