We have a feeling that George Washington loved hot dogs. Why? Well, they probably would have been easy on his false teeth and because they are an all-American delight. Just like good ol’ George himself. And to celebrate the U.S. of A. on its birthday, we’re pretty sure you should grill up some franks this holiday weekend. But rather than sticking the classic ketchup and mustard route, we got some advice on how to spice up your dog from some of Charleston’s tubular meat experts.

Johnny Bamond of Johnny’s (853 Coleman Blvd.) knows that the chili slaw variety reigns supreme. “Lately, people have been asking for crumpled potato chips on their hot dogs,” he says.  

Mark Ryerson, self-proclaimed dog design specialist at hot dog cart Wild Wieners, let us know that some like it hot. His bestseller is a chili and coleslaw combination, but his coleslaw is jalapeño based.

Jack Hurley of Jack’s Cosmic Dogs ( 2805 N. Hwy. 17) suggests changing the way you cook your wiener. While most people use a grille, he uses a griddle.

Perfectly Frank’s (118 N. Main St.) likes to mix things up with their toppings. Try adding crispy fried onions, cheese sauce, maple peppered bacon, and blue cheese coleslaw to your wiener to emulate the Frank Cuda. Or if you want sweet and salty, top your dog with melted peanut butter bacon and honey grilled bananas to recreate the Elvis.

Blake Joyal of The Place Hotel (35 Hanover St.) hails from Chicago, which could be why he personally prefers the typical Chicago dog. But The Palace Hotel’s bestseller is the Get-Low Country Dog. “It’s topped with beef, chili, pimento cheese, and Worchestershire sauce. The Palace Hotel used to have an Asian-inspired dog called The Angry Tom Dog, which featured Char Siu Glaze, seasonal kimchi, Szechuan carrot, Thai curry mayo, and herbs plus sesame nori if you wanted to really add some new spices to your tube meat. Joyal uses all beef IGA hot dogs and cooks them “dirty dog” New York-style: boiled in hot water and then crisped in a plancha. He also thinks beer pairs well with spicy food, especially a Belgian Ale.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.