Susan Stuck Mar 30, 2011 Real Food 0 comments
Charleston, South Carolina is in full bloom in March. But it's not just the scent of jasmine and wisteria that's in the air. There's the aroma of creole gumbo and sassafras-glazed pork too, wafting out the doors of Husk, the new, hip, cook-it-local, keep-it-Southern restaurant. But that's not why I'm here. For a long time, it's been my dream to go to Charleston—Mount Pleasant actually—and have a hot dog with blue cheese slaw at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs.
Jack is Jack Hurley, a one-time Vermonter who, with his partners, opened The Daily Planet in 1980, which quickly became Burlington’s hipster foodie haven. “I’ve been on the food train a long time,” says Hurley. He and his family eventually went south to Charleston for some sunshine. Late in 1999 Hurley was driving by a nondescript cinderblock building off Route 17 when he had a cosmic awakening of sorts. Six weeks later, Jack’s Cosmic Dogs welcomed its first customers.
Cosmic Jack’s formula is simple: the best hot dogs, Jack’s special sweet potato mustard, killer house-made blue cheese slaw, to-die-for fresh-cut fries, draft root beer in mugs and real chocolate shakes all served at a family-friendly retro-futuristic diner. I walked into Jack’s two weeks ago and ordered a Galactic Dog (slathered with spicy mustard, showered with slaw and seasoned with chile and cheese). It was, quite simply, a dream come true.
Jack’s Sweet Potato Mustard is available in 9.5-ounce jars and can be purchased at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs, 2005 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, or online.
BLUE CHEESE SLAW
from the FarmPlate Kitchen
Vermonters dreaming of a cosmic dog can start by making their own blue cheese slaw with this simple recipe. Pick up some “localdogs” from Vermont Smoke and Cure and slather on the slaw.
1 cup blue cheese crumbles (divided), such as Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue or Blythedale Farm Jersey Blue
½ cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head green cabbage, shredded (about 10 cups)
2 to 3 carrots, shredded
In a blender or food processor, blend ½ cup of the blue cheese, the buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour into a large bowl, add cabbage and carrots and toss well. Add the remaining ½ cup blue cheese crumbles and toss once again. Chill well before serving.
Makes enough slaw to garnish a dozen or more hot dogs.