What's good here: 'Best hot dogs in the world'

August 26, 2009 

WHAT’S GOOD HERE: Get to know the people behind local restaurants.

Will Tevepaugh, 28, is the manager of Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs on Main Street.

What’s good here?

“We have the best hot dogs in the world much less Columbia. We have gourmet ice cream. We have some sandwiches if you want to eat at Sandy’s but don’t feel like a hot dog.”

What’s so good about it?

“Our food is top end stuff. Everything is the freshest we can find to make sure our food is the perfect thing for our customers. And we concentrate on service. We want to serve you promptly, with a smile and make you feel like you belong here.”

How long have you worked at Sandy’s?

“I’ve been with the company 10 years. I started as a part-time night worker in high school. I worked my way through high school and college at Newberry... . Three years ago I went into management. I’ve been here ever since.”

What makes the hot dogs special?

“Our hot dogs are gourmet hot dogs, specially made for us and only us, with a secret blend of spices. We use only the best parts of beef, no fillers, just real 100 percent beef. They’re nothing like store-bought wieners or franks... . It’s all top-quality, grade A meat.”

How do you cook them?

“We grill our hot dogs until they have an internal temperature of at least 170 degrees. We serve them on a warm, steamed bun with mustard, chili and onions.”

What’s the favorite order?

“Our super slaw dog. That’s a quarter pound hot dog with mustard, chili, coleslaw and onions. That’s our pride and joy.”

Who eats here?

“We serve everyone from freshmen at Carolina to senators to lawyers to governors to presidents. We even had hot dogs sent to the White House when Reagan was president. We’ll serve anybody and everybody, just come on in.”

Is it busy now with USC students back on campus?

“We’ve seen an increase with the students. They’re the icing to my cake. State employees do a wonderful job of keeping me in business. But with the university in and football season starting — that’s a fun time of year down here.”

Prices?

“A regular chili dog, a 21-ounce Coke and a bag of Lays chips is $5.11 after tax. We’re a five-dollar lunch for most people. And if you have a coupon it’s even less.”

How long has Sandy’s been around?

“We’ve been part of the landscape for 31, almost 32 years. We started with a little store in Lexington. Then we had a building across from the (USC) Horseshoe. We’ve been in this building on Main since ’91.”

Tell me about the ice cream.

“It’s a custom brand made for us... . We have all the basic flavors and some things you might not expect. We have blueberry cheesecake, French silk pie, which is a chocolate lover’s dream, we have key lime pie. There’s a new one — caramel macchiato. It’s like a coffee drink in ice cream form. It’s kick-started a couple of my mornings.”

ABOUT SANDY’S FAMOUS HOT DOGS

Where: 825 Main St., on the USC campus and close to the State House.

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday noon-9 p.m

Other locations: There are five locations of Sandy’s. The others are at 1344 Knox Abbot Drive in Cayce; 5175 Sunset Blvd. in Lexington; 1935 Broad River Road; and 612 St. Andrews Road. All serve the same menu.

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