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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

The Beanie Weenie food truck blends coffee and … hot dogs?

My kids have absolutely NO idea what I’m talking about, but do you remember that old TV commercial from decades ago where a pretty young thing carrying peanut butter and a pretty young thing carrying chocolate “bump” into each other while walking down the street, smooshing the two treats together?

Lots-a-Tots from The Beanie Weenie food truck
Lots-a-Tots from The Beanie Weenie food truck

“You put peanut butter in my chocolate,” one shouts! “No, you got chocolate in my peanut butter,” says the other, equally incredulous.

An ad for Resee Cups, its point was these were “two great tastes that taste great together.” Well, of course they do.

But there are other flavor combinations that sometimes throw me for a loop. Enter The Beanie Weenie, a new food truck serving up – I kid you not – coffee and hot dogs.

The Beanie Weenie food truck
The Beanie Weenie food truck

All in one place you’ll find a selection of “The Beanies” (hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks) and “The Weenies” (hot dogs ranging from plain, chili and deep-fried to The Dumpster Fire and The Artery Clog) and “The Sidekicks” (traditional apps and sides like cheese sticks, fried pickles, nachos and fries, either plain or smothered in all the things).

The truck is currently set up from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. several days a week at Serendipity Salon & Spa at 5411 MacCorkle Ave. E. in Kanawha City. To find out when and where it will be next, check out or visit The Beanie Weenie Facebook page.

Mac & Cheese Cookoff back at Capitol Market

What’s better than a bite of melty mac ‘n’ cheese? Getting to taste nearly 30 different kinds of this glorious culinary goo while enjoying live music from Hot Jazz of Charleston, craft beer, kids activities and more at the Mac & Cheese Cook-Off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Charleston’s Capitol Market.

This year’s lineup is impressive – and huge!

Mac 'n' Cheese Cook-off
Mac 'n' Cheese Cook-off

Among the 30 or so contestants vying for top honors are Breathe Wine & Culture Co., Bricks & Barrels, Bridge Road Bistro, Cam Vance State Farm, Capital Insurance, Charleston Sternwheel Regatta, Chick fil-A Town Center, Children’s Home Society, Dutch Miller Subaru, Embassy Suites, Fife Street Brewing, Hope for All, Jillian Harmon, Kanawha Place, Niki Kurten & Chef Tim Arden.

There's also Lobster TrappN Southeast, Manna Meal, Mountain Mac, Nelita’s Cucina, Ohmygreens, The Pitch, Regatta Pro Wrestling, Ristorante Abruzzi, Shuckers, University of Charleston and WV Corner Kitchen.

Although the event is free to attend, wristbands must be purchased for tasting. They are $10 for adults and $5 for children, allowing you to taste all entries and vote for your favorite for the Peoples Choice and Kids Choice awards.

While you’re doing that, I’ll be joining a group of lucky judges who get to taste and re-taste them all to declare our winner of the best mac ‘n’ cheese around!

All proceeds from the event benefit the Laurance Jones III Childhood Language Center, which provides free speech and language therapy to children in West Virginia. For more information and tickets, visit or check out the event’s Facebook page.

Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales returns to Nitro

Besides mac ‘n’ cheese, do you know what else pairs well with beer? Chili!

Lucky for lovers of both, the annual Wagging Tails & Nitro Ales Chili Cookoff: Smoke on the Water Edition returns to Living Memorial Park in downtown Nitro from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday.

Flanking the park along 2nd Avenue and 21st Street, the event offers guests the opportunity to sample competition chili and craft beers, while shopping local vendors and enjoying music from Randy Damron.

The cookoff is sanctioned by the International Chili Society in the Red, Salsa and Homestyle categories, with the winners representing Nitro in the World Chili Championships in 2024. Cash prizes will be awarded for the best Homestyle, Red, Green and People's Choice chilis, along with Best Booth Decorations and Best in Kanawha County.

Wagging Tails is a fundraiser for HospiceCare and local animal rescue groups. The event is free to the public – and their well-behaved dogs and cats. For more information, visit

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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