• Steven Keith

West Side ice cream café adds savory eats to sweet treats

Last week I told you about the new Charleston Nano-Brewery now serving small-batch craft beers on Charleston’s West Side.

Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese from Dancing Dog Ice Cream Cafe
Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese from Dancing Dog Ice Cream Cafe







What I didn’t mention, however, is that while this new spot doesn’t offer food of its own, you are allowed to bring in your own eats purchased elsewhere to enjoy with a nano-brew there.


Cheese Smashburger from Dancing Dog
Cheese Smashburger from Dancing Dog

As luck would have it, Dancing Dog Ice Cream Café just down the street expanded its offerings earlier this year to include a small menu of smash burgers, hot dogs, barbecue, fries, onion rings and more to accompany its lineup of handmade ice creams.


Many guests enjoyed a taste at last week’s OktoberWest street fest, when the West Washington Street storefront opened its doors to showcase the sweet and savory treats it’s now scooping up.


Located at 201 West Washington St. in Charleston near Gonzoburger and The Grill, Dancing Dog is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.


For more information, call 304-982-5010 or visit the café’s Facebook page.


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If you want to enjoy a bounty of fall flavors in a charming outdoor setting, it’s not too late to get a ticket at the door for tonight’s Market Mixer at Capitol Market.


Hot Dog and Fries from Dancing Dog
Hot Dog and Fries from Dancing Dog

During this annual fundraiser for the non-profit market from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday evening, as many as 600 guests are expected to mingle throughout the indoor merchants and outdoor farmers while sipping wine and beer, collecting free samples, listening to live music – and scoring some great food!


Created by culinary students at Carver Career Center, tonight’s menu will include a bounty of tasty autumn bites including roasted cauliflower soup with herb spaetzle; fried goat cheese skewers with plum, spinach, prosciutto and honey vinaigrette; sage-roasted chicken quesadilla with butternut squash, kale, onion and fontina cheese, plus sweet potato and quinoa crab cakes with remoulade sauce.


There will also be a shrimp and scallop ceviche with kale, pomegranate, jalapenos and apricots; curried beef meatballs; apple butter brie bites with brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts; and fried pumpkin pie wontons coated with cinnamon sugar and JQ Dickinson caramel sauce.


Mark my words, I will be FIRST in line for those goodies tonight. About 50 tickets remain, which are available at the door for $90.


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And finally, the votes are in from this past weekend’s Capital Cocktail Classic and they reveal some new winners in the fund-raising pub crawl presented by Fund for the Arts.


Snickerdoodle Ice Cream from Dancing Dog
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream from Dancing Dog

Black Sheep Burrito edged out Bar 101/Ichiban for best overall food pairing with its shrimp and scallop campechana paired with a pineapple-serrano mezcal mule. That combo earned 34.2% of the vote ahead of Bar 101/Ichiban’s 31.6% for their chicken satay skewers and tropical rum libation.


DT Prime’s jerk shrimp kabobs paired with a Jamaican peach punch was next at 25.4% with Sam’s a distant fourth at 8.8% for its lobster puffed pastry and stiff Presbyterian cocktail.


Bar 101/Ichiban slayed the best cocktail competition, however, coming out more than 16% ahead of DT Prime, followed by Sam’s and Black Sheep.


Bar 101/Ichiban also won best appetizer in a tight three-way race between Black Sheep and Sam’s – only 3% of the votes separated those three plates – with DT Prime a distant fourth.


Dancing Dog Ice Cream Cafe on West Washington Street
Dancing Dog Ice Cream Cafe on West Washington Street

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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 www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at wvfoodguy@aol.com.

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