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Bowincal's Hot Dogs

From: Kim
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2017 3:38 PM
Subject: Bowincal's Hot Dogs


My name is Kim. I was born and raised in Charleston, WV. There was a local chain of Hot Dog joints 
that apparently closed mid 2000’s. I’ve lived in Ky now since 2009. I looked hard for any word of 
them or about their hot dogs. They had a very distinctive tasting hot dog and the bun was a thick 
sliced bread toasted and folded like a bun. I know from what I did find it was owned by three guys, 
Bo, Wink and Cal and they combined their names. I was shocked to find they went out of business. 
I would desperately like to know how to make or buy a similar hot dog and bun. Could you please see 
what you could find out? Thanks


Hi Kim,

Bowincal’s Hot Dogs was a small in-state chain. I found quite a lot about them, as well as a lot about West Virginia style hot dogs.

There is a chili recipe below given from memory by a former Bowincal’s employee. I’d try it first for the chili. It's from: The Food Guy

There is a West Virginia hot dogs Facebook Page here: West Virginia Hot Dogs with a statement from another former employee of Bowincal’s : “I worked at Bowincal's on the East End in the 70's. The toasted bun was known as the "English" bun. We brushed it with melted butter and put it on the flat top to grill. The hot dog chili recipe was the A&W recipe.”

On one of these sites, it is said that the three guys who started Bowincal’s were all former A&W employees, so it’s logical that Bowincal’s chili may have been similar, if not the same, as A&W's. There are A&W hot dog chili recipes on my site here: 01-21-2005

This site, WV Hot Dog Blog , says: A true West Virginia hot dog is a heavenly creation that begins with a wiener on a soft steamed bun. Add mustard, a chili-like sauce and top it off with coleslaw and chopped onions and you have a symphony of taste that quite possibly is the reason that many transplanted West Virginians can never really be happy living anywhere else. Different parts of West Virginia have variations on the theme but the common elements are sweet, creamy coleslaw and chili. Anything else is just not a true West Virginia hot dog!

My WV Home

Roadside Peek

In order to exactly duplicate Bowincal’s hot dogs, you are going to need several things:

1) The brand or kind of wieners that they used – I did not find anything about this, but from photos, I’d try an all-beef wiener first. They certainly weren’t the red kind.
2) The brand or kind of buns they used - I did not find anything about this. The poster on Facebook says they were “English” buns. These are apparently the split-top New England style bun. Butter them and toast them on a grill or in a skillet.
3) Yellow mustard – shouldn’t be a problem. I like French’s.
4) The chili recipe – Try the one below, from a former Bowincal’s employee. If that doesn’t suit, then try the A&W copycats and then the West Virginia hot dog chili recipe below.
5) Chopped onions – no problem.
6) Coleslaw recipe – I did not find one for Bowincal’s coleslaw, but try this: The Chew or this: Pinterest or the one below, or your choice of coleslaw.

Bowincal Hot Dog Chili*

5 lbs. ground beef, depending on preference
159 ozs. tomato puree
4 celery stalks, diced
2 green peppers, diced
1 mild red pepper, diced
2 medium-large white onions, diced
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup paprika
1/2 cup hot sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown the meat and drain.
Add tomato puree, chili powder, paprika, hot sauce and diced vegetables.
Simmer over low heat for hours (4-6) before serving, stirring often so the bottom doesn’t burn.

*As recalled by Kennie Bass.
West Virginia-Style Chili

1 lb. hamburger
1 onion
1 can tomato paste
3 cans water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt

Cook all ingredients together until meat is cooked through. (Do not brown hamburger or onions first.)
When finished, pour off any excess grease floating on top before serving.
West Virginia Hot Dog Coleslaw


2 cups grated cabbage
1/4 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp lemon juice (bottled is OK)
2 Tbsp white granulated sugar
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
salt & pepper to taste

After the cabbage and carrots are grated, put them a food processor and chop really fine. 
Mix remaining ingredients in by hand. 
From: Kim 
Sent: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: RE: Bowincal's Hot Dogs

Hi Phaedrus,

I think I saw some of that stuff you found on Bowincals. Im a purist I never get chili or onions but will 
occasionally do slaw and mustard..however oh how I wish to know their brand of hot dog. I always use all 
beef. I find Nathan’s brand at the store the best tasting but they can not even compare to the taste of 
bowincal’s wieners. I didn’t know if it were a specific brand or special way they cooked them or what.  
Very distinctive taste. Almost a sweet note to it. But of course nothing the naked eye could see like a 
glaze or such. As for those ‘’english split buns?” I have never seen them in any store. Would it be called 
something else? The only exception I make for eating chili on a hot dog is skyline Cincinnati chili hot dog. 
Saying that makes me want one of those too lol. Well thanks for trying.


Hello Kim,

I tried to find out more about what kind of frankfurters were used by Bowincal’s or what kind are used by A & W, but I had no success. A & W is a large chain, so they probably have theirs made special by a third-party vendor.

As I said below, those “English” rolls are probably the same as “New England Style” hot dog rolls. They’re sliced vertically instead of horizontally. They are available in every supermarket in the Northeast US, because most people in that area use them for hot dogs and lobster rolls instead of the other kind. You should be able to find them in large supermarkets.


From: Kim 
Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2017
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: RE: Bowincal's Hot Dogs

Hi Phaedrus

Thanks for trying to find out about the franks. I will be grocery shopping tomorrow and I have a bizarre style 
w couponing and trying to save money so I often go to 4-5 stores. I don’t think ive ever seen this ‘new england’ 
style bun here but its possible I didn’t look in the right place. I don’t eat bread usually but my husband does 
plus bagels. And I have on occasion wanted hot dogs and bought some buns—this time I’m going to purposefully 
look for these maybe I will find them. Id be excited if I did. I never knew they made such a thing and thought 
they had some magic contraption or way to take a texas toast bread and shape it into a bun. Lol. All this talk 
of hot dogs got to me yesterday and we went to a fave traditional spot around here that I’d never been to to 
get me a hot dog. The dog was pretty good but the bun was disappointing—sometimes when you are hankering for 
something and you cant get it nothing else quite hits the spot. 


Rich's Bakery Iced Pound Cake

-----Original Message----- 
From: brenda
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:52 AM
Subject: Rich 's Bakery

Recipe for Rich 's iced Pound cake for birthdays! Thanks!

Hi Brenda,

Sorry, I had no success with this. I'll post this for reader input.

Recipes for Rich's products are very scarce. See this page for the ones that I have found: Rich's Department Store

Your best bet might be to join this Facebook group and post your request there: Rich's Facebook Group


Rike's Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

-----Original Message----- 
From: Judy
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2017 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: Rikes oatmeal cherry cookies

Hi , would love to have this recipe. My husband loved these cookies but 
can't even come close to them.

Thanks so much,

Hi Judy,

Sorry, I had no success with this search. I'll post this for reader input.


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