I’ve been to Parlor Deluxe twice since it opened back in August, and I’ve been a bit underwhelmed each time. When I first heard the rumors about the “hot dog, tater tot, and waffle shop” coming to Spring Street, I was excited, as those are 3 of my favorite foods. But these aren’t your regular, run-of-the-mill hot dogs. These are something else entirely. Like the Lil’ Kimchi Dog—a beef dog with toasted dried shrimp, miso mustard glaze, house kimchi, crushed peanut, and cilantro on a brioche roll. The hot dog is mostly bread, and the brioche is a little dry. But the kimchi and mustard glaze are pretty tasty.
The ice cream comes from Hilton Head Ice Creams and they rotate a few flavors at a time. There are approximately a bazillion (ok more like 15) different toppings you can add to your cone or cup, so you can have a totally new experience every time you stop by (although I don’t recommend the homemade gummy bears). Or get a milkshake, egg cream, or a jerk float using Cannonborough Soda Company sodas.
There are 4 different kinds of tater tots available on the menu, each unlike any other tater tots you’ll find in Charleston. Take for instance, the Sour Cream and Onion, a take on everyone’s favorite potato chip. They come with dill and malt sour cream, Tabasco hot sauce, and crispy onions with a special dipping sauce. The tots themselves are super crispy, which I like in a tot.
The waffles are made fresh when you order them, and come with a variety of Parlor Deluxe’s housemade toppings. You can build one yourself, or go with one of any of the premade versions, like the Bees Knees, topped with chia seed lemon curd, granola bark, local honey, and toasted cardamom berries.
The hot dogs range from $8-$11 (a bit pricey for a hot dog) and the offerings change regularly to include new ingredients and flavor combos, like the Cheeky Greeky, a beef + “gyro” spiced dog topped with cucumber and lemon greek yogurt, Fishing Creek feta cheese, fennel, radish, and roasted chickpeas on a seeded roll. I thought the roasted chickpeas were awesome, and this hot dog was pretty delicious, although the bun was a little dry. I would’ve liked more of that lemon greek yogurt to even it out.
Or check out the more “traditional” dog, a beef dog topped with slow cooked pork chili, house sauerkraut, chopped onion, and cheese whiz on a toasted pretzel roll. Lily ordered this one, and I’d say it’s probably my favorite on their menu.
The atmosphere inside the tiny corner shop is pretty rad. The whole place looks like a soda shop out of the ’50s if it was designed by a trendy New York City designer from today. There’s black and white checkered tile on the floor, an ice cream scoop collage behind the cash register, and a bright neon sign that says “Parlor” above shelves stocked with ingredients for the perfect ice cream sundae. Pops of mint color pervade the retro cool corner spot. There are only about 3 tables in the whole place, but fortunately the food is made to be eaten on the go.
Parlor Deluxe is open noon to 12 am, Tuesday through Saturday; 5 pm to 12 am on Sundays; and is closed on Mondays. While I appreciate what PD is trying to do, I’m not entirely sure I’m hip enough to enjoy it. The hot dogs are good. The tots are ok. The waffles are unique and fun… but I don’t think I’m in a hurry to come back.