Serving up the dawgs

Samantha Powell of Bluefield prepares hot dogs at her food stand, Sam’s Dawgs and Nachos, located at the Advance Auto Parts in Bluewell recently

BLUEWELL — About fifteen years of experimenting went into creating a chili recipe that’s bringing hot dog and nacho lovers to a modest food stand along one of Mercer County’s busiest roadways.

Sam’s Dawgs and Nachos stands near Advanced Auto Parts off Coal Heritage Road in Bluewell. Samantha Powell of Bluefield, who operates the food stand with husband Jerome Powell II, said Wednesday while serving customers that they have been in their present location for about two months. “I worked at Walmart for about five years,” she recalled as her husband served another customer. “I was catering food on the side, and I wasn’t getting many hours at Walmart, so I decided to go into business.”

Samantha Powell literally worked for about half her life to create the chili that’s ladled over the premium all-beef hot dogs and nacho salads and served along with drinks.

The chili is “one of a kind,” and it’s earned a lot of compliments, she added. “The chili makes the hot dog.”

“I’ve been perfecting my chili for 15 years, and I finally got it,” she said. “I’m 33. I’ve been cooking since I was 12 years old with my dad.”

Powell said that her father, Edward Alexander, who is an employee at Bluefield State College, has been cooking for a long time.

“And I’ve just followed behind in his footsteps,” she recalled.

Meeting the customers who have become regulars and the new people who are discovering the roadside food stand help make the business special for Samantha and Jerome Powell.

“I’ve been outgoing and he says I’m a social butterfly,” she said. “He says you’ve got to get out of the house. That’s when I’m the happiest.”

The food cart is usually near Advanced Auto Parts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, but now the Powells are experimenting with being on site Mondays as well. Samantha Powell said they are usually open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until they sell out.

Brandy Ball of Bluewell came over to get an order. It was her first time at the food stand.

“I saw it and my coworker said it’s delicious, so I thought I’d come and try it,” she said.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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