Foie gras to hot dogs

I’ve been called a food snob. What with my $22 bottles of balsamic vinegar, penchant for foie gras and routine indulgence of Lanson champagne; although I do love all of these things, I’m anything but a snob.

I also love many humble, everyday foods. In fact, hot dogs are one of my favourite summertime treats. I like a good quality hot dog and it needs to be grilled until it’s just ready to burst so that the skin is crunchy and the hot dog is super juicy. During the 90’s Martin and I lived next door to Maple Leaf Gardens; there was an excellent hot dog cart downstairs at the corner of Carlton and Yonge. Their hot dogs were so good that sometimes I zipped 26 floors down the elevator just to pick up one of these stellar hot dogs for lunch or supper.

Hot dogs, I’m pleased to see, are being rediscovered and given TLC by a few savvy restaurateurs. When I was in Vancouver recently I noticed a Gourmet Hot Dog place on a trendy downtown street and here in Toronto there is a newish place called Buddha Dog that I’m hoping to try out sometime soon.

Until I can get to one of these venues that respects the hot dog for the pleasure it truly is, I’ll be buying Kwinter’s hot dogs, the best I’ve found at my local grocery store, to cook on my home grill.

Hungry for more? Check out these blogs that celebrate the hot dog:

13 Responses to Foie gras to hot dogs

  1. Mmmm! says:

    Thank you for standing up for the tube steak! I know there are gross hot dogs out there to buy, but a grilled all-beef dog in a nice fresh bun is what summer is all about!

  2. Anne says:

    If you’re ever in Berkely, California, you should try Top Dog. While it’s not quite an authentic hot dog, I love their lemon chicken dog. So good!

  3. danamccauley says:

    That place sounds good – Keilbasa on a bun totally appeals to my Ukranian heritage. Thanks, Anne!

  4. danamccauley says:

    A reader just sent me this link to info about the History of Hot Dogs:

    Read it while you enjoy a hot dog!

  5. Aran says:

    I love simple foods as well. Some good sausage will make my day too!

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m right with you.. I love a good hotdog. My husband and I often take “one tank” trips to markets and such and 90% of the time, we look for a place that has a good hotdog. 😀


  7. I adore hot dogs. It is definitely one of my guilty pleasures. I don’t make them often because they don’t always like me! My favorite is from a local restaurant that is wrapped in bacon, stuffed with cheddar and then grilled. Amazing!

  8. danamccauley says:

    OMG – my brother and my cousin Ellen used to make something similar that they called whistle dogs: hot dogs wrapped in cheese and bacon and eaten with lots of ketchup. What a blast from the past! Stuffing the dog with cheese is even better – where is this restaurant?

  9. dinnerwithjulie says:

    There are several hot dog places in Calgary, and Tubby Dog on 17th avenue has the same thing – I think it’s actually deep fried though! and topped with chili?

  10. Hi Dana, thanks for the mention! It’s funny I want to post something that helps your readers understand what Buddha Dog is like but find it’s very hard to put into words. Our two shops, one on Toronto’s Roncesvalles Avenue and one in beautiful Prince Edward County’s town of Picton, are focused on bringing together small local food people – butcher, baker, cheese makers, farmers, chefs etc. etc. to hand make our hotdogs, buns, cheese and sauces. The idea is to allow a visitor to try one of the award-winning hotdogs and experience the best of the region’s culinary tradition. I don’t want this to sound too fancy as at the end of the day we make a great, healthy $ 2.50 hotdog that kids love (the dogs are actually sized to be the perfect portion for a six year old and allow older customers to try a few different sauce/cheese combinations) and parents appreciate supports their community. I encourage anyone to visit and try one and we’re happy to give your readers one “on-the-house” if they tell our staff they read about Buddha Dog on your blog. Your readers are also welcome to email me with any questions or suggestions, Cheers! Ps. here is a link to a great CBC article by Beyond Burger’s Catherine Jheon that might help your readers a little –

  11. danamccauley says:

    Glad to see that I’m not the only one who likes a good hot dog!

    Julie, let’s make a date to hit Tubby Dog next time I’m in town. My treat.

    Andrew, thanks for the generous offer. I hope my hungry readers don’t put you out of business!

    Check out this article that just came to my attention from the LA TIMES:,1,5754880.story

  12. Amy says:

    As usual Dana, your info is always timely, check out the link for an article about L.A.’s love of hotdogs that came through on the National Restaurant Association Smart Brief today….,1,5754880.story

  13. danamccauley says:

    FYI – the July 2008 issue of Chatelaine has a great roster of hot dog toppers written by Monday Rosenberg on page 41.

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