The other day, we got an email from my sister alerting us to a new hot dog joint in our neighbourhood.
[...] A year or two ago we went to Prince Edward County and one of the food highlights was at a place called Buddha Dog. [...]
She also pointed to Catherine Jheon’s (Food for Thought) review of the Roncesvalles location. And T announced that we would go there for lunch.
Here is how the conversation went:
- T: After we go to the vegetable store, we’ll stop at “Buddha Dog” and try their hotdogs.
- me: Stop where?
- T: “Buddha Dog”… Didn’t you see your sister’s email?
- me: Oh yah… but she’s always LIKED hotdogs.
- T: Oh come on! It will be fun. You’ll like them! They’re small. Just get one. And you can get another if you like it.
- me: But I don’t really like hotdogs! I’ve NEVER liked hotdogs! …maybe they have something else that I can try.
- T: Okay. Great! Let’s go then!
And off we went to do our grocery shopping. After the vegetable store, T started heading in the opposite direction from home.
- me: Hey! Where are we going??
- T: Don’t you remember? “Buddha Dog”!
- me: Oh yeah… I forgot.
- T: You forgot? How could you forget? I can’t wait!
- me: …yay (cough), can’t wait…
- T: That’s right! You’ll love it!
I’ll love it?? Hey, how can that be?!! I don’t even LIKE hotdogs!! But you know what? Here’s the amazing thing. I did love it.
(click on image for larger view)
The place is airy and bright with very friendly staff who are dedicated to what they are serving. They bake their own buns each morning, serve Prince Edward County beef wieners, sauces made by local chefs, soups and chilis made with seasonal local ingredients, salads….
The hotdogs come either unadorned or with two toppings: cheese and sauce. I suppose one could have more than two toppings but it doesn’t really seem necessary.
We took a little time to choose our toppings. There were four cheeses and several sauces ranging from sweet to spicy. I finally decided on old cheddar and habanero aioli. T had the Friday special: brie and barbecue sauce from The Silver Spoon. Of course, we tasted each other’s… both were delicious! The habanero aioli wasn’t insanely hot – it just had a nice kick.
Buddha Dog’s proprieter, Andrew, was very friendly and eager to talk about his vision for the restaurant. He is particularly keen to use seasonal ingredients and said he loved this time of year because pumpkins are ripening. Apparently he makes a great savoury pumpkin pie…. I believe him.
Hmmm… even though Buddha hot dogs are good, I may be going back for more than just hot dogs.
163 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Monday – Saturday 11-7
Sundays and Holidays 11-6
Buddha Dog™ [is] founded on a very simple philosophy – showcase the best regional flavours […] Everything we serve is made with the best local or freshest seasonal ingredients, and work to create an endless number of taste combinations […with…] the opportunity to experience two or more personal flavours – sweet, spicy or a little of both. […] Please be patient if it takes a few minutes – we are decidedly not fast food.
The doorbell just rang… it was our next door neighbour bearing a dish of freshly made appetizers. She said “Eat them right away! While they’re hot!”
Excuse me while I indulge in grilled fresh figs stuffed with goat’s cheese, wrapped in prociutto and drizzled with honey. Mmmmmm…
We have great neighbours!