Yum, yum: National Hot Dog Month

After the National Post declared
hot dogs the victor
in the nutritional barbecue battle against the hamburger (at least, strictly in terms of calories), we
got thinking about our deeply rooted childhood love for hot dogs: from campfire-roasted spidey dogs to street meat to ballpark classics. With July being National Hot Dog
(yep, it’s worth all 31 days of this month), we round up the best diggity-dogs in the city.

you just don’t mess with a classic. 
The Stockyards (699 St. Clair Ave. W.) dog is all-beef with the traditional fixin’s:
mustard, ketchup and red onion. For another $1.50, you can hit it out of the (ball) park
with bacon and cracklings. Pork on pork on pork, yum…

Who doesn’t? 
(A rhetorical question, we know there are those that don’t indulge in the other white meat).
Image source.

For more in the pork bonanza, try a foot-long from Burkie’s
Dog House found in the ACC and at Real
Sports Bar
. Get ‘em covered in bacon, pulled pork, chili or mac and cheese
in one of their many heart-stopping varieties. For some true patriot love, dig into
the Poutine Dog made with hickory sticks – très bon, n’est-ce pas?

We swear, hickory sticks on a poutine-covered footlong is amazing.
Image source.

After savouring one of Quebec’s most beloved dishes, check
out The Little Dog (566 College St.) for another Montreal classic: steamies. Now, these are no
icky New York “waterdogs.” At Little Dog, they claim steaming is the only way
to go, locking in the flavour and juiciness whereas grilling causes the casing to split. True to their name, these
babies are the two-bite brownie of the hot dog world, ringing in at under $2. Bonus? It shares space with The Big Chill, so snack on some ice cream afterward.

Simple menu, outstanding flavour.

If it’s toppings (of the non-pork variety) you want, check
out The
Hot ‘n Dog
 (216 Close Ave.) With more than 120 condiments, you can load up your hot
dog – either a beef-pork blend or veggie – with everything from asparagus to
maple syrup to crumbled blue cheese. “Less is more” is definitely not the motto
of this Parkdale establishment.

When all else fails, hit up one of our city’s oldest and
most omnipresent “street food” hubs: the hot dog cart. The
cart at St. George and Beverly is the stuff hungover undergrad dreams are made
of. Plus, the same guy (we think) has been serving up U of T students for 20 years – hot

Joining the hot dog scene, Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs is set to open at 326 College
St. No word yet when we’ll be able to dig into their dogs, but you know we’ll be first in line. 

If you’re celebrating a month of hot dogs at home, get
creative with the condiments and nix the sodium-packed ketchup. Chatelaine
has fun alternative toppings for your cookout, including the “Mediterranean quartet”, “Enticing
Indian” and “Southern corn relish”. 

Dig in and enjoy. 

My ‘Hood: St. Clair and Bathurst

by Debra and Matt

We live between Christie and Bathurst, on St. Clair Avenue, and our neighbourhood’s hot spots for good eats and great shopping are increasing monthly!

Every Saturday, we take our daughter to the amazing Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market. We like to grab a whitefish sandwich from Ali’s stand, the most incredible maple-smoked trout from Akiwenzie`s Fish (if we’re lucky; they’re not always there), and a wonderful caramelized onion and mozzarella empanada from a Spanish vendor.

For brekkie, it’s no secret that Stockyards is simply amazing, and they have a brunch with a deep fried egg. You gotta try it.

If we’re brave enough to stand in a line resembling mid-July at Canada’s Wonderland, we like to grab some frozen yogurt at Dutch Dreams. If not, and we still have a sweet tooth, Leah’s is always a winner. Have the chocolate caramel salted pretzel. Trust us on this one. 

Delicious frozen treats at Dutch Dreams.

And, if we’re in a pinch, can’t make dinner ourselves and are tired of ordering pizza or sushi, a roti at the legendary Albert’s Real Jamaican Foods is a delicious change.

Par Par Boutique is an amazing go-to place for great gifts. We also love a store called All About Mac, which has been our saving grace when we can’t (or won’t) make the trek to the Apple Store in Yorkdale or the Eaton Centre. 

Our neighbourhood is a great spot for our family, and gives us a million options to get outside, explore the streets and shops, and help support the amazing local businesses that make this city so wonderful. 

Photo credits: localism.com; goodfoodrevolution.wordpress.com; http://www.parparboutique.com