Monday, October 15, 2007

Montreal has poutine... Toronto has hot dogs

I remember clubbing in Montreal and starving after last call. I must have asked 3 or 4 Quebecois where I could get a hot dog and no one had a clue. One person actually sent me to a place where they used toast (for the bun) and a boiled hot dog. It was disgusting but I was starving. I wasn't in the mood for poutine. All I wanted was a juicy bbq'd hot dog.

Toronto hot dogs ... aka.. "street meat" can be found on MANY street corners in downtown Toronto and outside of many suburban areas at Canadian Tire & Home Depot stores. It might be the weirdest thing for people from out of town to see but Torontonians can't live without street meat.

3am and most clubs have ended their night.
People spilling into the streets drunk, buzzed, high, but more importantly.. HUNGRY!
They want something fast, cheap, and easy to cure the drunkiness.
Street meat is the answer to all their prayers.

To top off your bbq'd hot dog, you've got a selection of condiments from ketchup, to hot peppers, to sweet corn relish. Personally, I take my dog with loads of onions, 3 or 4 peppers, and tons-o-ketchup!!

Many a times we've taken little Ziggy (my daschund) for a walk by the Harbourfront and we always stop at "Mike's Hotdogs". I keep forgetting the guy who actually makes the hot dog (don't know if he's actually Mike) but I know he's from Japan. Every time he sees Ziggy he says the same thing. "I had a hot dog dog once with my ex girlfriend in Japan. When I left, she took it.". Mike's Hotdogs is located at Bay and Queens Quay on the South West corner. He is by far the friendliest hot dog guy and has the juiciest dogs in Harbourfront.

If you're a hot dog vendor, you're lucky if you get the prime spots in downtown Toronto. Apparently, it's randomly selected each year where each hot dog vendor will be located each year. I remember one hot dog guy I spoke to (who was located on a side street right across the street from a car shop - not exactly a money making location) once said that while Mel Lastman was our Mayor, it seemed as though the Italians were getting all the hot spots like Yonge & Bloor but of course.. paid a nominal "fee" for it. Don't know if it's true but about 3 years a later, I ran into this hot dog guy by University of Toronto. I guess he moved up in the hot dog world! What more could a student want for a cheap and quick lunch. He seemed quite happy at least.


Trina said...

I actually miss the hot dogs at UofT! One of my friends knows a hot dog vendor who was at the St. George campus, and he said that vendor made a LOT of money (i.e. way more than the average person's salary!)...and now I wish I was a hot dog vendor. j/k

I'm in love with your pictures BTW, and I want a hot dog now.

dee said...

A medium to well done hot italian sausage laid in a slightly steamed bun topped with ketchup, mayo, loads of onions and hot peppers and Sam the Hot Dog Man by my work hooks me up!

Now only if we can find a Lumpiang Shanghai stand somewhere...

ma-m said...

Why thanks Trini! If you ever do become a hotdog vendor, hopefully you'll give freebies to family!

Dee.. If you made a lumpiang shanghai stand, it would be WAY popular than a hotdog stand!