Tonya, Lily and I decided to do a lunch outing to Buddha Dog - it's in the heart of Roncesvalles but a little off the beaten path for to hit main stream foodie traffic so for us it was a 10 minute drive away from our office. The restaurant reminds me of a cozy cottage feel with long wood bar and chalk boards with maps drawn by the owner Andrew - with where all the ingredients are sourced from.
The restaurant guaranteed that no filler, lips, or whatever else are stuffed in the meat as all ingredients are local! The hotdog buns are baked fresh everyday from a local bakery, the cheeses come from a local cheese factory, and the sauces are - you can assume- made with local ingredients. Let's talk about the sauces - they go from mild to spicy and there are plenty to choose from including a smokey ketchup, fig inspired mustard, wasabi mayo, and garlic aioli.
The deal is hot dogs are $2 and you add cheese and a sauce or two for $.25 each.
Be warned they are tiny dogs so you may need at least 2 or 3 - they are served on a plank like tapas. The size reminded me of those breakfast sausages you are served at a buffet breakfast, the meat consistency reminded me more of a merguese saussage than regular street meat and definitely the taste was healthy and similar to European cured meat.
I chose 2 Buddha dogs; one with a combination of jalepeno jelly and rhubard ketchup which was a great combination as it was sweet from the rhubarb and tangy with a little kick and for my other hotdog, I chose a spicy pumpkin papaya jerk sauce- it was very spicy and made me sweat a little!!. Tonya trusted the owner's recommendation and had her hotdog with pumpkin pie sauce - for real and it was really good! Actually it was the favourite of our entire meal - it was sweet and creamy sauce and worked really well with the hot dog. Her other dog was a fig inspired mustard and it was tangy and mustardy which is what she was looking for. Lily had the jalepeno jelly on hers with was nice and packed a small punch at the end as well as the garlic aioli on hers - which was creamy and a good blend.
We also shared their salad of the day $6 - which was a hot salad with potatoes and parsnips on a bed of frisee with blue cheese on top. The salad was really good with a good balance of texture from the potatoes which were softer and parsnips which were crunchier mixed in with the frisee salad. Balancing the spice of the hot dog + sauces off with the salad was a good compliment and it was soothing on a brisk day.
Did the dog enlighted us? Well not really, we didn't achieve nirvana but we're willing to come back and try it with other sauces next time! I would recommend this place as a good place for a light lunch or an evening snack as I don't think that noshing on dogs would be enough for a meal unless you plan on ordering 3 plus dogs.
*** stars Buddha Dog - 163 Roncesvalles Av