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Nathan's Hot Dogs or Hebrew Nationals in T.O or Markham Ontario??

I am tired of hot dogs that have all those fillers and crap in it! Does anyone know where I can buy a Nathan's Hot Dog or Hebrew National in Toronto or surrounding area. I live in Markham Ontario but often I visit Toronto. Any suggestions would be helpful!

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  1. Here is a recent thread on the same subject:

    http://www.chow.com/topics/414752

    1. I used to buy Hebrew Nationals (I loved the jumbo 'dinner franks', especially) at Dominion Bayview & Eglinton and Dominion Sav-a-Centre at Sheppard & Yonge, but I haven't been able to find them for about a year now. :-(
      There's a newer brand - Baldwin St. - that are a bit pricey, but about the best I can find for an all-beef, real hot dog. I get them at Longos Supermarket - York Mills & Leslie location. (Longos also incidentally have THE best produce selection and quality of any large supermarket in Toronto).

      22 Replies
      1. re: TorontoTips

        You can get Baldwins hot dogs (beef, chicken or veal) at most grocery stores along the Bathurst corridor.This includes Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Kitchen Table etc. They used to carry Hebrew National at Nortown Foods but I don't believe they import them any more from the US.

        1. re: sherry f

          The problem with Baldwin, as with every other beef hot dog available in Toronto, kosher and not, is that it has insufficient fat and very little taste.

          This is also true of BIG Franks and J. Kwinter at Loblaws. Decent quality, but very little taste. Nathan's and HN are among the most intensely spiced franks you can buy.

          1. re: embee

            Now, I'm no connoisseur of sausage dogs (though I have had my share of stimm├ęs back in my home town of Montreal over the last 40+ years) but I quite like Schneider's Juicy Jumbos, particularly the Hot 'n Spicy variety. I also find that European Meats makes a decent regulation dog.

            1. re: mrbozo

              I too love Juicy Jumbos.
              I would however like to find Tony Packo's hot dogs up here. They're the best I've ever had.
              I'm gonna hunt down a Nathan's and a Hebrew National on my summer trip this year if it kills me.

              DT

              1. re: Davwud

                Please let me know if you locate an HN or Nat distributor in the GTA.

                Nice to know that I'm not alone in savouring those Juicy Jumbos.

                1. re: mrbozo

                  I shall report back but my summer trip will take me to Atlanta and Huntsville. I know I can get HN in the Costco in Huntsville. I've just never had them. The Nathan's dogs may be a bit harder. I did see they had a "Restaurant" in Hotlanta but I'm not sure what that's all about. I intend on posting about it within the next couple days.

                  DT

            2. re: embee

              Has anyone tried "Ball Park" franks or sausages? They are made in London Ont., and have limited Ontario distribution. They're jumbo 1/4lb size, come in pork or beef, and are flavoured with lots of garlic, paprika and fat (more than 50% of your daily limit in one). The casings are not natural, but they are good grilled. The sausage mix is on the chunky side, rather than super smooth.

              1. re: jayt90

                I don't know anything about these and I'd sure like to know more. Who exactly makes them and where are they available?

                I have eaten something called a "Ball Park" frank. I can't remember where it was, but I do remember that it was terrible. It was made by, I think, Sara Lee. Their Ball Park franks are (in) famous because they were contaminated during production and killed a rather large number of people just a few years ago. I would be very surprised if another company could sell franks under this name.

                1. re: embee

                  They are sold every summer at Costco. I may have the name wrong, but I remember reading London on the package. They were about $7/kg., and a lot better than the Shopsy or Olympic dogs in the same display.
                  I haven't bought them in over a year, so I'll get a package later this week. Maybe I'll be able to compare the beef, pork, and Freybe's on the charcoal grill.

                  I recall Hygrade Ball Park franks as a sponsor of Tiger ball games and they claimed to be served at Tiger (Brigg's) stadium (years ago). A Google search leads quickly to a listeria (cold loving bacteria) problem with Bill Mar Ball Park franks at Tiger Stadium, in the late 20th century. The plant was in Zeeland, MI, and owned by Sara Lee.
                  The company settled out of court. I will have to see if the London, Ont. product has any connection, but in any case, it is a different plant and the problem was resolved 6 years ago.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    I just noticed today that there is also a President's Choice frank called "Ball Park".

                    1. re: jayt90

                      The London Ont.1/4 lb.dog is called Deli Cart, the Pro Ball Sausage, and made by
                      David Gordon Co.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        I can't find anything on the brand or the company. Can you confirm availability and provide your taste test results?

                        (We do not belong to Costco. If they are the source and the beef product is available, does this taste good enough to be worth joining? Seems preposterous, but cheaper than a drive to Buffalo.)

                        1. re: embee

                          Costco is worth joining anyway.

                          DT

                          1. re: embee

                            The Deli Cart beef product is not in Ajax, but may be in Downsview (just guessing, but they do have a Kosher selection there). I'll report on the pork products, Deli Cart, Pillers Knocks, and Freybe's after a Friday grill out.

                            1. re: jayt90

                              Could you post the coordinates of the Deli Cart manufacturer? I'll contact them about availability of the beef product.

                              1. re: embee

                                All I have is David Gordon Co., London Ont. on the package.
                                There is no Deli Cart beef sausage in my brief survey of North York/Scarborough, and Durham, but two kinds of pork (no fillers): mild and medium hot.
                                If you liked pork dogs from Northwestern New York, these may be worth a shot. Dominion at Victoria Park and Ellesmere has them.

                                1. re: jayt90

                                  Strange---I can't find anything about this company or the brand. There is, somewhere in Canada, a "David Gordon Fine Food Corporation", but any further search has proven a dead end.

                              2. re: jayt90

                                Freybe's also makes a knock, but not always available.
                                I think that you might be disappointed by their franks on a grill.
                                It is at its' best steamed.

                      2. re: jayt90

                        You mean the ones that plump when you cook 'em?? They had the ad on TV where they'd plump up and dent the grill lid from the inside??

                        DT

                      3. re: embee

                        I recently tried Baldwin for the first time and thought they were very flavourful (and juicy!).

                        Mind you, I had the chi-chi "roasted red pepper and something or other" because that's all that was left, but damn, it was delicious and spicy.

                        1. re: Olivia

                          I wish I could say the same. I found them fairly dry and lacking much flavour intensity (both the regular franks and the roasted red pepper sausages).

                          I suppose it depends what you are comparing them with. I grew up eating original recipe Nathans and Hebrew Nationals, with natural casings, in New York City. Even the current, skinless ones that are sold in Buffalo have very strong, and unique, flavour profiles. The formulas have changed over the years (I'm reasonably sure that Nathan's didn't contain sorbital as an ingredient way back when, and the HNs are less garlicky and spicy), but I can still ID both in a blind tasting.

                          1. re: embee

                            Based on this discussion, I picked up a pack of the Baldwin St. beef franks for lunch on Sunday. I have to admit, both Mrs. Sippi and I loved them. We found them to be very tasty. Not the best dog I've had but maybe the best I've bought in a grocery store.

                            They did really well in the top split buns I had leftover from my lobster roll experiment.

                            DT

                  2. If you don't mind salty, the best hot dogs I've had in Toronto are those available from Cumbrae's. They are salty. But, much more flavour than 'Baldwin St.' dogs (which is, unfortunately my current runner-up).

                    4 Replies
                    1. go try Baldwin St Kosher Beef Franks....at Sobeys in Thornhill....great taste and packed with beef...and no crap in it.....on the same level as hebrew national quality.

                        1. re: mrbozo

                          Baldwin's are available all over Toronto. Any supermarket in an area with even a small Jewish population stocks them. I've seen them at several Loblaws. Note that you won't necessarily find them in the kosher dept of stores that have such a section. They are with the regular franks.

                          1. re: embee

                            Just don't look for them in Dominion.

                            DT

                    2. If you are looking for hot dogs without any fillers then Baldwin St.is the way to go. I just can't justify eating all the crap that goes into most hot dogs.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: vgoodfood

                        No need to worry. What's a few lumps and bumps along the way. I know people who have had severe reactions when switching from "regular" food to "organic'. The body adjusts. Just look at all those steriod, botax, silicone enhanced cyborgs you pass on the street every day. But if "healthy' is one's particular religion who am I to argue?

                        Give me sodium or give me death.

                        1. re: mrbozo

                          "Give me sodium or give me death."

                          Uh mrbozo, it's not an 'either/or' situation...

                        2. re: vgoodfood

                          I think I've been using the word "crap" a bit too freely in this thread.

                          By definition, glatt (strictly) kosher franks that satisfy the very orthodox can't contain much in the way of added crap. So the brand doesn't matter much...if the label reads "glatt kosher", the sausage can't contain any mechanically separated meat, gluten, milk-derived products, or most other extenders. However, this doesn't ensure a good recipe or a technically superior sausage. It can still contain msg, nitrates, corn syrup, and many other additives. And there is no guarantee that it will taste good or contain an optimum fat level.

                          I do, however, feel that most of the available brands taste like crap to my palate. There are some exceptions. Baldwins don't taste "bad", but they don't taste very much. This is also true of some non-kosher brands. BIG Franks and J. Kwinter (which have a common lineage, though recipes may have diverged over the years) are decent quality products. I just don't like the spicing very much.

                          1. re: embee

                            I'll second what's already been said here. I remember when Hebrew National's disappeared from here and it was heartbreaking. I forget the reason - which I found out at the time - but I believe the mad cow stuff was part of it.
                            There were also some issues, especially with Orthodox Jews about just HOW kosher HNs were but that's tangential.
                            For a time the ACC even used them as their 'normal' hot dog which made it a bit cheaper to get a kosher hot dog.

                            As Embee said, if it's kosher you can rest assured it's 100% beef with no crap in it.

                            After looking high and low I will second those who say that Baldwin St. (which are made by Shefa, FYI) are the best out there in the meantime. In addition to beef and chicken they also make veal and two "sausages" (spicy beef w/ roasted red pepper and chicken w/ basil and oregano) and they are all good.

                            Oddly Baldwin initially surfaced under another name - perhaps Kensington? And then disappeared leaving kosher hot dog lovers with nothing but Perl's [BLECH!] until they resurfaced. And then Sobey's, the biggest kosher mart in the GTA was one of the last to start selling them for some reason....

                          2. re: vgoodfood

                            Baldwin St is horrible. There is no reasonable alternative to HN. You just have to bring them back or eat kielbasa.

                            1. re: evansl

                              If all natural no filler all beef kosher dawgs from Baldwin St. is Horrible then I'd love to see what you consider decent. I've had HN a bunch of times and they are on par with Baldwin.

                          3. We are very fond of the Butterball franks! They are (yup) turkey and they are great. They are made of course by the good folks at Butterball but they are the best we have found.
                            We get them in Sobeys.