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buddha dog--toronto version

Went today (a sunday); there were about 4 people in line in front of me.

Decor is very nice and I like the styling very much. Rough hewn boards on the walls, old brick--stylish, warm and fitting.

There were 2 other people in the place (which seats about 20 I would say, although the volume(space) of the place makes it seem like it should seat double that.

Now, the interesting thing about there being two other people in front of me is that this should mean that the staff are not getting slammed and can handle new orders quite well. I don't doubt they can, but apparently the technology they use cannot. They are using an iMac with a custom POS system that 'rings' in purchases via a barcode reading penwand. It's a temperamental bugger and in need of some slap therapy. After five minutes (I counted) the system let us order 2 'dogs of the day' and the lady manning the 'matrix' manually punched in another dog...for 3 dogs and a very nice lemonade called 'pucker up lemonade' it was just over $10.

The format works as such: one style of dog, one style of bun and you add the cheese you want and the sauce you want. Fridays you can order brie. As we were ordering, and perhaps to fill in the dead time while command central was trying to figure out why the penwant wasn't working, the Buddha Dog concept was explained to us; all natural ingredients sourced from the farmers around their Picton shop. They will source ingredients from people around Toronto as they are able.

We ordered the dog with mozzarella and tomato balsamic sauce and the aged cheddar with pesto sauce.

Firstoff, the lemonade is very good.

Secondly, the little buns are very good...very nice when toasted.

Most importantly I suppose is the dogs--I'm not entirely sure I like the casings. They seem 'tight' and require a lot of bite to penetrate...maybe this is only an issue because they are so small (4 inches long perhaps?). The taste is a little north of mediocre. I would like a bit more smokiness, but isn't that the beauty of subjective reviews...that may not be your bag at all. What you don't get is the best news...no overwhelming sense of preservatives and they taste 'fresh'.

The pesto sauce was underwhelming and I don't think went with the sausage, although the cheese was a hit and had a nice bite. The 'pizza' dog with mozarella and tomato balsamic was a hit and I would order again--you could taste the mozza, the sauce had a nice complementary bite to it, although perhaps a more garlicky edge would make it much better.

I would be back if relatively close by to the shop. I figure I would need to eat 4-5 to feel full and that I satisfied hunger pangs...that would be a $10 trip--not too bad. They do need to do something about that penwand, it's an unnecessary gimmick considering the iMac has a built in iSight which companies such as DeliciousLibrary have utilized as a built in barcode reader.

My rating overall is skewed somewhat...it's a hotdog place so how strictly do you rate that...I'm saying it's a 7/10.

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  1. I was probably behind you in line when I walked out because of the silly non-working pen for over 5 minutes. Glad the little cooker was working after all.

    Thanks for the thorough review!

    1 Reply
    1. re: deelicious

      Thanks for the report! Drove by it on the weekend and was curious to know what it's all about! Will probably drop in and try a dog myself!

    2. I like the tight casings on their dogs as they remind me of Winnipeg's classic European style wiener, the "skinner".

      Also, find the spicing and flavour of the meat itselt to be excellent.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bogie

        Sounds indeed like my kind of sausage dog. They are on Roncesvalles?

      2. Sounds rad! Do they have any veggie dogs?

        1 Reply
        1. re: squeaks

          I believe the menu board said they were working on them...but not yet

        2. Been to the one in Picton and while the dogs were tasty, I was shocked at how, uh, *teensy* they were. Not that I'm looking for street meat size, mind you, but they were more like appetizer dogs so you needed 3 or 4 to get a meal out of it...

          1. Tried again tonight (3rd attempt) at 6:15. Sorry - SOLD OUT! They sold out of buns. I will go back in August. Good luck hounds! BTW - They were serving the last few to some people and apologizing to each of them for the long wait. You can get a hot dog faster at a Blue Jay game during the 7th inning stretch than you can at this place. Amazing!

            4 Replies
            1. re: deelicious

              you are having terrible luck with this place!

              1. re: diesta

                Arm twisted, we headed there for lunch today...after all, one of my friends really wanted to check the place out and it didnt seem fair to think Buddha would need a whole month to get the hot dog service right....in their second location.

                It was closed today - reopens tomorrow.

                1. re: deelicious

                  deelicious - Buddha obviously does not want you to have any hot dogs. Better just take the hint and move along. ;)

                  1. re: gregclow

                    lol - yea. Looks like its street meat for me...