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Mar 6, 2008 10:00 AM

Buddha Dog? Thoughts? Death Watch?

I checked out Buddha Dog in the summer with some staff, and it was pretty good, def' different and pretty expensive all things considered. I'm thinking the place doesn't last out the year. I just don't see how they can sell enough hotdogs. I mean, why not sell burgers? Grilled Cheese? Mac 'n Cheese? Why not make it a really modern comfort food place, like is their hot dog that innovative or ground shaking for you to make it out to Roncesvalles to eat it. Plus the feeling of having to eat 4 hotdogs to feel full and realizing that you've just spent $10 on hot dogs. Anybody Else?

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  1. Well, they've got an application up for a liquor licence and that's usually the last refuge of a struggling eatery.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jamesm

      BD is on my TO DO List.

      1. re: jamesm

        Bet they sell local beer only, and for $15.00 a bottle!

      2. I will never understand how they stay in business.

        1. Buddha is from Prince Edward County. The meat is to the best of my knowledge from Prince Edward County, and processed locally by an *artisanal* sausage maker exclusively for Buddah.

          What you are paying for is a trendy, but very well constructed small hot dog, so any comparison to a ball park frank is a bit unfair. Think of them as a gourmet hot dog with corresponding prices.

          The location in PEC was busy when I was there a couple of years ago, and the product excellent.

          To me Roncesvalles is the wrong location where pricing is generally value-oriented. They would be better off closer to downtown, somewhere there is a lot of yuppie, clubland or Now Magazine-reading foot traffic.

          18 Replies
          1. re: Scary Bill

            Buddha Dog is a nice place for parents to take their kids where everyone can get the right size and combo. It isn't a clubland dog nor is it Destination Dog. Face it. Every dog tastes great at 2am. That's not their turf.

            1. re: Scary Bill

              What is the difference between an "artisanal" sausage maker and the guy up near my cottage that makes his own meats? Are we just adding artisanal to a job that otherwise wouldn't be artisanal?

              Also, does anybody else feel the pretension of so many of these Prince Edward County food people? I mean, just calling it "The County" and everything. I understand theres a bunch of good food stuff going on out there, but c'mon.

              Also, I think that it's the butcher, I think his name is Ted, that runs the Buddha Dogs, if I'm not mistaken.

              1. re: CIRCLES_SQ

                Boy, picky, picky, picky....

                My choice to use the descriptive "artisanal" , in "quotes", to distinguish their somewhat unique offering from a Schneider's Red Hot. Sorry If I offended you.....

                And another thing-why are the Canadian wine makers using VQA to describe their wine-what the heck doees that mean? I find it rather pretensious myself, and very confusing.

                Oh, for all you critics and "I think" artists, some education


                P.S. I have nothing to do with Buddah Dog, I just think the criticism was unwarranted, and unfounded.

                1. re: Scary Bill

                  Wow I almost felt as though I accidently plagiarized her until I looked back at my old post and realized it was written two months earlier. In any case, I couldn't (obviously) agree with her more. Still it was educational.

                  For Circles Sq:
                  1 : a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : craftsperson
                  2 : one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods

                  Buddha Dog and many in The County define the definition. Have you been?

                  1. re: Googs

                    Yes. Spent a weekend there in September 06, plan on going back this year in the summer or fall to see the changes.
                    Its a nice trip, many interesting foodie and wine and cider activities, though they had a ways to go in certain respects, noteably that too many wineries brought in Niagara grapes to supplement their low volumes. ( and certain wineries were deceitful in their concealment of this fact) I hope this has changed.

                    I would suggest that visiting PEC sooner rather than later would be better since I fear their efforts to promote and brand "The County" will likely be successful and the place will become more expensive and overrun with bus tours.

                    1. re: Scary Bill

                      Hey Scary, the question was for the critic of The County, not you. Your street cred is well known.

                      I've been to PEC which is why I went leaping to it's defense. It's a project that should be encouraged. The County may be simple branding, but at least it's a good brand.

                      1. re: Googs

                        I think what bugs me is how some people say "The County" the same way that most say "Forrest Hill" or "Rosedale". Also, how it gets used almost as certifying something as being good because its from PEC.

                          1. re: hungry_pangolin

                            Maybe I'm inferring too much, but it seems circle sq's suggesting "the county" sounds pretentious. If that's the case, I'd have to agree. I hadn't even heard the term "the county" beforehand. No comment on food quality and all that stuff, I'm sure it's all pretty good, but when it starts getting branded, brutal. It'll be a brand for yuppies to feel good about themselves for eating "local and organic".

                            1. re: grandgourmand

                              Exactly, its like people are using "The County" as a coverall for quality. For example, "Try this raspberry jam, it's from the county." As if there is a presumption that everything from the County is phenomenal.

                              1. re: CIRCLES_SQ

                                It isn't an assumption if you've experienced it. There are a lot of farmers, winemakers, chefs, etc that take great pride in what they do.

                                Please do give Prince Edward County a try. You may very well like it. At least a day or two at Sandbanks Provincial Park is nice even if you're not enthusiastic about the local food & wine.

                                The County is just branding to make the area easier to pitch to vacationers. Prince Edward County may have fallen into hard times without it. I wouldn't get overly occupied by its deeper meanings.

                                1. re: Googs

                                  I know what's going on out there, I used the word presume though, not assume.

                              2. re: grandgourmand

                                I grew up in Picton. PEC has been called 'The County' forever, but was a term used by people from Belleville and Napanee, not Rosedale.
                                For decades 'The County' was about sand dunes, pea canneries, corn on the cob, good cheddar, soft ice cream and field tomatoes as done by the descendants of United Empire Loyalists.

                                Now, in the blink of an eye, it's all about organic boar, wineries with bus parking lots, too many B&Bs and BMWs, crappy service, empty schools and tiny wieners. It's sad.

                                1. re: koknia

                                  So are you with me here or......?

                                  1. re: CIRCLES_SQ

                                    I'm more or less with you. There is lots of good stuff going on down there, but a bunch of people with no real feel for the place or respect for it's history have co-opted the term for their own means. It probably has become a useless generic.
                                    I'm probably not one to comment on specific products, as I don't try lot of this new stuff. I'm old County.

                    2. re: Scary Bill

                      There's nothing pretentious or confusing about VQA. It's simply an appellation, like those in many parts of the world. You know when you buy a VQA wine, you're getting a wine made with 100% grapes grown in Ontario. Can't get more simple or straightfoward than that.

                      1. re: JamieK

                        And, also, the wine meets (theoretically) a varietal standard. VQA applies also to wines from BC. PEC is one of the four principal VQA regions. There's nothing pretentious about this. It was an industry initiative to raise and standardise the quality of the product.

                        1. re: JamieK

                          I know, I was just being a bit petulent. Lousy week.

                          I have taken a couple of WSET courses so I appreciate the VQA standards.

                  2. Googs' comment is on the money. Buddha Dog knows their market and appeals to it accordingly. It’s a family-friendly establishment with great atmosphere, and it’s a nice contribution to the Roncesvalles facelift.

                    I’m sure the liquor license is to allow their many adult patrons an option other than lemonade and water to accompany their dogs. I do not see it as an act of desperation whatsoever, especially since I walk past this restaurant going to and from work and it’s usually very busy – even amidst the gruesome weather we’ve been having. This speaks volumes for any Toronto establishment.

                    Their menu actually does consist of other items above and beyond hotdogs. In fact, you can get a grilled cheese there. They also serve soups and salads. I would oppose them expanding their menu much beyond this. So many places fail because they veer from what they’re good at. Buddha Dog does a mean dog. Why criticize that?

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Beagle

                        They have vegetarian options? Now I'll have to go there to see what all the fuss is about. I guess artisanal soy protein is a lot to hope for. :)

                      2. artisinal , V.Q.A, hotdogs...I needed a good laugh..after the C.T.Syndrome I seem to have acquired from 2 days of shoveling snow.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: coffee_addictt

                          u n me both addictt.

                          Buddha has one thing going for it. Small healthy weiners for kids. Thats it. I feel sorry for their parents if they need to eat along side. Perhaps some over priced artisinal beer will help them thru the experience...

                          1. re: deelicious

                            I live very close to Buddha Dog and walk past several times a week and I can honestly say I've never seen more than three people in there. Often the place is entirely empty except for the employees sitting at the window.