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Jul 22, 2009 03:04 PM

Chicago 58 or Lesters Hot Dogs - GTA

Supermarkets in my area no longer carry Chicago or Lesters. Anyone know where they can be found in the GTA?

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  1. You are unlikely to find any U.S. made all beef franks or sausages in Ontario. Importing has become difficult after the mad cow scare, and the general tightening of the border. Chicago 58 is represented by this firm on Lippincott St.

    Lester's hot dogs, in several styles can be found at Highland Farms supermarkets.
    They haven't met with much praise on these boards.

    Highland Farms Supermarkets
    4750 Dufferin Street North York ON

    Highland Farms
    850 Ellesmere Rd, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

    2 Replies
    1. re: jayt90

      Chicago 58 is a local company - nothing (ever) to do with Chicago. The Lippincott St address is defunct. They are somewhere in the 905 - Vaughan, Concord, or Woodbridge. They supply everything sold by Pancer's, among others.

      I haven't looked for them in a long time, but the used to be stocked by Loblaw's and Metro - at least in Jewish areas.

      1. re: jayt90

        I bought Chicago 58 all beef dogs a couple of months ago at the Shoppers Drug Mart at Chaplin and Eglinton.

      2. Both were at the Metro in Liberty Village this past Sunday

        1 Reply
        1. re: robgm

          I have seen the Chicago 58's in most of the Loblaw stores (notably the one at Steeles and Yonge) and the Lesters at various Metro stores.

        2. Thank you all for responding. I've been able to replenish my supplies which should last until the hot dog cookoff.

          6 Replies
          1. re: scootoeat

            The All Beef Juicy Jumbos are better anyway.


            1. re: Davwud

              We just tried Lester's this week....I found them way to salty, won't buy them again..still looking for a Hot Dog that doesn't make me drink a gallon of water every time we eat them...I have found an abundance of salt in all that we've tried!

              1. re: pearlD

                Well, you might like Katz's version. I don't particularly, but they're good quality, made on site, natural casing.

                1. re: embee

                  embee...who/what is Katz?...Do you mean Katz as in the Deli on Dufferin?

                  1. re: pearlD

                    Yes, the deli that's more or less opposite Yorkdale. They make their own and I find that they are much too wimpy for my palate. That may be exactly what you'd like. While I haven't eaten one in a long time, they seldom change anything. I don't remember them as being either spicy or salty.

                    1. re: embee

                      Thanks 'embee'.
                      ..I'll try them..we actually went there for dinner on Friday..too bad I didn't check this board before we went! I had a craving for Kishka and since Pancers & Yitz were not good the last times we went,...thought we would try KATZ and it was way better than either...will go again and pick up the 'hot dogs'............

          2. I'm unfamiliar with these brands. Are they similar to the snappy Nathan's natural casing dogs, which I forgot to stock up on during my last trip to New York?

            12 Replies
              1. re: Davwud

                I got some Nathan's 'original recipe' dogs with natural casings a couple of weeks ago. I had to do mail order because I couldn't find them in TO. They're excellent.

                1. re: acd123

                  How did you do the mail order?

                  1. re: jayt90

                    Don't get too excited . They will absolutely not ship to Canada - period. You must be able to ship to a US street address. Then you, or whomever received them for you, must get them across the border to their final destinations.

                    There haven't been border problems, at least to date, since these are USDA approved and in a sealed package.

                    They aren't the real original recipe. The ingredients are identical to the skinless ones sold in the Buffalo area. However, the casing does make a difference, When cooked on a flattop until they start to swell, browned gently in a bit of oil, not permitted to split, and eaten stark naked (no condiments; no bun), they do give something approximating the old taste experience,

                    I did say APPROXIMATING! The originals had much more snap and released more juice. The grind was coarser, which also gave it more chew, There was more garlic, more paprika, and more of other flavourings -all very well balanced.

                    You didn't need fat to brown the originals, but the current product does not release enough of its own (though it isn't a low fat The originals tasted fine on a bun, but a decent bun overwhelms the current version. If you want condiments, I don't think its worth the bother.

                    1. re: embee

                      We are comparing these hot hots differently. You are comparing them to the hot dogs of your youth. I am comparing them to the hot dogs I can get in the supermarket. From that frame of reference, I think that the Nathan's dogs are really excellent. Juicy, flavourful and not a bad snap. The old ones had much more juice? If yes, then you would have probably had to take a bath after you ate one. I think the current ones have plenty of juice.

                      So, again, if you were lucky enough to eat the REAL original Nathan's, you will probably like but not love the current ones. If not, and you're from TO, they will be the best hot dog you've eaten.

                      1. re: acd123

                        My "don't get too excited" comment was about anyone's ability to order them in Toronto. For example, I couldn't without significant help :-)

                        I do agree with you - much better than anything available at a Toronto supermarket, and I would order them again given a chance. But you are right, I'd be more excited without my past frame of reference.

                        If you like a bunch of condiments on your dog, I think a decent local brand - such as Big Frank's or Katz's - should do the job with less hassle and for less money. With Nathan's, I'm looking to taste the dog.

                        1. re: embee

                          Embee: I value your opinion with regard to hot dogs (among other things as well, of course) ,so here goes:
                          I had a couple of Shefa hot dogs last night at a family bar-b-que on a non-descript bun purchased a Sobey's (Clark Ave.,Thornhill) bakery . Nothing on it but regular French's mustard.
                          I must tell you that it had all the features you rave about with regard to Nathan's Original- snap, juice, spice, etc. I quite enjoyed them.
                          Have you ever tried Shefa brand hot dogs lately? And if you have, can we please have your comments, please? Thanks.

                          1. re: Doctormhl1

                            Where did you/they get these dogs??


                            1. re: Davwud

                              You won't find them anywhere near Aurora. Toronto Kosher on Bathurst will have them, since they own Shefa. Probably at the Clark/Hilda Sobey's.

                              1. re: Davwud

                                Shefa hot dogs were purchased at Sobey's , Clark Ave. at Hilda Ave., Thornhill Ont.

                              2. re: Doctormhl1

                                I haven't tried them recently, since I thought them awful when I did. It's been several years. Next time I'm up north, I'll pick up a package. The only kosher brand sold in my area is Baldwin.

                                Remember that I'm expressing an opinion. There are decent quality dogs available in Toronto that just aren't to my taste.

                            2. re: acd123

                              If juiciness is a major criterion, then Deli-Cart all beef is the juiciest I have had in GTA. The beef flavor snaps and the grind is slightly coarse.