HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Do you create unique foods? Get great advice

Nathans Hot Dogs

erly Oct 3, 2009 11:16 AM

This is an ongoing discussion here.
It always comes up as unavailable.
Went to the AC Centre and discovered that they now sell this elusive dog.
If they have it, there must be a distributor in Ont., or it should be available to mcewan, Nortown, etc.

  1. e
    embee Oct 3, 2009 11:41 AM

    Johnny Rockets also sells them. I don't know how they are cooked, but they don't taste right if they aren't grilled.

    Both get them through their foodservice sources. They are not available at retail in Ontario. The Canadian distributor, Canalta Group in Alberta, has been promising them "within months" for a couple of years, They still are...

    They have never been able to get a distributor for the GTA. I know they spoke to Nortown way back when, and did not reach a deal. I have no idea why.

    27 Replies
    1. re: embee
      pinstripeprincess Oct 3, 2009 01:17 PM

      i think the miami subs place on queen west claims to also sell them on their website.

      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        embee Oct 4, 2009 01:24 PM

        The other "authorized" foodservice outlet is called Auntie Anne's Pretzels. I have never seen one of these.

        1. re: embee
          pinstripeprincess Oct 4, 2009 01:31 PM

          in canada you mean? pehaps they have a niagara falls location.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            abigllama Oct 4, 2009 01:37 PM

            There's an Auntie Annie's in the Fallsview Casino mall. The pretzel dog made with Nathan's is a guilty pleasure when in the area.

            1. re: abigllama
              T Long Oct 4, 2009 01:55 PM

              Thx...good to know. Will look for Annie's next time in NF.

              1. re: abigllama
                abigllama Jun 18, 2010 01:25 PM

                I was at the Fallsview Casino last week and spoke to a manager at Auntie Annie's. This is the only location in Canada right now but they're planning on opening more in the Toronto area. They sell the tasty Nathan's product in the pretzel dogs as well as regular hot dogs.

                These hot dogs are so good. I just don't get why it should be such a challenge to get them here.

            2. re: embee
              magic Oct 4, 2009 02:37 PM

              Up until a couple of years ago Auntie Anne's locations were in quite a few GTA malls. They're now much harder to find, if present at all. They're common in malls in New York State for sure.

              1. re: magic
                CeeQueue Oct 4, 2009 05:53 PM

                There used to be an Auntie Anne's in Scarborough Town Centre. I recall hearing they'd closed most -- if not all -- of their locations.

                1. re: CeeQueue
                  magic Oct 4, 2009 05:58 PM

                  Yup, that was the one I was most familiar with. Last time I was in Buffalo (May) I think I remember seeing it in some of the malls there. This is pretty off topic, but there you go. :)

          2. re: embee
            duckdown Oct 4, 2009 01:09 PM

            I was hoping that the "Toronto Star Taste Off" article would maybe open some eyes and get the ball rolling to importing some of these.

            Really glad to see you stuck to your guns and called out Toronto on the lack of good dogs.. Because I agree with you 100%.. I don't think I've ever had a great dog, ever, in this city..

            1. re: duckdown
              embee Oct 4, 2009 01:32 PM

              Actually, recalling the deep, dark recesses of long term memory, I was not QUITE accurate. I can remember two sources of good tasting dogs. However, these were never available at a supermarket.

              Switzer's on Spadina sometimes had Nathan's dogs (the original ones) and a kosher brand called Hod Carmel (which is long defunct). I believe they brought them across the border themselves. Supplies were limited and sporadic.This was in the seventies.

              There was also a street cart on the corner of Yorkville and Hazelton that had some good ones. I don't know where they came from. I think they lasted one summer.

              1. re: embee
                duckdown Oct 4, 2009 01:39 PM

                interesting.. there is a switzer's here in brampton but i would assume nthey are not related.. this one just sells lester's meat etc. but it is tasty enough if you're nearby

                how old is that article anyway? i forgot to check the date... if its a new thing maybe it piqued some intrest in some new restauraunteurs (hopefully)

                1. re: duckdown
                  embee Oct 4, 2009 02:16 PM

                  According to David Sax, the Switzer's in Brampton is, indeed, run by one of the guys who last owned the place on Spadina. It is hardly similar, though.

                  I don't know whether they still make anything in house, but they had amazing beef knishes (wrapped in potato and baked). If you see these, try one and let us know.

                  The Star article was last week - I think it was Wednesday.

                2. re: embee
                  jayt90 Oct 4, 2009 03:06 PM

                  There are good all beef hot dogs produced in Ontario, and certainly, some good pork dogs. At the Chow hot dog cook-off, Nathan's was the best, but only marginally ahead of Delancey, Cumbrae, or Deli-Cart.
                  Big Franks had a following, too.
                  These are sometimes hard to find, but easier to get than driving to Buffalo.
                  When I'm buying dogs, I look for these brands, or Schneider's Juicy Jumbo's, and check the ingredients to see whether they have resorted to binders, such as soy, wheat or modified corn. Most of the above do not but may change at anytime. In the end, the hot dog maker has to provide a mature slurry formed into a skinned dog without resorting to soy or wheat. Not an easy task, especially if gelatinous organs are not used.

                  1. re: jayt90
                    embee Oct 4, 2009 03:53 PM

                    This proves how drastically tastes differ. The "NY style" dogs tend to be salty and garlicky, and were traditionally eaten with nothing more than a smear of brown mustard and, possibly, some warm sauerkraut from the barrel.

                    The dogs popular in Toronto are really formulated more as bases for condiments than as treats to eat just for themselves.

                    I don't like Delancey or Big and I've never tasted Deli Cart. Cumbrae's are okay, but don't have any significant notes that would make them great on their own.

                    Binders are an interesting issue. Some dogs use the binders to cheap out on other, more costly, ingredients. For example, glutens can substitute for meat proteins. However, I recently learned that this isn't always true.

                    Nathan's dogs contain binders, but you wouldn't know that from eating them. There is no mechanically separated beef or beef "by-products", which is
                    the most important quality issue. The entire additive list is "less than
                    2%", which includes the salt and all of the flavourings.

                    Most of the additives are harmless, as far as I know, but they are quite a bunch: sorbitol, three hydrolyzed gluten proteins (soy, corn, and wheat), lactate, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, nitrite.

                    I'm guessing that the binders permit a lower fat content and mask the fat the dog contains. These dogs are 26% fat, which is high for today but (I suspect) at least 5-7% lower than in the past.

                    The Star taste test was a much smaller and less interesting sample than what you had at the Chow tasting. The winner was the Shopsy "Original Recipe". These Maple Leaf dogs are very different from the Shopsy's sold in the street, but likely not remotely similar to an "original" Shopsowitz dog. They won because, essentially, they didn't offend anyone.

                    1. re: embee
                      Atahualpa Oct 4, 2009 05:17 PM

                      embee, have you tried grilling the Cumbrae's ones over an open gas flame until they blister (this will create a slight mess on your stove-top range)? The browning of the exterior really makes an exceptional difference.

                      Anyways, they are the ONLY Toronto dogs I truly enjoy, and I prefer them plain (no bun) with a small dab of mustard.

                      I would definitely love a chance to try a real, old-fashioned, NY-style dog.

                      1. re: Atahualpa
                        embee Oct 4, 2009 05:49 PM

                        I haven't done that and can't really risk it because parts for my 21 year old gas stove are difficult to find. It has an infrared salamander, and replacing this stove will cost thousands. I suspect I can get the same effect on my barbecue - I'll give it a try.

                      2. re: embee
                        Davwud Oct 6, 2009 04:47 AM

                        Interesting that you mentioned the fat. If I don't feel like going out and using the grill, I'll stick mine in the cast iron pan and fry them. The amount of oil that renders out of them is really surprising.
                        It also makes them fantastic in wieners and beans.


                        1. re: Davwud
                          embee Oct 6, 2009 07:49 AM

                          Are you referring to your Nathan's stash or to the Cumbrae's?

                      3. re: jayt90
                        CeeQueue Oct 4, 2009 06:00 PM

                        I recall the Stemmlers (is that the right name/spelling?) Ball Park dogs being very popular with many of us, while their all-beef version fell flat. Some liked Big Frank because of the strong anise taste...I spit out my bite. I found myself surprised that my favourite of the whole day were the Pillars European Style, which I enjoyed equally as well as the ones from my local European Deli (Rupelt's), which may have been their own or may have even been Pillars (will have to ask them).

                    2. re: duckdown
                      mikefly Oct 5, 2009 10:00 PM

                      Huh, I got the feeling the article was written due to the Great Hot Dog CH Cook Off.

                      1. re: mikefly
                        duckdown Oct 6, 2009 03:00 AM

                        i didn't get that idea

                        1. re: mikefly
                          jayt90 Oct 6, 2009 06:22 AM

                          Food writers and editors routinely monitor Chowhound Toronto and that thought crossed my mind when I saw the Star article.
                          It would be flattering if true.
                          Two questions arise: Why didn't they send a reporter to the hot dog cook-off?
                          Why was their own taste test of hot dogs done so poorly, without much scope or believability?
                          The Chow cook off was far from complete or definitive, but we did open some doors.

                          1. re: jayt90
                            Restaurant Dish Oct 6, 2009 07:12 AM

                            I think they have become lazy, to be honest and I know this is not the place to discuss this, so I'm going to start a new thread in Food Media, if anyone would like to discuss.

                            1. re: jayt90
                              pinstripeprincess Oct 7, 2009 10:06 AM

                              you sure there wasn't a reporter ;)

                          2. re: duckdown
                            goose54 Jan 7, 2010 08:44 PM

                            I agree. Nathans dogs are really worth the import.

                          3. re: embee
                            Grubster Nov 1, 2012 04:28 PM

                            Summerhill Market, 446 Summerhill Avenue has Nathans franks. Saw them in the cold box last night.

                          4. l
                            LUV_TO_EAT Oct 5, 2009 10:06 AM

                            I've never tried Nathan's but my favorite is the regular hot dog from European Meats in Kensington. They have a nice crunch when you eat them. Anybody else try them?

                            1. j
                              Jade Alberts Oct 5, 2009 02:16 PM

                              A broker has been hired in Ontario but just for food service right now i.e - ACC, Johnny Rockets (4 locations), Auntie Anne's Pretzels (3 locations). Once the product is produced in Canada it will be available in the Retail market.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jade Alberts
                                longolame Oct 5, 2009 03:15 PM

                                Just did a web look-up of Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Nathan dogs wrapped in freshly cooked pretzel dough! Mmmm, I may have to visit Bramalea.

                              2. Davwud Oct 6, 2009 04:46 AM

                                I'm fortunate enough to make 4 trips to the in-laws a year. They sell jumbo packs in the Costco down there and I stock up.
                                You can get a good dog here in TO. You can not get a great dog. Nathan's are great. We certainly need them here.


                                1. o
                                  OTFOODIE Oct 6, 2009 07:46 AM

                                  While technically not a hot dog, I would suggest Denniger's knackwurst, or as a substitute, Brandt's knackwurst for a really good hot dog-like experience.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: OTFOODIE
                                    erly Oct 6, 2009 10:49 AM

                                    Do any of the above have natural casing?
                                    We never grill our dogs.
                                    We prefer steamed with casing.

                                    1. re: erly
                                      jayt90 Oct 6, 2009 06:03 PM

                                      Freybe's wieners at Highland Farms have lamb casings.

                                      1. re: jayt90
                                        erly Oct 7, 2009 05:44 AM

                                        Hi Jay,
                                        Once again to the rescue LOL
                                        We really like the Freybe's, although they are Pork rather than beef.
                                        Costco in their wisdom discontinued them as well as the Lester's Smoked meat, and we have not been able to find them elsewhere..
                                        We visit Frankfurt quite often , and they are exactly the same as the typical Frankfurt dogs.

                                      2. re: erly
                                        OTFOODIE Jan 15, 2010 02:51 PM

                                        I was at the Brandt's outlet in Mississauga this week and picked up All Veal Weiners. They have a natural lamb casing and might be a good substitute for people wanting a no-pork, natural casing hot dog.

                                        1. re: OTFOODIE
                                          CeeQueue Jan 15, 2010 02:55 PM

                                          Were those the Big Frank brand, or maybe a house brand?

                                          1. re: CeeQueue
                                            OTFOODIE Jan 18, 2010 03:58 AM

                                            They were Brandt's own brand. To answer acd123, yes, I've had them, and they were quite good.

                                          2. re: OTFOODIE
                                            acd123 Jan 15, 2010 03:26 PM

                                            Have you had them yet? How were they?

                                      3. y
                                        youdonut Oct 8, 2009 05:35 AM

                                        I contacted Nathans Hot Dogs about the possibility of finding thier product in the stores in ontario and the response seems to indicate as follows..

                                        ""Thank you for you interest in Nathan's. We as a company share your passion for our great tasting Hot Dogs. As of right now we are setting up the product in Canada. Once this is completed, the product will be brought to retail. Unfortunately you can only get Nathan's at the following retailers ACC, Johnny Rockets and Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Nov.1st our Ontario broker starts and will be selling to other food service locations. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Once our product is ready for distribution ion Canada I will let you know. ""

                                        Jade Alberts
                                        Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Canada
                                        C 403-771-1301
                                        T 1-888-899-DOGS(3647)
                                        F 403-820-6272
                                        E jade@canalta.com

                                        I figure if enough people express an interest to this person about getting thier products sold in the stores here and not just at the ACC and the like, EMAIL this person and let them know.

                                        19 Replies
                                        1. re: youdonut
                                          Davwud Oct 8, 2009 07:14 AM

                                          Embee, you wanna weigh in on this??


                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            embee Oct 8, 2009 08:29 AM

                                            This company, apparently the Canadian master distributor, seemingly has no experience with retail food distribution and knows absolutely nothing about the deli business.

                                            They own Ramada and Super 8 motels, A&W and Boston Pizza franchises, Husky truck stops, and retirement homes. They don't do anything that I'm aware of in this part of Canada.

                                            I actually put them in touch with Nortown, the ideal distributor for the GTA (who they had never heard of), a very long time ago. Nothing ever came of it. While I have some suspicions as to why this didn't work out, I don't actually KNOW anything more.

                                            They have been promising "imminent" retail distribution here for so long that I stopped listening. Now they claim to be looking for a Canadian manufacturer. I hope they get one.

                                            1. re: embee
                                              Davwud Oct 8, 2009 11:46 AM

                                              Thank you. Very much what I thought you'd say.


                                              1. re: embee
                                                Jade Alberts Oct 8, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                As of Nov.1st we will have a food broker in Ontario. They will be selling our product to other food service locations across Ontario. We took our time hiring the right company as it is very important to the success of Nathan's. I am sure you will all agree we want Nathan's to be in Canada for a very long time. In regards to buying Nathan's at your local Grocery Store we are still working on this. I do not have a time frame but as soon as I do it will be posted on Chowhound. I love the fact that people are talking about Nathan's and share our passion for the Hot Dog.

                                                1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                  Davwud Oct 8, 2009 02:58 PM

                                                  Get 'em into Costco like in the US.


                                                  1. re: Davwud
                                                    Jade Alberts Oct 8, 2009 03:52 PM

                                                    It is one of the stores we will be targeting

                                                    1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                      OTFOODIE Oct 8, 2009 09:32 PM

                                                      Bah, Humbug. I want them in regular stores, not club places like Costco or big boxes like Walmart.

                                                  2. re: Jade Alberts
                                                    acd123 Oct 9, 2009 05:41 AM

                                                    Please, please make sure you have the original, natural casing dogs available. Last time, I had to mail-order a whole bunch from the US. I've still got a bunch in my freezer. They're excellent. Whenever we want a treat, we grill up a few and have them with mustard and sauerkraut.

                                                    1. re: acd123
                                                      acd123 Oct 9, 2009 08:25 AM

                                                      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I had to mail order the dogs to a relative in the US, who stored them in a freezer until they drove in (which is quite often). They do not do mail order to Canada.

                                                      I just had to try an original natural casing Nathan's hot dog. Yes, that's A LOT of touble for a hot dog.

                                                    2. re: Jade Alberts
                                                      duckdown Oct 9, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                      Excellent, I have been wanting to try this elusive and much talked about Nathan's hot dog for a long time now.. never tried one.

                                                      Hopefully they'll be readily available for next grilling season!

                                                      1. re: duckdown
                                                        Restaurant Dish Oct 9, 2009 02:41 PM

                                                        I don't want to burst your bubble, and it's a good hot dog, but keep in mind when you do finally try one that it's just a hot dog. I've had them plenty of times, and while it's a very well-made hot dog, it probably isn't the best hot dog I've ever eaten nor would I go out of my way to find one. Just my 2 cents.
                                                        Having said that, you'll taste a difference if all you've ever had were Costco hot dogs and Maple Leaf, for sure!

                                                        1. re: Restaurant Dish
                                                          embee Oct 9, 2009 02:47 PM

                                                          That sums it up neatly. It is, indeed, just a hot dog. The ones sold during my Brooklyn childhood were better than the ones sold today. But there aren't any good common hot dogs, tasty without condiments, available in Toronto.

                                                          1. re: embee
                                                            jayt90 Oct 9, 2009 03:12 PM

                                                            My favorite common hot dog is Deli-Cart all beef, available in spring and summer from Highland Farms and Costco. I have been snacking on Nathan's this week, thanks to a package given to me by Davwud. The taste profile is similar, beefy, juicy, and just the right amount of garlic and spice. The Deli-Cart is slightly greasier, but that may be due to no fillers. Nathan's uses a couple of binders, which keep the fat in the meat.
                                                            But these are just hot dogs, simply elevated a bit from the norm, much like mortadella is tastier than bologna.

                                                            I have to wonder why Deli-Cart , made by David Gordon in London Ont., is limited to spring and summer. And who is David Gordon?

                                                            On another note, I've heard that Moishe's is still producing all beef hot dogs in Quebec, and selling them as far west as Ottawa.

                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                              Restaurant Dish Oct 9, 2009 03:28 PM

                                                              Thanks for the suggestion, have never tried Deli Cart. I'll have to pick some up next time I'm at Costco.

                                                              1. re: Restaurant Dish
                                                                duckdown Oct 9, 2009 04:28 PM

                                                                oh ok, i thought these were one of those "great hot dogs" that we couldn't get here in canada

                                                                what is the difference between these famous US dogs: dirty water dog, chicago style hot dog, new york style hot dog, and LA hot dog (Pink's?)

                                                                all 4 are supposedly unique i was told before and there are nothing like them in canada

                                                                1. re: duckdown
                                                                  jayt90 Oct 9, 2009 04:41 PM

                                                                  Dirty water dog is nothing special, though good if you are hungry on a Manhattan street. They always put too much water in the bun , and the kraut is nothing special; bland like the wiener and mustard. Others will disagree, but this is no Nathan's.

                                                                  New York style would be Nathan's, with lambskin casing. Juicy, beefy, spicy, garlicky, with a snap.

                                                                  Chicago style is best made with front quarter beef from old retired bulls, and spiced accordingly. Lots of toppings.

                                                                  I don't know anything about Pink's

                                                                  1. re: duckdown
                                                                    embee Oct 11, 2009 09:50 AM

                                                                    While a "dirty water" dog can be anything, these are usually a specific type of Sabrett beef dog in a rather tough casing. I've never liked them very much, but many people do. The water looks "dirty" from the drippings and such floating in it.

                                                                    Thinking back, the water probably was actually "dirty" when I was a kid, since all apartment and office buildings but the smallest burned their garbage every day. Soot fell everywhere - this is no longer the case.

                                                                    There used to be a lot of Hebrew National carts as well.They were similarly held in hot water. I don't know whether these are still around, since kosher standards are very different today.

                                                                    The signature Chicago dog is a cased dog made by Vienna Beef. These are beefier than what you find in Toronto, but do not have the seasoning hit of an old fashioned NY dog. Chicago dogs are heaped with specific condiments (including veggies, relishes, hot pickled peppers, and celery salt) .

                                                                    I've never had a Pink's dog. My impression is that their dog is mainly a vehicle for their sauce.

                                                                    1. re: embee
                                                                      magic Oct 11, 2009 10:18 AM

                                                                      Pink's dogs are ok, but look better than they taste, which I found fairly bland. I much preferred a good old Nortown or Big Frank's dog to Pink's.

                                                                      You are exactly right, they are vehicles for the toppings, which can get real messy and interesting. It's the first hot dog I've ever needed a spoon to help with, haha.

                                                                    2. re: duckdown
                                                                      Restaurant Dish Oct 13, 2009 04:06 PM

                                                                      While I am no 'hot dog' expert, I have tried all of these that you list above (all really by coincidence and not by specifically seeking them out), and from that can tell you that there are better hot dogs than others the same way I'd say there are better burgers than others. I guess with hot dogs sure it's the meat used to make the dogs, but then also the casings. I guess it depends what your preference is, some like a 'snap' when they bite into it, I still have not gotten used to loving that, but will say that most of the 'snap' hot dogs are better quality. While the Pinks dogs I had were great, especially the chili and other toppings, it's really a landmark more than anything so if you're ever in L.A. in the area, for sure go check it out.

                                                  3. duckdown Oct 12, 2009 02:20 PM


                                                    Thanks for the background information and details!

                                                    chicago style sounds good.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: duckdown
                                                      jayt90 Oct 12, 2009 02:27 PM

                                                      The Chicago brand 'Vienna' states that they use front quarter beef specifically from older male animals, for a more assertive flavor. Most other companies would shy away from this.

                                                    2. m
                                                      magic Nov 1, 2009 04:13 PM

                                                      Not sure if this has been mentioned on this or any other thread, but I saw Nathan's brand of mustard (didn't even know they had their own!) in Nortown today. If this is old or completely useless news to present Nathan's (and I'm assuming mustard) fans, forgive magic....

                                                      26 Replies
                                                      1. re: magic
                                                        Jade Alberts Nov 14, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                        Yes there is Nathan's Branded Mustard. It is a retail product but was not aware it was in Canada. I am not sure how they are getting it as we have not brought it up yet.

                                                        1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                          acd123 Nov 14, 2009 11:56 AM

                                                          Jade, when and where will the Nathan's products (HOT DOGS!!) be available in Toronto?

                                                          1. re: acd123
                                                            embee Nov 14, 2009 04:52 PM

                                                            Yes, Jade, when and where? And why not with casings as well??

                                                            1. re: embee
                                                              acd123 Nov 14, 2009 09:12 PM

                                                              Yes, Jade, why not with casings as well? We want that here. In Toronto. Right now. Although I still have a few packages in my freezer, they will likely be gone soon and I would prefer to buy them here instead of mailing them to my sister in Detroit and have her shelp them to TO when you comes to visit. Yes, I agree that only a crazy person would go to those lengths for hot dogs. But they are so good and I must have them. So Jade, hook us up with Nathan's skinless dogs in TO. Okay? Hello?

                                                              1. re: acd123
                                                                Jade Alberts Jan 7, 2010 08:25 AM

                                                                Sorry guys I have been busy and have not logged on for awhile. Right now we are selling the skinless only. We are waiting for approvals from CFIA on labelling and then the product will be made in Canada. At this time we will then start the retail process. The Mustard is not a Nathan's owned product so it can be sold by anyone that wants to. I have another trip planned in Ontario this month to meet with some more clients. Hopefully the product will be avaialable at more locations soon. Any local grocery store can buy the product frozen and sell it. There are at least 10 locations out west doing this.

                                                                1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                                  duckdown Jan 7, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                                  Thanks, keep us posted! I still haven't tried a Nathan's dog

                                                                  1. re: duckdown
                                                                    Davwud Jan 11, 2010 12:44 PM

                                                                    email me.


                                                                  2. re: Jade Alberts
                                                                    Jade Alberts Jan 24, 2010 08:18 AM

                                                                    See post below

                                                            2. re: Jade Alberts
                                                              embee Nov 14, 2009 04:51 PM

                                                              The mustard has been sold here for many, many years.

                                                              1. re: embee
                                                                youdonut Jan 7, 2010 08:06 PM

                                                                really??? where if i may ask??

                                                                1. re: youdonut
                                                                  embee Jan 8, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                                  I have often seen it at smaller chains (e.g., Bruno's) and occasionally at supermarkets. Nunzio's (defunct) used to carry it regularly. It seems to come and go. There is nothing at all special about it.

                                                                  1. re: embee
                                                                    youdonut Jan 8, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                    thaks for the info..

                                                                    1. re: youdonut
                                                                      fleisch Jan 12, 2010 10:42 AM

                                                                      They also have the mustard at the Kosher Sobey's in Thornhill.
                                                                      It's perfectly fine brown mustard but, as embee says, nothing special.

                                                                2. re: embee
                                                                  hotdoglover Jan 9, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                                  I posted a reply here, but the moderators suggested I move it to the General Chowhounding Topics Board since it contains info about Nathan's and hot dogs in general rather than about hot dogs in Toronto specifically. To see my response. go to the General Board or see it here if this link is permitted.


                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                    5andman Jan 9, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                    Was at the Rogers Centre for the NFL game and tried the 1ft dog @Hogtown Grill.
                                                                    I was really impressed. Good crunch to the skin and juicy inside.

                                                                    Next time, I'm going to go back and hopefully find out what the dogs are from.

                                                                    1. re: 5andman
                                                                      Jade Alberts Jan 24, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                                      Our Canadian Launch will be at the CFRA Show in Toronto. It runs Mar.7-9 at the Direct Energy Centre. Please come by and have a hot dog. We are getting closer to having the product made in Canada. Our first Nathan's Restaurant will be opening in Alberta this year and hopefully we will have 2 by the end of 2010.

                                                                      1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                                        Davwud Jan 24, 2010 11:26 AM

                                                                        "Made in Canada??"

                                                                        What does that mean?? Exacting standards or what they think the Canadian market will like slapped with the Nathan's brand on it??

                                                                        You can't fool us!!!


                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          TexSquared Jan 24, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                          Assume the latter. Think of how many food products are sold in Canada with the same name as the U.S. original but doesn't taste quite the same. If they have to make it here rather than import it, it won't be the same.

                                                                          1. re: TexSquared
                                                                            Davwud Jan 24, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                            Well, there are arguments on both sides. Diet Pepsi here is much better than there and by all accounts, Heinz ketchup and Oreos are the same deal.

                                                                            So let's see. I'm just asking.


                                                                            1. re: Davwud
                                                                              TexSquared Jan 24, 2010 06:12 PM

                                                                              Note that I didn't say "better" I just said "doesn't taste quite the same". Huge difference.

                                                                              If we're expecting Nathan's hot dogs and end up getting something closer to President's Choice, then to me anyway, we didn't get real Nathan's despite the label, even if "market research" suggests Canadians like the PC taste better. That was my point. If they're going to market a product as "Nathan's" it better taste the same as if I bought it in Buffalo. Just like Krispy Kreme in Mississauga tastes the same as anywhere in the USA -- they use imported ingredients rather than tweak it for Canada.

                                                                              Diet Pepsi I can't comment on, but I will say Canadian Oreo's are harder than the American kind (need more force to break them, in the fingers or mouth); as for the ketchup, that might go back to the HFCS vs cane sugar debate (as it is with Coca-Cola). My American wife, who drank Dr. Pepper all her life, says the Canadian DP tastes better than the home version. Damn HFCS aftertaste that we all know and hate.

                                                                              1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                Davwud Jan 25, 2010 04:44 AM

                                                                                And I didn't say you said they were better. I'm just pointing out that tasting different doesn't mean worse. Sometimes things are better, sometimes not.

                                                                                Perhaps we'll get something more like what Embee remembers. Who knows??


                                                                        2. re: Jade Alberts
                                                                          embee Jan 24, 2010 12:36 PM

                                                                          Just my opinion, of course, but market research/taste testing done in Alberta would not define Toronto tastes.

                                                                          1. re: embee
                                                                            TexSquared Jan 24, 2010 06:17 PM

                                                                            There should be no "market research" in this at all. If they put Nathan's on the label it should taste like Nathan's in New York. No excuses.

                                                                            1. re: embee
                                                                              abigllama Jan 24, 2010 10:46 PM

                                                                              I don't see any mention of product testing in Alberta but just that they're opening a Nathan's fast food outlet there. Hopefully the product carries over as is and also hope we get some of those Nathan's outlets. In addition to the great dogs, they used to have really good fries too.

                                                                              1. re: abigllama
                                                                                jayt90 Jan 25, 2010 05:09 AM

                                                                                I remember Nathan's more for the raw clam bar, but thatwould be unthinkable on Ontario or Alberta.

                                                                                1. re: jayt90
                                                                                  abigllama Jan 25, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                                                  Nathan's outlets now today have the clams happening. Some have Arthur Treacher's offerings in them which would include friend clams but would assume that's just a freezer to fryer product.


                                                                3. shiro miso Jun 18, 2010 09:20 AM

                                                                  Found some sources for this *elusive* Nathans dog!

                                                                  Johnny Rockets restaurant... they have a grill and locations at yonge/dundas and vaughan mills, square one, and niagara:


                                                                  The International Centre too, and the ACC.

                                                                  I wonder if I can bribe a Johnny Rockets employee to sell some raw out the back door for my charcoal Q. Hmmmm....

                                                                  Hopefully they will get their retail act together soon. Tried to smuggle some in from Chicago and it didn't end well. ;-(

                                                                  Here's an article from the restaurant news on Canada's first Nathan's restaurant. But Alberta is far...


                                                                  Shiro Miso

                                                                  Johnny Rockets
                                                                  100 City Centre Dr, Mississauga, ON L5B2C9, CA

                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                  1. re: HSz
                                                                    Doctormhl1 Jun 18, 2010 01:49 PM

                                                                    This week we purchased "Olde Spadina Ave." brand hot dogs at Sobey's on Clark Ave., Thornhill.
                                                                    The packaging states that the hot dogs are Coney Island style with natural casing.
                                                                    The product is certified "kosher" by COR
                                                                    This hot dog is tasty, crunchy, smokey and spicey, and quite filling. It would be difficult for most of us to eat more than one hot dog and bun at one time. I think it is the hot dog that comes closest to the old Nathan's coney island kosher hot dog of yesteryear.
                                                                    When I went on the Olde Spadina Ave. web-site I was informed that this is the Kosher hot dog that is sold at the Air Canada Centre.
                                                                    I definitely recommend this product. Give it a try.

                                                                    Air Canada Centre
                                                                    40 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5J2X2, CA

                                                                    1. re: Doctormhl1
                                                                      shiro miso Jun 21, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                                      Thanks doc!

                                                                      I will check those out for sure... and interesting about the ACC. I think that Olde Spadina has a branded location there, the Nathan's dogs must be sold somewhere else in the building.

                                                                      All the best,


                                                                    2. re: shiro miso
                                                                      T Long Jun 21, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                      Can anyone confirm first-hand that Johnny Rockets is selling the same Nathan's that they sell in New York. I know what they are saying on their web-site, but hope one of our CH "experts" can comment.

                                                                      1. re: T Long
                                                                        jayt90 Jun 21, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                                        Chances are they are skinless, and similar to what you might buy at Wegman's. A good mass market product. There are natural casing Nathan's available in New York, but hard to find. The ingredient list on J.R. isn't very promising.
                                                                        It does not include lamb casings, as for example, Freybe's franks does.

                                                                        1. re: jayt90
                                                                          embee Jun 21, 2010 08:58 PM

                                                                          The ingredients in that list (Beef, water, contains less than 2% of salt, sorbitol, sodium lactate, hydrolyzed soy, corn and wheat gluten protein, paprika, natural flavorings, sodium diacetate, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite) are the standard Nathan's hot dog ingredients.

                                                                          Don't be put off by the additive list. The "less than 2%" includes all of the seasoning and curing agents. These dogs are beef (no "by-products") and water (ice is a critical ingredient in hot dog production). What you'll taste is a (by Toronto standards) highly flavoured all beef dog.

                                                                          The retail version with the natural lamb casing has the same ingredients. They have the snap and are juicier if you don't overcook them and burst the skin, but the dogs are otherwise the same.

                                                                          These are NOT the Nathan's dogs of my childhood, which were spicier, and which certainly didn't contain the long list of additives. However, those were sold by a family-owned company, were local to New York City, and were not packaged for retail.

                                                                          I'd describe the current version as dumbed down, but with nuances of the original taste profile and still better than anything available in Toronto. Obviously, YMMV.

                                                                          I've heard rumours that the Coney Island location still sells the original recipe, but I haven't been there in many years and I have no idea whether that's true. Surprisingly, I've never seen the natural casing variety in a NYC supermarket.

                                                                          1. re: embee
                                                                            jmarcroyal Jun 22, 2010 12:18 AM

                                                                            You guys seem to be hyping the hell out of these Nathans Hot Dogs, Im gonna have to try em, but i highly doubt they live up to the lofty expectations based on the praise in this thread.

                                                                            Maybe its just me, but everyone I know says the Street Meat in Toronto is some of the best in North America. Our Street Vendors always have delicious hot dogs and Sausages(Polish and Italian), and I love to load up the toppings(My preference is Ketchup, Mustard, Hot Sauce, Olives, Hot Peppers, and Bacon Bits. I used to love tossing cheese on it before it was illegal to sell it.

                                                                            Most people that I know that have been to NY say Toronto's dogs/sausages are better. I think its one of the best cheap meals in the city.

                                                                            Now, if you are talking about Store-Bought and home cooked, One Dog you gotta try(If you havent) is the Angus Hot Dogs, I think they are made by Maple Leaf. I know Metro sells them, and I absolutely love em. I currently need a new BBQ so ive been boiling them(maybe its just me, but i love em like this) and they are so plump and juicy and delicious. So Far, they are my favorite Store-Bought dog.

                                                                            Ive been meaning to try Lesters hot dogs, I know they sell them at the Rogers Center(atleast during the All-You-Can-Eat promotion) so id like to know how they are, anyone like those?

                                                                            1. re: jmarcroyal
                                                                              Atahualpa Jun 22, 2010 09:51 AM

                                                                              If you like that many toppings on your hot dogs, I wonder if you really care that much about the actual hot dog's flavour?

                                                                              Also, NY street dogs are not Nathan's. So, whether a Toronto street-dog is better or not isn't really at issue here.

                                                                              1. re: Atahualpa
                                                                                jayt90 Jun 22, 2010 11:02 AM

                                                                                I like the Toronto street dogs and sausages better than Sabrett's. The N.Y. dog is simmered in water, served on a soggy bun usually with uncooked kraut. It is all beef and may have a natural casing (I haven't been there since 9-11).

                                                                                The Toronto dog or sausage is heftier, and grilled. Lots of toppings, which is important if you're famished. Most are pork based rather than all beef, so it is hard to compare both types. Except that Sabrett's are not the best all beef, and the Toronto dogs seem to come from a good source (Downsview or Burlington, hard to verify.).

                                                                              2. re: jmarcroyal
                                                                                GoodGravy Jun 22, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                That sounds more like an all you can eat buffet w/ the hotdog as the plate. NYC dirty water dogs float in hot water til they're forked and stuck in a bun. A few vendors grill them, but most come out of a holding tank. Then you choose your toppings which are usually limited to: ketchup, mustard, relish, onions in tomato sauce, and sauerkraut. Most people stick w/ 2 toppings (mustard and onions, mustard and kraut, ketchup and relish, etc.) rather than trying to get all they can on it. They actually taste fine by themselves which is why they're usually dressed w/ a minimum of toppings. Also, the dogs are usually Sabrett's and sometimes Hebrew National, but almost never Nathan's. AFAIK, Nathan's are only sold at Nathan's franchises and grocery stores, south of the border at least.

                                                                                Now I wanna go to Coney for some Nathan's. Lucky for me, the N train is one stop away from me. :^D

                                                                              3. re: embee
                                                                                acd123 Jun 22, 2010 10:30 AM

                                                                                Embee, It's really weird that you didn't find them in a NYC supermarket. If you can believe it, I found the natural casing Nathan's hotdogs in an Albertson's grocery store in Rancho Mirage California, of all places.

                                                                                1. re: acd123
                                                                                  Davwud Jun 22, 2010 11:10 AM

                                                                                  I just transported some natural casing Nathan's back from a Publix store just north of Huntsville, Al.


                                                                              4. re: jayt90
                                                                                erly Jun 22, 2010 05:09 AM

                                                                                The Natural Casing Nathan's Hot Dogs are the best.
                                                                                I always find them in the U.S.
                                                                                I can't see the fuss over the regular Nathans Dogs sans casing.
                                                                                They are salty, (especially the last batch) and just O.K.
                                                                                We are in Frankfurt a couple of times a Year, and the Freybe's are almost identical to the Frankfurters there.
                                                                                They burst with juice when you bite into them.
                                                                                I am not certain of the taste on the B.B.Q, as we steam them.

                                                                                1. re: erly
                                                                                  jayt90 Jun 22, 2010 06:34 AM

                                                                                  The Freybe's are hard to find now that Costco changed to Pillers, but Highland Farms still has them. They aren't really similar to Nathans as they are traditional German pork frankfurter.
                                                                                  I find they are best steamed, too, as the skin can easily burn on a grill, with a burnt protein smell.
                                                                                  I think I'll check out Olde Spadina with lamb casings at Sobey's Clarke location. It seems to be a good tip, although it may something we have seen under another label.

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

                                                                                  1. re: jayt90
                                                                                    childofthestorm Jul 6, 2010 11:29 AM

                                                                                    Anyone ever seen the Sahlen brand around Toronto, natural casing? Had my first experience at Ted's Hot Dogs in Buffalo this past weekend and they were really good.

                                                                                    1. re: jayt90
                                                                                      jayt90 Jan 18, 2011 05:55 AM

                                                                                      I've just noticed that Piller's European style frankfurters (pork, about 8" long) now have lambskin casings at Costco, and they are just $8/kg., so I'll have to try them and compare to Freybe's, and maybe Olde Spadina (probably beef). I agree with Erly that steaming is best, to expand the meat and stretch the casing for that elusive burst of flavor.

                                                                                    2. re: erly
                                                                                      The Chowhound Team Jul 6, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                                      We moved a bunch of posts about sourcing these in the US over to our General Topics board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/718687

                                                                              5. gregclow Aug 18, 2010 07:34 AM

                                                                                Just in case anyone is still keeping tabs on places in town that are serving Nathan's - there's a new place opening soon at Queen and Bathurst called Poutine Plus that has a sign listing "Poutine - Fries - Sandwiches - Hot Dogs - Shakes", along with the Nathan's logo.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: gregclow
                                                                                  Yongeman Aug 18, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                                                  I noticed that place a couple of weeks ago...any idea when it's scheduled to open?

                                                                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                    Manybears Aug 18, 2010 08:26 AM

                                                                                    No opening dates/locations posted but there is an email address on their web site ('under construction' and in need of an editor): http://www.poutineplus.com/

                                                                                    1. re: Manybears
                                                                                      gilbert1111 Aug 19, 2010 07:38 PM

                                                                                      I'm weighing in here, but must confess that while I skimmed the 3,822 posts I didn't read all of them carefully. The thing is, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, in the 1950s, and Nathan's was a regular outing place for the family. They had their hot dogs, but also a sammy called a barbecue that was sliced beef with a bbq sauce that my dad really loved. The thing is, no matter how the dogs are made, if you're not eating them within the nasal aura of salt water, cotton candy, cheap beer, peanuts and caramel corn, they just ain't Nathan's hot dogs. For me, I don't even try. I never eat hot dogs out, and when I cook them at home I use Piller's European wieners.
                                                                                      There you go, my .02.

                                                                                      1. re: gilbert1111
                                                                                        GoodGravy Aug 19, 2010 10:21 PM

                                                                                        I just came from watching Belinda Carlisle and the B-52s at Coney Island tonight so I had the exact experience you described: a couple dogs and a lemonade from Nathan's on Surf Ave., walked to the boardwalk, enjoyed the warm breeze off the water while eating, then strolled over to the concert and enjoyed the show.

                                                                                        1. re: GoodGravy
                                                                                          jaybone Jun 21, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                                                          Sysco carries Nathan's hot dogs now.

                                                                                          I just bought a case from a buddy.

                                                                                          1. re: jaybone
                                                                                            acd123 Jun 22, 2011 07:15 AM

                                                                                            With natural casings or without?

                                                                                            1. re: acd123
                                                                                              jaybone Jun 22, 2011 07:41 AM


                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  sbug206 Jul 3, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                                                  I finally found Nathan's with natural casing! Unfortunately not in Ontario. They're hard to find even in the states but I finally got them from the Walmart Supercentre on Military Road in Niagara Falls.

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: sbug206
                                                                                    Brain of J Jul 26, 2011 01:27 PM

                                                                                    Nathan's just posted on Facebook that their dogs are now available in Ontario at the below location:


                                                                                    1. re: Brain of J
                                                                                      embee Jul 26, 2011 02:35 PM

                                                                                      So after years of trying, they finally have one retail outlet in Ontario - a health food store in Guelph. That is hilarious....

                                                                                      1. re: embee
                                                                                        callitasicit Jul 26, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                                        Lol, might as well just drive to Buffalo. At least in my case, not that much longer from my house.

                                                                                        1. re: embee
                                                                                          acd123 Jul 27, 2011 07:39 AM


                                                                                          1. re: embee
                                                                                            Brain of J Jul 27, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                            "They have 3 locations in Ontario. We are working on selling Nathan's at other Retail locations." Nathan's words direct from Facebook. The other two locations are where? I'll ask them, but I thought I'd check here too.

                                                                                            They keep going on and on about not having a distributor (besides this small shop in Guelph). I know nothing about the grocery biz, but if I have a product that I know will be a hot seller, (and surely the grocery management folk handlng the buying would be aware that Nathan's products are a sure thing) how hard is it to get you product on store shelves? Are they arguing over % points?

                                                                                            1. re: Brain of J
                                                                                              TexSquared Jul 27, 2011 11:09 AM

                                                                                              Perhaps the problem isn't with Nathans but with the supermarkets who are refusing to carry it.... Loblaws wouldn't want to cannibalize their hyped house labels ("Memories of Coney Island Hot Dogs"?)

                                                                                              I'm surprised Costco isn't chomping at the bit to be the exclusive dealer in Canada.

                                                                                              1. re: TexSquared
                                                                                                youdonut Jul 27, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                                                                and why not walmart the ones in the states carry them so why not here?

                                                                                                1. re: youdonut
                                                                                                  TexSquared Jul 27, 2011 12:33 PM

                                                                                                  I agree. I don't see why Wally isn't making an effort to carry it here, being an American company.

                                                                                      2. o
                                                                                        OTFOODIE Aug 11, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                                        I finally got to try the famous Nathan's hot dog at the Rogers Centre. It was okay, but I honestly can't see what all the buzz is about. I prefer Brandt's all-veal sausage or Denninger's knucker, hands down.

                                                                                        Rogers Centre
                                                                                        , Toronto, ON M5G, CA

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: OTFOODIE
                                                                                          erly Aug 11, 2011 10:38 AM

                                                                                          because they are Skinless.
                                                                                          The Nathans with casing have an entirely different taste, and far less salt.
                                                                                          I wouldn't buy the skinless even if they were widely available.

                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                          Jade Alberts Mar 23, 2012 08:46 PM

                                                                                          You have to start somewhere. Pusateri's will be selling them next week out of the deli

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Jade Alberts
                                                                                            ThoughtForFood Mar 23, 2012 09:42 PM

                                                                                            Good to hear. Thanks

                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                            abigllama Apr 2, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                            There's currently a wagjag deal for 10lbs of Nathan's for $40. Various pick up locations in the GTA, looks like they have are using Rabba in the downtown core. http://www.wagjag.com/?w=68741&ve...

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: abigllama
                                                                                              dmartins123 Apr 4, 2012 11:21 PM

                                                                                              How many hot dogs in that 10lb wagjag?

                                                                                              1. re: dmartins123
                                                                                                jayt90 Apr 5, 2012 04:08 AM

                                                                                                The coupon doesn't specify skinless or lambskin, but says it seems to be the commercial frankfurter served at ACC.

                                                                                            2. jayt90 Apr 5, 2012 04:52 AM

                                                                                              Does anyone know if Nathan's uses pink slime beef? Seems unlikely, as the possibility of blood or organs or hind quarter beef would be difficult to eliminate.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                embee Apr 9, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                                                I doubt it. They claim to use only identifiable muscle meat. The ingredients list does not mention "mechanically deboned beef", beef by-products, or "finely textured lean beef", the three pseudonyms for "pink slime".

                                                                                              2. n
                                                                                                nationalbar Apr 5, 2012 05:21 AM

                                                                                                Just FYI, the hot dogs at the original Nathan's on Surf/Stillwell Ave. are not the same as the packaged hot dogs sold in supermarkets, or the franchise restaurants.
                                                                                                The dogs at Coney Island are made by Marathon/Sabrett in the Bronx, the packaged ones by Specialty Food Group. Marathon/Sabrett also make other legendary dogs such as Papaya King, Gray's Papaya and Katz's. I think I can tell the difference as I eat at the original Nathan's once a week when I'm in the area on business. Actually I prefer Boar's Head Natural Casing dogs cooked on a charcoal grill at home.

                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: nationalbar
                                                                                                  Davwud Apr 5, 2012 09:40 AM

                                                                                                  As I understand it, the ones at the stand don't have much in the way of preservatives where obviously the ones in the grocery store do.


                                                                                                  1. re: nationalbar
                                                                                                    hotdoglover Apr 5, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                    Nathan's were made at Marathon/Sabrett for a short time, but haven't been for awhile. The skinless Nathan's are made at SMG Meats in Chicago. The natural casing Nathan's are made at John Morrel in Ohio and are the same ones served at Nathan's in Coney Island. This was confirmed to me by the grandson of Nathan Handwerker.

                                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                      nationalbar Apr 5, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                                                                      My information came from my brother-in-law who works at Marathon in Joisey. But I would have more faith in a Handwerker than my BIL.......I will stand corrected.
                                                                                                      However, our taste tests indicate the packaged natural casing dogs taste very different from the Surf Ave. location.

                                                                                                      1. re: nationalbar
                                                                                                        hotdoglover Apr 5, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                        Well, I would have more faith in my brother in law. My information is a couple of years old and it's very possible that these dogs are again made in the Bronx. I know people at Best Provisions in Newark, N.J. and they told me that Nathans approached them about having their dogs made in Jersey.

                                                                                                    2. re: nationalbar
                                                                                                      embee Apr 9, 2012 08:09 PM

                                                                                                      I finally got a chance to try the dogs at Coney Island this past August. They were cooked on a flattop, in the old fashioned way, and with some care. They were good. However, they were not the dogs I miss from my childhood. I'm not prepared to state that they differ from the natural casing dogs in a package.

                                                                                                      1. re: nationalbar
                                                                                                        embee Apr 9, 2012 08:42 PM

                                                                                                        Definitely not made by Marathon.

                                                                                                        Their "official" word to me (take that as you will...) is that all Nathan's-branded stores are supposed to sell the same dogs, which are gluten-free and in a natural casing. However, franchises are permitted to sell skinless dogs where these are the local preference. No mention of who makes these, though I believe John Morrell controls the spice formula..

                                                                                                        Most Nathan's-branded packaged dogs (natural casing and skinless) are made by Specialty Foods Group, and are supposed to taste the same (but may contain small amounts of gluten).

                                                                                                        HOWEVER, they license the Nathan's name! While licensed products should be the same, they may not be - particularly those sold at convenience stores. Potentially, any Nathan's package not made by SFG is suspect and they suggested that I always read the label.

                                                                                                        Licensing opens up a real Pandora's Box. I recall the sign on Shopsy's during the Maple Leaf scare to the effect that "Shopsy's meats are not sold here".

                                                                                                        1. re: embee
                                                                                                          hotdoglover Apr 10, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                                                          Not only do some Nathan's franchises use the skinless franks, but they prepare them on a roller grill rather than a real griddle. Roller grills are for convenience stores, movie theatres, and gas stations; not places purporting to serve a quality hot dog. From what I heard, Nathan's has the spice formula. I was told that the skinless and natural casing are the same formula, only that the skinless are made by SMG Meats and the natural casing are made by John Morrell.

                                                                                                          1. re: hotdoglover
                                                                                                            jayt90 Apr 10, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                                                            Hearsay is not backed up by Morell's website, or that of the owner, a Smithfield company. http://www.smithfieldfoods.com/our_company/our_family/JohnMorrell.aspx
                                                                                                            The company taking credit for skinless and natural casing Nathan's is Specialty FoodsGroup

                                                                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                              hotdoglover Apr 11, 2012 04:56 AM

                                                                                                              The natural casing franks may or may not be made currently by John Morell, but I can tell you that at least for a period of time they were being made by John Morrell just as they were at one time made by Marathon (Sabrett). I know people at Best Provisions who were approached by Nathan's to make their franks. Info that I got about Nathan's was given to me by the grandson of Nathan Handwerker and someone else affiliated with Nathan's who responded to an e-mail I sent. Hardly hearsay.

                                                                                                              1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                jayt90 Sep 29, 2012 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                Reading the Smithfield link above more carefully, it is evident that they own SFG and John Morrell. A large conglomerate like that can make Nathan's anywhere they desire, since they apparently have the spicing formula.

                                                                                                                I have purchased two 10lb boxes of Nathan's over the past six months through Wagjag coupons (as low as $2.50/lb) and the boxes came from SFG, Newport News, and Hampton, Virginia. Anyone looking for bargain offerings of Nathan's should check the Wagjag Grocery offerings from time to time, for a possible repeat offering.

                                                                                                        2. h
                                                                                                          Herne Apr 5, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                          Don't know where they were made but I bought some last week from Frabert's in Fergus when I was passing nearby. They were great and an improvement over anything I have bought in Toronto. My wife who has eaten the real thing on Coney Island said they were fine and similar to what she remembered. Now I need a reason to back to Fergus::))

                                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                                            burlgurl Apr 5, 2012 08:31 PM

                                                                                                            Sorry if this has been mentioned already, but Brunchworks on St. Clair serves Nathan's on their menu..prints it right on the menu in fact!

                                                                                                            1. TorontoTips Apr 6, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                              Hello dog-obsessed friends!
                                                                                                              I've done Sabrett's and Vienna and Sahlen's and my fave is still Hebrew National. Gotta try Nathan's, so I'm following along as the search continues :-)

                                                                                                              QUESTION: Any update on finding Hebrew Nationals here in TO? I used to get them at my North York Loblaws, but that was eons ago - anywhere else carry them?

                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: TorontoTips
                                                                                                                Davwud Apr 6, 2012 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                Mrs. Sippi, my dad and I did a blind taste test between Nathans and HN. Nathan's won 3 - 0.


                                                                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                  TorontoTips Apr 6, 2012 08:44 AM

                                                                                                                  Wow, gotta try me some Nathans :-)
                                                                                                                  Where'd you buy them?

                                                                                                                  1. re: TorontoTips
                                                                                                                    Davwud Apr 6, 2012 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                    Inlaws live in Alabama. I'm here now actually. I usually pick up a Costco pack. They're skinless but I'm not a big skin on person. I mean, I prefer them on but don't turn my nose up at ones that don't.


                                                                                                                2. re: TorontoTips
                                                                                                                  jayt90 Apr 6, 2012 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                  Hebrew stopped shipping to Canada during the mad cow crisis. When shipping resumed they found some new rules too cumbersome.
                                                                                                                  Kirkland hot dogs were developed to replace them.

                                                                                                                  1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                    TorontoTips Apr 6, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                    Kirkland Dogs?? Tell me more JT. Developed by whom? HN thinks they replace HNats, or just Costco?

                                                                                                                    I'm a fan of Chicago, being a Blues guy, and it's WAR in Chicago between Hebrew Nats & Vienna Beef dogs as the official Windy City fave - some ballparks even serve both at separate concessions, to keep the fans happy.

                                                                                                                    I can't see them giving up their beloved dogs for Costo Dogs :-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: TorontoTips
                                                                                                                      jayt90 Apr 6, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                      Kirkland is made in a new hot dog dedicated factory in California, so the warehouse was able to drop Hebrew altogether, not just in Canada, and lower the price. The food court price went down to $1.50. They have a very garlicky Polish sausage/dog which I like. Fat content is high. Skinless.

                                                                                                                      I have not had Vienna, but I'm intrigued by the use of front quarter meat from old retired bulls!

                                                                                                                      ed. The Nathan's deal closes Sunday night. We have found out that they are skinless http://www.specialtyfoodsgroup.com/

                                                                                                                      1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                        TorontoTips Apr 6, 2012 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                        Chicago Bulls! :-)
                                                                                                                        Yeah, look up the famous "Chicago Dog" with it's electric-green relish, tomatoes, pickle spear, sport-peppers, and celery-salt, etc. and you'll find about 75% are Vienna Beef and 25% are Hebrew Nationals, especially at Ballparks.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                          jayt90 Apr 10, 2012 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                          If anyone is looking for natural casing Nathan's across the border, the SFG link above shows where they ship them.
                                                                                                                          Hit 'where to buy', then find Nathan's in a particular state.
                                                                                                                          Michigan has no supermarket chains with natural casing Nathan's; Ohio has 4; New York has 13.

                                                                                                                    2. re: TorontoTips
                                                                                                                      embee Apr 9, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                                                      The closest source of HN to Toronto is Tops on Niagara Falls Blvd. Sorry :-(

                                                                                                                    3. k
                                                                                                                      Kieu88 Apr 7, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                                                                      Yes Brunchworks on St.Clair has them, lots of toppings too. So yummy with their Quebec style poutine!

                                                                                                                      1. jayt90 Apr 14, 2012 11:16 AM

                                                                                                                        I picked up my package of Wagjtag coupon-ed Nathan's today and had to try one for lunch. It was worth the wait, and back-handed way of purchasing. They were skinless, and made by SFG, Hampton, Va.

                                                                                                                        I steamed two of them for 20 minutes to make sure they were plumped. I had mine on a slice of rye with Wal-Mart's deli mustard. This batch is much less salty and greasy than the ones we had two years ago. Spicing was mild and effective, with a good hit of garlic.

                                                                                                                        The only thing missing was a flavor snap which a lambskin casing would provide.
                                                                                                                        If I grill these outside, I'll steam them first until plump, then finish on the grill to firm up the outside of them.

                                                                                                                        Like any product at the top of it class, these hot dogs are well balanced without any excesses, and easy to handle.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                          justsayn Apr 14, 2012 03:57 PM

                                                                                                                          Agreed 100%. They are fantatstic! We griddled them on the flat top and got a bit of crust for texture and sweetened juices. wow

                                                                                                                        2. t
                                                                                                                          Tatai Sep 28, 2012 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                          Nortown on Eglinton is now carrying Nathan's hot dogs. I bought a package today but haven't tried them yet. "Product of U.S.A."

                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                                            abigllama Sep 28, 2012 11:42 PM

                                                                                                                            We got some at Pusateri's on Bay to take up to a friend's cottage. The skinless do very well on the girll. Welve always enjoyed them but they were a show stopper with the crowd at the cottage!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tatai
                                                                                                                              acd123 Oct 16, 2012 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                              Are the Nathan's dogs at Nortown the skinless of natural casing version?

                                                                                                                              1. re: acd123
                                                                                                                                magic Oct 16, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                There are also Nathan's hot dogs at the Shoppers Drug Mart on Eglinton, west of Avenue Road. No idea as to the casing.

                                                                                                                                1. re: magic
                                                                                                                                  jayt90 Oct 16, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                  No one has reported lambskin Nathan's in Canada yet. I think they are all skinless, made by a Smithfield company.

                                                                                                                                  The lambskin Nathan's seem to go to select markets, such as New York, Florida, and Los Angeles. These are also the same Smithfield derivation, with the original recipe.

                                                                                                                                  I was in Highland Farms on Ellesmere earlier this week, and could not find Nathan 's hot dogs, but they did have a variety of Nathan's refrigerated pickles. I bought the Nathan's half sour, packed in water(!), and they are regrettably meh compared to my own refrigerator cukes.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                    Davwud Oct 16, 2012 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                    Not sure about your "Market Theory." I can find them in Huntsville, Al. Granted, they come from Publix which is huge in the south. Perhaps only certain vendors are "Selected."


                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                      jayt90 Oct 16, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                      Have a look at 'where to buy' on the SFG Nathan's page. http://www.specialtyfoodsgroup.com/br...
                                                                                                                                      It looks like only a few stores select natural casing franks in the U.S. Even Wegman's omits them.
                                                                                                                                      Perhaps the Canadian buyers have ignored our requests, and only supply skinless Nathan's so far.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                        Davwud Oct 17, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                        Yep. If you look in Alabama under Nathan's and then Publix, Natural Casing is the last option.

                                                                                                                                        Keep in mind that Costco isn't on this list either. They sell 32 packs of the "Regular" kind.


                                                                                                                                    2. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                      acd123 Oct 17, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                      I get natural casing Nathan's at Albertson's in Rancho Mirage California. Weird place to have found them. I usually come back to TO with 10 packs or. Too bad we can't get them in TO.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                        jayzen25 Oct 21, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                        I tried Highland Farms on Ellesmere, they didn't seem to know about nathan's hotdogs (talked to a buyer), also tried Highland Farms on Lawrence east of Morningside, no luck.

                                                                                                                                        Tried my first Nathan's hotdog in the food court of Punta Cana Airport of all places, a week ago... I've been having cravings since. I usually opt for sausage.... but this hotdog is special.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jayzen25
                                                                                                                                          Googs Oct 21, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                          According to the comments here, Highland Farms decided to wait for a later shipment. Don't ask me why.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                            szw Oct 22, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                            anywhere to get them downtown on the west-side?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: szw
                                                                                                                                              Googs Oct 27, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                              If you open that link, you'll find a list of Toronto retailers from the FaceBook page of Nathan's Famous Canada.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: jayzen25
                                                                                                                                            AMarshall Oct 21, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                            I also have not seen them at the Dufferin Street store

                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                    jmeggs Oct 12, 2012 10:52 PM

                                                                                                                                    I apologize if this is old news, but I was excited to see packages of Nathan's jumbo and regular size dogs at the Bloor Street Market (part of Loblaws).

                                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                                      madeliner Oct 12, 2012 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                                      they have them at my grocery store-ten thousand times better than sabretts


                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: madeliner
                                                                                                                                        Davwud Oct 13, 2012 06:10 AM

                                                                                                                                        Your hyperbole is a million times worse than mine.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                                                                                          wano Oct 13, 2012 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                          Bought Nathan's All Hot Dogs at Summerhill market in Sep. was on sale for just $3.59 for a pack of 8, 375 grams. Made by SFG. Too bad sale is over but they carry them regularly if you need fix.

                                                                                                                                          If you want skinless and you are in Buffalo area go to Target. Super cheap too.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: wano
                                                                                                                                            LUV_TO_EAT Oct 13, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            Found Nathan's for $2.99 at No Frills Centrepoint mall.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: wano
                                                                                                                                              gregoryyyz Oct 20, 2012 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                              Back on sale for $2.99 at Summerhill until November 11.
                                                                                                                                              8 pack short or long, both 375g.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: gregoryyyz
                                                                                                                                                Yongeman Oct 21, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                That's good to know, gregoryyyz, because they can be a little pricey.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                                                                                                                  Brain of J Mar 2, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Just heard from Nathan's Canada that they will be in all Sobey's stores in Ontario come April 1.

                                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                                          babinni Mar 3, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                          Nathans will be available in Ontario at Sobeys as of APRIL 1, 2013

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: babinni
                                                                                                                                            acd123 Mar 4, 2013 04:45 AM

                                                                                                                                            Now, all we need is the natural casing variety and we're in business.

                                                                                                                                          2. jayt90 Mar 12, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                            I am looking for ideas to cook or grill Nathan's hot dogs, now that they are here in some grocery stores.

                                                                                                                                            We are getting the skinless type here, but the filling is like most types of Nathan's, beefy , garlicky, and a hit of Balkan/Jewish spices. Smoking is subtle.
                                                                                                                                            There is a high fat content, probably needed to carry the flavor.

                                                                                                                                            I find Nathan's too greasy unless scored and grilled.
                                                                                                                                            Does anyone else find this?
                                                                                                                                            How do you deal with it?

                                                                                                                                            I like franks or hotdogs simmered or steamed until plump, and would like to have them this way but with less fattiness on the palate. There must an ideal way to counter the fat, maybe sauerkraut, or chili, or ???
                                                                                                                                            I'm looking for ideas and suggestions, because these are good franks.

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                              Googs Mar 12, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                                                                                                              Are you trying to get rid of some of the fat, dampen its flavour, or alter the mouthfeel?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Googs
                                                                                                                                                jayt90 Mar 12, 2013 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                Changing mouthfeel is important, as I have the impression these flavorful hotdogs are greasy. If the hotdogs are heavily scored, they can be braised or grilled losing some fat, so I am interested in ideas for preparing such as sauerkraut, chili, sauces, beans etc. Really anything to broaden the scope from grilled or simmered franks.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                                  Googs Mar 13, 2013 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Anything acidic should do the job. I'd avoid beans for that reason. That includes wine and beer, of course. Perhaps just make them the way you like and have your chaser of choice on hand.

                                                                                                                                                  I like the suggestions found here, except for Merlot. I'd be more prone to a Primitivo.

                                                                                                                                                  And I adore Chicago Mike's suggestions found here:

                                                                                                                                              2. re: jayt90
                                                                                                                                                Herne Jul 6, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                I don't find Nathan's much different from other hotdogs. I think I should notice a difference since other people do.

                                                                                                                                                I miss the hot dogs from the 50's and 60's. They had a stronger taste and a good texture. Can't find anything like them now. Perhaps they took out the additives that were harming people but whatever it was I liked it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Herne
                                                                                                                                                  Googs Jul 6, 2013 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I stick to kosher dogs for taste, texture, and purity. I don't care about brand so long as they're kosher.

                                                                                                                                              3. j
                                                                                                                                                juliewong Mar 12, 2013 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                The other night we went for a hotdog at the vendor outside on Front Street. He had Nathans hot dogs. Unfortunately I chose a sausage but next time will try the Nathans

                                                                                                                                                1. f
                                                                                                                                                  filtered May 6, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                  checked out sobey's and bought a pack. delicious. a little too juicy though. i agree they are a bit too juicy though.

                                                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                                                    mrzee Jul 5, 2013 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                    They have Nathan's at Daiter's, Bathurst St, 3 lights south of the 401

                                                                                                                                                    Show Hidden Posts