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May 28, 2013 10:01 AM

Craft Dogs - 95 King Street East

This was mentioned in the Openings thread, but since they opened today and I had lunch there, I figured I'd start something new.

Arrived around 11:45 am, and was their third customer.

I don't eat pork, so I asked which hot dogs didn't use a pork casing. My choices were the "Kobe Carny" hot dog or the "Asparagus Bun-dle". I went with the Kobe Carny, fries and a sparkling water.

The menu states that the Kobe Carny hot dog comes with Kobe beef chili , raw onions and yellow mustard. As I had a few meetings this afternoon, I asked for no raw onions.

In a word, the hot dog was delicious! The chili was amazing, and the hot dog was tasty with a nice crunch from the lamb casing.

The fries were a tiny bit undercooked, but I told them when they asked me how everything was, and they said that they would fry them a bit longer. As I said, I was their third customer, so I wasn't upset.

There were a number of people walking in when I was eating. I was gone by 12:10, so not sure how busy they got.

Bill came to just under $15 for the hot dog, fries and the water. Not cheap, but definitely worth it for the quality food.

They have a liquor licence and serve beer in bottles and on tap.

My biggest complaint is that they don't serve Diet Coke, but rather have artisanal soft drinks available. I didn't ask if any were sugar free.

It's a great addition to the neighbourhood. I've attached the hot dog menu attached as their website isn't up and running yet.

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  1. Unfortunately I think that CH downsizes images. I tried saving the image and zooming in but I can't read anything on the menu except for the name. Could you maybe put up a bigger one elsewhere for us to see. Thanks for the report

    2 Replies
    1. re: ylsf

      Looks to me like:
      Naked Dog
      Chicago Short Cut/Shout OUt
      Asparagus Bundle
      Kobe Carny *

      Duck Dog *
      California Dream
      Spicy Thai Dog
      BBQ Pulled Pork Dog
      Pork Belly BLT *

      The ones with asterisks cost more than $10.

      1. re: mstestzzz002

        Thanks but I was hoping for the "ingredients" part, which I think is what is written underneath the names? I am curious about the size of the hot dogs... Like "jumbo"? or standard weiner size?

    2. Thanks for the detailed review! I'm very interested to try this place as an occasional lunch option since I can walk there. I know some will probably not be happy with that price point for "just a hot dog" but if the food is half as good as you described it sounds like it may be worthwhile.

      1. Do you recall if they had ant chicken or veggie dogs?

        6 Replies
        1. re: kwass

          No chicken and the veggie dog is the Asparagus Bun-dle, which I'm not sure is a proper hot dog, or just asparagus spears with toppings. I was told it tastes a lot better than it sounds! Menu says sheeps milk ricotta, smoked pepper mayo, arugula and grilled onion.

          1. re: CarNut

            Sounds weird! Thanks CarNut!

            Wonder why they wouldn't have a chicken dog though. That's pretty standard @ hotdog places these days.

          2. re: kwass

            There is a chicken dog (or there was one during their soft opening last week), I believe it's called the Cali (someone picked it up for me, so I'm not entirely certain of the name). It's about the size of a sausage, so definitely bigger than a standard wiener. It was very good.

            1. re: Truffles

              Thanks for the info Truffles. Like I said earlier, it seemed odd that they didn't have a chicken dog on the menu.

              1. re: kwass

                My apologies - I checked the menu again, and they do have a California Dream dog which is chicken and avocado, with pea shoots, tomatoes, and radish coriander cucumber jicama slaw.

                It must have a pork casing though, because I asked which dogs were pork-free and was told either the Kobe Carny or the Asparagus Bun-dle.

          3. Are the artisanal soft drinks made with artesanal water?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

              Even better, do they have half price coupons?

            2. This sounds crazy expensive for what you are getting, but won't knock it till I try it.

              I really really really wish restaurants would stop calling wagyu or whatever the hell it is they are putting in there Kobe beef. It's completely deceptive and unfair to the true product.

              15 Replies
              1. re: themiguel

                Well, the very idea of selling a Kobe dog as some kind of premium upgrade with a price to match is deceptive and unfair. The main appeal of Kobe is the impressive marbling, which is rendered completely moot when you grind the meat into a slurry for a hot dog. Any flavour upgrade is also pretty much completely cancelled out by the salt and all the other spices that go in there.

                1. re: Michael N

                  yeah kobe anything at pretty much anywhere is a real idiot trap. a quick wikipedia searching has informed me that less than 400 kg of kobe beef is exported yearly and something tells me that this hot dog joint probably isn't grinding any of it.

                  1. re: disgusti

                    Less than 400kg a year?

                    That seems awfully low to me. This info seems tough to believe.

                    1. re: magic

                      I don't know... For real, certified kobe beef it doesn't seem unbelievable for such a small amount to be exported, especially considering they only started exporting it fairly recently if I'm remembering correctly. Most of what is served outside of Japan is wagyu or some other kind of hybrid not quite Kobe beef. I could be wrong though

                      1. re: disgusti

                        Who knows.... but that does seem a little low.

                        That's about the weight of one cow.

                            1. re: kwass

                              Thanks Kwass, a good read about the types of beef and production. Keep in mind though that those are American regulations and stats, not necessarily Canadian.

                              1. re: justsayn

                                True! I didn't think about that. However, I think the point of the article is that, by and large, beef that's advertised as "kobe", really isn't kobe beef at all.

                                1. re: kwass

                                  Yeah that article is slightly out of date but has the right idea

                    2. re: disgusti

                      Using Kobe beef to make hot dogs _is_pretty silly (and a ripoff). Besides which, a truly premium quality hot dog (to me anyway) is made with mostly pork.

                      1. re: The Professor

                        "a truly premium quality hot dog (to me anyway) is made with mostly pork."

                        Not. A. Chance.


                        1. re: Davwud

                          Alright then...but in case you didn't notice, I did say "to me anyway". And "to me anyway", all beef hot dogs just aren't as good. There are a few brands that I'll eat, but give me a real pork/beef dog any day.
                          "To me anyway".

                          Different strokes, Davwud. :-)

                          1. re: The Professor

                            Yes, you are entitled to your own opinion.
                            Even if it is wrong....;-)