I’ll preface this post by saying that I’m not a fan of hot dogs to begin with. My coworkers had tried Tubby Dog awhile back and loved it. Hence, they convinced me to try it out. Since so many of my coworkers raved about it, I was hoping this experience would have me converted to liking, if not a regular hot dog, then at least one from Tubby Dog. Tubby Dog is a lunch and late-night institution in Calgary that serves up giant hot dogs with all kinds of fixings, including some wild and crazy combinations. Recently, Tubby Dog was selected as one of the eateries in Calgary to be featured on The Food Network show You Gotta Eat Here.
My coworkers both ordered the Pizza Dog Special, which was The Bing Crosby ($9.75). It consisted of a 1/3 pound dog on a bed of pizza sauce in a bun and baked with onions, green and red pepper medley, mozzarella, parmesan, and oregano. The dog is then finished with Frank’s RedHot, ranch and taco sauces. Both of my coworkers really enjoyed their dogs.
Based on some of my other coworkers’ recommendations, I ordered the Sumo ($7), which consisted of a regular all-beef wiener topped with Japanese mayo, wasabi, pickled ginger, lightly toasted sesame seeds, and seasoned seaweed. After a couple of bites, I was still looking for the wow factor. I was looking for the combination of flavours to transform this hot dog into a delectable gourmet experience. I never did find it. In the end, to me it was just a hot dog with unusual toppings. A lot of people may love it, but it is not for me. To me, it is as if they ran out of the regular hot dog condiments and just tossed in a bunch of Japanese condiments they found in the pantry. The flavours together weren’t necessarily offensive but I didn’t think they together help to transform the dog into something spectacular either. I found the seasoned seaweed to be on the chewy side and I was hoping the wasabi would have more of a bite.
Between the three of us, we shared a full order of the Yam Fries ($4.50 for full order; $2.25 for half). The full order came covering a standard cafeteria tray and was served with a sweet chili sauce. To me, this was more about quantity than about taste. The fries didn’t taste bad per se, but it wasn’t exactly very gourmet either.
To me, I wouldn’t consider Tubby Dog as a gourmet hot dog joint as I didn’t find many of the topping combinations to be that gourmet. I would say it’s more of a place where you can find usual topping combinations for your hot dog, especially like the PBJ which is topped with peanut butter and jelly, or the Cap’ns Dog, which is topped with peanut butter, jelly, and Cap’n Crunch cereal. I get that Tubby Dog has a following and it may be great late-night place to go after the bar, but it’s just not my kind of place.
1022 17 Ave SW