The Dog

9567A 118 Ave.

780-424-6823

Tues. to Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Closed Mondays

Food: 4 of 5 Suns

Ambience: 3 of 5 Suns

Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns

Dinner for two excluding drinks and tip: Basic, $20; loaded, $35

The lowly hot dog ascends, from a kids’ birthday party staple, to Fat Franks hot dog stands, to the crazy Asian fusion dogs at the It’ Dog.

And now the hot dog arrives to its full magnificent glory. 

The Dog is a sit-down  hot-dog emporium on 118 Avenue where you can order 23 kinds of hot dogs – at least 14 variations based on excellent locally made beef and beef/pork dogs, then hot dogs built from  kangaroo, elk, wild boar and alligator sausage, and even three vegetarian dogs! 

The Dog shares its building and ownership with the best BBQ house in town, Sloppy Hoggs Roed Hus, which means it shares the quirky creativeness of over-all owner Bjorn Cochran.

Cochran has had a lot of laughs creating The Dog. You’d associate the black and white logo – a snarling bulldog head, spittle and all – with a motorcycle gang sooner than a restaurant. But somehow it makes sense, especially in the tough-yet-artsy 118th Avenue precinct. 

The restaurant itself is kinda cool, lots of windows but dark and metallic. The comfy servers dress in black jeans and black t-shirts. 

The menu is a chuckle.  Battered and deep-fried Mac & cheese nuggets (a first) are called Puppy Nuts.  The Elvis dog is a hot dog with peanut butter, banana and bacon.

Within the shtick is pride of quality. The Dog bakes its own rolls, makes its own relishes, pickles and mustards. There’s a deli section selling the made-in-store  condiments.  

It’s also, under The Dog’s motorcycle-roar of a snarl, semi-sophisticated.  On the custom toppings list, to to go on your kangaroo dog, is black truffle aioli, pickled jalapeno, kimchi and raspberry chipotle  mustard.  If it’s trash, it’s cosmopolitan trash.

Our party didn’t wander off the conventional hot-dog path, ordering the puppy nuts, a battered calamari appetizer ($12), elk sausage ($12), a vegetarian falafel dog ($8), three slider dogs ($8), and the Friday night special – a Trailer Trash (dog, mac & cheese, bacon), fries and a beer for $12. 

Those puppy nuts were deep-fried tasty indeed. The elk sausage had a crumbly, home-made meaty interior that was excellent.  The Slider Dogs were mini-versions of three classics – the New York with well-cooked onions, the cream cheese Seattle and the Coney Island with yellow mustard, chili and diced raw onion. Lots of fun, lots of flavour.

The Trailer Trash dog was the hit of the table  – a big helping of fresh and cheesy mac & cheese  poured on top of a hot dog in its bun fresh off the broiler. Starch city it may have been, but it tasted real good!

We were stuffed, too stuffed to try the Smore Stack dessert. 

The Dog is a lot of fun, with a lot of hot dogs and not a veggie to be seen. The service was friendly, informal and professional. My only disappointment was with the rather dull white-bread buns.

The Dog is an entertaining, inexpensive and different place to eat. Despite the snarling logo, it’s family friendly and won’t break the Bank of Dad & Mom.

• • •

Aiming at being the destination location for the city’s southeast, The Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton South is upping its food and hospitality game.  The Four Points (at Argyll Road and 75 Street) hosted Rob Christie’s and my monthly Art of Conversation gathering last week in its Duke of Argyll Pub.

The complimentary appetizers – sushi, sliders, salmon on crostini were excellent and ample. The fare at the hotel’s East 75 Restaurant is standard – burgers, steaks, salads, fish ‘n’ chips and a few oriental choices -  but the ingredients are fresh, of high quality, with interesting recipes and no skimping on portion size.

Graham Hicks

780 707 6379

graham.hicks@hicksbiz.com

www.hicksbiz.com

@hicksonsix