Monday, August 8, 2011

Robin's hotdog fail

I demand the return of Mr. Dog.  His awesome cart with the fold up top and a wide variety of condiments available to enhance your street meat experience!  These are the visions in my dreams.

But I must awake and face the reality that our new hotdog man and his shoddy condiment-less world are all we have for street food (besides delicious vinegar soaked Ken's Fries of course) - this sub-par hotdog experience is taking up incredibly valuable real estate, and even more valuable: the only available street vendor permit available at the moment in our fair city (why exactly there is only one available, I am not sure!)

Street food is something that has come to the forefront of the food world of late.  Our own Shawn Hartwell of Simple Fish & Chips has made a recent appearance at the Food Truck Eats revolution in Toronto.  There is another event scheduled August 20th for those of us who missed the first round.  Food trucks are popping up in unexpected places.  Offering reasonably priced food that is full flavoured and delish!  Just turn on your boob tube and find Eat St. on the Food Network for guaranteed salivation (and download the app for road-trip satisfaction!).

Stratford has a rather unfortunate foray into the world of street food.  The new Robin's Dogs is a disappointment.  His buns rest on the ground, a card table set up for your basic ketchup, mustard and relish.  Where is the wide variety of interesting mustards, the sauerkraut, pickles, hot peppers... 

There are better dogs at Molly Blooms: Nathan's Famous Hotdogs that are far superior to the ones available street side.  The buns are pretzel-like, perfectly chewy and you can top your dog with an array of condiments including spicy deep-fried jalapenos!

Why is our city - a culinary destination - so far behind the times?  Give me street meat with interesting condiments, or give me death.


  1. It is amazing to see what is popping up on the streets of Portland and Washington DC. I really don't think the brick and mortar restaurants need worry... street eating is a totally different experience and there is opportunity for everyone.

    It is embarrassing that Stratford has such limited offerings for street food. We definitely have the traffic for it and not everyone has time to sit down for a meal. I would love to have my own food truck and I would love to see a change.

  2. guy who parks at kw surplus is a good guy-his fries beat kens

  3. Stratford is a culinary destination, but how much can the market bear? There are restaurants struggling, about to go under. Do we say bye bye to them and welcome 15 food trucks to the downtown?

  4. Thanks for the comments! To Anonymous 7:56pm I would say we continue to support the restaurants who are providing a great product but also expect a higher quality of street food if it is going to exist in this market, not settle for the sub-par when there are others who would offer a better product (like Goodness Baker).

  5. It's my understanding that Mr Dog has moved down to Art in the Park and enjoying his new space.

    As for street food....we don't need vendors popping up all over the sidewalks and streets selling their wares in front of shops and restaurants that are paying exorbitant rents 12 months of the year to make a small profit for four months of the year. The street vendors pay an incredibly small rate for the prime space that they occupy.

    If you don't have time to sit, then wander in to County Foods, Boomers, York St Kitchen, Tango, Gene's or any of the other dozens of restaurants that serve take out.

  6. We don't need a fleet of street vendors, just a few doing it right. The only restaurants that will feel the squeeze are the ones that aren't doing things right.