Tubby Dog has been a staple in my 403 diet for almost a decade. It’s remained a tried, tested and true culinary hot spot for the hipster, lush, or plain old ridiculous self-indulgence that resides in many of us ‘foodies’. You can already tell that I like this restaurant- now I’ll tell you why.
Restaurant type: Greasebucket, Over-the-top, Pub grub, Hot dogs, Vegetarian-friendly
Honest flavour: 8/10 - Though I’ve eaten at tubby dog many times, my most recent adventure brought me the classic A-bomb, and the Cap’ns Dog made with a Not-dog (Vegetarian). The simple truth is that when you combine bacon, cheese, chips, ketchup, mayo, mustard, and a hot dog together, it tastes good. The A-bomb; much like all of Tubby Dog’s offerings, comes absolutely loaded, and is only properly eaten with a knife and fork. It’s a tricky process to get each component of the hot dog in your mouth at once, but practice makes perfect and I’ve had alot of practice. The A-bomb is a bit of a safe bet, it’s been the same each and every time I’ve been to Tubby Dog, and it always impresses me. It’s salty and savoury, and the cheese sauce takes some of the crunch away from the chips to create a warm, pleasing texture. I also shared a Cap’ns dog, this time with the vegetarian weenie. I will say I much preferred the regular hot dog in the Cap’ns dog, just because it was much saltier than it’s vegetarian counterpart. All in all, it’s hard to leave tubby dog unsatisfied; the food is rich, comfortable, and delicious.
Ingenuity of flavour: 8/10 - Do you like junk food? This is a rhetorical question because I already know the answer, and your answer is yes. Tubby Dog’s menu is perhaps best described as ‘modern junk food’ as it includes a variety of classic flavour combinations, all done on hot dogs. The often overlooked element about Tubby Dog is that the food offered is surprisingly complex, and properly executed. The Cap’ns Dog is just one example of how compelling ingredients can come together to form a balanced, flavourful dish. The salty dog, sweet jam, and earthy flavour from the peanut butter is surprisingly cohesive, and the captain crunch adds a new texture element that I enjoyed immensely. It looks like a joke on the menu, and you might wonder why it’s still there after years of eating at Tubby Dog, never having tried it, but the Cap’ns Dog is a truly delicious, well thought out dish on the menu. If you’re still not sure how jam and a hot dog might work together, I suggest thinking about a classic sweet and savoury combination like turkey and cranberry sauce. Tubby Dog also offers monthly and weekly specials with such flavours as a ceaser salad inspired dog, a taco inside a hot dog, and the cheesebus: a 1/3 lb. dog on a bed of Cheese Whiz, topped with mustard, ketchup, cheddar cheese, space cheese and mini Ritz crackers! Insane.
Restaurant Vibe: 9/10 - Tubby Dog has a unique, vintage vibe and a busy atmosphere. I appreciate the open kitchen; especially at a fast food restaurant, as it ties the whole room together. There are people playing pinball, watching old movies on the projector screen, drinking beer, and reading the old food boxes and tins set up for decoration, but the reason everyone comes is for the food. It’s a fun, conversational room with lots of character, and everyone who I’ve shared Tubby Dog with has enjoyed it just as much as I do.
Overall Value: 8/10 - At $7.00 for a breathtakingly satisfying hot dog, you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth. As if the hot dog’s not enough to hold your interest, the upbeat atmosphere, old movies, and the remainder of the compelling menu will probably convince you to return and try something even more out of the ordinary than the last time.
Final Thoughts: Tubby Dog- as I said, a staple in my Calgarian culinary adventures, and with good reason. It’s unique food and fun atmosphere bring me back time and time again, and I presume it will continue to be one of my all time favorite post-bar, or in the mood to over indulge spots. Classic.