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REVIEW: Tubby Dog

26 Aug

Tubby Dog
1022 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB

403-244-0694

Tubby Dog is one of the coolest places I’ve ever eaten at! I will get back to that in a bit.

My Fiancee and I visited Tubby Dog recently on a trip to Calgary. We were in town to see Weezer at the X-Fest Festival at the historic Fort Calgary. The festival was pretty good and we had a good time. The only two downers were the complete lack of porta-potties (60 or so for 14,000 people) and the incredibly hot sun on my unprotected legs. For most of the afternoon, I sat on the grass with my legs crossed, and I forgot to put sunscreen on my legs. Needless to say my inner leg at my knee was very crispy (later that evening I bought the best sunburn gel with aloe and a numbing agent!)! By the time Weezer came on, the sun was setting and it was getting a little cooler. Weezer put on an excellent show as usual! They played 19 songs and we were very satisfied at the end. We didn’t stay and watch the final band, Jane’s Addiction since we were very tired from the sun. Though I really wanted to see then, it works out we will see them later this fall at another show.

Anyways, back to the subject of this blog entry. We discovered Tubby Dog by browsing Urbanspoon. It had a very high rating and had an extremely creative and interesting menu. We visited Tubby just after we left the festival. It was located in the heart of the trendy 17th Avenue district of Calgary. It was full of restaurants, shops, and bustling night life spots. According to www.uptown17.ca, Uptown 17 is “located in the heart of the city and in one of Calgary’s oldest communities, Uptown 17th Avenue  – the Pulse of Calgary – is a neighbourhood where people come to live, work, dine, shop and to explore one of Canada’s most thriving cosmopolitan areas“.

Again, Tubby Dog is one of the coolest places I’ve ever eaten at! We walked into a dim restaurant with bright orange, yellow and red colours. In the back ground was playing uncensored music by the Notorious B.I.G. I knew I would like this place! Tubby Dog serves hotdogs and yummy deep fried goodness. There were no limits on the music and definitely no limits on the dogs they serve!

The menu was large and unique! My fiancee decided to go with the A-Bomb (cheese, bacon, mayo, mustard, ketchup, potato chips) and I ordered the Sumo. The Sumo had so many delicious toppings on it, but I was leery of what it would taste like all together. The Sumo had Japanese Mayo, Wasabi, pickled ginger, seasoned sea weed salad, and sesame seeds.  All hot dogs came on a fresh baked, steamed bun. We also ordered half orders of the Tubby Chips and the T-Rings.

When we got our food my jaw dropped and my eyes bugged out of my head! If you can’t tell by the picture, the fries and rings came served on a full sized cafeteria tray! The onion rings were massive and the fries were amazingly fresh, hot and crisp! The dogs were still steaming hot when we got them. I began getting anxious on how I was going to eat this mound of flavour. Should I pick it up and risk it disintegrating in my hand creating a huge mess? Or, do I use the knife and fork provided? My Fiancee picked hers up, so I decided to do the same. Well, the dog stayed together. I have no clue how it did, but it stayed intact the whole way. The Sumo dog was UNREAL! It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. All flavours were in perfect balance… not too much wasabi, just enough mayo, and heaps of seasoned seaweed and pickled ginger. All together it tasted like hotdog sushi! I would eat this over and over and over and over! The A-Bomb was really good too. The flavours of salty pork, cheese, and bacon reminded me of a more traditional hotdog. My Fiancee said she liked hers, but wished she would have ordered the Sumo.

I would urge anyone living in or visiting Calgary to try Tubby Dog! If you want a truly unique food experience, then you must eat here. The old school music, hip vibe, and eclectic space makes their food taste just that much better!

P.S.  Sorry for the complete lack of posts over the last while. We’ve been working hard losing weight since January. Stay tuned for an entry about how healthier eating has changed our lives!

 

 
Tubby Dog on Urbanspoon

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Hot Sauce Review: Droolin’ Devil’s Liquid Sin

19 Jul

Ahhh, Droolin’ Devil! I was so excited when I found out we had a store that only sold hot sauces and spicy products a few years back. Most of their stock was hot sauces from around the globe, but showcased their own sauce. The shop was owned and operated by Craig “Uncle Big” and Lorien Lowenberg. They had two different lines of sauce… Droolin’ Devil and Uncle Big’s. Droolin’ Devil has more of a gormet edge to it, while Uncle Big’s is pure hellish heat with awesome flavour. I will review the Uncle Big’s products in the future.

But in true Saskatchewan fashion, we could not support a store with such a niche market, thus they went out of business last year. Hark, don’t fret people, they still sell their signature brands, and many other brands online at Droolin’ Devil Fiery Foods!!!

A couple of months ago I went to their online market and stocked up my supplies. I ended up buying like 8 different types of sauce. One sauce included in my purchase was Droolin’ Devil’s Liquid Sin.I actually got 2 bottles. Their sauces are a little more money than most are used to, but that is to be expected when you’re buying craft made sauce.

I’ve been using this sauce since I used to get it from their Saskatoon store. It is by far my favorite hot sauce to use. The taste is SOOOO good and is really hot. Check out Liquid sin here.

Uncle Big prides himself in using many complex flavour and  fresh ingredients when making his sauces. The ingredients for this sauce are: Red Savina ® Habanero, Peri Peri, Red Jalapeno Peppers, Fresno Peppers, Roasted Red Peppers, Garlic, Onions, Lemon, Lime and Blood Orange juice, Salt, Honey, Spices, Vinegar. Any one who knows chili peppers knows that the trademarked Red Savina pepper is the hottest Habanero pepper out there. It has been genetically bred for heat!!! Actually, Liquid Sin won 2nd place at Chili Magazine’s Fiery Food challenge.

Generally, hot sauces are very sour. I usually dislike a hot sauce that uses too much vinegar (ie Franks Red Hot). Vinegar has its place, but can easily be over used. This is why I love Liquid Sin so much! Some may feel it is too sweet, which it is, but it fits my taste buds just right. The sweetness comes from the honey and citrus juice. Though these ingredients might seem weird for a hot sauce, they work very well. The flavour of Liquid Sin is very complex and balanced. You can taste the honey, garlic and Habanero first, and the citrus and vinegar comes in at the end. The heat attacks the back of the throat first, which is typical of chiles like the Habanero.

If you like hot sauce, I urge you to visit Droolin’ Devil’s Fiery Foods and order yourself up some of their sauces.

More reviews on their sauces to come!

Image taken from:  http://droolindevil.com/ecomm/

Homemade Hot Sauce… Why Not?

15 Jul

Mmmmmm, I love hot sauce! Furthermore, I LOVE chili peppers! I love the taste, smell, and hellish heat. I while back I decided to make some homemade hot sauce. I’ve made homemade BBQ sauce many times, but I have not done a sauce with chiles. I picked up 4 varieties of fresh chili and two of dried. I used Habanero, Naga Jolokia (now the hottest pepper on the planet), Jalapeno, and a red chili I found, but I’m not sure of its name. The dried peppers I used were Pasilla Negro and Chile de Arbol. I didn’t follow a recipe (I very rarely ever do except for baking). I kinda just went with it… hence the lack of a recipe for the blog.

I treated each fresh chili a little different. The Jalapeno peppers I cut and cleaned out the seeds and membrane (the membrane, not the seeds, is where the majority of the heat is). The seeds of the Jalapeno pepper tend to taste bitter when cooked. The remaining fresh chiles I left everything in because I wanted as much heat as possible. I ended up using an extra large ziplock bag full of fresh peppers. I cut the peppers in half and roasted them in the oven to soften and release some of the hot oils. Once roasted, I placed them in a food processor and buzzed them until they were as liquefied as possible. This process led to a nice texture of very small specs of chili flesh.

I sometimes have a difficult time finding dried chiles in Saskatoon. Sobey’s used to carry them years ago, and EE Buritos market on 22nd Street have some varieties as well. Believe it or not, I found them at the Co-op grocery store on 8th Street. They have a GREAT selection! I love dried chili peppers! I love the dark, caramel colour they produce when hydrated and the slightly raisin like flavour. To prepare these peppers, I broke them open and emptied out the seeds. I then broke them up into smaller pieces and hydrated them in some simmering water. After they simmered for a couple of minutes, I let them sit with the lid on for an hour or so with the heat off. I then strained them (reserving some of the flavourful liquid) and buzzed them in the food processor until it turned into a paste.

In  a large pot, I put in the roasted peppers and all juice collected. I brought it to a simmer and added some tomato paste. I used that for texture and thickness… a lot of gourmet hot sauces use some tomato as a base. I added the chili paste and some of the water I reserved from soaking the chiles. I cooked the loose mixture for quite some time until thickened. During this time I added cider vinigar, sugar, and a variety of spices. I added things in small quantities at a time and tasted as I went. When it was finished cooking, I added it to some sterilized mason jars so it will keep for a long time.

This sauce is actually really good. Thanks to the Naga and Habanero peppers, it’s really hot. I have given some away and it has had a favorable response.

So why make your own hot sauce? Why spend the time? Because making things yourself  is fun! It’s a good way to get a custom taste and to ensure that the food doesn’t have junk ingredients. If after you make some and the sauce tastes like garbage, don’t stress. It’s not a big deal… try again.