In Calgary, we are blessed with not one but two fancy hot dog places, and they’re within walking distance of each other. I’ve posted about Tubby Dog before (here and here), so it was about time I tried the comparably cheekily named Le Chien Chaud.
Located in the Mission neighbourhood, the business’ mascot is Francis, a hot dog character who wears a beret and haughtily holds a hot dog aloft in his hand.
You can pick a wiener of pork/beef, all-beef, vegetarian, buffalo or bratwurst. The dogs average about $6.
The selection of 11 gourmet dogs features toppings that make them unique to a certain culture. The Chilean Completo has guacamole, mayo, chopped tomatoes and onions, hot Aji sauce and fresh cilantro. I accidentally took a bite of Tracy’s Chilean dog — and it was really, really good.
(It was an accident because her dog got put on my desk, and vice versa, and I just chomped into it without really looking at the toppings.)
I ordered a Chicago dog, with a sliced dill pickle, tomato wedges, mustard and relish, chopped cucumber and onion, sprinkled with celery salt. The menu said “topped with a sport pepper,” but I’m pretty sure I got a pepperoncini.
It was good too but I felt the cucumber was unnecessary, and the relish too sweet.
The dogs were a handful, but nothing like the overflowing volcanos that are Tubby Dogs. I do like the buns at Le Chien Chaud better.
Since there are inevitable comparisons, I will say that Tubby Dog is like a refreshing mug of beer, while Le Chien Chaud is a flute of bubbly champagne. However, I don’t think anything can beat street meat.
Le Chien Chaud, #3-2015-4th St. SW, (403) 229-DOG1. Open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sundays noon-5 p.m.